Loveless marriage: Nearly half of parents only stay together for the kids

LONDON — A marriage is supposed to be a loving union between two people, but a new survey suggests most marriages resemble prisons more than anything else. A group of 2,000 married adults living in the United Kingdom took part in this project. Close to half (47%) say the only reason they’re still married is for the sake of their kids.

Many report their marriage is “comfortable” (77%), while another 15 percent believe their marriage is “repetitive.” Some go so far as to say their marriage is the number one cause of stress in their lives (12%).

Financially speaking, one-sixth of the OnePoll survey aren’t sure they could afford being single again.

When love and marriage stop going together

The study, commissioned by Real Fix, also asked participants about the top reasons why, in their opinion, their marriage is struggling. The number one answer to that question came in as “there is no romance” (51%), followed by lack of sex (45%), no more excitement, too much arguing, and not spending enough time together. Other popular responses include too many money worries, different hobbies and interests, not enough communication, laziness, and selfishness.

Notably, 14 percent of respondents wish they could turn back time and stop themselves from saying “I do” in the first place. Men are twice as likely to feel this way and males are also more likely to describe their marriage as “loveless.” Similarly, 20 percent of all respondents think they got married too young.

It seems many stay with their partner simply out of fear of loneliness. One in four say they are afraid to be alone. Another 25 percent worry what others will think if they ever get divorced.

Sex is, of course, a big component of any healthy romantic relationship. Over 20 percent admit they never get intimate with their partner anymore. Perhaps it shouldn’t be all that surprising, then, that one in six also admit to cheating on their spouse at some point. Men are more likely to cheat; 14 percent of male respondents versus five percent of females.

Surely at least a few marriages are happy, right? In all, 77 percent say the true cornerstone of a happy marriage is mutual trust. Others say a great sex life is key (40%), as well as mutual interests and selfless gestures.