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Challenging choicesIdeology, consumerism and policy$
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Michael Clarke

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847423986

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847423986.001.0001

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Lovers, partners, spouses

Lovers, partners, spouses

(p.137) Eight Lovers, partners, spouses
Challenging choices

Michael Clarke

Policy Press

This chapter discusses the disintegration of the institution of marriage. It adds that divorce has been progressively liberalised since 1948 and marriage is now no more than a civil contract, voidable at will by either party, with rules for the sharing of joint property in the aftermath, although more complicated when there are children. It also examines the complete spectrum of relationships involving sexual partners, from the one-off encounter to the piously and traditionally wed under religious auspices, who would never contemplate divorce. It explains the ‘Bridget Jones’ phenomenon. It discusses the danger of being overly familiar with one's partner and the obvious weaknesses of unfettered choice. It notes that while at work self presentation is a necessary skill, with a partner it is one's real self that is available, and that if only a person can be himself, can real fulfilment and security ensue.

Keywords:   marriage, divorce, sexual partners, religion, Bridget Jones, real self

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