Kevin Andrews tells us that the figures don’t lie. A couple who don’t marry are more likely to separate than a couple who do.
Well, who’d have thought that. You mean a couple that go to all the trouble of organising a wedding where they pledge to stick together for the rest of their lives are more likely to stay together than a couple who haven’t made such a pledge?
Strangely, statistics also showed that couples who announced their engagement were more likely to stay together than couples who decided not to go on a second date.
Although he didn’t mention it, couples who received marriage counselling were more likely to get divorced than people who believed they were happy with each other. And this was true whether the couples were married or merely “living in sin”.
But Kevin’s interest in marriage counselling goes back a long way as is explained in this Weekend Australian article by Greg Bearup:
EVERY three years Kevin Andrews and his wife Margaret book themselves in for a joint session on a marriage counsellor’s couch — or the workshop, as he prefers. They have a solid and loving 35-year marriage, he insists, but he likens his relationship to the modern motor car. “It might last a lifetime,” the Minister for Social Services explains from a couch in his Melbourne electoral office as modern motor cars scurry along Doncaster Road, “but usually we get it serviced every two or three years.” Without that service the car, like his marriage, may still run along, seemingly OK, “but the tyres get a bit bald, the brake pads need replacing and, you know, the steering needs adjusting — if you’re fixing it up, you’re going to go on for longer.”
Now I think that a joint session on the counsellor’s couch may do more for many relationships than counselling, I’d rather not imagine Kevin Andrews on any couch with or without his wife. So I’m going to try and imagine improving a marriage by replacing the bald bits, the brake pads confident in the knowledge that I can give it a good steer and still handle the wheel with skill and expertise even if I don’t hit the accelerator quite as hard as I did in my younger days.
Let’s ignore that for the moment and get back to the topic at hand (if you’ll excuse the expression), because Bearup’s article also let us know about Andrews history with counselling.
There are many counselling services out there, so which one to choose? Andrews and his wife co-founded a Catholic counselling service in Melbourne in 1980 called the Marriage Education Programme. (Both have since resigned from it and Margaret is no longer doing any counselling, Andrews’ office says).
So, lucky they have nothing to do with it any more, because if you look at its website, it looks like just the sort of place that would benefit from the “free” counselling offered to couples. And that would be a conflict of interest.
Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch and in fact the poor old taxpayer is paying for it. Do I hear that we’re spending and not living with our means and that this is more debt to go on the credit card.
Nah, this a LIBERAL idea, and they never cost anything.
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