Some interesting statistics:
In Australia, every third marriage ends in divorce;
About 29% of Australians never marry;
During the past two decades, Australians started to marry less and divorce more;
About one-third of children today are born outside the traditional marriage;
Men are more likely to die than to divorce (33.4% chance for a marriage to end in divorce, and 47% chance for a man to die while married);
Women are more likely to divorce than to die (33.4% chance for a marriage to end in divorce, and 22% chance for a woman to die while married) – this is due to longer life expectancy for women;
Divorced people have a higher chance of re-marriage than those who are widowed – nearly half of divorced people re-marry;
The number of joint divorce applications increased in the last years;
About three-quarters of people who marry today lived with their partner for some time prior to marriage;
Divorced people who are in de-facto relationships are less likely to marry their partner than the ones who have never been married;
Married people are twice as likely to have children than the ones in de-facto relationships;
Most people aged 35-64 years have been in at least one live-in relationship (95%);
Marriages are now lasting longer before the divorce than 20 years ago (the median duration of marriage to divorce was 12.5 years in 2007 compared with 10.1 years in 1988);
The divorce rate in Australia per 1000 of population remains around the level of 2.5% (plus-minus 0.2%) since 1988, as well as the average number of children per divorce of 1.88;
Women file more divorce applications than men;
Most men divorce at the age 40-44, women at the age 35-39;
Most divorces in Australia are granted in New South Wales, followed by Victoria and Queensland;
According to the latest divorce statistics available, the divorce rate in Australia is on decline: after the peak divorce rate of 2.7% in 2001, it reached 2.3% in 2007 for 1,000 of residential population – the lowest since 1988.
Based on the data of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (LIFETIME MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE TRENDS, COUPLES IN AUSTRALIA and Divorces, Australia)
Over the last twenty years, the proportion of divorces involving children under 18 years has been decreasing, although this decline has slowed in recent years. The proportion of divorces involving children was 49.3% in 2007. The number of children affected by divorce has also decreased from 48,396 in 2006 to 44,371 in 2007, and is similar to the number of children recorded over twenty years ago.
This also from the Commonwealth Australia Government.
My point in posting all this is sustainable gay relationships are equally reflected in what happens in straight relationships PLUS gay men in particular are more easily led by their loins than their hearts.
I have had two significant gay relationships. The first suffered it’s demise because I couldn’t deal with my own sexual control, the second failed because my partner wanted to sleep around.
I struggled with the ‘sexual freedom’ I gave myself when I first got divorced. For 11 years I was married and while I never compromised my fidelity in the flesh I certainly did in my mind. After my separation and divorce I was hell bent on experiencing all the things I was ‘denied’ as a teenager and early twenties that I perceived all gay boys do. The clubbing, sleeping around, lots of casual sex, and it happened to coincide with the advent of the online gay stuff: Gaydar, manhunt and so on. I thought I was in gay heaven. What I didn’t count on was how gay men can destroy your soul with their wish list of the perfect man. I was either to slim, not muscular or buff, not well endowed, too old or too old but looked younger than I should for my age, to ‘straight acting’, etc, etc.
What I did learn was how vapid and superficial the gay scene is and fell into the same shallow thought process the is expected of the scene queens YET discovering that most men wanted to be loved, cherished, accepted, forgiven, just like me. I suspect that when guys in their teens follow the scene they miss out on developing an emotional maturity that should be part of the growing up process when we meet and date someone. In the end when it comes to sustaining a relationship the emotional tools are simply not there. Hence we are left with the dilemma and question of whether gay people can have a meaningful, monogamous, spiritual and long lasting relationship.
To coin Anthony’s phrase ‘a life of unlearning’, many if not most gay men need to unlearn what has become their norm when looking at relationships. Before any gay man considers a relationship a lot of self examination is needed and also the guy he meets needs to have done the same thing. Again speaking from experience, I learned how to have very open and deep conversations with my second partner. it meant hearing things I didn’t want to hear, yet still love him. He and I learned after 4 years together that our relationship was more about what each of us was capable of giving to the other. in the end my partner made it clear that he wanted to have an open relationship and even went as far as sleeping around when he was working interstate, and then wanting us to have a third person in our relationship on a casual basis. I couldn’t do that. I didn’t want that, yet I allowed it to happen. In the end I didn’t want to impose my morality on him and we reached a point where neither of us was prepared to change who we were to accommodate the other. I still love him. after 15 months apart I still suffer pain because he is not part of my life, faults and all.
I really don’t know if its possible to have a fulfilling, monogamous gay relationship. Based on the above statistics I doubt whether the straight community can expect a fulfilling monogamous relationship either. As I write I haven’t yet met another Christian man who is gay that I could even dream of having a relationship with. I remain moderately optimistic but with a good pinch of reality.