For an unknown, but indubitably large number of people, marriage isn't a comfort, a source of companionship or a means of sexual satisfaction. . . . Making divorce more obtainable is a relief for people caught in the agony of a hateful marriage, but legal farewells are difficult, unpleasant and sometimes traumatic. A better solution would be to change the institution of marriage to fit the needs and desires of husbands and wives.
Nicholas von Hoffman
All partnerships must come to an end. In a book about self-actualizing partnerships it is important to note that most marriages do not end voluntarily. In spite of all that we hear about the rising divorce rate, death ends more marriages than any other factor. Most couples, it seems, are committed to the ideal of a lifelong marital contract, but this should not obscure the fact that many of these lifelong commitments seem quite empty to the people involved in them.
In characterizing intimate nonmarital partnerships, it is commonly assumed that, in contrast to marital relationships, they represent a high degree of voluntary commitment. Why else would two people who weren't married to each other live together if they didn't want to? There is really not much information about this kind of issue at the present time. It should be obvious, however, that this view of the voluntary character of nonmarital partnerships is