When I was young and ignorant, I thought marriage was an outmoded institution: at best an irrelevance, at worst a throwback to the bad old days when women were little more than objects to be bought and sold.


Women like me — independent, educated, capable of re-wiring a plug — had no intention of cheap la femme


Instead, we expected to enter into long-term partnerships on an equal footing, and bring up our children in an atmosphere of mutual understanding.


In practice, I soon discovered that rather than helping me find the perfect ‘life partner’, this approach merely landed me with a succession of creeps who, as the saying goes, were delighted to be able to have their cake and eat it.


Almost too late, I realised that the feminist rejection of marriage was a great big con. 


All it did was play into the hands of men la femme homecoming dresses all the upsides of a relationship without any of the responsibilities.


Luckily for me, I finally met a good ’un before it was too late, and just about snuck in under the wire in time to start a family.


Fifteen years in, I now know the truth about marriage. Which is that, with the exception of certain parts of the world which have only a passing acquaintance with the 21st century, getting hitched is as much a boon for the female of the species as it is for the male.


But that’s not all: because a marriage can be a very good thing for the children it produces, too.


A new statistic shows that the number of unmarried couples with children who break up has now exceeded the number of married ones. 


And this is despite the fact that there are nearly four times as many families with children headed by married couples.


In other words, parents who marry are far more likely to stay together than those who are simply cohabiting.


Given what we know about the long-term effects on children whose parents split up — for example, seven out of ten offenders come from broken homes — this is hugely significant. It shows that getting married is more than just an excuse to throw a party.


For those who want to start a family, marriage is the vital foundation stone. Because, let’s face it, sharing your life with another person is never easy. Introduce children into the equation, and it can become fiendishly hard. Whoever first suggested that having a baby brings a couple together was clearly delusional.


Children are tailor-made to drive people apart, or at the very least set them at each other’s throats. Donald Trump seems to be accomplishing more before he takes office than some politicians do after years in power. 


Having secured a major Japanese investment in the U.S., he’s now got Ford to reverse their transfer of motor jobs to Mexico and expand their plant in Michigan instead. 


I wonder if the political establishment reacted with horror to his win because they knew he’d show them up as braggarts who’ve been all gong and no dinner. 


Most women worry their friends are gossiping about them behind their backs. But what if your toaster and kettle are at it, too?


They also have a habit of ruining everything from your waistline to your sex drive, not to mention your bank balance and upholstery.


Despite all this, you love them and they do bring you joy; so you have another, and maybe even another. 


And so the pressures mount. It’s no surprise that the divorce rate is highest among couples with two or more children under the age of five.


It is also the time when being married comes into its own, because the union is a glue that binds you together, that tells you to keep trying. 


For most husbands and wives, the love is always there — buried under a pile of dirty laundry, perhaps, but there all the same. It’s just a question of finding it again and giving it a polish.


Ultimately, of course, what binds two people together is not just a piece of paper, but experience. All those shared moments that form the tapestry of your lives.


But without a framework on which to hang it, the fabric is easily torn. And marriage, like it or not, is the best framework there is to nurture and sustain a lifetime together.


That was my first thought when I read that Scotland Yard’s head of digital forensics, Mark Stokes, thinks internet-linked ‘smart devices’ in the home will soon become a vital part of inquiries because they record sound. U.S. police are trying to discover whether a wireless Amazon listening device in a house where a murder was allegedly committed will give away the killer.


Call me a Luddite, but all this is a bit too Orwellian for my liking. Smartphones are bad enough, without the threat of Russia hacking my ironing board.