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July 25, 2013

Does being an MP make marriage harder?

Media coverage on BBC News Online of Marilyn Stowe discussing MPs and the pressures the profession is putting on relationships.

Solicitor Marilyn Stowe, who has represented several MPs in divorce cases, says: “The job puts people under massive stress. The work-life balance is hard to achieve for people who have to devote themselves so much to their jobs.

“Being an MP, and especially a minister, is not relationship-friendly or child-friendly.”

Some marriages end simply because people drift apart, others because of adultery.

“It’s no surprise at all that people try to seek comfort with people in similar positions, people they see most of the time at work,” Ms Stowe says.

“I would say more MPs get divorced than the average rate among the rest of the population. There are incalculable stresses and pressures on people. Politicians have to be very tough people.”

Character traits encouraged by daily involvement in politics could play a role in undermining marital trust, Ms Stowe argues.

“It’s not the most moral of professions, is it? It’s an occupation where you can be economical with the truth.”

Ms Stowe says: “The social stigma has gone in the majority of cases. People are simply living together more. Having children before marriage is no longer a no no. In that context MPs getting divorced is no longer scandalous.

“The public are more concerned with expenses than whether or not an MP gets divorced.”

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