02/21/2012 07:20 pm ET

Terence Blacker: Marriage Rarely Lasts For Life - So How About Vows Fixed To 10 Years?

Couples who, in a spirit of romance and hope, are beginning to prepare for a spring wedding would probably do well to avoid reading the press at the moment.

The darker side of marriage has been on display. In a law court last week, the former Mr and Mrs Huhne presented a memorable image of post-separation misery, thanks to the court artist. She sat blank-eyed at one end of the bench while he was at the other, his back turned huffily to his ex-wife. Then, over the weekend, a forthcoming book by Rachel Cusk, Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation, was serialised. Every sentence ached with unhappiness and regret.