According to reports, one in six of the most recently elected Tory MPs has separated from spouses and partners; prompting calls to reform Westminster’s working culture.
The latest Conservative MP to announce his Separation from his wife of 15 years is Mark Pritchard who, according to reports, separated in April 2013 and is said to be in the “advanced stages” of Divorce. In March 2013, Claire Perry, David Cameron’s advisor on Children issues, also confirmed that she was splitting from her husband as a result of the couple having “grown steadily apart”.
In my experience, common reasons cited for the irretrievable Breakdown of a Marriage are a couple leading separate lives as a result of one or both parties becoming embroiled in work, rather than being able to focus on their relationship or family life. Pressures of work can have a negative impact upon a marriage or a relationship and the associated stress can cause an increase in tension and rows. Couples can end up hardly seeing each other or spending any time together as a result of their busy working lives. Spending more time at the office than at home, compiled with a lack of communication can lead to mistrust with other halves becoming suspicious that their spouse or partner may be having an extra marital affair.
MPs have previously cited these strains on marriage to justifying employing their spouses in their Commons offices. In the present register of interests, it is understood that Mr Pritchard declares that he employs his wife as an office manager. The employment of spouses is not of course available in the normal work arena and couples experiencing marital difficulties have to use the limited time that they are not at work to resolve their disputes and to place the focus back on each other and their relationship; something that can be easier said than done in balancing a hectic working life.
By Family Law Solicitor Georgina Chase