With the divorce rate currently at 40%, the Norwegian Government have decided it is time to intervene. The new Minister for Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, Solveig Horne, is urging couples to work at their relationship and to even try “date nights”. Readers may be familiar with the concept, which has been portrayed in Hollywood in the film Date Night, starring Steve Carrell and Tina Fey. In the 2010 film a married couple decide to have a “date night” to recapture a long lost marital spark, but for them the evening becomes much more than they bargained for when they are mistaken for someone else.
Solveig Horne, herself a divorcee, is convinced that spending quality time with a partner can have a hugely positive impact on a failing relationship. Horne is pragmatic enough to realise that the Government cannot make “date nights” mandatory but she is a staunch advocate of couples taking time to just be together without the distractions of children, work and other worries. The proposal is reported in the Guardian with Horne quoted as advocating that “In a busy life of work and family, the week can feel too short to attend to your relationship with your partner, so each couple needs to decide what sort of a date night they should have, whether it’s a night at the movies or a walk together without the kids for a couple of hours.”
She also intends to campaign for increased funding for family counselling.
The Norwegian media, vocal critics of this proposal, have said that this is further proof of the new Government’s centre-right bias, citing a “date night” campaign started up by US conservative groups last year.
Image by Instant Vantage under a Creative Commons licence.