Post # 1
Just read this really interesting article on NYTimes about whether marriage needs a re-haul to cope with longer life spans, changing status quoes, and technology.
What do you think? I actually like the idea of re-evaulating a marriage every couple of years or so (although I’m not sure a contract is necessary). But it’s definitely a different sort of paradigm to imagine marriage as a contract and building into marriage the (rather realistic) idea that it may not last?
Post # 3
Not ok with me. I’m not having kids with someone who can only commit for 5 years.
ETA: And the 20 year contract doesn’t sit well with me either. What happens if it takes a few years to conceive? Or if we decide to wait 5-10 years to have kids?
Post # 4
My parents were married for over 50 years when my Dad died. They used to joke that they had a week to week contract. Every Sunday they would decide if they would give it a go for another week. They said it took a lot of pressure off just looking at a week rather than a lifetime.
They were joking, however.
Post # 5
Err…this is why divorce exists.
I don’t see the point of it. Why would we need to make it any easier for people to split and not put in any effort?
Post # 6
Don’t get married if you don’t think you want to spend the rest of your life with someone. It’s that simple.
Post # 7
@julies1949: Thats really cute.
Post # 8
That is really interesting! It calls into question a whole host of things…especially marriage as a social institution (rather than religious). If people get married and sign a 20 year contract (as the article suggests) to raise children and then the parents go on their separate ways, then does the state no longer have to give benefits to “contractually” married couples who don’t plan on having kids? Would people who aren’t planning on being married have kids, or does that end up in a de facto contract? What is the point of being married…if you are just going to say “at least my contract is up in 5 years”.
ETA: I reread that part about children, and that factor does make a good argument for this. It would probably result in a vast majority of all marriages ending in divorce at 20 years as a few generations pass and it becomes the norm to split up after the kids leave home.
Post # 9
@asscherlover: ha! I am definitely the partner who is like… hmmm…five years sounds nice. The whole life long thing it a bit scary for me. So, as the childbearer, I didn’t even think of what it would be like to be worried about being left in five years.
@julies1949: That’s super cute! I’m going to remember that!
@Roe: I think sometimes divorce occurs because people don’t put in effort. But I do think sometimes (especially the 20 year splits) people just move apart and really don’t have any thing in common or any reason to stay together. Maybe I’m wrong, but I do think that’s a legitimate reason to get divorced?!
Post # 10
If we did something like this , the 5 year marriage contract, why would you invest too heavily in it? I mean if I’m out in 5 why bother.
As for destygmatizing it so kids feel better about it, that’s crap. Kids aren’t upset because it’s a stygma they are upset because they want a family unit. If you can’t commit for longer than 20 years you shouldn’t have kids and treat it like a business transaction…. and that is no way to have a marriage.
It’s not what marriage is about … but it was run in the NYT ..figures
Post # 11
@julies1949: I like that idea. Might suggest it to DH, although he has a better example of long-term marriage than I do (his parents have been married nearly 45 years and mine split after 18).
Post # 12
I don’t agree with the contract idea but I agree that we all should evaluate our relationships times to times to make sure we know how to fix the issue or how to improve them, just don’t take it forgranted!
Post # 13
There are some couples I’ve seen get married who that kind of contract would have been perfect. Heck, I’d say that kind of contract would have been perfect for me with my first two marriages…NOT with this one.
I’m sure there are quite a few divorce lawyers who would oppose the idea…afterall, it would put them out of business.
The whole idea of a marriage with a time-limit seems rather off to me. Although, considering how many people have pre-nups with five year increments of benefits…who knows. So many people view marriage differently than how it used to be viewed. Maybe society in general has become too jaded to expect a marriage to actually last a lifetime.
The more I think about it, the more disturbing and sad the idea becomes. Marriage is for a lifetime. At least, that’s what the goal of marriage should be.
Post # 14
I find the temporary contract idea of marriage really disturbing. I’d heard of it before, when it was proposed in Mexico, as the article mentions. I feel like instead of addressing the problem of so many divorces, it just makes the problem worse, by giving the opportunity for more.
Post # 15
I guess I don’t get how different this is than just getting a divorce? I don’t think it is THAT hard to do… And I also think it sets up a frame of mind to have less long term “sucessful” marriages because the idea is no longer “Committed for life” but “committed for 5 years”? And I think it is BS that kids would be less hurt by divorce than they are now, kids want their family to be whole, not for daddy or mommy to run off because the contract is over.
Post # 16
@lanipapillon: Totally, lots of legitimate reasons including simply moving apart. I just don’t see why we would need another avenue to split when there is already divorce.