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I Think She’s On To Something….

Nearly every contract we sign has an expiration date: a lease, a mortgage, a car loan, a cell phone plan. Expiration dates seem logical. They give you the legal and convenient opportunity to get out of a contract if you’re unhappy. A life long-contract under those examples would be ludicrous.

A German woman (I believe a politician, in fact) has recently proposed expiration dates to marriage. Since so many marriages end in divorce anyway, she proposes marriages have a 7 year expiration date, with the option to renew. If you’re unhappy after 7 years, the contract ends.

I find this to be a brilliant concept. I mean, why should this contract (and marriage is essentially a contract) be any different than all of the other types? I do hope this idea catches on. I bet more people would be willing to marry (something the government would actually prefer) if people knew that there would be fewer complexities if things didn’t work out. And for those who want to marry for life, you can still do that…just renew the vows (or keep old-school style marriages available for the clueless (I mean, die-hard) romantics.


  1. Comment by Fred on September 21, 2007 4:37 pm

    Hmm…interesting notion. There would likely need to be riders of mutual responsibility for ongoing child-rearing and support, if any, should the ‘out’ be taken… Of course, as you know, certain aspects of the gay community are very big on clearly spelled-out interpersonal contractual relationships, often of long standing and at times great intensity (and, no, I am not talking about short-term rentals…); this could be another good contribution to the, ahem, breeder world coming out of our being in something of a societal vanguard… Of course, we needn’t fear anything so sensible and honorable ever coming to pass in Amurrica….

    Rather amazed that the comments haven’t flown at this one….maybe I’ve now put my foot in it (grin).

  2. Comment by snarl on September 22, 2007 9:39 am

    I’m surprised too, Fred. Perhaps it’s because it’s the start of the weekend? I do hope people comment, though. Particularly to hear of/read the differences of straights vs. gays, males vs. females, young vs. old, and most importantly, single vs. married!

  3. Comment by jeff on September 22, 2007 6:41 pm

    I’ve always said that nothing says “love” like a legally binding contract. I won’t commit to a cell phone plan, they all want two years, and I’m just not ready for that level of commitment. Fortunately, I have that old whore, ironically called Virgin Mobile, to use as long as I want, and toss out with no drama. Here’s to keeping it simple…..

  4. Comment by Zach on September 22, 2007 6:44 pm

    Will somebody please think of the children!!!

  5. Comment by Fred on September 24, 2007 11:04 am

    Well…Sally Struthers is FOREVER thinking of the children…must the rest of us?!

    More seriously, the current situation leaves kids in all kinds of ghastly turmoil and ugly legal battles when divorces do happen, because modern self-indulgent humans tend not to stay in bad marriages for the sake of the children anyway (not that that’s always the right thing to do, either). If there were a more sensible plan spelled-out from the get-go (and perhaps a rider saying that if children were involved, both parents’ commitments, fiscal and emotional, were greater and ongoing – good for one automatic renewal on the contract, etc.), it might actually make the bulk of breakups easier on the kids “because mommy’s contract with daddy is up and mommy wants to go live with Uncle Bob instead” is probably easier than the thought that mommy and daddy don’t love each other anymore and maybe it’s MY fault.?!” all the attendant manipulative ugliness as custody is duked-out….. Of course, there are plenty of situations where there’s very good reason for one parent to exit a marriage taking the kids – abuse and so on – and that could all be in there properly too…. I suppose this is like forcing EVERYONE to have a really good prenup….

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