Marriage: A 5-year deal, then Free Agency

This may be a controversial solution to what has become a rather interesting institution: Marriage. I firmly believe we would be best suited to sign a 5 year contract with stipulations both ways which could allow people to void a marriage after that time. Now, this smacks against all things religious and the sanctity of the forever bond. But let’s face it: 50% of these life-long partnerships will wind up in a divorce court either in a backwater somewhere or maybe in front of some TV judge that has more quips than questions.
For those that are married, it very well is a workable, highly energetic, fruitful relationship. That it works so well is a testament to your work and resolve. But since the 1970’s most of these unions are lost. So, why not have a stipulated time frame to work in? Much like professional sports – namely baseball – where a contract is guaranteed for a determined length. After that, the parties can reup for much longer (or shorter…) duration. Each would get certain things ( a prenump) in the initial bonding of the two souls. Kids, Career, Living arrangements, Income split and material goods would be bartered for. I think this would be good for Hollywood types, YUPPIES, DINKS (Dual Income No Kids) and any other bonding of “equals.”

I confess that I have not been married; and will I likely not do that “I do.” Not because I enjoy some lascivious lifestyle, but because of things are fairly cemented in my heart, and I am not given to see it going very far askew from that slope.

A marriage is supposed to be based on tremendous love of another. But under that I see four posts, which are:

  1. Money. It is a fairly rare couple that does not discuss finances – as it pertains to each other and the relationship. Lack of it certainly stresses the fabric of a relationship, whether due to career advancement, unfortunate circumstances (Layoff, medical or natural forces) or bad deals made out of lack of knowledge. Money was a distant reason why my parents were unable to succeed.
  2. Time. Couples have to spend time together (and apart) for well being. Each person has their comfort level as to that amount. Some lose each other if they are never around, passing in the night due to work or otherwise preoccupied. Without a rational amount of time together, I’ve seen some friends really lose their “loves.”
  3. Communication. Interrelated to Time, but seperate, is the art of communication. It is an art form; that I’ve never seemed to have master with a female. Whether You believe in John Gray’s book or not, the ability to share rational thoughts and our feelings is the likely the most important of these poles.
  4. Sex. Similar to Time, the needs (or wants) of the two people vary. People are not always compatible in bed. Generally the greater the difference in amount, variety and what have you, the worse the relationship is further along. From what I’ve read, each partner feels manipulated or beholden to the other’s sexual desires.

I don’t think we are necessarily meant to marry for life. Just the probability of meeting the best partner for us has to be fairly slim. Adaptability and fidelity to the relationship is also a very mutable situation. But the pillars to achieving a love in marriage I feel start with the above.
5 years is much longer than most can commit to a career – which is usually the 2nd most important deal any of us dive into nowadays. And how interrelated our jobs become to our marriage, it is no great wonder that marriages fail. Careers are no longer stable as baby boomers found out and Generation X and Y and whatever the new generation is called are finding and adapting too.
Women are getting married much later. (Or binomially; either 18-21 or over 31-35, due to career first orientation.) Men are no longer supreme bread winners; the time element is first to go south in a relationship. With a fast-paced world, people are even wasting time on computer relationships instead of REAL world meetings. So it is complex.

You no longer meet your wife in school alone; or a sock hop; or shortly before a war- with life or death in the balance. Even with more opportunities to meet whomever, like minded or not, I don’t see it getting better. Add to that the same sex couplings and the “death do us part” is quite overblown.
Well, at least I know I’m a FREE AGENT.

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  • barb  On May 31, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    The sanctity of marriage ended a long time ago, if it ever existed for some people.

    I’m not opposed to your 5 year plan.

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