When 45% of marriages end in divorce, something is amiss. Yet, even with this grim statistic, people still want to take the vows and believe in ‘Til Death Do Us Part. Maybe we should adapt to the times, make some changes, and rethink marriage. After all, our lives have changed drastically in the last 50-100 years, yet the institution of marriage hasn’t. Sure, now it’s easier to get a divorce if we are not happy, but we still have to go through a very messy ordeal—financially and emotionally—to do so.
The Huffington Post has a whole section devoted to divorce, which is very telling and shows there is considerable demand for the subject. Are we questioning the institution of marriage more than ever? People are getting married later and living longer. They have more life experience prior to marriage, and they know they don’t have to live with ‘Til Death Do Us Part as their only option. Women are more financially independent than ever before and don’t have to stay in a marriage for the wrong reasons. Divorce no longer carries the social stigma it did even 30 years ago. So, does marriage need an expiration date?
Reuters reported last year that Mexico City lawmakers proposed a reform to the civil code to help newlyweds avoid the mess involved in divorce by allowing them short-term, temporary marriage licenses. Couples could decide the length of the contract and when the time elapsed. If everything went well, they would be able to renew their commitment.
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BENEFITS OF A SHORT-TERM MARRIAGE CONTRACT
I like that. A two-year marriage contract, for starters, would be the test drive period. This would force us to be at our best. When put to a test we (usually) instinctively outdo ourselves. This expiration date and re-evaluation would keep us on our toes and allow us time to question whether we want to spend the rest of our lives with the other person. After the lust and passion have ebbed, we can get a more realistic picture. This is when we decide, clear headed, if this is it. Couples in a two-year contract would likely agree on financial matters beforehand, so if they decided to split there would be no surprises or big legal fees.
What do you think? Are lifelong vows realistic anymore? Maybe if we were to have a finite marriage, our expectations wouldn’t be so high. We’d suffer less disappointment if we don’t expect the big Hollywood ending. Instead, what if we vowed to try our best to make things work for a limited time, with the option to extend? Maybe if we went in knowing that if things didn’t work out, lives and finances wouldn’t be ruined, it would take some pressure off, and more of us would actually arrive at that wished-for goal: ‘Til Death Do Us Part.