Temporary marriage?

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boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984
Temporary marriage?

http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2011/09/30/temporary_marriages_mexico_city_may_allow_2_year_licenses_to_low.html

Love your sweetheart enough to have and to hold, to love and to cherish, but not sure about that whole "until death do you part" thing? Mexico City lawmakers have your back.

Reuters reports that leftists in the city assembly are pushing a statute that would create temporary marriage licenses for couples who want to get hitched, but not necessarily for as long as both shall live. The length of the contract would be flexible, with a minimum of two years, and could be renewed if all goes well.

From Reuters: "The proposal is, when the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious, the contract simply ends," said Leonel Luna, the Mexico City assemblyman who co-authored the bill. "You wouldn't have to go through the tortuous process of divorce."

The article notes that about half of marriages in the city end in divorce, many in the first two years. That’s a much higher rate than in the rest of the country, which tends to be more conservative than the capital. In 2009, Mexico City became the first Latin American city to legalize gay marriage.

Some conservative politicians and religious leaders are outraged, according to the CBC: "At first I thought it was a hoax," Consuelo Mendoza, of the national union of parents, said to BBC Mundo in Spanish. "These initiatives create a culture of disposability." A spokesman for the Mexican archdiocese added, "This reform is absurd. It contradicts the nature of marriage."
************************************************************************

Good idea? Is this a good way to combat the high divorce rate? Do you wish you could have had a "temporary" marriage?

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I don't think it will do anything to reduce the divorce rate. Whether you technically get divorced or your 'contract' ends, you get the same result. Actually, I think this 'cheapens' the institute of marriage. Anybody who has no intention of 'til death do us part' can take advantage of benefits afforded only to married couples and then do away with the marriage like they're changing underwear. Yes, I get the fact that there's plenty of people out there who get married just to milk the system, but I just don't think that the terms 'marriage' and 'limited term' should go together.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

if you are not sure you want to be with someone until "death do you part" then don't get married.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3187

"culturedmom" wrote:

if you are not sure you want to be with someone until "death do you part" then don't get married.

I agree 100%.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

I don't have an issue with it. There are some traditions of marriage that accept the temporary already. The Celtic tradition of handfasting gives the couple a year and a day to decide if the marriage will work before they say forever. I don't have a problem with being sure that you are making the right decision before "till death do us part".

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3187

"fuchsiasky" wrote:

I don't have an issue with it. There are some traditions of marriage that accept the temporary already. The Celtic tradition of handfasting gives the couple a year and a day to decide if the marriage will work before they say forever. I don't have a problem with being sure that you are making the right decision before "till death do us part".

Honestly, what other people do in terms of marriage doesn't really affect me, so it's hard to get up in arms about this one. But aren't you ALREADY supposed to be sure you're making the right decision? How does a year help? Why not just move in together?

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

I am not against it. I'd certainly never make use of it, though.

If this is what a couple wants, who cares? It doesn't affect anyone but the couple themselves.

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

Handfasting isn't a quaint tradition. It's misogyny, pure and simple. The purpose of the year and the day was to prove the woman as fertile. It's as if the infertile are less than human, not even afforded a public and legally binding rite of passage. And just as now, the men were lauded for having many handfast partners while women who did not make it past the year and the day were looked down upon as soiled goods.

The point of legal marriage is for the state to witness and support a marriage, which is the building block of society. By the time they file taxes jointly their marriage will be over. Lame!

Just live together.

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

Why not just date and live together? That seems easier then a quicky marriage, and cheaper. If you aren't sure you want to marry someone, I don't get the purpose of having a temporary marriage. Don't get married!

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

No way. People who choose this obtain the legal benefits of marriage without the commitment? Shoot, there are boyfriends I would have "Married" in my early 20's just to get some health insurance! Terrible idea.

Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1316

I would have been offended if DH proposed a temporary marriage! Go big or go home buddy! I'm here for the long haul.
Personally, I think either do it, or don't. None of this temporary business.

If a law like this did pass then that's fine by me, but I would never choose it.

"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

I don't think it will do anything to reduce the divorce rate. Whether you technically get divorced or your 'contract' ends, you get the same result.

Agreed.

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

Thinking about this some more...would you go to a wedding for a temporary marriage? What kind of gift would one bring? Do you think it would be dishonest to not divulge the temporary status of the marriage to the guests of the wedding?

Interesting to say the least...wonder what Emily Post would say?! lol

carg0612's picture
Joined: 09/23/09
Posts: 1554

I am divorced but this is not something I could support. Before my ex and I got divorced we went to counseling and took seriously the impacts of our relationship ending. I wonder if we both knew there was an automatic "out" if we would have tried so hard to make things work? Hard to say now.

I think I'd rather see a domestic partnership than a marriage. Draw up a social contract that way. Part of the deal with marriage is the additional benefits that come along with it. It seems a bit unbalanced to offer those same benefits for a not-quite-committed relationship.

I guess I'd like to know what the financial impacts on the rest of the tax-paying and insurance-premuim-paying folks are before I could really make a strong stand one way or the other. It's not personally for me and if others choose to live that way it's fine with me unless it impacts people outside of the relationhip (like tax and insurance premium payers).

As for whether or not I would attend a temporary marriage ceremony? Well, I guess it would depend on whose ceremony it was. If it were an acquaintance probably not. If it were a very close friend or family member then I probably would because I'd want to emotionally support them even if it's not my first chioce.

What would I get the "happy" couple? Uh, gift certificates I think. That way they could do with it what they want.

Do they have an obligation to disclose the potentially temporary nature of the contract? I think it would be the ethically appropriate thing to do but I guess it's also a personal decision so I could see it go either way.

What happens if they have kids? How does that work?

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

I don't know....I'm just not that against this. How many people do you know that got divorced within a few years of getting married anyway? I know SO many people who have the attitude, "The first one is a trial, the second one is for real" and of course they only say this AFTER their first marriage fails, but, I think it is specifically because your average person might go into marriage not really sure of what s/he wants, what it means to be married, etc.

I do think this is about a redefining of what it means to be married, but, I don't think in a bad way necessarily.

Christina, I would assume if a couple had kids they would either deal with it the same as if they were getting a regular divorce, or the same as a couple having kids out of wedlock.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"Marite13" wrote:

I don't know....I'm just not that against this. How many people do you know that got divorced within a few years of getting married anyway? I know SO many people who have the attitude, "The first one is a trial, the second one is for real" and of course they only say this AFTER their first marriage fails, but, I think it is specifically because your average person might go into marriage not really sure of what s/he wants, what it means to be married, etc.

I do think this is about a redefining of what it means to be married, but, I don't think in a bad way necessarily.

Christina, I would assume if a couple had kids they would either deal with it the same as if they were getting a regular divorce, or the same as a couple having kids out of wedlock.

Welcome. Glad you posted. But don't take this the wrong way but there is nothing at all about your post that I relate to or agree with. And I mean that with love. Smile

I have never heard anyone who has voiced the attitude of "the first is a trial" and honestly I am glad that I don't. That is so off-putting to me and makes me gag a little.

People are getting divorced more. I think it's because we have become a society of instant gratification and (to use Melis' favorite word) entitlement. We don't want to work for anything and the minute something takes work, we want to move on. Marriage is work. Love is work. Family is work. What makes marriage so good is the work. The work makes you humble and reminds you that life should be active, not passive. And to suggest that we should bend to the bad and the lazy, makes me sad.

And the idea of people having kids while in a relationship that they know is temporary, makes me even sicker. How selfish is that?

MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3214

Agreeing with the majority feeling here. I also cannot see that this would "save" the courts anything. Are those with temporary marriages also required to do a prenuptial agreement on how they will divide household, finances, etc. once the "contract term" is up and not opted for renewal? Otherwise, it would still all likely have to go through "court" proceedings... as well as custody battles for those with children.

It really is disheartening to me. Why bother making a commitment at all?

If this spreads, I'm curious whether some insurance and other "financial benefits" extended to married couples/domestic partnerships will begin including a waiver of coverage not beginning until after 2 years.

***********

"blather" wrote:

Handfasting isn't a quaint tradition. It's misogyny, pure and simple. The purpose of the year and the day was to prove the woman as fertile. It's as if the infertile are less than human, not even afforded a public and legally binding rite of passage. And just as now, the men were lauded for having many handfast partners while women who did not make it past the year and the day were looked down upon as soiled goods.

I had totally forgotten about this practice. Sad Of course the women are looked down upon as "soiled goods" as they have lost their virginity and "failed" (*gag*) to produce. My one question that I had always wondered about -- those men with "many" handfast partners... didn't anyone ever consider perhaps it was the MAN with the "problem"??

sheesh

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

"culturedmom" wrote:

Welcome. Glad you posted. But don't take this the wrong way but there is nothing at all about your post that I relate to or agree with. And I mean that with love. Smile

I have never heard anyone who has voiced the attitude of "the first is a trial" and honestly I am glad that I don't. That is so off-putting to me and makes me gag a little.

People are getting divorced more. I think it's because we have become a society of instant gratification and (to use Melis' favorite word) entitlement. We don't want to work for anything and the minute something takes work, we want to move on. Marriage is work. Love is work. Family is work. What makes marriage so good is the work. The work makes you humble and reminds you that life should be active, not passive. And to suggest that we should bend to the bad and the lazy, makes me sad.

And the idea of people having kids while in a relationship that they know is temporary, makes me even sicker. How selfish is that?

Thanks. It's not the first time I've posted here, but, I don't post often.

It doesn't bother me at all that you can't relate to what I said. It makes me sad that I know so many people that are divorced, for sure.

My mom, for instance, is on her third marriage. The first was a young love thing, no kids, ended after a few years. The second was my dad- the kid marriage. It lasted long enough to produce my brothers and I, and a few more years. Now she's married to a man she met at around age 50, who seems to really be the guy that lights her up, fulfills her and is someone she will really and truly be able to grow old with. I guess I just feel like, good people make mistakes....or...I don't know...maybe my parents marriage wasn't a mistake, because otherwise I wouldn't be here- but, one thing I know for a fact is that we'd ALL be SUPER MISERABLE if they hadn't divorced when they did. I shudder at the thought- even though I know how hard my childhood was as a child of divorce, and how having divorced parents sometimes still affects me now.

I admit, celebrities are a bad example- but things like marriages that last a few hours or a few months? Seems like just about anyone can get a marriage license without having to prove that they intend to honor the commitment forever- I'm pretty sure no one asked DH and I if we were planning on being married forever when they issued us our certificate (yes, they asked at the wedding, but, not in handling the legal paperwork). So in a way, it seems like this would just let people do what they are already doing and just be more honest about it. I guess maybe that is a sad commentary on marriage today...but... I don't think it necessarily has to affect the sanctity of your marriage- if you choose the "whole hog" marriage right from the start.

I will admit that I don't necessarily know/understand all the benefits that marriage affords a couple that you're all talking about- with regards to money and what not.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"Marite13" wrote:

Thanks. It's not the first time I've posted here, but, I don't post often.

It doesn't bother me at all that you can't relate to what I said. It makes me sad that I know so many people that are divorced, for sure.

My mom, for instance, is on her third marriage. The first was a young love thing, no kids, ended after a few years. The second was my dad- the kid marriage. It lasted long enough to produce my brothers and I, and a few more years. Now she's married to a man she met at around age 50, who seems to really be the guy that lights her up, fulfills her and is someone she will really and truly be able to grow old with. I guess I just feel like, good people make mistakes....or...I don't know...maybe my parents marriage wasn't a mistake, because otherwise I wouldn't be here- but, one thing I know for a fact is that we'd ALL be SUPER MISERABLE if they hadn't divorced when they did. I shudder at the thought- even though I know how hard my childhood was as a child of divorce, and how having divorced parents sometimes still affects me now.

I admit, celebrities are a bad example- but things like marriages that last a few hours or a few months? Seems like just about anyone can get a marriage license without having to prove that they intend to honor the commitment forever- I'm pretty sure no one asked DH and I if we were planning on being married forever when they issued us our certificate (yes, they asked at the wedding, but, not in handling the legal paperwork). So in a way, it seems like this would just let people do what they are already doing and just be more honest about it. I guess maybe that is a sad commentary on marriage today...but... I don't think it necessarily has to affect the sanctity of your marriage- if you choose the "whole hog" marriage right from the start.

I will admit that I don't necessarily know/understand all the benefits that marriage affords a couple that you're all talking about- with regards to money and what not.

The secodn bolded point is the biggest part of it for me and why I am against this temporary idea.

On the order of 1,400 legal rights are conferred upon married couples in the U.S. Typically these are composed of about 400 state benefits and over 1,000 federal benefits. Among them are the rights to: joint parenting;
joint adoption;
joint foster care, custody, and visitation (including non-biological parents);
status as next-of-kin for hospital visits and medical decisions where one partner is too ill to be competent;
joint insurance policies for home, auto and health;
dissolution and divorce protections such as community property and child support;
immigration and residency for partners from other countries;
inheritance automatically in the absence of a will;
joint leases with automatic renewal rights in the event one partner dies or leaves the house or apartment;
inheritance of jointly-owned real and personal property through the right of survivorship (which avoids the time and expense and taxes in probate);
benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, and Medicare;
spousal exemptions to property tax increases upon the death of one partner who is a co-owner of the home;
veterans' discounts on medical care, education, and home loans; joint filing of tax returns;
joint filing of customs claims when traveling;
wrongful death benefits for a surviving partner and children;
bereavement or sick leave to care for a partner or child;
decision-making power with respect to whether a deceased partner will be cremated or not and where to bury him or her;
crime victims' recovery benefits;
loss of consortium tort benefits;
domestic violence protection orders;
judicial protections and evidentiary immunity;
and more....

Most of these legal and economic benefits cannot be privately arranged or contracted for. For example, absent a legal (or civil) marriage, there is no guaranteed joint responsibility to the partner and to third parties (including children) in such areas as child support, debts to creditors, taxes, etc. In addition, private employers and institutions often give other economic privileges and other benefits (special rates or memberships) only to married couples.

I think it is sick that we would be more willing as a ,society to allow these benefits to peoplewho see marriage as a thing of the moment but yet cannot see fit to allow this to same sex couples who have been together for years. Marriage is not just a wedding with a fancy cake and someone to share your bed (general your not you your). There are responsibilities and benefits for taking on such a big responsibility. The reason there are so many benefits is because marriage in our society was created on the premise that it was a binding and long term connection. To change that now because we have become lazy and flighty is silly to me.

To the first bolded, I am not concerned with anything affecting the sanctity of my marriage. I have been with the same person for 20 years, so that would be an impossibility really. However, I do live in this society and I am affected by laws that are passed and I see it as my civil duty as a citizen to make sure the laws I see being enacted are for the good of all. This kind of thing doesn't seem good in any way that I can see.

Oh, and Dh and I both coem from divorced families. Most of my friends are divorced as well as the parents of my kid's friends. I am surronded by divorce more then I am healthy loving marriages....which is why I am so against this. Just because somethign is common, deosn't mean it is good and if it is not good, then why the heck shoudl we strive for it and make it easier?

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

DH and I have lived outside the US for our whole relationship, so, I haven't looked into/gotten to know my rights/responsibilities as a married American. But thanks for bringing some of them to light for me.

I absolutely believe as well, that same sex couples should be able to get married legally, if not religiously (that's between people and their Gods and churches).

I don't suppose we should make this legal just because it's common.... but, maybe it should be harder to get married in the first place? Cause I'm just saying that even with the current consequences for ending a marriage in place today, it seems like a lot of people treat marriage as "as long as I feel like it" instead of forever, anyway.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I'm w Lana. I come from a happily married family though and grew up not really knowing many divorced people. I think that the concept of a starter marriage is creepy and utterly foreign to me. I also have strong and potentially offensive views on remarriage where kids are involved so I'll just leave it at that Smile

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

I do believe marriage should be forever. I can not imagine the emotional scars from a divorce and religious reasons aside, I would not want to inflict that emotional pain on anyone.

That said, I do not think divorce is an unforgivable sin. We are very conservative. Among my family and the people I know I have one cousin and a few Aunt's that have divorced. 95% of the people I know IRL have never divorced or would even consider it with the exception of abuse. The people that I have come across that have been divorced have been treated very poorly and like their life is over. I do not believe this to be the right way to handle the situation. I doubt anyone who believes as I do sets out to get divorced. They should be treated with the same love and respect as anyone else. Mistakes happen, and while not ideal, it is not the end of the world.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I support people's right to get divorced if it turns out that the marriage is not workable. However, I hate the notion of people going into a marriage with the assumption that it's only temporary. Why bother?

I agree that it doesn't affect the sanctity of my marriage - no one else can affirm or deny the sanctity of my marriage - that is between DH and I. But I do think that this is sad, and a sad commentary on our society.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3187

I don't see how a temporary marriage makes for less divorce. It IS divorce, it's just calling it something else...and setting a couple up to fail.

Again, doesn't affect me a whit, my marriage is not dependent upon what other people do. But how is that "marriage"?

I think divorce is terrible for the people going through it, and my only moral judgement comes in when I think about people who don't TRY to save their marriages. But things happen, and sometimes you just have to call it quits and get a chance at happiness elsewhere. But my original sentiment prevails: why get married if you're not planning to be in it for the long haul? Why not just date? Have a long engagement if that's what you need.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

I also don't want to come off as anti-divorce and all judgy on people who get divorce. Some marraiges don't work out and who am I to say otherwise. Just wnated to make that clear.

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

"culturedmom" wrote:

I have never heard anyone who has voiced the attitude of "the first is a trial" and honestly I am glad that I don't. That is so off-putting to me and makes me gag a little.

People are getting divorced more. I think it's because we have become a society of instant gratification and (to use Melis' favorite word) entitlement. We don't want to work for anything and the minute something takes work, we want to move on. Marriage is work. Love is work. Family is work. What makes marriage so good is the work. The work makes you humble and reminds you that life should be active, not passive. And to suggest that we should bend to the bad and the lazy, makes me sad.

And the idea of people having kids while in a relationship that they know is temporary, makes me even sicker. How selfish is that?

Quoted for truth. I totally agree, 100%.

I think maybe we need to develop a rite of passage that celebrates long lasting marriages. We have 50th and 60th anniversary parties, but they need to be bigger (not monetarily, just in our opinions) than weddings, imo. Anyone can walk down the aisle with another person. Staying married for 40, 50, 60 years is a huge accomplishment that we as a society should celebrate. When all the other rites of passage were being developed this wasn't even on anyone's mind, as people died before this was possible!

I should put my money where my mouth is and do something fabulous for my parent's 39th anniversary next week, which I get to celebrate with them!!!

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"blather" wrote:

Quoted for truth. I totally agree, 100%.

I think maybe we need to develop a rite of passage that celebrates long lasting marriages. We have 50th and 60th anniversary parties, but they need to be bigger (not monetarily, just in our opinions) than weddings, imo. Anyone can walk down the aisle with another person. Staying married for 40, 50, 60 years is a huge accomplishment that we as a society should celebrate. When all the other rites of passage were being developed this wasn't even on anyone's mind, as people died before this was possible!

I should put my money where my mouth is and do something fabulous for my parent's 39th anniversary next week, which I get to celebrate with them!!!

OMG blather, I feel exactly the same way. I don't really like weddings because I think they have become so ridiculous. It's like society is so wedding focused and once the wedding is over, most people don't know what to do. All those wedding and bride shows make me roll my eyes. However, I am all about the recommitment ceremony. I think you are so right. If we embraced the 20, 30, 40+ anniversary instead of the wedding, I think we would allbe the better for it.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"blather" wrote:

Quoted for truth. I totally agree, 100%.

I think maybe we need to develop a rite of passage that celebrates long lasting marriages. We have 50th and 60th anniversary parties, but they need to be bigger (not monetarily, just in our opinions) than weddings, imo. Anyone can walk down the aisle with another person. Staying married for 40, 50, 60 years is a huge accomplishment that we as a society should celebrate. When all the other rites of passage were being developed this wasn't even on anyone's mind, as people died before this was possible!

I should put my money where my mouth is and do something fabulous for my parent's 39th anniversary next week, which I get to celebrate with them!!!

Word. I love this. My parents 38th is coming in May, and DH's parents are celebrating their 46th this month. That sh!t don't play. I absolutely think that there is something very beautiful in a long term relationship, and it ought to be well celebrated!

Many good thoughts to your parents, friend. And if you come to Canada to celebrate it, please let me know so that I can meet you there? Working on weaning this bugger so that I can go wherever, whenever Smile

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

"Potter75" wrote:

Word. I love this. My parents 38th is coming in May, and DH's parents are celebrating their 46th this month. That sh!t don't play. I absolutely think that there is something very beautiful in a long term relationship, and it ought to be well celebrated!

Many good thoughts to your parents, friend. And if you come to Canada to celebrate it, please let me know so that I can meet you there? Working on weaning this bugger so that I can go wherever, whenever Smile

And I think you both need to come to Canada...yes, a wonderful idea.

I also LOVE the idea of really going all out for those big anniversaries. My grandparents celebrated their 65th this year. And they could not be more in love. It's inspiring just being around them.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"Potter75" wrote:

Word. I love this. My parents 38th is coming in May, and DH's parents are celebrating their 46th this month. That sh!t don't play. I absolutely think that there is something very beautiful in a long term relationship, and it ought to be well celebrated!

Many good thoughts to your parents, friend. And if you come to Canada to celebrate it, please let me know so that I can meet you there? Working on weaning this bugger so that I can go wherever, whenever Smile

Wait, take me too. I just got my extended drivers license and I only live 30mins from Canada now. This Latina is all about crossing the border. I'll even do it the legal way Smile

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

"Potter75" wrote:

Many good thoughts to your parents, friend. And if you come to Canada to celebrate it, please let me know so that I can meet you there? Working on weaning this bugger so that I can go wherever, whenever Smile

Thank you! But actually, they are coming here. Wink And you wouldn't bring your kids? Not even my future daughter-in-law? So rude!

I think both you and CulturedMom live closer to JorgieGirl than my parents do. It's a big country.

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

"JorgieGirl" wrote:

My grandparents celebrated their 65th this year. And they could not be more in love. It's inspiring just being around them.

This is just so amazing. Congratulations to them!

Why aren't there reality shows that star people like this? I'd rather watch this than Bridezillas or toddler pageant things.

LiveFreeOrDie's picture
Joined: 09/15/05
Posts: 115

I think the title of this article is misleading. Who says that a contract you have to continually reassess and recommit to is "temporary"? I think it provides a great opportunity to recovenant, renegotiate, and reassess your relationship. This is a discipline that all marriages could stand to have, since we change regularly throughout our lives and so do our relationships. Just because you have a built in time to do this doesn't mean you won't choose to re-up your contract.

I think the inference that these contracts are "temporary" because folks have the opportunity to dissolve them if they decide to is unfair. If your marriage contract was about to be up this year, would you choose to re-up? I'm guessing you would. Why wouldn't these couples?

But I have to say, I'm around a lot of unhappy marriages these days, so perhaps my thinking this is a grand idea has to do with cynicism.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

Cant stand the idea of "seeing if it will work" Either go in knowing you will do everything in your power to make it work, or dont go into the marriage. Most days I love my husband with fire of a thousand suns, some days I have to make the conscious choice to love him. Marriage changes with age and with needs and grows with people when done correctly, I just dont think people have enough good role models that teach them what marriage looks like over a the long haul.

DHs grandparents were 3 months away from their 65th anniversary when Grandma passed away.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

Robin, you make it sound like a marriage contract is similar to leasing a car or renting a house. You are in it for a while and if you like what you got after a bit, heck maybe you'll keep it for a little longer. Me no likey.

LiveFreeOrDie's picture
Joined: 09/15/05
Posts: 115

"culturedmom" wrote:

Robin, you make it sound like a marriage contract is similar to leasing a car or renting a house. You are in it for a while and if you like what you got after a bit, heck maybe you'll keep it for a little longer. Me no likey.

I'm actually saying the opposite.

I think it is actually a rigorous marriage practice to have to renegotiate and recommit every so often. It shows more commitment, not less, frankly.

I think more couples would stay together if this was the norm. I think the title of the article is misleading. Again, who says this contract is "temporary" just because it requires regular assessment? If your marriage is strong, then I assume it would survive and thrive if it was continually re-evaluated, and after re-evaluation the covenant changed and grew.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"LiveFreeOrDie" wrote:

I'm actually saying the opposite.

I think it is actually a rigorous marriage practice to have to renegotiate and recommit every so often. It shows more commitment, not less, frankly.

I think more couples would stay together if this was the norm. I think the title of the article is misleading. Again, who says this contract is "temporary" just because it requires regular assessment? If your marriage is strong, then I assume it would survive and thrive if it was continually re-evaluated, and after re-evaluation the covenant changed and grew.

I disagree. I think knowing that there is an end to this contract will actually encourgae people toget married, who would otherwise not get married or take the time to find out if they want to get married. How about taking those 2+ years and finding out if you actually want to be with that person forever before getting married? Why get married if you even think that you might not recommit in 2 years?

I do agree that in marriage there is always renegotiating and recommitting oneself to one's partner. There is alwasy change and growth. Like I said before, marriage is work. Just because I made a forever covenant with my DH doesn't mean it is a static thing. But I don't think, IMO, creating a covenant that one can back out of easily is the way to go. I think to keep the sanctity and value in it, one should take the time they need to make sure it is what they really want before entering said covenant. If that means 2 years or 4 years or 10 years, then so be it.

LiveFreeOrDie's picture
Joined: 09/15/05
Posts: 115

"culturedmom" wrote:

I disagree. I think knowing that there is an end to this contract will actually encourgae people toget married, who would otherwise not get married or take the time to find out if they want to get married. How about taking those 2+ years and finding out if you actually want to be with that person forever before getting married? Why get married if you even think that you might not recommit in 2 years?

I do agree that in marriage there is always renegotiating and recommitting oneself to one's partner. There is alwasy change and growth. Like I said before, marriage is work. Just because I made a forever covenant with my DH doesn't mean it is a static thing. But I don't think, IMO, creating a covenant that one can back out of easily is the way to go. I think to keep the sanctity and value in it, one should take the time they need to make sure it is what they really want before entering said covenant. If that means 2 years or 4 years or 10 years, then so be it.

Yeah, I get the counter-argument. I just don't really see what's so offensive about making a shorter-term commitment with the knowledge that you'll have to revisit it in a few years. I kind of think that's what we all do in marriage.

I don't know. Like I said, cynical these days. But still. I don't think these folks are any different than those of us that have made life-long commitments. My guess is that they have a similar chance at making it for the long haul...perhaps even a better one.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

My only hitch with this is that I read a study that people who move in together with the idea that they will get married tend to stay together, while people who move in together with the idea of a 'trial run' have a better chance of splitting up. The author of the study speculated that it has to do with how people handle conflict. ie. if you dont plan on forever, you may let annoying habits, etc pass with the thought of working on it later if it comes to that, but if you plan on being together forever, you are more likely to work things out right away. I can see how this would apply to these types of 'temporary' marriages. I just worry that it will put these relationships at a disadvantage right from the start, when maybe they would have lasted with a more traditional marriage.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"LiveFreeOrDie" wrote:

Yeah, I get the counter-argument. I just don't really see what's so offensive about making a shorter-term commitment with the knowledge that you'll have to revisit it in a few years. I kind of think that's what we all do in marriage.

I guess that is why you feel the way you do, and I feel the way I do. I did not go into my marriage with the knoweldge of revisting the idea of being marriedin a few years. I went into my marriage with the knowledge that this was the person I was going to be with forever. Revisit the structure of our marriage and the renegotiate our views....yes. But not revisit the idea of being married. That is the only thing that is a constant. So obviously that explains why I would find it so offensive.

LiveFreeOrDie's picture
Joined: 09/15/05
Posts: 115

"culturedmom" wrote:

I guess that is why you feel the way you do, and I feel the way I do. I did not go into my marriage with the knoweldge of revisting the idea of being marriedin a few years. I went into my marriage with the knowledge that this was the person I was going to be with forever. Revisit the structure of our marriage and the renegotiate our views....yes. But not revisit the idea of being married. That is the only thing that is a constant. So obviously that explains why I would find it so offensive.

I also went into my marriage with the knowledge that I was going to be with my husband forever, as well. That's something I found profoundly powerful. And forever is a daunting prospect for most people, if we're being honest. Forever takes a whole lot of change, re-negotiation, evaluation and re-covenanting. Marital relationships, I have noticed, change radically, depending on the year. Having a built-in time in which my husband and I regularly revisit and renew our marriage covenant would be an honest way of making forever less daunting, more realistice and would force us to acknowledge the reality of our current relationship as it is. I think it can only improve and strengthen a marriage, not make it more "temporary".

I still think that this rhetoric of a "temporary" marriage is purposefully misleading when describing this concept/proposal.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

"LiveFreeOrDie" wrote:

I also went into my marriage with the knowledge that I was going to be with my husband forever, as well. That's something I found profoundly powerful. And forever is a daunting prospect for most people, if we're being honest. Forever takes a whole lot of change, re-negotiation, evaluation and re-covenanting. Marital relationships, I have noticed, change radically, depending on the year. Having a built-in time in which my husband and I regularly revisit and renew our marriage covenant would be an honest way of making forever less daunting, more realistice and would force us to acknowledge the reality of our current relationship as it is. I think it can only improve and strengthen a marriage, not make it more "temporary".

I still think that this rhetoric of a "temporary" marriage is purposefully misleading when describing this concept/proposal.

I think marriages won't work even on a "temporary" basis unless you plan on spending forever with someone because of the bolded. People expect things to be easy and everyone knows marriage is hard but most people try to make them last forever until they can't renegotiate or change anymore. If we take away the forever incentive and tell them that they just don't have to resign their marriage contract, people are more likely to quit. My marriage would have been over if we had to go out of our way to remarry two years ago and I know I'm not a minority when it comes to problem times in a marriage. How are we to know the time when they are supposed to resign is a time where they'll both be thinking clearly?

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

With two exceptions, I can see how it might not be a bad idea, at least in some circumstances. First exception would be if there are children involved because legal marriage & divorce protect children's interests. I can't accept a temporary marriage if there are children by either party before the marriage, and I can't accept dissolving a marriage without the official divorce proceedings if a child is conceived or born during the temporary marriage. Second exception would be that the temporary marriage becomes a permanent marriage if the contract isn't terminated; renewing something temporary over & over pretty much makes it permanent, so just make it permanent if you don't terminate it.

Here are some of the benefits I can see.
1. In many states, the common property states, everything you own separately becomes joint property after the marriage; even prenups don't always protect you if your ex can convince a judge it's unfair. A temporary marriage that expires means the marriage didn't exist, everything reverts back to whomever owned it before the marriage, no arguments, no risks of marrying a gold-digger.
2. Some people end up with a kind of person they didn't expect, and perhaps really don't want to spend their lives with. My sister stayed with a bad person for 9 years mostly because her parents had divorced & she saw it as their failure & as long as she stayed married she wasn't a failure even though her marriage was. Being able to say, hey, it's been two years, see ya! without the stigma of divorce may save a lot of people a lot of trouble.
3. The forced opportunity to do a relationship check in can't be a bad thing, and could very well be a good thing. Perhaps the marriage is kind of iffy or even rocky, this might be the *thing* to get that couple into counseling & head off problems or make things better.
4. The courts are clogged, and simple divorce cases that don't *need* to be in court, should stay out & free up court time for the important cases. The fact is that many marriages do end after only a few years, and that's probably not going to change. Why not create a process that makes ending those marriages that are going to end anyway, quick & easy to end without the court's involvement? It's a win-win.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"LiveFreeOrDie" wrote:

I also went into my marriage with the knowledge that I was going to be with my husband forever, as well. That's something I found profoundly powerful. And forever is a daunting prospect for most people, if we're being honest. Forever takes a whole lot of change, re-negotiation, evaluation and re-covenanting. Marital relationships, I have noticed, change radically, depending on the year. Having a built-in time in which my husband and I regularly revisit and renew our marriage covenant would be an honest way of making forever less daunting, more realistice and would force us to acknowledge the reality of our current relationship as it is. I think it can only improve and strengthen a marriage, not make it more "temporary".

I still think that this rhetoric of a "temporary" marriage is purposefully misleading when describing this concept/proposal.

I guess we will have to agree to disagree because we are talking about tryign to predict a situation that has not happened yet, and so either of us could be right. Personally, I think if the idea of being married to someone forever is too daunting that one needs legal easy outs in the future just in case, then maybe that person is not ready to get married.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3187

"culturedmom" wrote:

I guess we will have to agree to disagree because we are talking about tryign to predict a situation that has not happened yet, and so either of us could be right. Personally, I think if the idea of being married to someone forever is too daunting that one needs legal easy outs in the future just in case, then maybe that person is not ready to get married.

I agree. I don't see why getting married is on the agenda if it's such an unpleasant proposition. If you don't want a lifelong commitment, don't make one! (And there are lots of couples who have that commitment without the marriage, too.)

Robin, what you're describing just seems like part of a growing, healthy relationship. You both grow and change and find new ways to make that work together. But that's not re-evaluating your marriage, that's just going through life together. That's what you get married FOR....to experience those changes side-by-side, with the promise that you will go through it as a family.

LiveFreeOrDie's picture
Joined: 09/15/05
Posts: 115

"wlillie" wrote:

I think marriages won't work even on a "temporary" basis unless you plan on spending forever with someone because of the bolded. People expect things to be easy and everyone knows marriage is hard but most people try to make them last forever until they can't renegotiate or change anymore. If we take away the forever incentive and tell them that they just don't have to resign their marriage contract, people are more likely to quit. My marriage would have been over if we had to go out of our way to remarry two years ago and I know I'm not a minority when it comes to problem times in a marriage. How are we to know the time when they are supposed to resign is a time where they'll both be thinking clearly?

Yeah, again, I get the counter-argument.

But since you don't have evidence to the contrary, I'm not sure I agree. There is no proof that this sort of marriage is tantamount to "temporary" because it involves re-negotiation. As you point out, forever takes work. This clause builds in the "work" of forever into the covenant. That is not the same as "temporary". I think the opposite. Since we have no actual evidence that this approach makes marriages temporary, and we do have evidence that the "forever" approach makes half of all marriages temporary, I'm not sold.

LiveFreeOrDie's picture
Joined: 09/15/05
Posts: 115

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I agree. I don't see why getting married is on the agenda if it's such an unpleasant proposition. If you don't want a lifelong commitment, don't make one! (And there are lots of couples who have that commitment without the marriage, too.)

Robin, what you're describing just seems like part of a growing, healthy relationship. You both grow and change and find new ways to make that work together. But that's not re-evaluating your marriage, that's just going through life together. That's what you get married FOR....to experience those changes side-by-side, with the promise that you will go through it as a family.

Again, I think this kind of contract is acknowledging how much work "forever" takes, and building in ways to effectively make it happen, since we have a great deal of evidence that the other kind of contract fails in half of all marriages.

I don't disagree with anything any of you have said about the importance/significance of a life-long covenant. I think you're all too hung up on the word "temporary". Who says this is "temporary"? Who says that this approach makes a couple "less committed"? I think it might make a couple more committed to life-long marriage.

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

Robin, you make total sense. I like how you look at it!

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"LiveFreeOrDie" wrote:

Yeah, again, I get the counter-argument.

But since you don't have evidence to the contrary, I'm not sure I agree. There is no proof that this sort of marriage is tantamount to "temporary" because it involves re-negotiation. As you point out, forever takes work. This clause builds in the "work" of forever into the covenant. That is not the same as "temporary". I think the opposite. Since we have no actual evidence that this approach makes marriages temporary, and we do have evidence that the "forever" approach makes half of all marriages temporary, I'm not sold.

*Awwww snap* I think you just changed my opinion on this.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

That's ridiculous. If you're not sure you want "till death do you part" then don't get married. No one will stop you from living together, sharing a checking account, buying a home, or having kids. Seriously...