9 out of 10 experts agree, marriage is the leading cause of divorce.
I’m the tenth expert. I kind of disagree. Sure, marriage is the only cause of divorce, but that’s just because we’re doing marriage wrong.
Before I state my case, allow me to explain my qualifications. According to the tastefully embossed certificate I received in the mail from the Universal Life Church.com, I am a fully ordained minister. According to my business cards, I’m the Max of “Minister Max’s Magnificent Ministries ™ and if the success of the one wedding ceremony I have officiated to date is any indication, I am actually the best minister to ever exist in the history of ministers and weddings. So yeah, I’m a fucking expert. Any more questions?
Now that I’m a rising star in the cutthroat ministration game, I’m always looking for ways to differentiate my product, to make my services more desirable to my discerning clientele. Unfortunately, marriage as an institution has taken some hits lately, and isn’t as common as it once was. Obviously, this is bad for business. I have therefore been dedicating a lot of my Free Thought Shower Sessions ™ time to solving the marriage problem. Luckily for the world, I’m a genius, and I have done just that.
To solve our problem, we must first identify the issue. So what is wrong with marriage? Why is the rate of marriage declining in most developed nations worldwide? Well, that’s an interesting question, thank you for asking it. The answer is complex, but I believe in your abilities to deduce and reason.
Partially, it’s because women are, for whatever reason, treated almost like real people now. They have educations. They have jobs. They are empowered. They buy their own houses, pay their own bills, make their own decisions. Basically, they don’t need husbands anymore. So marriage as a financial necessity for women is kaput. Also, these days it’s frowned upon to gather up all your brothers and cousins and uncles and ride to the next castle over, carrying various sharp and pointy pieces of metal, and demand the neighbor family’s virgin daughters as wives, or else. What a time we live in.
Also, it’s partially because people are living longer, healthier lives. This is a twofold problem. First, they’re not so focused on getting married and birthing babies in what used to be the approximately 6 month window between youth and complete decrepitude that our ancestors had to work with. Instead, they’re spending more time as young adults studying, or traveling, or working on their careers, or dating around, or being happy, instead of settling for the mind numbing drudgery of marriage. Secondly, with the longer lives we are living, comes the realization that once married, the sweet escape of “till death do us part” is depressingly far away.
Marriage is all well and good when you’re meeting your significant other at 15 or 16, getting hitched in your physical prime, having sexy young people sex for a few years, and then dying of bad humors, or wolf attack, or drizzling shits, or old age by twenty three. Now that we’re not even meeting our partners until our thirties, after our best years are already over, but when we still have several decades of physical infirmity and hideousness left to look forward to before death, marriage as it is currently defined loses its flavor.
Sure, you can always get a divorce, but this is a long, painful, expensive, upsetting process, and nobody starts their own marriage expecting a divorce. That’s just what the rest of your family and friends expect. Obviously, even with all of the bad facets of divorce, it’s still worth it for many people, who would rather lose their house and children then look at their partner’s ugly fat face for even one more day. I get that, but I don’t like it. Not only is the fear of divorce keeping some people from ever getting married, divorcees are, understandably, wary of getting remarried. This is also bad for business, but it doesn’t have to be this way. I’m telling you now. Divorce is obsolete.
I have discovered the answer to all our marriage woes.
:: insert suitable anticipatory drum roll here ::
Contractually. Limited. Marriages.
How have we not thought of this before!? Consider: you want to get married, but you’re too scared/insecure/realistic to be stoked about “Till death do us part”. Well, why does it have to be “Till death”? Why can’t marriages be for a lesser term? “Till your contract runs out in 5/10/20 years” sounds a lot less intimidating, doesn’t it? Would you sign a lifetime contract for a cell phone? Of course not! That would be dumb as hell! What if another, better model comes out? You’re might want to upgrade eventually.
I’m not saying you’re definitely going to want to upgrade your husband or wife, but if after a few years of marriage, you find that you do indeed want to try a different one on for size, you should have that light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to. This way, we can completely eradicate divorce by the simple expedient of making it completely unnecessary. I suggest beginning your marriage journey with one of my trademarked “trial marriage” packages to start. You get all of the joy and excitement and presents of a real life wedding ceremony, but you’re only bound to a five year marriage contract. Then, if things look good, you can renew, or upgrade to one of my more advanced, also trademarked longer term marriage packages. This way, you get the joy of reaffirming your love and re-upping your contract with another sweet wedding ceremony, with even more presents. Or, if things aren’t working out, you can walk away, no hard feelings, no legal liabilities or unpleasantries. Sorry Charlie, better luck next time. Hopefully this will also change the perception of marriages ending from one of failure to one of opportunity. You did it! You had a marriage, and you absolutely rocked at it, and now you have the opportunity to do it all over again, even better.
This is a win, win for everybody involved. More people will commit to marriages when they know that even if shit goes wrong they still have an escape option, with just a few contractual hurdles (there’s fine print about kids and stuff), and after a clearly defined amount of time of course. This will be good for the wedding business (me). This will be good for the couples, who can commit fully to their relationships because hey, why fuck things up with an affair, or a shitty ass divorce when you can be legally back on the market in a few short years anyway? That way, they leave their relationships feeling optimistic and validated, and with such a good taste in their mouth, that they’ll be more likely to quickly jump back into the marriage game, which will also be good for the wedding business (me).
This will also benefit the older-adult dating pool. No longer will various internet dating websites be populated solely by unlovable losers and the emotionally crippled. Instead they will be lush playgrounds for successful, adventurous, emotionally available, prime meat, who, high off the great success of their last marriage, will be looking to keep the good times rolling again with their next soul mate.
Don’t fret, traditionalists and sadomasochists can still opt for the “till death” marriage contract, but there should really be options for the what I assume is massive amount of people for whom “till death” doesn’t sound especially enticing.
I know this idea has blown you mind. I know it’s a lot to absorb all at once. Take your time, let it sink in. Once you’ve come to the realization that yes, this groundbreaking new form of marriage is right for you and your partner, come find me.
I’ll be waiting with your perfect marriage package. You’re welcome.
I hate to disappoint you but this idea is not new. Look up the centuries-old “Muta’a Marriage”.
I’ve thought about this with 7 year intervals. Once you hit that 7th year you can dissolve the contract and spread your wings, or whatever. I think it’s a great idea and knowing what I know now I also believe it’s a better idea than the traditional ’till death’ vow. The one problem I find is that relationships are always work. There’s no couple who always feels the same all the time. There are those times when you kind of think perhaps you don’t love this person the way you did or the stresses of life make it hard to work on things. With a traditional marriage you just work that shit out because it’s what you do, or should do. With a limited contract you are more likely to bow out when the going gets rough, that’s not commitment.
Damn marriage isn’t a subscription to a magazine it’s a commitment that you will, if possible, pull your big boy underwear (or big girl panties) and work on that damn thing.
You know what I think the real problem is here? It’s the way people are too damn dumb to understand the people on television, with their affairs and yearly marriage/divorce episodes, are not reality. They are a product of allowing their emotions or season dictate their commitments. It’s the general idea that once shit gets tough it’s alright to bail. It’s not alright it’s lazy and self centered. Of course there are exceptions and I do believe there are instances where you absolutely should run the other way but this idea that, ‘whatever makes me happy is alright’ can kiss my old fashioned ass. My soon to be ex can kiss my ass.