“So, did you hear?” Sara said as we rolled up our yoga mats after a much-needed Bikram class.
“The Millers are divorcing.”
“That’s too bad, I guess. Uh, who are they again?”
“You remember that cute little girl in eighth grade, Nadine, the one Trent liked for a while.”
“Oh, yeah. Her parents?
“Yep. There goes another one.”
“What is going on with marriage?” I sighed.
“It isn’t for everyone.”
“Yeah, but by the time you realize it, it’s too late. All that’s left is counseling and, if that doesn’t work, divorce.”
“Now you’re making no sense whatsoever.”
“Excuse me, but I am making perfect sense.
A lot of guys are afraid
of getting married because, why?”
“They’ll be trapped?”
“Well, that, too, but they’re afraid they’ll get financially wiped out by divorce.”
“Yeah, so …”
“So, there aren’t many
incentives to get married.”
“But that sure is a reason to stay married.”
“Right, but more women want divorces than men.”
“So, what are you suggesting?”
“Make marriage a renewable contract. Each party has to hold up his or her end of the bargain, and if they aren’t, wham, the contract’s void and the courts can divvy everything up as they do now.”
I can see it now — Do you take this man, for better and for worse, in sickness and in health until the contract is up for renewal?
Sara isn’t the first person who’s suggested that. Two lawmakers, Maryland’s Lena K. Lee and Hildagarde Boswell, sponsored a bill to make marriage a three-year contract, with an option to renew every three years if both partners agreed.
Marriage is under threat, they observed.
“We have to offer something more than the same archaic marriage pattern, the same mind-draining guilt,” Boswell said.
“Across the country today, young people are living together, shacking up, as they call it, and disregarding old-style marriage vows,” added Lee.
And that was in 1971! Has anything changed?