Could Temporary Marriage be the Way of the Future

Could Temporary Marriage be the Way of the Future

Could Temporary Marriage be the Way of the Future

Here we go again. Every few decades, some enlightened geniuses come up with the idea of temporary or contract marriages. This time, Mark Shrayber writing for subsite I Thee Dread has come up with a piece entitled Is It Time to Replace ‘Til Death Do Us Part’ with the Possibility of a Temporary Commitment’. Pardon me, but I have seen this movie before and it goes nowhere and does nothing for anyone involved. And, furthermore, if you are getting any kind of relationship advice from a site entitled I Thee Dread, hie thee to a shrink.

Shrayber quotes a Vicki Larson post:

Vicki Larson, writing for Aeon, points out that storybook commitment is better in theory than in practice. Why should we be celebrating couples who’ve been together for 50-75 years, she asks, when the truth is that many of these people are likely unhappy and living in “loveless and sexless” relationships? Why do we put forever marriage on such a pedestal?

Really, how does she know what is going on in these marriages. Let’s celebrate that they didn’t give up on each other, or run off with a younger version, or many of the other hideous things some people do to each other.

And, then there is this from his article:

This isn’t the first time someone has brought up the idea of “beta marriages.” Larson points out that Henry Havelock Ellis (famed British sexologist) had advocated for trial marriages—as long as the couple didn’t have children—so couples could try things out and have access to contraceptives. And the idea was around even before he called it a “trial marriage” at the turn of the 20th century.

Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s during the early stages of American feminism, it was proposed that marriage didn’t last so the vows should be changed to “As long as we both shall love” rather than “As long as we both shall live”. Kind of groovy like no fault divorce, which is also a bad idea. I was a young child then and marriage sounded so dreadful that I was terrified of marriage. Why would I want to get either trapped or dumped in marriage, if I was fine on my own.

Walt and I on our Wedding Day.
Walt and I on our Wedding Day.

Well, I did get married shortly before my thirtieth birthday and I am still married to him nearly thirty years later. I have learned a few things about marriage.

1. I don’t love him every minute. On the other hand, I don’t love me every minute either.

2. No one has my back like my husband. True fact. Everyone else in this world has their own agenda. We, the two of us, have an agenda.

3. Go to bed angry. Everyone else says don’t go to bed angry. Nah, boo, when you are angry you say things you don’t mean. After a night’s sleep or even a short nap, I realize I was wrong and I popped off. (Sometimes, he is wrong! lol)

4. Get professional help if you need it. We have in the past. It was very helpful

5. Share values. This is so important and I cannot stress it enough. I could not be married to someone who didn’t share my core values.

What is marriage for? Well, the 1995 (the only real version) version of “Pride & Prejudice” describes the purpose of marriage beautifully.

“…for the mutual society, help and comfort that the one ought to have of the other.” It is hard to have that one a temporary basis. It is wonderful to have a partner who always has your “six”.

At our son's promotion ceremony, October, 2014
At our son’s promotion ceremony, October, 2014

We need to celebrate every long term marriage. There is much too much “temporary” in the world.

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  • I could not agree more with you Toni. And I have been divorced and remarried. Twice. Which I cringe at the sound of still. I am am now, however, in a long term, for-the-rest-of-our-days marriage. I met him when I was 29, realized we loved each other two years later but both of us thought there were too many complications and that, with six kids between us, we’d be doing the best and right thing by them to walk away. And we spent 17 years without each other, akin to being without one of our arms and part of our hearts, separately. When he found me again, and we both were blessedly available (due to disastrous previous measures to ‘move on’) we didn’t think twice or look back. That was almost fourteen years ago. There hasn’t been one day, despite ‘everything you said’ – we have gone to bed mad (didn’t sleep), have had horrendous issues with our kids (some of them, and with six who wouldn’t?), and have appreciated every day together knowing we came very close to never having them. Something big happens during one’s 20’s. We both were ‘responsible’ at very early ages which we mistook as ‘mature’. Neither of us had life experience, broken hearts that had to mend and learn from the wrong young loves, or the knowledge of ourselves at the ages we first married (he, 18 and I, 20) to choose the right partners for life. We both tried but you cannot be truly married by yourself. We both have said “we have gotten married before but this is my first wife/husband”. We would have no excuse nor would we want one. Marriage is for grown ups, which includes not being selfish, narcissistic babies who are together expecting to be ‘made happy’. God instituted marriage, and I think He knew what he was doing.

  • Wfjag says:

    What a great idea for credit card companies and collection agencies. Spouses are agents of each other, so if one opens a credit card or line of credit, the other is personally liable, too. So, your temp marriage ends, but without a court order that ends any right to re-open credit lines on which there is joint liability – and so years later the collection agency comes knocking to collect on the debt on the re-opened account.

    Just another variation on “A fool and his (or her) are sooner or later parted.”

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