Get PJ Media on your Apple

Dr. Helen

A Ten Year Marriage Contract?

February 13th, 2014 - 7:20 am

The Boston Herald has an interesting article on a ten year marriage contract:

With roughly half of all marriages ending in divorce, it’s time we re-evaluate this little thing called love and marriage.

When it comes to tying the knot, only two extreme options exist: Either people stay single or get married signing lifelong marriage contracts. What if a middle-of-the-road option existed where couples were offered the choice of a 10-year marriage license vs. a lifelong one?

Similar to passports, every decade the 10-year marriage license would need to be renewed or it expires. This way, unhappily married couples who’ve been suffering together get the option to “not renew” every decade, without having to go through a long, painful and costly divorce process.

This sounds dubious to me. I imagine that after ten years, a guy would still be on the hook for most of his stuff and child support and the kids will be given to the wife. If family laws change, maybe this makes sense, if not, what’s the point? Perhaps the deal going in should be set and upon the dissolution of the marriage, the contract is pulled out and abided by but I doubt this would happen.

All Comments   (33)
All Comments   (33)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I understand this isn't the main point, but that "half of all marriages end in divorce" myth really needs to die. It's more like 12%.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
As a promoter of marriage, why don't you just say it's at 5% ?

My understanding is that it's somewhere between 40% and 50%, but looking forward statistically, a couple that marries TODAY has a 50% chance of the marriage lasting (the prediction was in a Rutgers? study). The statistics for divorces vis-a-vis marriages looking backwards at all married couples is less than 50%, but not as low as you want to make it.

The overall idea is that divorce is not uncommon today. It's something that has to be taken into account, especially if you are a man who stands to have a great deal taken away from you in a divorce, and not just money. And remember that the knarled club of a possible divorce that the woman can swing over her head keeps many men in a marriage they would rather not be in.

I would personally just get out of a marriage like that, come what may, but many men slug it out to the end (death), working and paying for a woman they basically hate. So whatever your motivations for trying make marriage sound just peachy, have some empathy for reality.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
They may be able to fool some gullible men into signing a ten-year contract, but they won't fool me.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nobody has mentioned that women living alone do a lot better by all measures of health and well being than men living alone. Guys who don’t want to get married are going to have to deal with that when they get old. By that time all the good women have probably been taken, or are happy with whatever situation they have.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I do fine living alone - my mental health was never better, compared to when I was living with a woman - so I'll have to take that risk.

Other measures show that women are much unhappier vis-a-vis men than they were in the 1960s.

But here's the real point: "Studies" from people in sociology or any of the other soft "sciences" today are absolute bullsh!t. They don't want to find something out, they want to prove their politically correct theory. Do you think people like Mary Koss or Lenore Weitzman are doing anything other than political advocacy? I don't.

I'm not sure if the soft "sciences" were ever anything other than bullsh!t. I know in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, departments of sociology and the like were showing how Jews are inferior. Now they've done a flip-flop, and they are kind of showing how white men are inferior. Any way they can. Any-way-they-can.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I love how backward some of this thinking is. "Nearly half of marriages fail". Well, what does that mean? "More than half of marriages succeed". Even in this environment, more than half of marriages succeed. Why do we never hear about it this way?
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Two people play Russian Roulette. Half "succeed". Yet some wonder why so many other people shy away from playing the game.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
You think that everyone who is in a marriage that "succeeds" is happy?

By that way of thinking, every murder-suicide between married people was a happy marriage, because it didn't end in divorce.

I suspect lots of women are miserable, but I know that lots of men are miserable and can't get out because it would mean living in a little place, having no life, seeing his kids at his wife's whim, and trying to keep up with child support and alimony payments while his wife continues to sit on her dumper.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
On the flip side, lots of housewives are miserable because they want the house and car and money and stuff, but unfortunately stupid is the one providing it. And the suggestion of getting a j.o.b., not 10 hours a week behind the perfume counter at Nordstrom's, but instead a job where you really have to do ucky, boring WORK for 40 hours a week, is like garlic to vampires for hard-core housewives.

They aren't sure that they will get a chivalrous judge who will award them lots of alimony (and the house just for giggles), so there is always the prospect of ... work ... hovering over their neatly coifed heads like a dark cloud. Having to support yourself, not even somebody else, is almost too horrible to contemplate. So they stay. Miserably. And make the man miserable, just because.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's not just the consquences of marriage, Areo, it's the consequences of simply living together. In most states, if you share money, if you share property, if she performs sweat equity (household chores), you're married by common law. And she can sue you for half of everything at any time.

This happened to a friend of mine up in Dallas some thirty years ago. He got his MBA, got a good job, was making good money, and he met this model. She moved in with him. What did she do? In other words, what did she commit to the relationship? Not much. She basically laid around the pool, had sex with him and did some light cleaning here and there. He had a maid service, so there wasn't much for her to clean, and she didn't cook. They lived together for two years.

Then one day she decided that she wanted to be a super-model, so she left him, packed up and moved to California. He was devastated, depressed for months. Then one day, a few years later, he met the love of his life and eventually married her. They were going to buy a house together and start a family.

Out of nowhere, model girl shows up and claims common law. All she has to do is walk into the county clerk's office and claim common law. They lived together, they shared money, they shared property, and she performed sweat equity. Therefore, they were "married." And she is entitled to 50% of his income from the day she moved in to present.

How do you think that sat with his newlywed wife? It didn't sit well with him either. This girl he shared a bed with for a few years shows up a decade later and demands half of everything? It doesn't matter if she has a claim or not, which she does under common law, now he has to hire a lawyer to contest the claim. And you have to know the court is going to grant her some settlement. This is all money ill spent.

Forget marriage. Presumptive paternity renders that contract non-negotiable. The answer is no. Think about just living together and the consequences that can arise from that. You have to know the law is on her side, and it's going to cost you money.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Men don't understand the consequences of marriage. There was a case outside of the United States - I believe in England, and you can Google with the details - that a man and woman got divorced. He was forced to pay her a huge chunk of money in the settlement, he was kind of a rich guy, and he thought it was over.

Something like 15 or 20 years later, she ran through the settlement and, getting older, was unable to find another sugar daddy. She brought a motion against the old husband in court for support. And she won.

Also, think about this: The trend is getting to be more and more in favor of women in family court. If you get married, the legislature can pass any laws they want to change the nature of marriage and divorce.

As an example, if you got married in the 1960s under fault-based divorce, thinking you were protected if you behaved yourself, you weren't. Divorce was changed to no-fault in most states in the 1970s.

The legislature could say that pre-marital agreements are void. The legistlature could say that the higher earner automatically has to support the lower earner for the rest of *her* life upon divorce, unless the higher earner is a member of a traditionally oppressed group (like women). You have no idea what crap is going to be dreamed up in 20 years, if you stay married that long.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is something basic in women - that they will, of course, never admit - with regard to their view of men.

Over and over again, in court cases and in TV statements and personal interactions, I see the basic notion that a Real Man supports a woman. This goes beyond any logical notion, for instance during the phase when there are small children at home and women can justify it. Many women view their goal as working now, but eventually bagging the Real Man who is going to take them away from all of that.

Start looking for it, and you will start seeing it.

That is not going to change in my lifetime. And that is something that feminists will constantly deny, sometimes while getting married - thinking they have found a Real Man to support them. No one is going to talk about reality.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't really understand the idea behind setting an arbitrary time limit on a marriage.

In any state today (NY just added a no-fault possibility a few years ago), you can just terminate it on a whim at any point. I'm not even sure that's worse - as many MRAs claim - because you could also terminate a marriage before, just with more difficulty. The game was that the marriage partners before no-fault simply colluded in the case of an uncontested divorce, and you could easily drive a partner into one of the grounds for divorce if the situation was contested. Just make life hell for the man, and he will eventually "abandon" you (cause of action for divorce), for instance.

If you want the fairly tale of marriage, and you think it's worth it as a man, then go fer it dude. The problem is that more and more people are waking up, and no one is going to "respect" you for your chivalrous decision. I suspect that - and the basic drumbeat in men's childhood that they should get married and support the woman up on the pedestal - are driving men's decisions to get married.

In any case, they are still lining up like sheep, just a bit later in life now.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wonder why those disenchanted with traditional marriage keep looking for a substitute. Everyone has a choice to get married or not. If you don’t think it’s for you then you don’t need to do it, but why keep looking for a third way? None of the third ways are going to work out any better for someone who doesn’t want the commitment of traditional marriage. This ten year business negates the very thing that makes a marriage sacred—the good intention of a lifetime commitment to another person.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I wonder why those disenchanted with traditional marriage keep looking for a substitute."

---

I think because a lot of people feel deep down that they want to be "married" for whatever reason - it's instilled in childhood - but they see that things are becoming too lop-sided today for men. Also, many women have always thought that it is lop-sided for women, look at Betty Friedan going back 50 years, and some cling to those old notions.

"Society" still thinks that you are more mature and settled if you are married. So that's what is driving the search for some way you can say that you are "married" without having the lop-sided crap of a real marriage.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here's something I've found odd: I complain about marriage, but I have never been married. I just find the concept of being married for 10 years - then having to write a check to your ex-wife every month until she dies or remarries (permanent alimony) - bizarre and unfair.

But now for the odd thing: Men paying alimony frequently don't find it unfair. They slept with the woman, so they have to pay for the rest of their lives. Lots of them honestly don't find any unfairness with that.

I remember my parents had some dopey friend when I was a kid. His dad was a kind-of-rich dentist. The dentist died and left half to the dopey son and half to the wife.

The dopey son had a series of girlfriends and even wives (ultimately 8) who just took him for everything he had. So then he's poor again (job: unemployed social worker), and no woman wants him. Then mom dies and leaves the second half to him. Same thing all over again, women just plucking him like a Christmas goose. He never saw anything unfair there or any reason to change his behavior.

I also see physicians almost bragging about how much they have to pay their ex-wives. It's a way of showing you he's rich.

I used think women's golddigging was something only naive men fell for. Apparently not, and I am caring less and less about "unfairness" as long as it doesn't happen to me.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 Next View All