Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More of what is wrong today.

I saw this article last week but chose to ignore it. Today it has surfaced again here in the Toronto Star Newspaper.
I just have to shake my head, no I am not a saint nor do I think I ever will be. Yes I do make mistakes in my life and yes I do sin and luckily I am able to ask for forgiveness of my actions and I also have the ability to learn from them. But the following article is another scoop onto the sundae if you will of what is going wrong in the world today.
Marriage was once a sacred institution is now today just a joke reduced to a term like a car payment. Here is the article and judge for yourselves.

Do you expect your marriage to last forever? Maybe that's the problem.

Imagine if love had term limits. Imagine if marriage was not steeped in romantic ideals but was based on a business contract. Imagine if wedding vows sounded like this:

"To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, for the next 60 months (some terms and conditions apply)."

That's what an Australian marketing expert proposed last week.

"We have fixed-term contracts for the buying of property, cars and insurance, but there is only one contract available for marriage and it is for life," wrote Helen Goltz in Queensland's Courier-Mail. "Is it time to consider introducing fixed-term marriage contracts?"

Her argument: Since divorce rates are skyrocketing, we should remove all that "till death do us part" pressure. Then we could create a no-fault system in which marriage becomes just another "five-year contract."

If you remain in love with your spouse after tying a partial knot, no problem, just tie it again before the dissolution date. If you begin to believe your spouse was the biggest mistake of your life, no big deal, you can bid adieu when the contract expires.

Getting married would be like leasing a car: If you were expecting a luxury sedan but drove away in a rusting lemon, you could take it back to the dealership and find another ride on the road of life.

This is one those ideas that sounds reasonable at first but becomes insane the more you think about it.

Personally, I like marriage just the way it is. That is, I like knowing there is no easy way out of my existing contract.

Do you know how many chores I would shirk without the fear of eternal wrath? The only reason I take out the garbage or clean the litter boxes is because my contract clearly stipulates that penalties can be incurred yesterday, today or tomorrow – you just never know.

My wife, I'm guessing, would also balk at signing a new contract. Why would she abandon a plan in which self-interest rates are at historic highs?

Under her current contract, she has veto power over all domestic affairs. If she decides we need a bigger vehicle to transport the little hellions around town, I just ask, "Wagon or minivan, dear?" If she says we need to reconfigure the basement to yield a higher square-foot ratio of children-to-adult indoor space, I tiptoe downstairs late at night, throw my arms around my beloved wet bar and sob into its tacky bricks:

"Goodbye, old friend. I shall never forget you."

Under a fixed-term contract, you see, my wife might be forced to explain a decision with more than a shrug or casual: "That's just the way it's going to be." There is also no possible way a fixed-term contract could beat her existing contract's perk of unlimited nagging on weekends and on weeknights after 6.

According to Goltz, a fixed-term marriage would "encourage partners to work toward maintaining a good relationship – in effect, it opens communication akin to a marriage performance review."

Right, because that's what every guy needs.

"Honey, come in and have a seat at the foot of the bed. So I've completed your performance review and areas for improvement include listening, watching less sports on TV, remembering to feed the children when you're in charge, talking more when we're around my folks and, in general, helping out without being asked.

"But the good news is you have an entire lifetime to work on this!"

Leaves me scratching my head!

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