Excuse me, your marriage is about to expire

What does it mean to get married? Is it just shacking up without guilt and judgment, or is it more? To most, marriage means a life-long commitment of love to another person. To Gabriele Pauli, is means a seven-year sleepover.

German politician Gabriele Pauli has called for an amendment in law to require the automatic dissolve of all marriages after seven years. Her justification is that many people stay in marriages solely because they feel safe. In addition, Pauli said divorce is a hard process to go through and is very costly. She believes this amendment will help people to try harder in their marriages. I believe she’s a moron.

Marriage is the biggest optional, personal commitment one person can make to another. It is not a trial run. The trial period is dating, granted for some it extends into the engagement, but marriage is IT. A marriage with a time limit is a contradiction in itself. The idea that anyone would agree to a seven-year “marriage” is ludicrous. If so much wiggle room is needed, then marriage of any kind shouldn’t be taking place. The act of marriage is quite clear on term length. The main reason marriage means so much to people is precisely because of its enormity. Otherwise how is it any different from exclusive dating?

In matters of the heart, it isn’t different at all. But in matters of the checkbook, it’s a whole new ball game. Once two people are married many new options become available to them. Collecting on pension plans, life insurance policies, tax benefits, additional state-funded benefits, etc. People who have no intention to stay together forever would have the ability to enter into this agreement for seven years simply to reap its benefits. Yes, many people do the same thing today through regular marriages, but this amendment makes it just too easy to extort enormous amounts of money out of the system.

Pauli stated that one of the plan’s many highlights was how easy divorce proceedings will be if both partners don’t agree to extend their marriage contract once it expires. Wouldn’t a better solution to the hassles of divorce be for citizens to be more thoughtful about marriage in the first place? Just because divorce proceedings are difficult doesn’t mean the constructs of marriage should change. People need to take responsibility for their own lives and stop trying to dummy-proof the system. That said, Pauli has been married and divorced twice. It is clear she is not willing to take responsibility for the failure of her marriages and has decided to fault its fundamental ideas instead. Passing the buck . . . well there’s a story I haven’t heard before.

Sometimes people are just not meant to be-contrary to all the signs and feelings surrounding them. Or sometimes, abuse is involved. For these reasons, divorce becomes a necessity. Humans make mistakes. But the easy out clause in this amendment makes a mockery of all the people who have truly worked hard on their marriages and just couldn’t stay in it in the end.

This arrangement could never accomplish Pauli’s claim that it would make partners try harder. This provides a reason not to try, and undermines the sincerity of marriage and all the effort it involves. Here, marriage is reduced to no more than going steady with diamond rings and financial benefits.

The sanctity of marriage must be protected and respected. By agreeing to this, society would be adopting a law that symbolizes the downfall of traditional family values. Marriage is intended to be forever. Period. If that isn’t what you’re ready for, then you shouldn’t walk down the aisle.

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