Till death do us part. Or two years, whichever comes first

by Toby Manhire / 01 April, 2013
Maybe an expiry date for marriage isn't such a loopy idea after all.
In houses of God, houses of representatives and family homes, the definition of marriage is a very live subject.

One potential change to the institution has not, or not yet, gained a lot of traction, however: giving it an expiry date.

The idea has been around some time. And Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels is not the only place you’ll find people who embrace such a concept, notes Sarah Fentem in the Atlantic.

The Shia Muslim practice of Mut’a, or “pleasure marriage” limits the union to an agreed term, though is only scarcely to be found these days.

In Mexico City in 2011, meanwhile, a bill was proposed that would see marriage automatically expire after two years. A kind of marriage-sabbatical, the proposal required that “once their contract dissolved, they would be given the option of either cementing their vows for life or terminating their bond, minus the messy hassle”.

It never made it close to the law books.

With pre-marital cohabitation increasingly the norm, such a formal trial-run may seem hardly necessary. But what about the “renewable lease” approach? As the “grey divorce” rate (couples over 50 splitting) grows, it’s arguable that “time-sensitive marriage has morphed from a bitter joke into a viable option for modern couples”, says Fentem. She, however, is personally so inclined.

I'm aware that when I get married, there's a chance it won't work out. But that's not what I want to tell myself if and when I decide to become someone's wife. As a child in elementary school, around the same time my sister and I were photographed in matching "bride" Halloween costumes, I had a teacher who was fond of telling my class "ignorance is bliss." When it comes to the possibility of a marriage failing, I prefer to pull the white tulle over my eyes. I'm aware that people, not a contract, make marriage permanent, but when I walk down the aisle, I want to believe, in my heart of hearts, mine will last forever.


 

 

 
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

Why it's time for a female Doctor Who
77083 2017-07-27 09:12:33Z Social issues

Why it's time for a female Doctor Who

by The Listener

Gender equality is lamentably slow-dawning in many endeavours, but TV and film help normalise desirable social trends. However it does cuts both ways.

Read more
Five great places in Auckland for gluten-free eats
77081 2017-07-27 09:09:05Z Auckland Eats

Five great places in Auckland for gluten-free eats…

by Paperboy

Auckland has a whole swag of places where you can eat well gluten-free - here are five of the best.

Read more
Te Papa’s tribute a real Dagg
71078 2017-07-27 00:00:00Z Profiles

Te Papa’s tribute a real Dagg

by Russell Baillie

The late John Clarke left some big boots to fill. Now you can go see them at Te Papa.

Read more
Manawatu Gorge: Simon Bridges hints at big bucks alternative
76903 2017-07-27 00:00:00Z Economy

Manawatu Gorge: Simon Bridges hints at big bucks a…

by Pattrick Smellie

Years of avoiding the question of an alternative road appear to be over.

Read more
How to overcome comfort eating
76877 2017-07-27 00:00:00Z Nutrition

How to overcome comfort eating

by Jennifer Bowden

Cutting back on chocolate and other indulgences calls for breaking a vicious cycle of comfort eating. Here’s how.

Read more
Baby Driver's Ansel Elgort on the making of this must-see film
77071 2017-07-26 17:42:03Z Movies

Baby Driver's Ansel Elgort on the making of this m…

by India Hendrikse

Actor Ansel Elgort talks to Paperboy about starring in the hit film Baby Driver, doing stunts, and his contribution to the incredible soundtrack.

Read more
How to stop wasting food: These Aucklanders show us how
77051 2017-07-26 16:04:01Z Social issues

How to stop wasting food: These Aucklanders show u…

by Leisha Jones

Meet some of the Auckland champs turning food destined for the bin into three-course dinners and inventive dishes.

Read more
Jesse Mulligan is giving Mike Hosking a run for his money
77043 2017-07-26 15:40:00Z Profiles

Jesse Mulligan is giving Mike Hosking a run for hi…

by Julie Hill

The Project host talks about government underfunding of DoC, being told to cheer up by Maggie Barry, and wanting to crush Hosking.

Read more