Friday, September 21, 2007

German Marriage: Seven-Year Terms?

Marriage with an expiration date
A German maverick politician is proposing that marriages must be renewed after seven years.

She told reporters at the launch of her campaign manifesto on Wednesday she wanted marriage to expire after seven years and accused the CSU [Bavaria's Christian Social Union party], which promotes traditional family values, of nurturing ideals of marriage which are wide of the mark.

"The basic approach is wrong ... many marriages last just because people believe they are safe," she told reporters. "My suggestion is that marriages expire after seven years."

After that time, couples should either agree to extend their marriage or it should be automatically dissolved, she said.

It's a controversial idea, and not one which I automatically endorse. But I do see a lot of potential in it. Think about it... with a seven-year term, you can't allow yourself to get too complacent, and find yourself taking advantage of your spouse. More importantly, you're not going to be forced to stay with someone you're no longer compatible with, simply because you're married and don't want to waste the time and energy getting divorced. And maybe people married for 35 years will be looked at differently... as people who actively want to be with each other, rather than "stuck it out" or, to quote Meatloaf, are "waiting for the end of time."

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