TheRealSharon's Blog











{October 3, 2011}   Until Death do us Part….or Two Years?

No, this is NOT a post saying I’m getting a divorce or anything! I am still happily married and I plan to be until death DOES part us, so for friends and family who may have freaked out seeing the title, have no fear.

BUT this post is about Marriage and something I read considering it this morning. As I was browsing my Facebook news feed, I came across a post on a proposed ordinance in Mexico City, Mexico that would allow people to enter into Temporary Marriages. Yes, you read that right? “Temporary” as in the choice to be married “until death do us part” or as many years as you choose, with the minimum being 2 years. Before marriage, child custody and property is decided. The hopes of this ordinance is to reduce the numbers and cost of divorce.

My first thought was shock, honestly. I was born and raised with the belief that Marriage was this eternal vow and you just make it work. However, as I got older, I realized that there ARE some very valid reasons for divorce and I don’t judge people that end up in one. I have people very close to me that have been through them and having heard their situations, I can’t honestly say I would have chosen any different than they did. One thing I believe we all have in common, though, is that each one of us married with the intention of it being a “Forever” thing. None of us were blind to the idea that things can happen beyond your control and the future is unknown, but we each went into marriage with the idea that we loved this person, wanted to spend our lives with them, and we would be willing to work on our relationship should the need arise. Obviously, some of them ended up in heartbreak when the day came that they realized their hopes for a “Happily ever after” were shattered. I grieved along with them because I could tell they were so hurt and didn’t want that to happen. At the same time, I think most of them , should they re-marry, would choose to say “Until Death do us part” all over again. Why? Because I don’t think most people go into Marriage knowing OR wanting it to be a TEMPORARY commitment.

So, as you can tell, I am very torn about this proposal. I know this is just Mexico and it hasn’t been passed, but part of me hates the idea of something like this ever becoming a new trend. Maybe I am still old fashioned and traditional. Maybe I am living in a dream world where I still believe Marriage is a sacred thing, whether lasting or not, that to put it in terms of being “Temporary” is almost sacreligious?

Yes, I am aware that Marriage is an institution that hasn’t been around forever, but I kind of think I like it. I like the fact that two people are so much in love, maybe even drunk on it, that they agree to make this huge commitment of sharing their lives with one another. If I went back in time and had a choice to put a time period on my marriage, I wouldn’t take that option. If my husband had wanted that option, I would have refused to marry him. I would feel like it was a big slap in my face that someone chose to marry me, but it was only for 2 years or 5 years or whatever time. Then when the time ended, you can renew the marriage, but what would that really mean? Do you now have to do the whole dating and getting to know each other again period so that the other will agree to remarry you? What if one year in to a two year marriage, your spouse sees someone else they want to start seeing and is like, “Hold on, I got one more year and then I am free and clear with no messy divorce!”….Is it only me that would be offended by that? Am I the only one that would think your marriage now has become like a warranty on a product? Let’s just try it out for a couple years and if you’re not the same as when I married you, I will trade you in for a newer, better model?

I would prefer a couple live together for years and THEN make a decision to marry, then marry temporarily.

And now I will just say that I accept differing opinions on this. I realize to some people, this could be beneficial. I am simply stating my reasons for finding it rather atrocious and appalling. BUT, if you disagree with me, I am fine with that.

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I read about that too and I wonder how different marriage laws are in Mexico that they would try the temporary license. In the US nobody can refuse to divorce you, so if you end up in a terrible situation, there’s usually still a way out. Maybe Mexico is different, or maybe most people don’t live together before they get married so this is a way to live together without the strong official, permanent, seal of marriage. Or maybe Mexico is getting more and more couples to live together without getting married and they see a decline in marriage rates, so they’re trying to offer a less official option to still maintain the marriage rate.



Good point…..The articles I found about it ONLY offered what information I shared, so I am honestly not sure the way they traditionally do marriage there and if Divorce is allowed or not. I just gave my opinion more on the viewpoint of why I didn’t personally agree based on the way we do things in America and how I would feel if the idea caught on here.



My first thought was “oh, this would have saved me some heartache” but not really… my second marriage lasted six weeks, longer on paper. No, it was not a case of taking my vows lightly. I married the same man twice. The first time, we married like hippies in the park wearing jeans and guaze with flowers in my hair. We were poor but happy and in the next year, our daughter was born. He left me in year three after a fight over his wanting to buy a $1200 dog, which I could not see because we did not even own a dresser. I was so mad that he walked away from his vows over money – or the lack thereof – that I put myself through college as a single parent. In the year before I graduated, he thought he wanted his family back. We remarried in a church and six weeks later, when he still hadn’t moved his stuff in, I asked him about it and he told me that his friends at work told him that remarrying me was a mistake. I took my vows seriously but he didn’t. So, I have to agree with you. Marriage is a sacred vow not to be entered lightly and both parties need to be on the same page. On the other hand, perhaps this law would encourage couples to discuss such things so one does not assume the other believes the same way they do.



I’m all for discussing tough things BEFORE hand, for sure!
Your situation, in part, reminds me of someone very close to me who ended up in a situation where the husband wanted a divorce, then changed his mind, then wanted one yet again. She was raised, like me, where she believed you should do what you need to do to make things work. She was willing to do counseling or whatever it took, but he refused. When you end up in a situation like that, what are you supposed to do, right? You can’t force your spouse to do counseling and work things out if he doesn’t want to….therefore, things ended up in a divorce. I know a lot of people gave her grief over not making her marriage work but I agreed with her. There’s only so much you can do….

As far as the ordinance thing goes…I just feel like it’s going into Marriage already expecting things not to work, but like I said on a comment from someone else, I don’t know all the rules of marriage in Mexico, so there could be something I AM missing. What I said was more about if a rule such as this was applied HERE.



ElizOF says:

I didn’t read the article from Mexico City about the proposed plan so I can’t quite comment on it. I’m curious to find out more about what led to the decision to allow temp marriages… Nevertheless, we live in a changing world and, as time goes by, we will see all kinds of configurations of the institution we call marriage. Fascinating post Sharon! 🙂



You honestly know ALL the same information as I did when I wrote the post. All 3 articles I read were about 4 sentences worth and I put ALL that in the post…..There was nothing said about what led to the decision other than they hoped it would reduce the amount and cost of divorces. If there was anything else, I wasn’t able to locate it, but I guess if one felt like researching deeply, they could fine more out about it somewhere.
I simply just chose to comment on what I felt about the idea in general, and more so, about how I wouldn’t really agree with it applied here in America.



Marilyn says:

Great post. A few years ago my husband and I began describing our marriage as a brave marriage. In other words, there have been a lot of hard times with tears and sometimes despair, but then the times come when you recognize why yet again why you married this person. I agree with you – marriage is sacred, and to me there is no way it’s humanly possible to spend a lifetime with another person without the grace of God. Giving an “out after 2 years” option feels a bit like a guarantee on something that you know is going to break at some point so let’s just purchase the 2 year guarantee to be safe, as opposed to the tupperware guaranteed for life motto! Thanks for the challenge to think this through.



That’s a clever way of looking at it! (The Tupperware Example)
I’ve only just been married a little over two years, so I’m definitely by no means, a marriage expert, but from what older and wiser women have told me, there are many times that a marriage will get tough and you may go through periods of wanting to give up. But that’s natural and once you get through it, your marriage is better for it.
If that is true, then I wonder how many people have given up the first time it got rough….and how many people going through with a temporary marriage would continue to have several temporary marriages, one after the other, because they NOW didn’t have to spend much time working on the one they already had?



The Hook says:

You’re difficult to disagree with!



Is that a good or bad thing?



This is the first I’m hearing about this (save the fact that I’ve seen it on sci-fi shows :P).

I admit that I have some rather jaded views on marriage . . . and no, they are not a result of my divorce . . . they’re a result of my mom’s two divorces! I grew up saying that I never wanted to get married. It really didn’t mean much to me – my was married 3 times.

That is not to say that I didn’t believe in lifelong commitments. My aunt and uncle married at 16 and 17 years old and they’re still going strong 32 years later. I just don’t think a ring and a piece of paper mean a whole heck of a lot.

My ex-husband knew that I had no interest in getting married. I did, however, want children. I 110% believed that I would spend the rest of my life with him, but I only married him because it was the only way he would agree to have a child with me.

Our separation devastated me – our divorce gave me reason to celebrate! (Mind you, they were 3 years apart.) I wrote this http://www.myspace.com/swxymrn/blog/281266637 after he told me he was moving out, but before he actually did.

So, that’s my background . . . about this temporary marriage thing – it seems kind of silly (but like the first commenter said – I don’t know Mexico’s current laws). While the piece of paper and the ring never meant anything to me really, I still would not have married my ex if I didn’t fully believe we would be together forever.

I am 1000% (maybe more) for couples living together before getting married. I don’t think you can truly know a person without living with them first. In my case, I lived with my ex before we were married, but we lived in his dad’s house. Things were quite different when we moved into our own place and he needed to take on more responsibilities.

Maybe that would be a better law than a temporary marriage – require 2 years of co-habitation prior to marriage. If religious background prohibits sex, stay in separate bedrooms, but at least get the experience of sharing adult responsibilities and see if you really can make it work “until death”.



That’s so awesome that your Aunt and Uncle have been together so long! 🙂
Well…I should have revised the statement about the institution of Marriage not being around for a long time, cause that was wrong. I meant to say marriage licenses. People used to just get married through words, rather than on paper, like we do now. I’m guessing it has to do with making it “official” in government terms and allowing for benefits….
I don’t know Mexico’s current laws either, however, I DO have friends that have family there, so I could probably find out if I wanted to….I’m not sure if anything I found out would make my feelings on the situation that much different, but you never know….
Other than women who get pregnant on accident or just to try to keep a man in the picture, I think most women that choose to purposely have a child with a man believe the man is going to be around and they truly want to be with him. Not saying all….but most.

I, myself, did not live with my husband before marrying him. I’m not against the idea; I just didn’t do it myself. However, I had hung out with him a lot and even stayed over at his house quite a few times, so I wasn’t completely in the dark on what living with him was like. I can honestly say that after I got married, I wasn’t shocked at anything I found out about him while living with him….Obviously, things were different because we were merging my things and his things together and having more responsibilities, like you mentioned. We have now been married just over two years and if someone asked me today…”Pretend the last two years were just living together and you weren’t married…Knowing what you know now, would you go out and make it official?” I would answer, in a heartbeat, Yes….no doubts.
Has it been easy, Heck, no! But I never had the expectation that it would be….

Having said ALL that, I agree with your idea, ESPECIALLY for people that might have strong doubts with commitment and are unsure if they could do an actual “Until Death do us part” marriage. Go ahead and live together for 2 or 3 years as if you are married and see if you can make it….if not, then you know and you won’t have to say, “I was in a 2 year temporary marriage before”….



I definitely think I prefer to say, “I’m divorced,” than “I was in a 2 year temporary marriage before.”!!!



Yea…seems like a lot shorter to say as well! 🙂



[…] you had the option, would you choose a temporary marriage contract? Would you allow yourself an “out” just in case it doesn’t work? Do you think people should […]



Paula says:

I agree with you 100%. I was raised to believe that marriage was for life, unless you had valid reason for divorce, such as abuse, abandonment, cheating. I’ve never been married but I still know that a successful marriage takes a lot of work. I think that having the option of a trial marriage would just make it easier to run when things got tough. There would be no reason to stay and try to make it work.

“I would prefer a couple live together for years and THEN make a decision to marry, then marry temporarily.” Me too. 🙂



I think there’s a reason why people say that things that really matter take time and effort. 🙂
Imagine if people also got rid of their kids when they got frustrated??? Like a Temporary Parent?



Paula says:

LOL Yeah, my parents probably would have given up on me had that been an option. 🙂



I’m sure a lot of parents would have….especially during the teen years! Granted, I am NOT a parent yet, but I remember myself as a teen and I have seen my nieces as teens and OH MY! Scary!



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