Thursday, June 23, 2011

Leasing vs. Marrying

At the same time our courts are trying to legalize same-sex marriages, they're dissolving existing marriages. People are struggling to either live together or not to live together. 

I have a theory about this.  Maybe it's time to re-think marriage and instead think about leasing a partner.  The lease might be for a period of five years, at which time both partners would review their situation and decide if they want to re-up or get out.  Maybe this would also encourage both parties to be nicer to the other, especially if they want to renew the relationship when the lease expires. 

Somewhere along the line marriage has turned into an experiment. It either works or it doesn't.  No effort involved.  Isn't this a good indication that marriage might be a thing of the past?   Here are some statistics about divorce that might give credence to my theory:
  • Almost 49% of marriages end up in divorces.
  • First marriages end up in divorces in an average duration of just less than 8 years.
  • 60% of all divorces are related to individuals aged 25 to 39.
  • There were more than 21 million divorces in the year 2000.  In the same year, 58 million couples were married and still lived separated.
  • The average male age for a 2nd divorce was 40.4 years and the average female age was 37.3 years in 1990.
  • The divorce rate of first time marriages is almost 10% less than the divorce rate for 2nd marriages.
  • Over a 40-year period, 67% of first marriages terminate in a divorce and 50% of these divorces take place within the first 7 years.
  • Ever year more than 1 million children are affected by divorce.
These statistics make our court system smile.  For every divorce, it takes a minimum of 2 lawyers and 1 judge.  That's another healthy statistic that can't be disputed.  The court system financially wins 3 to 2.
A legal and binding lease between two people (doesn't matter what sex they are) would eliminate this stupid bickering about same-sex marriages.  Who would protest two men or two women living together under the terms of a lease?  It seems to be our human nature to want that which we cannot have.  Instead of legalizing same-sex marriages one State at a time, why not eliminate the business of marriage and be done with it.  Think of the money that would save.  Maybe the word "marriage" is something that any two people could achieve after re-upping for a total of 50 years.  Marriage would be the trophy at the end instead of at the beginning. That's another thought.

Weddings cost ungodly amounts, with brides paying as much as $10,000 for a dazzling white dress that will get only a few hours of use.  Then the $10,000 object is stuck in a box and left to the years to turn yellow.  I know, because that's what happened to my $125 dress.  Maybe if wedding days weren't made into such fantasy occasions, the actual marriage wouldn't be such a let-down. 

Unfortunately, little children are the ping-pong balls of divorce, and their welfare is the key element of this theory that needs to be worked out.  I'm not sure why I waste my time thinking about stuff like this.  I just guess I enjoy solving the world's problems and then knowing that I have the answer!  Or, maybe it's because I just don't understand why we perpetuate a custom that 50% of the time doesn't work.

(Statistics from Divorce Rate 2011)