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Till Death, or 20 Years, Do Us Part (Fixed Term Marriage- the Next Step)
New York Times ^ | September 28, 2012 | Matt Richtel

Posted on 10/01/2012 11:23:26 AM PDT by nickcarraway

IT makes little sense to explore a new era of family values based around Hollywood couplings. Or, worse yet, around mere rumors of the way movie stars conduct their marital affairs.

But might there be seeds of something worth considering in one such rumor, that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes signed a five-year marriage contract?

It’s a dim data point but not an isolated one, suggesting people are rethinking marriage, at least around the edges. Prenuptial agreements, a different sort of contract, are on the rise, as is vowless cohabitation. The ages at which people marry have hit record highs, 28.7 years for men and 26.5 for women. And gay marriage has provoked widespread conversation about the institution’s meaning and place.

Last year, several lawmakers in Mexico City proposed the creation of short-term, renewable marriage contracts with terms as brief as two years. The idea was to own up to the reality that marriages fail about half the time.

Is marriage headed for an overhaul? A fundamental rethinking? Is it due for one?

When the Mexican legislators proposed their idea, which was not passed, the archdiocese there called it “absurd” and said it was anathema to the nature of marriage. I decided to put the questions to a different group: the people who study marriage and divorce. I was motivated not just by trend lines but, as a child of divorce, by ghosts.

I asked whether society should consider something like a 20-year marriage contract, my own modest proposal that, as in the one from Mexico, acknowledges the harsh truth that nearly half of marriages in the United States end in divorce and many others are miserable. The rough idea: two people, two decades, enough time to have and raise children if that’s your thing; a new status quo, a

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: children; family; marriage

1 posted on 10/01/2012 11:23:33 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
The idea was to own up to the reality that marriages fail about half the time.

Not true.

The harsh truth that nearly half of marriages in the United States end in divorce

Boy, they desperately want this to be true. But it isn’t.

2 posted on 10/01/2012 11:27:40 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (ua)
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To: nickcarraway

Anything the leftists propose is just another tool to oust God and family, and to degrade the human spirit.


3 posted on 10/01/2012 11:28:32 AM PDT by 383rr (Those who choose security over liberty deserve neither; GUN CONTROL= SLAVERY)
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To: nickcarraway

It’s like someone gave Stupid a half pound of cocaine and set it loose....


4 posted on 10/01/2012 11:31:41 AM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (Thought Puzzle: Describe Islam without using the phrase "mental disorder" more than four times.)
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To: nickcarraway

Well, it makes it look more like a prison sentence............


5 posted on 10/01/2012 11:42:38 AM PDT by Red Badger (Is it just me, or is Hillary! starting to look like Benjamin Franklin?.................)
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To: nickcarraway

I thought the Muslims had already invented fixed term marriages, but maybe it’s only the Muslims in Iran. In their version the fixed term is much shorter—an hour or a few hours.


6 posted on 10/01/2012 11:44:15 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: ClearCase_guy

I wouldn’t be too quick to paint a rosey picture. The 50% statistic might be closer to 30%, but that’s still 1 out of 3, which is terrible. Purely anecdotal I know, but growing up, it was extremely rare for my children to know another child who still lived with both of his/her biological parents.


7 posted on 10/01/2012 11:47:45 AM PDT by Melas (u)
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To: nickcarraway

I did my graduate thesis on marriage and divorce trends, and in particular, the participation of the Supreme Court in destroying the social contract of marriage starting in the early 60s. I vote no on this proposal.


8 posted on 10/01/2012 11:50:08 AM PDT by Albion Wilde (Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. -- George Bernard Shaw)
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To: nickcarraway

5 year marriage contract?

At the end of which any children are divided between the parents in a Solomonic manner.


9 posted on 10/01/2012 11:50:12 AM PDT by glorgau
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To: nickcarraway

I find this disgusting, but not surprising.


10 posted on 10/01/2012 11:51:36 AM PDT by MEGoody (You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: nickcarraway

I like the idea of 120-minute-increment marriages.


11 posted on 10/01/2012 11:52:19 AM PDT by Lazamataz (The American news media, the 'Pravda Press', is fully Soviet-ized.)
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To: Melas

I don’t paint a rosy picture.
I don’t say the current divorce rate is good.

I say that if the divorce rate is 30% and the media keeps telling us that it is over 50%, then the media is lying to us, spreading propaganda, and trying to further undermine what health is left within American marriages.

That is all.


12 posted on 10/01/2012 11:52:47 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (ua)
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To: ClearCase_guy; Melas

People don’t get married and divorced based upon statistics. While I understand your frustration about the 50% vs 30% thing - I assume it has to do with those people divorced multiple times figuring in; a statistical blunder only if the stat is reported at 50% of people not 50% of marriages. Clarification would be appreciated. It bears noting that there are some even scarier statistics bandied about in my world – as a parent to a special needs child – where the divorce rate is astronomical; around 75% or so. I’ve read it over and over again WRT parents of autistic kids or just parents of special needs kids.

Turns out, that statistic is wildly overstated as well, but it pops up in the media (and in the “community”) all the time. I have no idea what purpose it serves though. Honestly, I don’t.


13 posted on 10/01/2012 12:02:54 PM PDT by whattajoke (Let's keep Conservatism real.)
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To: nickcarraway

Sounds almost like they’re trying to bring back the slave marriage vows “... until death or distance do us part”.


14 posted on 10/01/2012 12:07:22 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Red Badger

Yes...

When people ask how long I have been married, I say to them “ I have served 30 years of a life sentence”...


15 posted on 10/01/2012 12:08:20 PM PDT by joe fonebone (The clueless... they walk among us, and they vote...)
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To: ClearCase_guy

There is a simple way of undermining this alleged divorce rate. Mickey Rooney.

He has been married 8 times, divorced 6 times. His first wife, Ava Gardner was married 3 times, divorced 3 times. His second wife, B.J. Baker was married 3 times, divorced 3 times. 3rd wife, Martha Vickers, also 3 and 3. 4th wife, Elaine Devry, 2 and 2.

His 5th wife died. His 6th wife, Margaret Lane, and I don’t know if she married anyone else. The same with his 7th wife, Carolyn Hockett. His 8th wife, Jan Rooney married 2 times, divorced the other guy.

So between one man and his wives there were *at least* 16 unique marriages between two people, and *at least* 14 divorces. From just 9 people.

That is, if you count marriages and divorces as a single event, rather than an event for each person. If you do that, there are *at least* 18 divorces for 9 people.

So how many happily married couples who stay married is that balanced against?


16 posted on 10/01/2012 12:09:13 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (DIY Bumper Sticker: "THREE TIMES,/ DEMOCRATS/ REJECTED GOD")
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To: nickcarraway

every form of blasphemy they can think of


17 posted on 10/01/2012 12:09:13 PM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: whattajoke

I can see one purpose the inflation of divorce stats among couples with special needs kids might serve - if the child’s anomaly can be detected in utero, abort or it will cost you your marriage.


18 posted on 10/01/2012 12:15:14 PM PDT by informavoracious (Abortions are unproductive wrongs, not reproductive rights.)
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To: whattajoke
I have no idea what purpose it serves though. Honestly, I don’t.

To spur abortions of possible special-needs babies? Just a guess, but it would certainly fit the agenda.

19 posted on 10/01/2012 12:16:18 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: nickcarraway

One more month and we will be at 41 wonderful, fun filled and lovin’ years. Our Honeymoon has never ended. We were going to renew our vows at 50 years, but it’s not looking like I’ll live that long, so we moved the date to 45 years. My kids are going to foot the bill on this one. ;>)

I have two priors, so I know both sides of the issue.... this side is much more fun.


20 posted on 10/01/2012 12:17:20 PM PDT by Gator113 (I would have voted for NEWT, now it's Ryan and the other guy.~Just livin' life, my way~)
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To: Gator113

Congrats. And hoping you make it to 50 anyway.


21 posted on 10/01/2012 12:25:20 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

The problem here is that marriages that disintegrate do so in the first decade, not the third. In general if a couple makes it to 20 they’ve found a way to live with each other. It might be worth considering changes in the legal aspect of marriage that acknowledge the changes in the social aspect, the fact is people don’t go into marriages looking to die with that person anymore, but 20 years is totally missing the point.


22 posted on 10/01/2012 12:25:38 PM PDT by discostu (Put another dime in the jukebox.)
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To: nickcarraway

Marriage is three parts.

Commitment
Friendship
procreate

If you do not give 100% of yourself to it then you have issues to work on.

Funny how people want to describe what marriage is. All you have to worry about is what God calls marriage. Its in the Bible.


23 posted on 10/01/2012 12:30:17 PM PDT by Baseballguy (If we knew what we know now in Oct would we do anything different?)
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To: Verginius Rufus

Omg .. I can just imagine the activity of a marriage which lasts for a period of hours. Very creative. Some motels have been known to rent rooms by the hour not the night.


24 posted on 10/01/2012 12:35:09 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: ClearCase_guy; yefragetuwrabrumuy

I don’t think it’s an agenda, it’s just convenience. It would be nigh on impossible to calculate the true divorce rate. Every marriage would have to be individually tracked to truly arrive at an accurate number. The 50% divorce rate is calculated by subtracting the number of divorces granted in any given year from the number of marriages in that same year.

It’s obviously flawed, but not as flawed as some would think. Those who’ve been married 8 times like Mickey Rooney are simply too small in number to skew the statistic when calculated this way.

Rather than taking it as gospel that half of marriages end in divorce, or disputing the statistic entirely, we should simply glean from the down and dirty comparison of marriages and divorces in any given year, that we do indeed have a problem.


25 posted on 10/01/2012 12:36:53 PM PDT by Melas (u)
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To: whattajoke

Maybe it’s higher than you think? I won’t pretend to know jack about marriage survivability with special needs children, but I can offer that the chances of divorcing within a year of bankruptcy is four fold of that of a marriage where the finances haven’t completely collapsed. Stress obviously plays a significant role here.


26 posted on 10/01/2012 12:42:13 PM PDT by Melas (u)
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To: Melas

While the folks on their 8th like Rooney are an outlier there is something to be said for how serial divorcers mess up the numbers. Almost everybody I know that has a divorce has more than one. That seems to be where the 40 somethings are on that front, they’re either on their first marriage or 3rd, maybe 4th. Who knows, those that live as long as Rooney might be on #8 by then. That just seems to be how the population is divided, there’s those that stay together, and those who wind up on a first name basis with divorce judges, there’s a very small group who apparently got it right the second time.


27 posted on 10/01/2012 12:58:23 PM PDT by discostu (Put another dime in the jukebox.)
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To: Baseballguy
The primary purpose of Holy Matrimony is for the procreation and education of children. This is why homosexual "marriage" makes absolutely no sense.

Mutual aid is a secondary purpose of Holy Matrimony.

Friendship would be something that should grow in marriage that most likely would have already been there.

28 posted on 10/01/2012 1:00:57 PM PDT by frogjerk (OBAMA NOV 2012 = HORSEMEAT)
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To: Melas

While the folks on their 8th like Rooney are an outlier there is something to be said for how serial divorcers mess up the numbers. Almost everybody I know that has a divorce has more than one. That seems to be where the 40 somethings are on that front, they’re either on their first marriage or 3rd, maybe 4th. Who knows, those that live as long as Rooney might be on #8 by then. That just seems to be how the population is divided, there’s those that stay together, and those who wind up on a first name basis with divorce judges, there’s a very small group who apparently got it right the second time.


29 posted on 10/01/2012 1:01:36 PM PDT by discostu (Put another dime in the jukebox.)
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To: Melas

Though Rooney is an extreme example, averaging ordinary divorces is what really fouls the stats.

Think of it like classroom test grades in which students can only get A’s or F’s. But if they get F’s, they can take the test over to try and get an A.

Only on the first try if half the students get A’s and half get F’s, does the class get 50%, a C average. This is how most people imagine the statistic, as just what happens in a discreet year.

But every time thereafter, anyone who makes an F in a retake lowers the class average against a *different student* who made an A.

So instead of thinking Mickey Rooney, with 8 marriages and 6 divorces, think of the vast number of people out there who have had 2 marriages and 2 divorces. In their case, the total of three people with two divorces makes the divorce rate 50% for 7 people.


30 posted on 10/01/2012 1:31:11 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (DIY Bumper Sticker: "THREE TIMES,/ DEMOCRATS/ REJECTED GOD")
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

The divorce stats do NOT consider remarriage to the same person. So if a couple marries and divorces and then remarries to each other, that counts as two marriages and one divorce as if all done by stangers rather that one married couple still together.

I think it is something like 15% of all marriages are to a previous husband/wife.


31 posted on 10/01/2012 1:48:34 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Gator113
Congrats on approaching 41 !! I do hope you make it to 50 and beyond though.

Hubby & I have been married 29 years today. Hasn't been easy and definitely not all fun filled. But learned a lot of lessons about commitment and working things out.

I love my husband more today than I did 29 years ago. And as each day goes by, I am so very thankful that we found each other.

32 posted on 10/01/2012 1:53:00 PM PDT by coder2
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To: nickcarraway

Husband and I just celebrated our 22nd Anniversary. I am far too tired to train a “new” one and he will readily admit that no one else will put up with him. Guess we’re in it for the long haul.


33 posted on 10/01/2012 2:01:07 PM PDT by momtothree
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To: nickcarraway
But might there be seeds of something worth considering in one such rumor, that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes signed a five-year marriage contract?

It'll be a frosty day in hell before I look to two filthy worthless Hollywood scumbags for guidance on matters of decency or morality.

34 posted on 10/01/2012 2:07:00 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Ambassador Stevens Is Dead And The Chevy Volt Is Alive!)
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To: nickcarraway

There’s already a term for this, Mut’a, the marriage contract in Islam. And it was rejected by much of Islam as fostering prostitution.


35 posted on 10/01/2012 2:53:04 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: discostu
Almost everybody I know that has a divorce has more than one.

Now while I realize that is anectdotal, I'd like to look at that more. I was married briefly in my very early 20's, and I've been married to my second wife for well over 20 years now. I know lots of folks in that particular boat.

36 posted on 10/01/2012 3:48:36 PM PDT by Melas (u)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Oh I hear what you’re saying loud and clear. It doesn’t change the fact that divorce is far too common. I agree that the 50% statistic isn’t very realistic, but I disagree with any notion that a more valid interpretation of comparing divorces in any given year to the number of marriages say anything positive.


37 posted on 10/01/2012 3:51:33 PM PDT by Melas (u)
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To: Melas

Could be a matter of social circles too. I’m in the software industry, my wife is in education, lots of liberals all around us. Even non-libs in the software industry tend to have commitment issues, lots of job changes, lots of buying new toys, not to mention the work hours that can be hard on relationships.


38 posted on 10/01/2012 3:53:52 PM PDT by discostu (Put another dime in the jukebox.)
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To: coder2

“I love my husband more today than I did 29 years ago. And as each day goes by, I am so very thankful that we found each other.”

We are the same.


39 posted on 10/01/2012 4:44:35 PM PDT by Gator113 (I would have voted for NEWT, now it's Ryan and the other guy.~Just livin' life, my way~)
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To: nickcarraway

Thank you.

Me too. ;>)


40 posted on 10/01/2012 4:46:32 PM PDT by Gator113 (I would have voted for NEWT, now it's Ryan and the other guy.~Just livin' life, my way~)
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To: Gator113

(If my experience with loved ones is any indication, doctors are often wrong about this sort of thing)


41 posted on 10/01/2012 4:52:48 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Red Badger

Do we get time off for good behavior?


42 posted on 10/01/2012 4:57:41 PM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: nickcarraway

Hope so....


43 posted on 10/01/2012 5:18:17 PM PDT by Gator113 (I would have voted for NEWT, now it's Ryan and the other guy.~Just livin' life, my way~)
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To: SamAdams76

You get time off for BAD behavior.........


44 posted on 10/02/2012 6:18:00 AM PDT by Red Badger (Is it just me, or is Hillary! starting to look like Benjamin Franklin?.................)
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