Over the years, marriage has definitely done some serious evolution. For example, men can now marry fellow men, and women can also marry women. And I have heard of the open marriage where married people who are “committed” to each other can also sleep with other people outside. The rules for the open marriage depend on the couple involved. For example, they may not be allowed to sleep with certain people (like close friends or neighbors), or they may be allowed to sleep with a person only if the spouse approves of it, etc. To each couple, their own rules.
Two days ago, I heard about another evolution. In Mexico, a new law about marriage is being considered. If it passes, couples will be able to decide how long they want to be married… before they get married. For example, a couple may get married and sign a contract to be married for ten years, as opposed to the till death do us part ish. I mean, who came up with that, right??? *INSERT SARCASTIC IGBO FACE* I guess the part where you’re supposed to say, “Till death do us part,” they’ll say instead, “For the next ten years…” or “Till ten years do us part…”
The rationale, they say, is to save the couple from a painful divorce since most marriages end up in divorce anyway. But should people then go into marriage expecting to be divorced? As if the expectation of it isn’t enough, there is even a set date/time period for when it would happen. How does one even anticipate and plan for a divorce when the current state of things are great? If things are good now, who says they won’t be better in ten years? And if you love someone enough to commit X years of your life to them, should you not love them enough to want to commit X more?
On that note …
1. What happens if by the end of their marriage contract they realize that they’re still very much in love and are still very much willing to continue with the marriage? Do they renew their vows by way of an updated marriage contract?
2. What if they’re ready to get divorced before the end of the contract? Do they renegotiate the terms of the agreement? Either way, they’ll still have to go through that painful divorce, right?
3. At any time the marriage is ended, does it not still affect the children, assuming there are some?
4. Will the marriage contract stipulate how/if their children will be divided among the parents?
5. If the marriage will be dissolved in X number of years, why bother getting married? Why not just stay in a long term committed relationship and hope for the best?
6. Instead of signing a contract to end the marriage in X number of years, why not sign a contract to do whatever it takes to make it work – including but not limited to sneaking into the White House and having raw sex on President Obama’s table. Hey, don’t judge me. Some people have fantasies.
Having a marriage that is contracted for X number of years defeats the purpose of it being a marriage, no? Although it is not a law yet, the thing about these things is that it will inspire some idiot somewhere to start rallying supporters for this nonsense in another country, say USA. And knowing how Nigeria is good at replicating all things bad from the western world, I will not be surprised to hear that this is also a law in Nigeria, too. With the way things are going, it may soon be legal for people to marry their pets, and for people to get married and divorced at vending machines. Why not?
SIDE NOTE: I am not advocating that one stays in a marriage with extreme conditions (like where one’s life is in danger), but when people get divorced over frivolous issues that could have been fixed with six minutes of treacherous sex – the kind where you almost pass out because your nose cannot take in enough oxygen – I wonder what they plan to do next, partner-wise. I do not know about finding good women, but in my experience, finding a good man is as hard as Japanese calculus. So when you find a good person that loves you and genuinely cares about you, do what you have to do to not let him/her leave, and refrain from signing that marriage contract, if it is an option. I have never been married, but I really believe that marriage, when done right (with the right person, for the right reasons, and at the right time), is a beautiful thing. And I’m looking forward to my beautiful thing.