The 4 Year Marriage Limit

I was reading Old Twentieth by Joey Haldeman and one of the more interesting ideas were the formation of 10-year "marriage" contracts between immortal humans. Basically, people who lived forever needed to find a way out of "'till death do us part".

Which caused me to think about the establishment of 4-year Marriage Limits. Here's my thought hack_

You agree to marry someone, with a base contract of 4 years. After 4 years, you can either choose to renew your marriage or part amicably, with whatever you brought into the partnership, and an equal division of anything generated during the partnership's 4 year-term (business, residence, loans, etc.) Here's why_

  1. You won't take your partner for granted; they could always leave, so you'll always value them choosing you
  2. You won't take the relationship for granted - much like life & death, relationships are re-cognized when they have a visible end
  3. You'll have incentive to work out (if you've stopped) so your partner starts noticing you near the 3-year mark
  4. Less risk of divorce and infidelity. If you're in love with someone, and they're with someone else, you can always wait until their / your term is up...and see how you feel then.
  5. Forever is a long time... a REALLY long time, but if you're committed to someone, why not recommit your vows to them after 4 years? After 20 years, you'll have committed to them 5 times!
  6. Western civilization (if not most of life) is segmented into 4 year phases_ 0-4 for early child development, then 1st - 8th grade, high school, college (or post), and 2-4 rounds of work or research independently, until children, which result in another 3-5 rounds...From 18 - 50, a person could have 8 commitments
  7.'s still a commitment. Whether it's a day, a month, a year, or the rest of your life, your committed to someone, so setting a limit to it doesn't cheapen it; it makes the commitment have definition and scope.

But what about blah blah blah?

Some Rough Facts

  1. life is short
  2. people can love many people : as my college professor of marriage said how sad is the person who can only love and see love in one other person in the world?
  3. people can get sick the sameness
  4. people DO fall out of love
  5. what's the difference between 32 years of marriage and 8 renewals?
  6. it's realistic, flexible enough to allow options, but committed enough to stay strong in the long-term
  7. is there a harm in it?
  8. anyone judging the value of a four-year commitment could be a stuck-up snob who believe in unrealistic ideals that force people to be unhappy
  9. here's an ideal worth believing in_ unhappiness. recognize it and build systems to adjust for it
  10. maybe you want to go back to college, maybe you plan to be somewhere else in 4 years, sell the company, move to asia, etc.
  11. you could always renew after a break_ i.e. 4 years together, apart 1 year, then together again

Anyway, it's an interesting thought exercise.

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