Save Your Marriage; Sign a Contract
We all know that over 50% of marriages end in divorce, and the rate for subsequent marriages are even worse. We also know that the 10 year contract Alex Rodriguez signed after the 2007 season with the New York Yankees for $275 million was terrible. Then LeBron James signed only a 2 year contract with the Cavaliers in 2014 with the option of opting out after one! So why was there such a big difference in the length of these two contracts, and why was LeBron’s so much better? Let me tell you how you can actually use these two contracts to save your marriage…
The difference is that LeBron’s contract was designed to sustain the relationship between the two, and Alex’s was not. Alex’s contract allowed for complacency, which is something that occurs far too often in our marriages today. Correlation; a shorter contract leads to less complacency and a better chance for a sustainable relationship. Alex had the opportunity to do things that were not in the best interest of the team and become complacent, because he had unequal leverage. In LeBron’s case, the lack of a long contract led to equal leverage and didn’t allow the Cavaliers or LeBron to become complacent. The result is a better relationship because they had to continuously work to keep the other happy.
UPDATE: The Cavaliers won the NBA Championship in 2016 PROVING that this contract was effective!
Now think about that in marriage terms, we sign a lifetime contract and immediately forfeit all of our relationship leverage! Is it crazy to think that if we created marriage contracts, it might lead to better relationships? The Cavaliers won a championship in a city that had been cursed for decades by signing a good contract; maybe if you applied this to your marriage you could break the same curse of your relationships. J So let’s think about some of the advantages to marriage contracts.
Less Complacency: First, just think about how the mentality of a marriage would change. Right now people get married and it’s almost as if you are handcuffed together for the rest of your lives, obligated for eternity regardless of how your life situations might change. But if you knew that you had to periodically revamp your marriage enough to justify a remarriage, complacency would be much less likely occur. Naturally you would be more motivated to earn the respect of your spouse, which is the most important factor when determining the outcome of a relationship. So instead of being Alex Rodriguez and becoming complacent in your lifetime marriage, you’re more likely to succeed being like the Cavaliers and LeBron James. Work to make your relationship work.
Increased romanticism: This would also naturally occur in contract relationships. You would be less likely to take your spouse for granted because you realize that you both have an option to part ways at some point. If you both decide to discontinue the relationship before the contract expires (divorce) you would then have two options instead of one; divorce and cut all ties immediately, forfeiting all of your financial and any other obligations, or wait it out until the contract expires and then have no obligation to each other at all! I believe that you would be more likely to live in peace and come to a civil agreement because eventually you know that you both have no obligation to each other after the contract expires. It might even force you to discuss your relationship more often with each other.
Equal Leverage: Ok, so you decide not to continue the marriage after the contract expires. The fact that you have no obligations to each other would only increase the chance of a having a lasting friendship after the marriage has ended. What about the financial situation for the couples who only have one working partner? A 2014 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 48% of married-couple families had both partners working. This will only continue to increase as our millennial generation continues to take over the working population, which is a good thing! If a non-working married partner knew that their spouse could leave them at the end of the contract with no financial obligation, they would be much more willing to develop their own abilities and traits. So the non-working married partner would be forced to develop themselves as a person and create their own relationship leverage.
Now you have two people with more interests and who are less dependent on each other for happiness. The non-working partner, who could live through their spouse in the past, would be forced to develop themselves and fall in love with who they are as a person. Relationships are more likely to last when both partners aren’t totally codependent on each other for happiness. And it’s easier to find happiness with others when you are happy with yourself.
So now instead of a lifetime marriage, imagine that you are only in a 5 year contract… you aren’t going to take your spouse for granted when you are together and there’s an increased chance of maintaining a friendship if you aren’t. You wouldn’t even have to say you are getting divorced, you’re just not continuing the marriage. It even sounds a little better.
Have more fun! Sorry baby boomers but your time in the marriage spotlight is over and the millennials are here. And the millennial brain is much faster and adaptive to our world than past generations.
Translation; we get bored much faster, and it’s harder to keep relationships interesting.
Solution; get married again!
Imagine that five years have passed and you are now more in love than ever with your spouse. Just get married again! Who doesn’t love an excuse for an awesome party with all of your family and friends? You wouldn’t have to have this ceremony every time that you get remarried… but you could! Who wouldn’t enjoy returning periodically to celebrate the love of a couple with a party? It will keep things interesting and give you both something to look forward too. With all of these new marriages and ceremonies, it might even help out some of the local businesses!
Alright so what are some drawbacks to marriage contracts? It definitely sounds insane to traditionalists. What happened to true love?! It goes against all of the standard religious beliefs and there would probably be a lot of people who would take offense to it. But you would always still have the option of signing a lifetime contract…(Cringe)
With everything else evolving in our world today, why wouldn’t we at least consider a change in this system? There aren’t many processes or beliefs that haven’t been challenged in our society today, but this remains one of them. Until recently, people of the same sex weren’t allowed to get married. Maybe it’s time to expand our minds and consider a change to the whole process. We challenge everything else in the world, why aren’t we challenging something that doesn’t even work half of the time?