DIVORCE BY DEFAULT – Why Our Concept Of Marriage Is Outdated And How To Fix That Problem

Divorce is a deeply unpleasant experience, but thousands of couples every year choose it as a more palatable alternative to being married. It can happen in just about any stage of a marriage, but there is a common danger point, often referred to as Seven Year Itch. Various reasons are trotted out for this phenomenon, most being something to do with childbirth (or lack of) and hormones. I think that the real reason is much simpler and more fundamental.

Every seven years, the entire human body is replaced. In fact, most of it is replaced several times; it is the stubborn skeleton which takes full seven years to be renewed. So, after seven years of marriage, there is not one organ, cell, neurone or molecule in one partner to which the other is technically legally married.

“You’re not the man I married!” is a common moan of women all over the world. Quite right, he’s not; and you’re not the woman who married him. The basic framework is the same (if a little more saggy and worn), but it’s made of different stuff. There will inevitably be atoms in there from versions of the original, but apparently we all contain an average of three atoms from Julius Caesar and two from Caligula. Some would say irrelevant, but it explains a lot in my opinion.

In light of all this, society needs to recognize this inevitable fact and devise a new system of marriage. Firstly, we need to get rid of this unrealistic “Until death us do part” rubbish. If you average out all the straight, gay and lesbian couples then half of all marriage partners are men. Most men don’t know what they want to do next week, never mind fifty years time.

Most modern women aren’t much better either. They do have Five Year Plans, but then again so did most of the now defunct Communist States. So let’s split marriage down into easily digestible bite sized chunks of, ooh, seven years. Like a lease rather than a freehold.

The way the system works is this: you get married in the normal way, on the understanding that the option runs out in seven years time. When the seventh anniversary date arrives, the couple has twenty eight days to renew said option. This should allow for any big rows getting in the way of the process. If you can argue for a month solid, then marriage probably isn’t for you.

If the option is not renewed, automatic divorce proceedings ensue, the cost of which is covered by your compulsory marriage insurance. Being found in charge of a marriage without valid insurance will be a serious offense. The insurance companies will be charged with the task of sending you reminders via letters, e-mail, text messages and computer pop ups.

This may seem harsh or arse about face, but we don’t let people voyage around the world on one lifelong passport; we make them renew their passports. Why let them navigate married life on one marriage licence? Surely it’s more important than sunning yourself in Spain or golfing in Portugal. Divorce is a terrible thing, but remember that marriage is an anagram of “grim area.” It is also an anagram of “A grim era. But Mother in law is also an anagram of “Woman Hitler”, and  they’re not all like that.  Save the anagrams for the Sunday Times crossword. Take marriage seriously and support my campaign for change.

© Copyright Michael Grimes 2013

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About thedailygrime

At that awkward age - too young to be a grumpy old man, but just acerbic and downtrodden enough to have an opinion. Read it here.

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