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Part of the problem with the concept of a "marriage"
is that it defines a contract between individuals
without defining its terms. As a result, people enter
into said contracts with completely different
expectations -- a sure recipe for disappointment and
conflict. Why not define the expectations
marriage explicitly and up front? Custom marriage
contracts could include terms such as:
- Expected number of children
- Expected amount of income each partner is expected
- Expected frequency of sexual intercourse, as well as
any important information about the nature of that
intercourse ("Barbara shall never be required to
kiss Mr. Willy.")
- Whether or not occasional infidelities are to be
tolerated ("Twice per year on business trips.
Never with any of Barbara's friends or relatives.").
- Miscellaneous (but important!) terms ("Bob shall
not squeeze the toothpaste from the middle. Barabara
shall not refer to Mr. Willy as 'your little worm'.").
Terms of the contract could be linked to each other
("Bob shall be guaranteed one additional infidelity
per $25,000 over $100,000 gross income that he brings
in per year").
Key to the success of this idea is that the process
should have an extremely lightweight process for
renegotiating its terms. For instance, when the
family begins buying toothpaste in hard plastic pump
dispensers, Barbara should be able to renegotiate
to get Bob to seek help for his snoring instead.
Perhaps the contract could be updated online without
assistance from a lawyer, as long as both parties
can agree on the updated terms.
||My mistake, the sun's in my eyes--I thought you were proposing "infinitely negotiated marriage contracts." Nice satire on prenups, though.
||Believe it or not, rigel, people have gone further than this. In this week's New Yorker piece, "So You Want a Divorce," the author introduces us to a man whose current pre-nup covers division of closet space, custody of pets, "number of copulations pre week," and even a cash fine for every pound the unfortunate wife-to-be gains, above her ideal weight.
||I'd state my honest opinion on all of this, but first I'll have to consult with my lawyer to determine whether doing so in print would constitute a breach of confidentiality ... :)
||as an aside: shouldn't "marriage" be a subcategory under "culture"?
||Prove the breech of contract in a court of law!! Would you audio-videotape every second of your shared lives, every second of the day, every day of the marriage?
||Most human relations start wiith unknowns, & unaware/ unexplaineds, etc. No lawyer or other profession could at the moment analyse/ record the interactions between two people.
||Good idea, but in the 21st century, I don't think we have the technology to sustain such a contract.