How Long is Happily Ever After?

I just read an article in the news about a member of the Mexico City council that is putting forward an idea that marriage licenses should only last for two years. After two years the marriage will lapse unless you request an extension. His idea is to cut down on the hassle of divorce, remember about 50% of couples get divorced anyway!

What do you think, would that help your marriage or harm it?

Something that keep marriages together is commitment, and that is a good thing. Love, romance and even fantasy may have brought you together, but it won’t keep you going for very long. Commitment creates relationship security, security allows for effort, and that is what is going to keep your marriage strong.

Prof Markman describes two kinds of commitment, dedication and constraint.

Dedication commitment is a promise, together with actions, to maintain and improve your relationship, to invest in it and sacrifice for it, for the benefit of both of you.

Restraint commitment (which the guy in Mexico wants to get rid of) refers to things that are kind of forced on you by circumstances, such as social pressure, mortgage, difficulty of divorce and children.

We need both to keep us stablely and happily married. To express your dedication more openly will help your partner know you are there forever. Some things you can do are; call or text in the middle of the busy day just to say “Hi”, surprise your partner with tickets to a show, do a chore that you hate doing so they don’t have to, make a big fuss of the next anniversary.

When I was a kid there was a TV show and the catch phrase was; “Dedication’s what it takes to be a record breaker”. Dedication is what it takes to be a marriage maker, express yours.

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