I remain in somewhat the same position concerning this idea that I was last night when I wrote the previous post. It is a wild idea and I’m not sure whether is will work or even whether it should work. There are some issues. But there are also some things that I really like about this idea and I thought I would delineate those in a follow-up post here today. I thought about just altering the last one, or adding this as a comment, but I had nothing waiting to post, so here goes. Here are some of the things I like about Bart’s marriage contract.
1) It encourages engaged couples to think seriously about the importance of marriage and the commitment they are making. When you sign a $10,000 contract, it makes you think. Everyone tends to be starry-eyed about their wedding, but this would be a smack in the face of stone-cold reality.
2) It could give a couple (if the contract is enforceable) the impetus to work on their problems instead of taking the easy way out. If they knew they were going to have to write a $9990 check, they would be motivated to get some help and work things out.
3) Confession: I don’t particularly enjoy doing walk-in weddings. The couple often has little desire to honor God, but is just looking for a place and a preacher for a wedding. Any spiritual input is viewed as an imposition. (I know, I’m stereotyping, but I think it is a fairly accurate one). A contract like this would certainly cut those kinds of things down. Of course, just demanding premarital counseling discourages many couples.
4) We all complain about the problem of rampant divorce. Bart is taking action. Again, I’m still wavering on whether it is good action or not. But it is action, an approach. It’s more than I am doing by just complaining about things.
5) As Bart says, the national statistics may not change, but Bart might be able to steer a few couples away from either tenuous marriages or disastrous divorces.
6) It could be a way to fund his 25th wedding anniversary Caribbean cruise.
Some of you have been pretty negative about this. Some have reflected my ambivalence. But what are the potential positives of such an approach?