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Temporary marriage: answer or cop out?
What is a temporary marriage and should we encourage marriage without commitment? Here is one viewpoint...

The institution of marriage has taken a lot of abuse in the past several decades. As society’s expectations have changed, so too has its view on matrimony.

Since the 1970s there has been a 40% increase in divorce and a 30% decline in marriage

The words “till death do us part” have never had less impact and now there is yet another option being thrown into the mix.

The government of Mexico has proposed the concept of temporary marriages and even brought it to a vote.

The idea would allow couples to enter into a marriage contract that lasts only as long as they specify, with a minimum of two years. At the end of the contract, if the couple is no longer happy, they can simply end the union.

There are even provisions for dividing up belongings and children should the union come to an end.

It seems like a simple answer to the growing and messy problem of divorce, but is it really as simple as it seems?

Yes, it would allow couples to avoid having to go through sometimes difficult legal channels to end their marriage and would lessen the emotional burden of such a split. But at the same time, it would seem that this kind of temporary union takes some of the significance away from marriage.

Not surprisingly, the Roman Catholic Church is one of the biggest critics of the idea of temporary marriage

Since Mexico is one of the most predominantly Catholic countries in the world, it is causing more than its share of controversy.

But religious considerations aside, what does this 'temporary' approach to marriage say about us as a society?

Marriage is supposed to be about more than just a legal contract.

Ideally, it is the commitment of two people to each other, the demonstration of a love so strong that you are willing to give yourself to another. That is not something that should be entered into lightly, nor is it something which should come with an expiration date.

Yes, people can fall in and out of love but should they really be willing to step in and out of marriage as easily as they change outfits?

By allowing for marriage to have a temporary nature, we are stripping away some of its significance and changing the way we, as a society, are formed.

By weakening the status of marriage, we weaken ourselves as a society

In order for any society to grow and thrive, it needs to have a firm foundation. There is too much in our world that is disposable, we can’t afford to let marriage go that route as well.

It is far too important to be taken lightly. Entering into a lifelong commitment is about respecting yourself and your partner, it is not something we can risk losing.

Temporary marriages may seem like an easy answer, but in reality, they are just an easy out. It’s a way to let people test the water without plunging in all the way. But if you truly love someone, you should be willing to dive into the deep end and sink or swim together.

What are your views on temporary marriage? Does it appeal to you or do you think that it undermines society? Tell us in the comments box below.

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