Till Death Do Us Part is antiquated. Try the 7 Year Marriage Contract instead.
In my psychology practice, I see many couples in long term relationships struggling with feeling unfulfilled, loss of sexual energy and loving their partner, but feeling stuck. My advice? Try the 7-Year Marriage Contract.
Based on the 7 year itch, the 7 year Marriage Contract is a way to make marriage work.
A contract embraces the human drive to formally couple. It offers the legal and emotional protection that marriage affords us, but also embraces the very realities of how we live our lives today. In all honesty, what’s the likelihood you will still be with the same partner after 20 years?
Getting to know someone, takes a very long time, and after seven years, you have a pretty good idea of who your partner is. The 7 year Marriage Contract is a way to not feel stuck, not take each other for granted and forces you to reevaluate your relationship.
Different than a prenuptial agreement, a marriage contract is an agreement providing a custom-made set of rules and regulations on a variety of marriage concerns. The contract can include anything from the day-to-day management of the marriage, how to divide property upon separation or guidelines if a partner dies. Cohabitation agreements are essentially the same thing as a marriage contract, but are designed for people who intend to live together — or who are already living together — who wish to set out some rules to govern any separation that they may experience.
The Contract gives you an option to renew your commitment after 7 years or not. The commitment renewal can be done with a professional like myself, a trusted friend or another member of your support network.
In this era of nearly half of marriages ending in divorce, the 7-year Marriage Contract is a tool you can use to help keep your marriage working and give you a framework for your emotional investment.
Here’s one example of a Marriage Contract:
I, ___________, hereby agree to follow the outlined provisions below as a way to secure my marriage to _________. By failing to meet the provisions listed below, this marriage is subject to termination.
The provisions of which I have agreed to are as follows:
1. I shall always love ________. Having reached this point where we are engaged and on the precipice of marriage, I have already declared my love for ____ and must keep that love.
2. I will always protect ____ in terms of physical safety and financial stability, nor will I ever make ___ feel as though they are unsafe in the home.
3. I vow to always talk out my issues with _____. This doesn’t necessarily pertain to the issues we directly share with each other, but issues overall to help us both relieve stress and hash out the problems we face daily.
4. No matter how difficult or sitcom-like my relationship will get with _____’s family members, I will do my best to make things work with them.
5. I acknowledge that ____’s career is as important as mine, and that we both have equal right to talk about what we’re doing in the workforce. If either of us look to move for a new opportunity, both I and ____ will talk it out, as expressed in provision 3.
6. I vow above all else not to commit adultery or infidelity during my marriage to _____.
By signing below, I, ________, agree to the aforementioned provisions and to marry _____, giving my whole heart everyday for the rest of my life.
PRINT: _______________ SIGNED _______________
7-Year Marriage Contract Resources:
New York Times: Marriage Seen Through a Contract