What is a promise?
I would say that a promise is whatever we agree upon based on a specific length of time.
In the case of marriage it is usually a commitment to “love one another and stay together forever” or until the death of one.
But is this realistic in this day and age? Of course not. Most marriages fail in Australia and
the average only last around 8.7 years before separation. That is a far cry from “forever”
So what is going on here, why do people continue to make such outrageously over optimistic promises and why do they also still accept them? I guess because they can. “Love is blind” as they say and in this case it seems to be the blind leading the blind and both heading for a cliff.
Unfortunately rage is also blind (blind rage) and probably goes a long way to explain
the cause of an acrimonious separations, as this is when most domestic violence usually occurs, according to this paper on the Key Issues to Domestic Violence .
Are there any guarantees or warranties that come with a marriage?
Well there is the Family Law Act that applies to us and is based on no blame, but
basically there is no redress when someone ends a marriage.
Now all of this is so logical and reasonable and yet most couples fail to discuss the possibilities of their separation and fail to prepare for the potential failure before
they get married.
I think couples should be licensed to get married and should participate in proper training in moderating disputes before they get married. The risks are too great and the costs of such an acrimonious separation and divorce too expensive.
So what is my solution to an acrimonious separation and potential domestic violence? Simply talk about all of this when you first meet, forming the first agreement on what a promise means to each.
ie Define the actual agreement and the time period for it to last.
My definition or goal or a promise for life is: to form a reciprocal relationship based on similar values that are applicable for NOW only. “Now” having just past, means that at any point thereafter, either party can initiate to revisit the agreement to form a new agreement together.
Now that sure beats to “love someone forever” which basically has zero meaning, in my view.
Average marriage in Australia lasts 8.7 before a separation and divorce at 12.3 years.
Ref: Average Marriage Lasts Worldwide and Average Separation in Australia