“The first time Joseph said he’d like to marry her, Annmarie was overwhelmed with dread.
She loved him. He loved her. A marriage could ruin everything!”
I’m blown away by the beautiful job columnist Kellie Patrick Gates did on this article in today’s The Philadelphia Inquirer. She managed to capture the essence of the Five Year Marriage® and described my 7 marriages in the most loving way (which, if your read her column regularly, you know “loving” is her style). Thank you Kellie for featuring Joseph Eagle and me in this article!!
This month’s Philadelphia Magazine’s (April 2029) features The Five-Year Marriage® – contract marriage. It’s one of 10 “different” marriage scenarios. I’m thrilled to be part of it. I tell the story about how and why The Five-Year Marriage started.
This “new I do” is the right story right now. It for all the independent millennial women – and the men who love/will love them – who don’t want to give up their sense of self for the sake of a relationship.
Casey thought her wedding day would be the happiest day of her life. So, on the night before she was to marry long-time love, Alex, she was totally unprepared for the shock of her life.
While celebrating with her bridal part, Casey started getting some texts. At first she thought they were hot and sexy somethings from Alex. It didn’t take her long to figure out that they weren’t.
To Casey’s amazement, the texts were from Alex to another woman. They contained pictures and oh-so-hot messages, which she recently posted on her social media, including these:“This weekend. You and I. It is on, hot stuff. Bring your A game.” and “Your body is f-ing incredible. And…you know how to use it. I wish my GF had half the skills you do.”
Casey was confused and devastated. Her outraged girlfriends insisted she call Alex immediately and dump his sorry butt. However, to their surprise, she didn’t.
Casey couldn’t wrap her head around what was happening to her now happiest-day–turned-nightmare. She didn’t know what to do…until the next day…
As planned, Casey got ready for her wedding. However, when she walked up the aisle, her phone was hidden beneath her bouquet. She got to the front of the church, turned around, and did something that stupefied Alex and astonished her guests. Instead of reading her vows, and with tears streaming down her face, Casey read Alex’s text messages aloud – all of them.
When Alex tried to grab her hand, the scorned Casey didn’t give him any opportunity for redemption. Shocked, embarrassed and angry, he stormed out of the church. Casey then told her guests that they wouldn’t be going to a wedding reception that day, but to join her for “a celebration of honesty, finding true love and following your heart even when it hurts.”
Could you have done that? Would you?
Casey’s story isn’t as uncommon as you might like to believe. Many brides-to-be have more than second thoughts or wedding day jitters. They have premonitions, misgivings, and “feelings” – that are most often ignored because once the train is on that wedding day track, it’s hard to stop. The money is spent, the invitations are out, and…what will people think?
Also, you want to be in love and have the “happily ever after.” That makes you vulnerable and easily duped into having a fake or doomed relationship…without even knowing it. That’s why the old saying “love is blind and marriage opens the eyes” still sticks; it’s an all-too-common reality.
Was love so blind for Casey? Was this the first time Alex cheated on her? Or, had it happened before, Alex asked for forgiveness and swore it would never happen, and Casey let it slide?
Or, maybe it’s something deeper. Maybe Casey, like most prospective brides (and grooms too) don’t want to believe s/he could have been so fooled or made such a big mistake. Nobody wants to be wrong. And many people would prefer to take a risk on suffering the consequences down the road than be publicly embarrassed.
Not for Casey. She chose short-term embarrassment over long-term pain.
What about you? Is there any way you can stack the deck a bit to avoid the same thing?
Frankly, there are no guarantees in relationships. “Stuff” happening is always possible. However, the Five-Year Marriage® gives you some solid leverage for shifting the marriage paradigm in your favor. Here are three ways that happens:
Someone who has the intention of deceiving is looking for a safe space to do it. The traditional “til death do you part” marriage provides cover for their despicable acts. The Five-Year Marriage® is not so protective. It has more accountability built into its design. So it’s harder to hide deceptive or bad behaviors, even as early as dating and courtship.
The process of creating the Five-Year Marriage® partnership is more open and transparent. It challenges “feelings” of love and instead calls for fact-based communication and an honesty that puts that love into action…before the wedding.
You use Family Meetings to hold both partners to their agreements on a regular basis. If one partner isn’t living up to those agreements before the marriage, you aren’t stuck for ten-fifteen-fifty years or until the relationship sucks all the joy out of you.
Are YOU ready to shift the marriage paradigm in your favor with your own Five-Year Marriage®? Get started by joining the Five-Year Marriage® community where you will be the first to find out about upcoming facebook live, seminars, workshops, retreats and more. Click here: Yes, I want to shift the marriage paradigm in my favor!
As best as I can figure, the idea started because of an unwillingness by judges to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. If the bill becomes a law, a couple would not apply for a marriage license. Instead, they would fill out a form and it would be recorded as an official marriage document.
The bill has already passed in the Alabama State Senate and is headed for the House. It’s going to be interesting to see what Alabama decides.
The question of marriage licenses has already come up in other countries. Mexico’s legislature proposed having only a two-year license. It didn’t pass and the Catholic Church condemned the idea, but it’s a beginning of that kind of change.
While this move is meant to do an end-run around gay marriage, I see some potential for it with the Five-Year Marriage®. What if the form that is recorded reflects the tenets of the Five-Year Marriage®. That is, you could write your agreement in the way that suits you and your sweetie. It could include your agreements about how you will sort things out if you decide not to marry again after five years.
Can you imagine..
How many couples will have to talk about their marriage plans BEFORE their wedding plans? Instead what color do we want the napkins and what flavor should we pick for the cake, they’d be make meaningful decisions, about the subjects I include in the Five-Year Marriage®. For example:
What are we doing together as a couple?
Why I want to marry you…
How will we prioritize our spending?
How many children I want and, if we can’t have them naturally, will we adopt?
I believe that would make the marriage partnership more solid. And, if a couple did decided to divorce…
How much less acrimonious it would be because a couple would already have the settlement terms worked out?
How much easier would that be on the children? They wouldn’t so easily become the emotional football their parents were tossing around.
The only things that would have to be decided in the divorce would be “unexpected” property that wasn’t already planned for and discussed. if the settlement has already been arranged
I Do…Until I Don’t is the new movie written and directed by Lake Bell. She also stars in the movie. In it, a documentary film-maker has become jaded by thoughts of traditional marriage. She thinks it’s outdated [and she’s correct!]. Instead, she thinks marriage should last seven years with an option to renew.
The film-maker sets out to prove her point. She studies the relationships of three couples, of different ages, to see what happens. Bell and her spouse (Ed Helm) are one of three couples.
The movie itself didn’t get great reviews. Rotten Tomatoes only gave it one-and-a-half starts. Some of the commentary indicate that it missed it’s mark with reviews that said, “not much authenticity or insight into contemporary relationships,” and “like an R-rated episode of the cheesy anthology series “Love American Style.”
Personally, I’m disappointed. I was hoping that the movie would go blockbuster and people would start to see marriage in “chunks” instead of a life sentence. That’s how in should be!
In this modern age, with people living longer and nobody wanting to commit to things like long-term cellphone or cable contracts, it isn’t logical to think something as important as marriage could go on and on based on the dreams of a young couple who have no clue.
The Five-Year Marriage™ is the answer. It gives couples the time and space to live their lives and make adjustments through their five-year contract.
The Five-Year Marriage™ is launching on February 14. You can get your copy now.