Marriage doesn’t work (just ask Bill and Melinda) – so let me show you some alternatives

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A There’s been a lot of talk about Bill and Melinda Gates ending their marriage, mostly by people who have as much insider intelligence as I am, which is not at all. But there really is only one conclusion to be drawn from this story: Marriage doesn’t work.

Listen, I’m not saying Bill Gates is the earthly representation of love embodied. But if two people who have more homes than most people have shoes, own more farmland than any other private owner in the United States, and have a private jet (no hassle over who you missed the flight? when you own the plane!) not do it, who can? Of course, there is more to a successful marriage than money, like sharing experiences. Well, Bill and Melinda vaccinated the world. Seems like something you could bond on, right? “Hey honey, do you remember that time we eradicated polio?” It must be better than remembering the last vacation you took before the children were born, like the rest of us. Didn’t that make them feel warm and hazy inside? The answer, as we all know by now, was no.

According to court documents, the Gates’ marriage is “irretrievably broken”, and must be, if they cannot even bear the thought of remaining married but simply living in different homes. Did I mention they were spoiled for choice? Hell, they could both be in the same house and literally never see each other: their Seattle home’s dining room is 1,000 square feet, which is bigger than any apartment I’ve ever had. never lived. But no, they insist on a super expensive divorce, and I don’t blame them. I also find the idea of ​​being legally related to my partner too claustrophobic. Unlike Bill and Melinda, however, I’ve always felt that way, and that’s the only difference between us. Well, that and the billions.

Marriage was invented when humans were fortunate enough to turn 20 without being sacrificed to the Sun God. People were never meant to live together as long as we do now. Of course, there are casual couples who go the distance: Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. But just about every couple that seemed perfect to me eventually broke up: Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton; Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis; Amy Poehler and Will Arnett. Surely we’ve all had the experience of meeting a friend – the friend whose 20-year marriage has always been a refutation of your cynicism about the institution, the friend whose face still lights up. when their spouse walks into the room – and they confess to you that they are having an affair / exploring their sexuality / joining a commune / all of the above. Marriage, in its current incarnation, doesn’t work, and who better than I – someone who hasn’t been married forever – to find alternatives?

1 Set legal deadlines
If marriages lasted no more than seven years, couples would benefit more from the time they spend together. Couples who aren’t so happy could probably tolerate it enough to get to the time limit without activating the nuclear divorce option, and those who just can’t get enough of each other can just sign up for seven. additional years. Everyone wins (except divorce lawyers).

2 Try a ‘onecule’
People like polycules a lot these days: groups of people who live together and fuck each other. This, much cooler people tell me than me, is clearly the way humans should live, instead of lackluster monogamy. Maybe, but only if you think the solution to struggling with a baby is having triplets. Instead, I propose a rule, where people can live on their own and be considered extremely cool for doing so.

3 Join a sect
Worship seems to be a bonding experience for a couple – like joining a book club together, but takes longer – but they usually turn out to have the opposite effect. This is because cults invariably turn out to be related to gender; more specifically, the cult leader having sex with whom he loves. But if couples could join a cult that was not about sex but free custody of children, their marriage would last forever.

4 Adopt the new rule of six
Do like Henry VIII and get married six times. It worked for him (eventually).

5 Do not do it do it
My partner and I have been together for a decade and we’re not married, which means we’ll never get a divorce. Every time he goes out to the store, I have no way of knowing if he will ever come back because he is not on a wedding leash. He probably will – we have three kids – but maybe he won’t. It’s exciting! Keep things spicy. And that’s the real secret to longevity.


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