You may have heard about the challenge married couples often face seven years into their vows. A German politician named Gabriele Pauli made a dramatic suggestion this week for those couples:
The Seven Year Itch, argues Germany’s most glamorous politician, could be cured by making marriage vows valid for only seven years, thus legislating away what is regarded as the most unstable phase of a relationship.
Interestingly, Pauli is someone who left her first marriage at the seven year mark.
The article about this in The Times also mentions other difficult seasons of marriage, such as:
… the Two Year Bloat (when complacent husbands start to put on weight), the Fourth Year Slip (when office co-workers start to look more attractive than one’s partner) and any year after the birth of a child as being as perilous to marriage as the seven-year restlessness.
Look, marriage has more challenges than this. You could come up with creative names for all kinds of seasons of marital disappointment. But it’s in those seasons that committed marriages develop depth.
Our consumer-driven culture has little appetite for vows that include better and worse, sickness and health, etc. Only an arrangement committed to those promises, however, can push through to the kind of peace, security and hope that most people marry to find in the first place.
The individual who will commit to marriage only while the skies are blue will never experience the rewards of enduring commitment.