Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Marriage Contract

Well I have posted this on my blog way back yonder and it was a big hit and I was asked about it recently I relinked it and again folks liked it. I figured I'd post it here, hell if it helps one person then it will be worth it.

** Note. It is not the content in the contract that is important it is the method and the thought of it that is. I realize that many of you would not take her deal or mine. The contract will of course be different for each and every coupling. Obviously my contract is much much longer than what is listed here, though it didn't go into the minutia it does cover almost everything. Also, situations change so writing and absolute contract would never work, anyway here ya go.

Well I asked a while back about what to blog about and some of the things were my takes on things.
The thing I get asked about the most in real life is the marriage contract.
The Marriage Contract is something I thought up before I got married and has served me well for however long I have been married, 10-13 years. It is very simple and positive to make marriage easier if both people are honest about what they write into the contract. I think unmarried folks should think about this. ( I wrote this post way back and haven't posted it, but just last week my buddy was over planting a dove field and he was talking about it, about me meeting with his bro and his fiancee, my buddy of course had all the details pre-wedding and of course didn't do it but is now the biggest promoter of it!)

I get questioned about it all the time and inevitably folks don't follow through with it and then in 3 years when they are bitching about their marriage and I ask about the contract they just say man I should have done it.

The contract came about because my married friends were always bitching about he doesn't do this, she won't do that and always ended up with if i'da known he/she was going to act like this/that or the other I'd have run her/his ass off before we married.

People always see the wonderful, great stuff about being married, its all going to be beer and wings then when they get married they see that the shit is tough. So I was trying to address the little shit before I said I would. See the bride had been after me to wed her for about 8 of the 10 years we courted, so I got to studying on it and decided if we could agree then I would. See in my mind a wedding is nothing more that a business deal. The problem being that most folks don't lay out the terms of the deal prior to shaking on it. I have been in several partnerships and in each we broke the deal down to the smallest details before doing anything, that way everyone knew where they stood.

So here is how it went down.

I said ok you wanna get married, suits me. Go get 2 trapper keepers and come up here to the table. She did and she sat on one side and I sat on the other. I said ok, I want you to write down everything you intend to do in this marriage and I will do the same.

We did that.

then I said ok, next page.
Now you write everything you believe I should/will do in this marriage and I will do the same.
We did that.

Then we looked and compared both. We tried to merge them and saw some sticking points, we discussed them one at a time. So then we went back and re-wrote them and merged them and discussed, re-wrote, merged, discussed. This went on for about 2 days. Just conversing, not fighting.

What we came up with was the marriage contract.
I have it still and have had to bust it out 3-4 times but usually when we start arguing if it was something addressed in the contract it kills that right now.

The contract reads something like this (each point is spelled out on the contract but it would be the longest post in history if I typed it all):

I have zero responsibility in the house. I don't clean, wash, sweep, vacuum, or any other thing in the house. I do not cook, help cook, clean up cooking stuff. I do not wash, dry or fold clothes. I do zero household chores.

I do haul the trash (yeah I live in BFE we haul our trash off)
I do mow the grass
I do yard work but not pertaining to the 9765446898 plants she has out there.

She is expected to do nothing in the yard
She is not expected to earn any income, ever.
She is never expected to be employed ever.
She is not expected to handle investments but is expected to pay the bills (actually write the checks out).
She is expected to keep the house tidy (not spic and span)
She is in charge of all spending, but I retain veto power on any spending. (she is damn sure the best purchasing department in the history of mankind, she can by god spend some damn money)
She tends the brood ( I have changed diapers though twice, one per rugrat.)

If she denies me relations 3 days in a row (initial wording was 3 times in a row but we changed it because she was complaining if I got morning sex I would ask 3 times before lunch) then I have a get outta jail free card.
If I ever turn her down once then she has one.

It is my responsibility to ensure she has adequate transportation and to keep said vehicle maintained. I am responsible for making sure all needed things like planning for our economic future, making sound financial decisions, doing a monthly budget with her every month, everything except insurance she handles that because I hate insurance second only to taxes.

Of course shit comes up that isn't addressed but most things are covered under some section of the contract. I had never heard, and still haven't, of anyone else pimping this plan. It really has worked well. If both folks are honest about things, then you can handle shit pre-fuck up. In the least it allows you to prove someone said they would do something.

I know one other guy that has done it and he also raves about it. Hell you might even find out you should run like you are on fire from whoever is sitting across the table!!


That is pretty much it. It is spelled out in far greater detail in the contract but thats the crux of it. The best part of it is it was agreed upon prior to any formal partnership. Everyone knows what to expect so the surprises are few.

The damnedest thing about it is she thinks she won.

There ya go. Not heard on Dr. Phil, Dr. Laura or Okra!

Discuss.

16 comments:

Halftime Lessons said...

Man this is a great idea...wonder if my ship has already sailed though.

Nice forward thinking!!

Jay

M said...

NOT that I would agree to anything you have on yours ;) the idea is definitely good.

It puts everything out there in the open beforehand.

If I ever think about getting married again, this is something to look into.

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Tony@ That One Paticular Harbor said...

I love the concept. But like Jay I think 13yrs in my window of opportunity to restructure any contract has past. I am going to have to tick to begging and groveling. Good post.

Tony@ That One Paticular Harbor said...

I love the concept. But like Jay I think 13yrs in my window of opportunity to restructure any contract has past. I am going to have to tick to begging and groveling. Good post.

Amber said...

I'll admit I didn't read it the first time. It's an interesting concept. I'm glad it works for you :o)

Scandalous Housewife said...

I think this contract sucks my grass ass.

T said...

Sage... you KNOW I love this concept. Definitely a good example of old fashioned communication!

You rock sexy cowboy!

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

It's a great idea, provided you thought of it BEFORE getting married. 8 years down the road, it'd be hard to work out.
I'm glad it works for you though!

Tsquared417 said...

Great idea...I think a lot of people would end up leaving! :) Which would help the divorce rate I think...oh and I didn't mean leave you, I meant whomever they were doing the contract with!! :)

~K~ said...

Great idea. I love this, everyone knows the expectations and there is less fighting over the details. I like it! :)

TentCamper said...

I love the idea and think that it should be a manditory document when applying for a marriage license.

ONLY TWO DIAPERS?! Shit I can do it with my eyes closed....after about 96,856.

Love the post!

It's Just Me said...

This SHOULD be mandatory - it is amazing how much couples do not talk about the little things, like leaving underware on the bathroom floor, but these are the little issues that end up causing the fights.

Had I known that neither one of us were good with finances, there would have been some major renegotiation going on!

There is a book 101 things to ask before marriage.... I give that as an engagement present. Same concept.

Southern Sage said...

Thanks for the comments all. Like I said the damndest thing about it is she thinks SHE won!!!

Liz said...

Great idea... and do you add addendums as life changes?

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