Canadian marriage licenses
In Canada, a driver’s license is good for three years. It expires and is renewable on your birthday. An adult passport is good for five years from the date of issue. And, unlike most countries, marriage licenses are valid for a set term. Ten years. About six months prior to a couple’s tenth wedding anniversary - or their 20th, or 30th, etc. - the city hall that issued the license mails a notice to married couples that their marriage certificate is about to expire, and do they want to renew it for another ten year period, or let it expire? It makes divorce much easier than in most countries. A couple can just tick the “No” box, mail it back to the city hall, and the stage is set for an easy dissolution. Or, if they happily want to remain married they can renew their marriage license just like a driver’s license or a passport. They check the “Yes” box and mail it back to the city hall, and a new marriage license is issued upon payment of a fee.
Or, that’s the way it should be, maybe.
These days, men and women live a lot longer than they ever use to, meaning that marriages last a lot longer than they ever used to, and the phrase “Unto death us do part” has taken on a whole new meaning than it ever had before for earlier generations. In our great-grandparents’ day life expectancy was twenty or thirty years less than it is now, and the number of years that a man or woman could expect to live with their partner after marriage was correspondingly shorter. Undeniably, today’s greater life spans and correspondingly longer-term partnerships put unexpected strains on our human relations. Even though we may love our partners, that does not always mean that we like them, and the stresses of relationships never cease with duration. In fact, they might just be exasperated. If you marry young and stay healthy you can expect to live with that person for the next sixty years! Yikes! Not that marriage is not a good thing - I agree that it is. But by itself it is not a promise of a good or a happy life.