Staying In A Relationship You Don’t Want

In thinking about my prior posts about no fault divorce reform I realized that some people will object to stricter rules that keep them in a marriage when they want out even though they voluntarily got into it. I started to think of some similar situations when people voluntarily enter into an agreement and then wanted out.
One example I thought about was the military. Our current military in the U.S. is voluntary. You make a free will promise when you go in for “x” numbers of years. If you decide you don’t like it anymore – you don’t easily get out just because you decided you want out. Just try going AWOL and see how long it takes them to catch up with you and how serious they are about you fulfilling your obligation.
Another type of voluntary agreement people enter into is a car loan or a house loan. If you decide you just don’t like your car or house anymore or are not sure how to make the payments anymore, getting out is very difficult. Just try walking away from a car or house loan and see what happens to your credit report the next time you apply for a loan, a job, or a cell phone.
If you and your spouse have kids, or if you have them out-of-wedlock and your paternity is determined, even if you wanted the kids – just quit paying child support and see how friendly the system is when you tell them, “I just don’t want the responsibility anymore”.
My point is that it would seem to me that if you voluntarily agree to get married, then it should not be easy to change your mind and get out without major consequences, and the deck should be stacked so that the person who wants to stay in the marriage has more leverage than the one who wants out.
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