Congratulations! Your marriage has expired

A new twist on the seven-year itch.

Published September 21, 2007 5:30PM (EDT)

Here's a goofy marriage proposal that is sure to go nowhere, but it's nevertheless diverting to contemplate: A twice-divorced Bavarian politician argues that all marriages should automatically expire after seven years, according to Deutsche Welle, by way of Cookie.

"I propose that marriages lapse after seven years," Gabriele Pauli told reporters, announcing her platform for the upcoming CSU Party congress. "This would mean that one will only commit for a fixed period and will actively have to renew your vows if you still want to continue."

Pauli's rationale: Since 38 percent of Germans who marry today are likely to get divorced, why not just put a time limit on the whole affair, and save all those unhappy couples the hassle of filing the paperwork for a divorce? Seeing as Pauli is vying to be head of the center-right, Roman Catholic-dominated CSU Party, it's unlikely that her radical proposal or her candidacy will get very far beyond leading married Germans to gaze across the breakfast table at each other, and ask: "Honey, do you wish we had expired?"

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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