Monday, September 24, 2007

German politician calls for marriage expiry date

When I hear 'expiry date', what immediately pops into my mind is the grocery store and next week's shopping list. But this scandalous politician, apparently, thinks it should also apply to marriage. I was surprised to find out that she is actually a member of a conservative party.

Gabriele Pauli, twice-divorced, obviously attention-craving and publicity-addicted, explicitly stated her opinion by saying:

"My suggestion is that marriages expire after seven years."

Where did such a ludicrous idea come from? We all know divorce rates are high, and many marriages don't last. We also know what a heavy toll it's taking on people's happiness, security, and overall well-being.

Changing that, actually working on educating the next generation to understand the incredible value and importance of marriage, of family, of duty and honor, is hard work – and not at all glamorous.

So here we have a suggestion that equals marriage with any commonplace work contract: after it expires, you can choose to extend it – or not. To tell you the truth, it's difficult for me to even take it seriously. Such an attitude is an evidence of either extreme bitterness and disappointment of one human being, or desire to have her name in the headlines, or both.

If we step back from this particular case for a moment, I think this attitude is very typical of the feminist movement. Marriages are failing? Who needs marriages anyway?! Some men aren't up to their job of leaders and protectors? Fine, let's not strengthen masculine leadership – let's discard it. Some women aren't fulfilled with their God-ordained role of wives and mothers? Let's not bother helping them find fulfillment in that role. Let's rather have a revolution! That's much more fun – and who cares if millions of lives are ruined forever along the way?


Jeannine said...

Good morning, Anna! I don't think many people here in Germany take her seriously either. I agree that she is attention-seeking. She is actually running for the position of chair-person in the (very) conservative Bavarian party and their elections are soon.
But I was shocked too - what an idea to have marriages with an expiry date! It really shows how the view on marriage is changing (even though this is definately a minority view here).

Mimi said...

When they call for an easy way out for a married couple... you can be sure that they are NOT thinking of the children that may be involved in that family!!!
Of course during our married life we would like to call it quits a few times... but that is not the way God ordained marriage to work... you are in it for the long haul... and you must take the bad with the good and work on making the bad better!!!

Becky K said...

I would never be able to listen to that woman and take ANYTHING she says seriously. I think marriages have their ups and downs but it is so much more than that - and it seems to me that this lady hasn't even thought about putting in the effort that it takes. I am by no means an expert for my husband and I have been married for 3 years now but I find it very disheartening to hear that this is what our next generation is hearing. That makes our job that much more important than it already is.

Buffy said...

I think it's quite a neat idea to renew your vows every 7 years and maybe review where you're heading as a couple...but to assume that you're probably going to walk away from a marriage every 7 years ...that's just not healthy.

Anonymous said...

Forget astronaut dreams, most kids just want a happy marriage

Well, on the other hand, children from this generation have seen their families break down as a result of increased cohabitation and no-fault divorces - they've seen their mothers leave them for careers, they've seen their fathers walk away...they can have all they want, they can buy anything they like, they can become anything they wish, the only thing missing is a stable marriage and family.


The only thing shocking about this German politician is that she is from the conservative Christian party !?!


Most of Europe has given up on religion, marriage and children for secularism, cohabitation and materialism. The Marxist experiment to abolish marriage has failed Europe. Feminism, socialism and communism are just variations of Marxism.


More news from Germany...

German TV star sacked after praising Nazi family values

Eva Herman, a German TV star and writer, has been criticized for saying that even the Nazis had better family values regarding children and motherhood. She is an anti-feminist, married four times, and an ex-careerwoman who now wants to be a housewife !?!


German births decline to new low

Germany Total fertility rate = 1.4 children/woman, way short of the replacement level of 2.1


Anna S, does your blog have any German readers who can fill us in ?

Katy-Anne said...

This is why I don't believe Christians should have a marriage license from the state when they get married. Otherwise you are basically "accepting" what the state thinks about marriage. We unfortunately have a state marriage license, we didn't know any better at the time and we are somewhat in a bind because it is needed for immigration purposes for me. I'm sure there would have been a way to do it without the license though, just would have been harder. If your marriage is before God and the witnesses, and you don't have a state license, you are still married, and without being married under the state's definition of marriage.

Anna S said...


I suppose it's healthy to do a 'marriage check-up' once in a while, but certainly not with the thought of walking out...


Thanks for the neat links. I'd think that Eva Herman woman would find a better family role model than the Nazi principles...

I guess Jeannine, who first commented on this thread, is from Germany, but I'm not sure if she has anything to add.


I totally agree with you. If the state equals my marriage and a gay or lesbian marriage, I want to dissociate myself from it.

Rebekka said...

You shouldn't be so surprised about her being from a conservative party. Europeans usually mean something very different than Americans when they talk about being politically liberal/conservative. It often has to do with economics and less to do with being socially conservative.

Rebekka (in Denmark, a social-democracy)

Anna S said...

Rebekka - thanks for the clarification!

Ashley said...

Sadly, I'm not sure liberial Americans would be too offended at this idea. :\

I think that it's good to consider where you are headed in life and re-evaluate discisions, etc. But I do not think that would be the result of having an "expiration date" on a marriage. If something is temporary, who cares as much? I'm afraid it would lead to a "let's cross that bridge when we get there" type of attitude.

If you focus on marriage being a life-time commitment, I think it changes the whole attitude. You *need* to work things out togther - before they get worse, etc. I know that I'm going to be married to Jay for better or worse and hopefully for many, many years. So I really want to make the most of it and try to have a good attitude and be supportive in the rough times.

I was really disturbed by this idea .... is this a consumer-driven society or what? Everything is getting to be disposable....

(Oh, and I also appreciate the links. I'll be looking at them!)

Mrs. Brigham said...

I was quite revolted when I read an article about this over the weekend. My husband's parents divorced when he and his sister were only in elementary school. They were able to get through cancer, the serious birth defects of a child, numerous special forces army deployments, tons of moving, emigrating to a new country together, and on & on, yet they literally wound up divorcing over small things like who was to do the dishes. They divorced to find "happiness", and not only did neither of them find happiness, they ruined the lives of their two children and caused both immense pain and struggles through the years. The attitudes towards marriage and divorce are disgusting. More than just husband and wife are involved when marriages unravel and it is beyond selfish to think that commitments can be resolved just to find "happiness".

Jeannine said...

Gabriele Pauli (the German politician we're talking about) belongs to the Bavarian party CSU (Christian Social Union). They are considered as very conservative, especially regarding marriage, family roles and society/morals in general. Her view is definately not the view of the party.

Katy-Anne & Anna: Here in Germany you are obliged to have a civil wedding first before you can get married in church. So unfortunately, there is not really the question if you want a marriage licence or not.

Anonymous: What exactly would you like to know about the situation here in Germany? Be glad to help if I can.

Ways of Zion said...

In the words of a wise old bear: Oh Bother me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Candy said...

Honestly, that woman who suggested marriage for 7 years.. well, that thought makes me nervous because its just another reminder of the fact that there are many people out there in the world who gave up on marriage, and who are also for homosexual marriage and on and on it goes. Honestly, I can see something like that happening and I hate it. We used to think it was extreme thinking to belive that gay people could get married in Church...and here we are. Whats next, well marriage 'expiring' in 7 years.
All I can say is, God come back soon! Because I just dont know what is going on in the world these days...
And the other thing I believe is that we as Christians need to be on our knees praying for our nation and all the things people are doing to try to put an end to marriage, homemakers etc etc..

Sheri said...

Oh Anna, yet another reason to carry the torch of strong Biblical and family values. Our world is in desperate need of men and women who believe marriage is "until death do us part." It's not a simple "contract" to be broken, but a lifetime commitment of love, honor, and devotion.

Alexandra said...

Scary, but I'm not surprised.

Anonymous said...

This so reminds me of a TV ad I saw a long time ago (maybe 35 or 40 years), put out by a church (I forget the denomination). In the ad, a couple comes to a judge & says, "We'd like to get married". The judge replies, "Alright, one 3-year contract...." But the couple interrupts him, "No, your honor, we want to be married for life". The judge looks thoughtful, frowns as he tries to decide what to do, & then comes up with an idea. "I'll issue you 30 3-year contracts, running consecutively." And the couple smiles & embraces, & then the ad ended, with the words, to the general effect of: Marriage. It's for a lifetime. This ad came out, of course, as a result of the wave of "no fault", easy divorces that began to plague us, & this church wrote a very clever, I think, little advertisement addressing that.

Who knew?...that marriage would be looked on as just another revenue-getting means to fill the government coffers. How convenient is that? Just like getting new license tabs for one's car, boat or trailer, couples will have to run down to the courthouse & have their marriage "renewed", or it becomes...what? Null & void?


Wendy WaterBirde said...

Hi Anna,

Stuff like that is just so hurtful. Nothing seems to be taken as duty and covenant anymore in so many places, when that is actually where our strength and healing really is. 'Course that's probably exactly why its attacked when it comes down to it.I'm beginning to think spiritual warfare is as important a part of learning as anything else. And i feel it starts with seeing through things like this, like is being done here...



Anna S said...


I honestly can think of no more wrong term than 'no fault divorce' - it's just so misleading. It's always everyone's fault, and everyone's responsibility!


Isn't it hurtful, especially for young women like yourself and me, who are currently planning their future married life?..

Michelle said...

IMO Thats sad and preposterous! Stay tuned - O'll do the week in modest dress post in a day or two. Have a blessed day!

Word Warrior said...

The saddest part of all of this is, marriage was intented to reflect the eternal relationship between the Groom (Jesus) and his bride (the church).

Can we even fathom the blasphemy that such flippancy towards this holy institution is in the face of God?

Anonymous said...

Well, short-term marriages are simply not marriages, no religion in any part of the world permits limited-period marriages - marriage is for LIFE !

At the same time, as more women buy into the feminist fallacies about marriage, ("A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle"), and as religion is portrayed as the 'root of all evil' (Even though non-religious Nazism and atheist Communism have killed more people in history.), and as socialism promises to free women from 'patriarchal oppression', family and marriage have taken a backseat. In fact, people have become so casual about marriage, that they think its disposable.

Case : The Starter Husband (3 page article) (Women consider divorce as 'empowering' - thank you feminism - it's all about me mE ME !)

How shocking is that ? Isn't this American trend similar to what the German politician said ?


All across the world, more married women tend to vote conservative or right-wing and more single(/divorced/widowed) women tend to vote left-wing or socialist - the welfare state performs the role of the husband for them - socialism weakens marriage and family, and itself grows stronger at the expense of the family - it's a vicious cycle.


Also, in conservative Catholic Poland, a feminist Women's Party have begun their election campaign by posing nude !?!

And in Sweden, in the name of equality, fathers are banned from giving away daughters at marriage.(If you read the article, you will notice all the 3 priests are females and talk like feminists)

In the name of tolerance, diversity, liberalism and progressivism, political-correctness - society has been robbed of its morals.

Anna S said...

Scandalous. I encourage everyone to take a peek at that article about a bride in Sweden whose wish to be given away by her father was refused. So sad and shocking.

Kathleen said...

I saw that on my regular news site and thought, "Oh my goodness, how stupid!!!"

Mrs. MK said...

Crazy world---but not surprising.

PandaBean said...

I wonder what "church" that is that refused to let the bride be escorted down the aisle.

My MIL's first two marriages didn't hit the 7 year mark (I think) and her current one has at least hit 10 years. My family only has one divorced person, and that's because he cheated on my aunt and divorced her after she tried to work thru' it.
We just celebrated 6 years, my parents will celebrate 30 years next year, my grandparents will be celecrating 57 years this October. My other G-ma did get divorced, but that was back in the 50s and she married my G-pa and was with him until he died in the 80s.

So, going by my ILs, I can understand the 7 year idea (not that I condone it in the least!), but going by my family, it's a very forgein idea.

Divorce is totally un-Biblical BTW: "What God has joined together let not man put asunder." Matthew 19:6

When we got married, we were not Christian. To us it was just a piece of paper and a tax thing (I don't get taxes, this is one reason DH is in charge of the money). I can see how some people will see it this way and not as the wonderful Sacrament that it is. (Not that this excuses them!)

Today is sooo about individualism. It's an alien idea to many now that a family is a single unit, not a collection of individuals. I suppose this is why so many people have trouble understanding the Body of Christ...

God Bless!

Anna S said...

PandaBean - you're so right; Isn't it sickening how it's all about me, me, ME these days?!

Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings said...

Sounds as if she has the "7 Year Itch" to me. Seems like so many marriages these days start to sour at the "magical" 7 year mark... all the work of the devil and his cronies in my opinion.

College Gal said...

That is so...crazy! Wow! I would have never thought anyone would come up with an idea like that.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Hi Anna,

Well i'm not as young as you are (i wish, smile), but the heart never really changes. I don't think running from duty or headship ever stops being hurtful, its too dear to the female heart deep down. And when you are looking forward to marrriage it really does imapct you even more, its so true...

Peaceful Week : ) Wendy

Anonymous said...

Hey Anna S,

Firstly let me say I'm NOT being hostile, as it may come out that way. I was wondering since you wouldn't want to dissociate yourself with a state marriage if it equals your marriage with a gay or lesbian marriage, does that mean your against gays and lesbians or just gay and lesbian marriages?

I myself have no problems with gays or lesbians. I mean why does their personal life affect me? But I don't think they should get married under the title of the Bible, considering they would be getting married in the eyes of a God that disapproves. But I do think they should be able to get equal rights and the such, and be able to get "married", just not in the name of the Bible.

Is that what your thinking as well?

Anna S said...


The Bible is very clear about this issue: sexual relationships between members of the same sex are sinful. I understand there are unfortunate people who have this tendency, but I don't think it should be legitimate - and of course gay/lesbian "marriages" are totally unacceptable in God's eyes.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anna S,

I'm that Anonymous that wrote on 27th of Sept.

I think I understand what you mean. As far as I've got it, YOU don't have a problem with gays and lesbians but they shouldn't get married. Is that right? Because thats what I think, in a very dumbed-down way of course.

You know what I've wondered though? Why God created gay people and lesbians even though their "sinful". I've also wondered why he doesn't approve of them even though he loves everyone equally. It odds me out.

You don't have to answer that if you don't want. It's ok, but it'd be good if you did

Again, just to make sure, I'm NOT being hostile or belittling your faith. I think faith can be a beautiful thing, and you seem to be an example of that from what I've read.

Thank you. :)

Anna S said...

Hi again anonymous - what a great question you ask! Of course, this is an issue *far, far* too deep for this comment thread, but here's what I think:

- God loves and knows each one of us personally - and even if he doesn't approve of *certain things we do*, it doesn't prevent Him from loving each and every one of us as a whole. We are all his precious children - and all sinners, to some extent.

- He is in control of *everything* - and He allows things to happen which sometimes don't make sense to us. He allowed some very dark, sinful actions in my past too - which I had to overcome in order to do His will.

Again... I have so much more to say about it, too much for a comment thread. If you are interested to hear more of my humble thoughts on this matter, feel free to email me at

Big sister said...

That is shocking! This world is CAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!