21:25  |  10 December 11
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Chamber of Debate

DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP

The Domestic Partner is a cross between a housemate, critical friend and business partner.

Sex and fidelity are optional, ie neither compulsory nor prohibited.

Each "transaction" is deemed to be a one-off so that both parties are kept on their toes. There would be no assumption that either party would be spending, for example, St Valentine's Day with each other as a matter of course.

This is not to say that intimate relations cannot be initiated subsequently, only that it must NEVER be a condition of the contract. It just means that intimacy- or fidelity-related issues cannot ever be the ostensible reason for the dissolution of such a partnership.

The beauty of this arrangement is that it forces us to ask for the least that is acceptable to us, and that requires us to examine our priorities in the light of the kind of partner we think we are able to obtain, bearing in mind our age, attractiveness, wealth, usefulness, talent and pleasure-generating qualities.

It also allows us to negotiate honestly and effectively, with realistic expectations.

Further comments on the Domestic Partnership can be found at

http://thebattlefieldoflove.blogspot.com/2008/12/domestic-partnership.html
Vote: Should the Domestic Partnership replace marriage?

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Members Comments

Herb 23-Jan-2009 3:24
To my mind, most who want to enter into a domestic partnership of the sort described have already done so. I think that if they want that sort of arrangement that's their business & they should be free to do it.

But I can't for the life of me see why it should mean doing away with marriage. Marriage and family have been the basic building blocks of civilisation for thousands of years. In most cases conventional marriage works best anyway. I say - leave marriage alone.
GWilliy 7-Jan-2009 21:59
The involvement of Legal Contracts within an informal & childless personal relationships would IMHO be disastrous. Why on earth should

newly met couples be so quickly ushered into contractual commitments.

I feel very strongly that we DO NOT need any more social engineering manouvres from the Lawyers, Politicians or the Judiciary.

Having said that I can see many benefits in pre marital couples being encouraged by non-political groups to consider the subtle benefits of this kind of partnership.

To encourage this type of pre-marital, open & commitmemnt reaffirming relationship, we need simply to reduce the negative stigma that surrounds its rules/goals ie."Sex and fidelity are optional, ie neither compulsory nor prohibited. Each "transaction" is deemed to be a one-off"

**However** once raising a family becomes involved then both parties should take specific and emphatic vows of fidelity & commitment, firmly promising to discard the pre marriage relationship practices "Until Death us do ......"

The traditional practice of Marriage should then be strengthened by properly implementing existing Laws (vigourously when children are involved) and hopefuly strengthened further by Social Acceptance (sort of, like, If a strong Brand Name exists why throw it away).

Ultimately society needs to maximise the chances of the Children being able to grow up in the company of their own Biological parents.

A consciously accepted BIG step from a domestic partnership (the type you decribe but without the legalitys) into a married partnership should promote this goal.
jeffreymarshall 22-Dec-2008 21:53
Domestic partnership should not replace marriage, which is more suitable for bringing up children.

In many ways this is just a description of an open relationship.

It might suit people later in life, who have perhaps already been through one form of marriage or partnership - when they now have no-one much to care about except themselves.

The relatively thin bonds of commitment would create an unsatisfactory basis for founding a family - since by its nature an open relationship might allow other partners or potential partners to be around in one´s home.

A conventional form of marriage would hardly permit this sort of situation.
dignitas 17-Dec-2008 20:4
I personally don't feel that a domestic partnership agreement should 'replace' marriage. Offered as choice instead of, maybe so, the idea has many obvious benefits however would this mean that a "couple" could/would be entitled to the same rights and privileges as Marriage, say for example, any tax breaks?

Marriage, when not belittled and debased by the government and by liberal media, is strong and important compact between two people. the idea is, a strong legal contract that is not quick and easy to go back on and so requires the two partners to stick things out both through good and bad and does not allow either to just shrug off the responsibility at a whim, which is important when children are involved.

One final question would be: would such a contract allow for children? custody of? adoption? adoption within same sex contract?...
Wildgoose 17-Dec-2008 18:2
There seems a modicum of bitterness in this proposal.

I am extremely happily married to my "soul-mate". Marriages can be successful - and both our sets of parents are also happily married.

The real problem is the "I want everything perfect and right now" generation. They spend tens of thousands on a fairy-tale wedding and once-in-a-lifetime holiday as a honeymoon. And when that ends it's all downhill from that point.

Contrast that with those of us who struggled, (my wife never had an engagement ring, we couldn't afford it). Our honeymoon was a mini-break Coach trip to Scotland.

But for us, the best was still to come. Three children, nice house, nice area, no debts.

Hard work, patience and a willingness to share. It's not difficult. You just need to make the choice with someone with likeminded views and principles.

The problem isn't marriage. It's today's spoiled brat generation. And a "Domestic Partnership" will be no more successful with selfish partners than a marriage would be.
Anselm 17-Dec-2008 17:8
Instead of proposing artificial solutions we need to attack the cause of family breakdown. Marriage is still sacred to many people, including Christians, and removing it would be disastrous - there will always be children and some sort of more casual relationship like the "domestic partnership" will not be the best way to bring children up, when the two partners may not be on as close a wavelength as in marriage.

Marriage is a life-long loving partnership, bringing children up with the same love and respect. If we applied that to domestic partnerships, the love and respect would be less existent.
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