Marriage is a contract, and always has been (well, since the church and state got involved). Too bad more people don’t realize that. They also don’t realize that they can individualize that contract. “Do we want to live together? Are we going to be monogamous?” etc. I’d even suggest that it be renewable rather than an “until death” contract. But calling it a “contract” makes people nervous — I suggest calling it a marital plan, one that gets revisited and revised as a couple’s life changes, but lays the foundation for the marriage’s goals, and holds each person accountable. After all, you’re not just creating a life together — you’re creating a certain kind of life together.

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Award-winning journalist, coauthor of “The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels,” mom, changing the narrative about older women

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