While at the fair I happened to catch a stand-up comedian’s act. To be honest he wasn’t very funny, but one thing he said got me thinking. After spending far to long on a joke that came at the expense of his wife he quipped “Have you ever noticed that your marriage license is the only one that doesn’t expire? Like every four years the court doesn’t ask you if you still want to be married to this woman?”. If she had heard his jokes I can only imagine her verdict would be. At first I just thought it was as goofy as the rest of his humor. People get married because it is a sign that they intend to stay by each other’s side for the rest of their lives. Still the more I thought about it, the more good I saw in such an idea. I think a lot of relationships tend to get ‘comfortable’ once the marriage certificate is signed. I’m not sure if the thinking is “This person agreed to be stuck with me so I don’t have to try anymore” or is it more of the thought that the prize has been one, the peak of the mountain has been reached. Fill in whatever analogy you care to use. I am all for marriage. I love to see love celebrated and I am a fan of committing to one person to honor and respect for the rest of your life. Still, would 50% of marriages end in divorce if you knew you had to keep trying? Would things be so comfortable if you knew in four, six or however many years you were going to be asked if you still wanted to remain married? How would you act different if you knew your partner were to be asked the same thing? Would you work harder to keep your partner happy and loving if you knew they were going to be asked if they still wanted to stay with you or walk away? I am sure we have all known couples who stay together simply because of the cost and legal issues with divorce. Even this keeps them from trying to improve their situation because they feel comfortable their partner will not leave them. This is also why I am a fan of renewing vows. Telling your partner that you would marry them all over again can be even more romantic than the first time. So ask yourself, or if your brave enough ask your partner, “Would you renew our marriage license?”. Even if you are not married, do you think if your partner knew all they would have to go through and the current state of your relationship would they choose to get together with you in the first place? If not, you should probably consider what had you fall in love in the first place and how to get back there. Even if you think they would, ask yourself what can you do to keep things loving and passionate? You might want to start by renewing your vows, or telling them you would want to get together with them all over again if given the chance. Do yourself and your partner a favor and renew your marriage license today.