Maxine and Gabriele Pauli, a Bavarian politician, have something in common. Maxine is a skeptical fan of marriage, and Pauli, who is a leading voice in Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, believes that the basic approach to marriage is wrong. The twice-divorced official is suggesting that marriages expire after seven years.

I’ve seen a lot of people involved in messed up marriages throughout my years as a psychiatric nurse, and I think that Pauli is on to something. Interestingly enough, many marriages start floundering after seven years. This phenomena is called the seven-year itch. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a husband or a wife tell me that their spouse takes them for granted, and that the spark in their relationship is gone. These people stop growing and get bored with life, and with each other. The grass starts looking greener, and sexier, on the other side of the fence, and people start going outside of their marriage to find new companionship. Maybe the seven-year itch wouldn’t be such a problem if people knew that their marriages were coming up for renewal.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of matrimony, but since everything else has an expiration date, why not establish time limited marriages. Of course, there is a downside to everything that holds promise. I predict that there would be a sharp drop in sales of antidepressants and benzodiazepines, which would not make drug companies and their stockholders very happy, and I predict that divorce attorneys would have to find a new way to turn a buck. On the upside, I could use my psychiatric nursing skills as a springboard to a new career as a marriage broker.

Nurses can always find work.