Eternity Commitment: The 21st Century Alternative to Marriage: Never be Divorced!
By Todd Stephenson
The time is here for a new paradigm in lifelong relationships. During the 20th Century, it was clear that what has been the model and structure for lifetime monogamous relationships was NOT WORKING! I am referring to the dysfunctional relationship called “Marriage” as defined and shaped by state lawmakers. Relationships are not the problem; it is the financial structure of the institution of marriage as designed by lawmakers which is diminishing the desire for people to marry.
There has been an 1150% increase in cohabitation in the last 40 years. At the same time the divorce rate in America continues to climb and is one of the highest per capita in the world. Since the advent of marriage laws in the early 1900's, divorces have increased 500% on a per capita basis. All relationships have their challenges. Usually we view these challenges as personality and lifestyle differences. During marriage there is a continual need to work through personality and lifestyle differences while maintaining a healthy loving relationship. There is also a second challenge which most of us do not consider when entertaining the prospect of marriage. State and federal family law legislation has added another variable to the marriage dynamic — that of joint money, joint liability for debts and joint ownership of assets. Why did lawmakers include joint ownership of accumulated assets, liability, debt and judgments into the institution of marriage? Does this enhance the relationship or increase the potential longevity? Does this criterion change the motivations for marriage? What about the effect on the motivations for divorce? Is current family law what our faith-based forefathers intended?
More than 15 million people in America are cohabiting and this number is increasing exponentially. For the first time in history, there are more unmarried households than married households. America is in the midst of a major societal revolution as it pertains to traditional relationships and lifelong intimate commitments. The blame rests in part with State family laws (marriage/divorce laws), State/Federal marriage tax penalties and Social Security entitlement penalties for the married. Other reasons for the high divorce rates are directly attributed to a major social shift in the commitment of marriage coupled with societal acceptance of multiple intimate relationships in a person’s lifetime.
Psychologists have claimed money and finances are the number one reason for dysfunctional marriages. What if money issues were not part of your loving lifelong relationship? The Eternity Commitment or “EC” is an alternative to marriage where you have a committed lifelong relationship; however do not have the issues of joint money and possessions.
Thousands of years ago, marriage was created and defined by the different religions as the lifelong bonding of loving heterosexual couples, thus creating a family unit recognized by God. Marriage was blessed by the clergy and vows shared and expressed publicly under the eyes of God at the appropriate ceremony. Marriage was a spiritual commitment where the man and woman became one “spiritually”, not financially. There was no government intervention or marriage law mandating that marriage was a financial partnership. It would have been superfluous because religion strongly discouraged divorce.
The traditional structure of marriage created thousands of years ago is more functional and self-sustaining than marriage as it is structured today. Modern society has imposed a myriad of challenges to any formal relationship including marriage itself. The inclusion of the state-mandated financial partnership with the institution of marriage has resulted in dysfunctional motives for all aspects and phases of the marriage relationship.
Most couples believe marriage is a single lifelong commitment. However, there are actually three commitments within the realm of marriage. The first is the personal commitment of love and companionship for life. This is the most important commitment for without this commitment no other commitment will survive. The second commitment is the spiritual or faith-based commitment. This is optional based on a person's faith. The third commitment is the marital law commitment. This is the commitment of a financial structure for your marital relationship. The structure of the marital law financial structure is synonymous with forming a 50/50 business partnership. Yes, you could just as easily duplicate the financial structure of marriage with the formation of a 50/50 business. With marriage, incomes are considered to be joint income, debt acquired by either person is joint or community debt, the couple forms one legal entity and the couple is one “taxed” entity according to the IRS. Just like a business partnership. I know of no couples who marry for the purpose of forming a business partnership. This is the basis of the dysfunctional relationship of present-day marriage.
Many 21st century couples do not want the state-mandated financial design of marriage nor do they want to ever experience the emotional trauma or financial repercussions of divorce. Therefore, they choose NOT to marry. Imagine having the freedom to design your own financial structure for your lifelong relationship rather than being forced into state-imposed rules. The Eternity Commitment gives you that option. You decide what is best for you during your relationship. AND… with an EC you never get divorced.
Most people don’t realize that when a marriage license is obtained you are opting for and agreeing to the state mandated financial structure of your lifelong relationship. A marriage license has nothing to do with your spiritual or personal commitment. In all 50 States, a marriage license is optional for your committed loving relationship. There are many benefits and reasons to opt for an Eternity commitment.
The Eternity Commitment is a relationship of love and companionship for life. It represents the traditional structure for the family which has endured for thousands of years. In the early 1900’s lawmakers enacted thousands of laws which re-characterized marriage to be a relationship of money, debt and possessions. When you analyze marriage laws, they are not about love, honor and cherish until death do you part. They are about joint ownership of property, debt, liabilities, businesses, retirement moneys, etc which in reality resembles a 50/50 business structure. People don’t marry to become business/financial partners; they do so to make a commitment to share love and companionship for life. So why complicate the intimate relationship with spending/saving habits of a partner when there is an alternative to keep the finances separate.
The Eternity Commitment is a lifelong commitment of an intimate relationship not involving marriage. The financial structure of the Eternity Commitment is self-defined between the consenting adults, thus bypassing and avoiding a state mandated financial structure for marriage. The financial structure of an Eternity Commitment is similar to that of a “joint venture” where individuals keep their financial and legal identities when sharing an intimate relationship of love and companionship. With an EC a checking account is established for the depository of funds to pay joint living expenses. In contrast, the financial structure of marriage is where the two parties become one financial, legal and taxed entity. Everything is joint ownership. The structure of marriage has within it inherent strife and conflict associated with spending and savings philosophies and ideologies. The meshing of money and possessions with the marriage is dysfunctional to the intimate relationship. In essence, the financial structure of marriage is contributory to the high divorce statistics.
In recent years, Common Law Marriage has been abolished in all 50 States (with a few caveats), so cohabiting with an intimate relationship will not automatically presume you are legally married. Today, you have a choice to marry or not to marry… or have an Eternity Commitment.
State marriage laws do not enforce the primary commitment of marriage, “until death do us part”. Therefore, the institution of marriage in no way protects a marriage from failure. If one person desires a divorce, the courts will grant it. The process of divorce is in reality, the process of splitting the co-mingled assets and debts. In many cases, the person breaking the commitment of marriage will profit financially because they will receive enrichment from their ex-spouse for the investment they made in the marriage. Thus, state lawmakers have created immoral incentives for divorce.
With an Eternity Commitment all property, money, retirement, investments, assets, debts, etc. remain sole and separate unless the two involved agree to include them in the “joint venture” portion of their relationship. Therefore, if there is a separation of people, there is no need to separate money and possessions because these are already separate. This is in contrast to marriage where all assets, debts and liabilities are co-mingled or made apart of the “community” as mandated by marriage law. Therefore, the requirement to split assets is the premise for the divorce.
Because of the high probability and risk of divorce, people are increasingly becoming disenchanted with marriage. Rightfully so — because if the love in a marriage ceases, all that remains is money and possessions. This is the origin of emotionally charged and expensive divorces. The person who has financially invested the most in the marriage has the most to lose in a divorce.
The pitfalls that lead people to forgo marriage are the beliefs that people:
1. Marry for money,
2. Stay married because of money issues,
3. Manipulate their spouses while married over money and possessions,
4. And last but not least, divorce for money (financial enrichment).
As mentioned earlier, there are numerous marriage tax penalties and Social Security Entitlement reductions for the married.
The Eternity Commitment returns the lifelong loving relationship to that of tradition — to the structure created for marriage by various religions thousands of years ago, and before the introduction of marriage laws of the early 1900s. With an Eternity Commitment the spiritual and ceremonial aspects of marriage are preserved where the celebration of your commitment may be blessed by a spiritual leader and vows expressed in a ceremony similar to a wedding. There is also an Eternity ring to visually and personally express your commitment.
Many people have questioned the institution of marriage, and rightly so. What you get today with marriage is not what religions historically created for lifelong relationships. However, today most people marry based on the traditional structure and beliefs about marriage. They soon learn tradition is not present-day reality. Marriage laws have superseded the faith-based structure and commitment of marriage.
Financial losses from divorce can be enormous and devastating, especially for the wealthy. Paul McCartney is facing the prospect of paying $400 million dollars to Heather Mills for a failed short term marriage. This is outrageous! Similar divorces occur in America. With most areas of asset protection there are loss insurance and corporate structures to protect individuals. No insurance companies protect individuals from divorce losses. The Eternity Commitment has a financial structure to provide this protection.
The alternative form of a lifelong commitment termed the “Eternity Commitment” defines the structure to eliminate the financial implications and dysfunctional behaviors of marriage/divorce. It focuses on the original premise of a lifetime relationship to be one of love and commitment.
The desire for people to marry will continue to decline and marriage will continue to be in crisis in America as long as state family laws have incentives for divorce and self-serving and immoral spousal behavior. Divorce must stop penalizing the spouse who has invested the most in the marriage. In addition, the marriage penalty tax still remains in many aspects of federal and state tax law and must be eliminated for people to desire marriage. Social Security entitlements should not be reduced for retirees who marry.
In America we enjoy many freedoms. The freedom to design our own financial structure for our lifelong loving relationship is one such freedom. The book Eternity Commitment shows you how to do this and how to avoid the pitfalls inherent with the state-mandated financial structure of marriage. The Eternity Commitment is the relationship structure where you never get divorced! The book contains a FREE Eternity Commitment Companionship Agreement which is a $500 value if you hired an attorney to write this for you. This document outlines the understanding and provides a self-defined financial structure for your lifelong relationship.
For more information and to order the book, “Eternity Commitment” go to:
www.eternitycommitment.com Or to order call 888-280-7715. Learn the 50 reasons to have an Eternity Commitment instead of marriage. The book is 172 pages containing many divorce stories, an Eternity Commitment Agreement, a list of behavior to expect if your spouse is planning divorce. Protect your ass… at least your assets from divorce.
Todd Stephenson was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1954. He went to early schooling in Pennsylvania. He moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1969 where he now resides.
In 1978 he graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and Management. He moved back to Harrisburg in 1978 to work with his father�s business. In 1980 he returned to college at University of Texas at El Paso to obtain a Masters in Business Administration � emphasis in Finance. Todd is an avid investor and has strategies employed in his personal life for asset protection.
In 1981 Todd was hired by AT&T and relocated to Houston, Texas. He worked for AT&T for 3 years. He then worked for Lee Data Corporation for 4 years. Then he was hired by US West (now Qwest) and worked there for 7 years. After jumping between several other jobs and attaining a VP of Sales title, he started his own communications technology company. He has been president of this corporation for eight years.
Todd has an Eternity Commitment.
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