Vonnegut’s Marriage Contract

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In his first marriage, Vonnegut was reduced to making out a contract with his wife to get all the relevant chores done. Those of you who are co-habiting or planning to do so in the forseeable future may find this clause particularly helpful:

It is understood that, should I find these commitments in any way unreasonable or too binding upon my freedom, I will take steps to amend them by counterproposals, constitutionally presented and politely discussed, instead of unlawfully terminating my obligations with a simple burst of obscenity, or something like that, and the subsequent persistent neglect of said obligations;

“Something like that.”

Feel free to amend the original at will, of course, should you choose to undertake this agreement.


Michelle Dean has written for a variety of places, including The Awl, ELLE and Bitch. More from this author →