'Hall Pass' Makes Marriage Look Bad


If you could have one week "off" from your marriage, what would you do? Would you have sex with seven hot men? Go on vacation with the girls? Or would you even want that week off at all?

This is the question the new movie Hall Pass is asking us. The movie stars Owen Wilson and Christina Applegate among others and shows the bumbling of a group of men when their wives offer them "a week off marriage without consequences to do whatever they want."

And while the movie is a comedy, which I'm guessing ends with all the semi-dorky husbands realizing how much they love their wives, the question is an intriguing one. What might a "hall pass" look like and would we even want one?

I posed the question to my own husband who said unequivocally no. "I wouldn't know what to do with myself."

Both of us agreed that if we could have a week off, we would want to spend it together, away from the kids. I would also love a week to myself, at a spa somewhere with my best (female) friend. But even that wouldn't constitute time off from my marriage.

Obviously the movie is a comedy, and I am sure in that way, it will be funny and worth seeing, but in real life, such a concept would be ugly. In fact, even wanting a "hall pass" in the first place is a bit depressing. We all want time off, don't get me wrong.

Who wouldn't love to visit a spa or have one day alone in their house -- no work, no kids, no spouse -- to dance in front of the mirror, read books, and lounge? But I still want my kids and husband back at the end. I don't really want time "off" from them, just time away from responsibilities every once in a while.

Pop culture's view of marriage is often so dim. The idea always seems to be that men are trapped in loveless marriages with spouses who browbeat them and treat them poorly. Sure, marriage is hard, but if you marry well (and I don't mean for money), then you shouldn't feel like that. If you do, you need more than a "hall pass," my friend.

People get married for all kinds of reasons, but the best ones and the reason people really should choose to spend their lives together is simple: you enjoy each other's company. Yes, you should also love the person and want to tear their clothing off on a fairly regular basis, but all the rest is really just noise.

If you really feel you need a week off from your marriage, that is probably the most important time to spend a week together. Preferably alone.

Would you want a "hall pass"?

Image via Warner Brothers

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kisse... kisses5050

no consequences from their wives...sad though they are thrilled by this... I was teaching a few year ago  and overheard a small group of eighth grade boys talking about a plan to do something and one them said " No one will ever know!" and then one of them said " I will know and that is what really matters. Not if we get caught but the type of man I want to be and I will know the type of man I am if we do that, caught of not." I almost cried right there in the hall.

I dont want want to be married to a boy who needs a Hall Pass

justp... justplainjenni

There is no such thing as no consequences.  Maybe there won't be immediate actions, but the one giving the hall pass will always be wondering, worrying about what happened.  And I personally would worry about what he'd bring home that can't be washed off.  That fear of the unknown would cause a major rift in my relationship.  When I picture time off, I always envision getting away from the kids/ house and doing things with my husband that we normally can't.

celes... celestegood

I'm with pp with this one.  I was at the store, and the checker forgot to ring up my two cases of water underneath the cart.  I went to pay, and realized she forgot-and said did you ring up the water?  She was shocked and said thank you for being honest!

Are so few people honest these days?

It's sad that so many would take a hall pass on thier marriage.  I would know if I did something, even if it was not known by anyone else-I would know. Just like I would know if I walked away with free water and didn't bother to pay for them.  I just don't want to know I did something wrong.  I don't care if anyone else ever finds out; when I lay down at night, I would know I did something wrong.  And that's not ok.  I would no more cheat on my spouse (so called hall pass or not) than I would steal.  For the same reasons.

If you took this hall pass, who knows what you could bring home to your spouse?

nonmember avatar Christine

I want a hall pass with my husband and daughter away from the world for a week. Life with my husband and daughter is pretty simple and simply wonderful. I get tired of all the outside stressers, be them small or huge. I know that even if my family took a week off together, all that other stuff is still there waiting for us. Hey, I can dream right?! :)

Bree1984 Bree1984

I wouldn't mind a week off but not necessarily because I want to be away from my spouse. I just like to be alone now and then.

nonmember avatar Brenda-T

I respect all of your experiences and opinions, but I have a slightly different perspective. Many of the comments seem to be missing an important point—it isn't about getting away with something no one else will know about.

The "Hall Pass" concept posits that it's an agreement with their spouses. Basically, what it's about is fully-consensual, temporary polyamory. I'm not asking anyone to like it or apply it to their own lives, just to separate it from getting away with an illicit affair—you don't need a hall pass for that, and I agree that's never good.

My husband is my best friend in all arenas. We work together a lot and we travel a lot, so we can go weeks without seeing each other, or be together 24/7 for weeks at a time, and it's all good. I really can't think of the last time we argued or even disagreed over anything more than what to have for dinner.

But to answer the question—yes, I'd love a hall pass. Not necessarily to go have sex with other men, but to just be me for a while, not half of something else (however awesome our 'team'), no consequence (by agreement), and no guilt trips or right answers regarding how I'd spend the time (even I had the kneejerk thought that I'd spend it with my husband).

I just wanted to offer my take based on this movie and concept (not a new one), and how it differs from the tone of the post and comments (to reiterate the bullet points: it's temporary and consensual, not about getting away with secrets).

Justin Holloway

As a married man I have 2 issues with this "Hall Pass" idea. 1: Why are you in a relationship with someone if you are wanting a break from them or want to sleep with someone else? 2: The movie premise is all about sex. Most guys don't have regular sexual activity until they marry their partner. What makes you think you can get laid in a week if you weren't able to when you were single?

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