So after 2 years with my baby, I’m finally ready to pop the question. I want to go before the justice of the peace, exchange rings, and say I do. The only thing is, having talked about the idea of marriage with my boyfriend, we don’t agree on the idea of a prenup. If we were to get married, I would have to have a prenup. God forbid we get married then divorce, I just want us to walk away from the marriage with what we had before going into it. No alimony and no mess. He on the other hand thinks that a prenup is like some curse on a marriage. He thinks signing one means the marriage is doomed to fail. Since we are both pretty grounded in our perspectives, how do you think we should proceed going forward in our relationship?
Thanks in advance,
Wanna Keep My Coin
Dear Wanna Keep My Coin,
Thanks for writing to me. Sounds like you and your man are in an age old debate I’ve taken part in plenty of times, and not because I was getting ready to meet someone at the altar. I was just talking amongst friends and associates. So I have a pretty unwavering opinion on the subject matter as well.
Like you, I believe in prenuptial agreements. I think couples planning to unite in matrimony should seriously consider getting one. And I don’t think this because I’m under the impression that all marriages are doomed to fail eventually. But I believe folks should consider prenups because in this day and age, marriage cements the love between two people and a business agreement. When two people exchange “I do” in the U.S., they can receive tax benefits, legal permissions, and many other privileges that single people don’t have available to them. It may not sound romantic, but in many ways marriage currently is like a business merger. With that said, how many people have you heard of doing sound business without a little paper involved?
Now I do understand the other side of this argument. Agreeing to a prenup, is like planning for your divorce. And in the midst of planning an event that will bring together two individuals on the path of forever, prematurely talking about the end of that “forever” bond is not romantic. But like I say, I would think folks would rather set up precautions now, so you avoid the messiness of a divorce should it come later.
The reality is, nearly half of all marriages in this country end in divorce. Which is really a sad statistic. Even though I believe in a prenup, I also believe in marriage lasting forever. I look at my grandparents and great aunts and uncles, and see they’ve managed to be together 40 plus years. I know I want that one day. However, I understand the statistics and the business of marriage, so there is nothing wrong with getting some insurance. You wouldn’t buy a home or car without insurance, so I don’t think you should buy into the transaction of marriage without a little too. That’s just how I feel.
As far as your dilemma, I think you should explain why you feel so strongly about a prenup. And just don’t explain why you want one, tell him what one would ideally look like to you. It’s possible that he feels some type of way about the concept of one, because he has misconceptions about your visions of a prenuptial agreement. Also, make sure he understands how much you love him, and how a prenup is not a reflection of your love, but of the business of matrimony.
Suggestions going forward.
- Don’t pop the question until you get all this prenup talk out of the way. The last thing you want to do, is be engaged arguing about this document. From what I hear, planning a wedding, reception, and honeymoon will be stressful enough.
- If you two love each other but can’t agree on the prenup, perhaps you may consider postponing your engagement desires for a little further down the road. Some more time to think, may change his mind. Or yours.
- Also consider this, if you don’t have a ton right now, or something in the immediate pipeline of your future that will bring you a robust financial increase, is arguing over a prenup worth it? (This is not shade or anything, just a question.)
As always nothing but love,