If you’re interested in a prenup — and by all means, you should be — it can be awkward to bring the conversation up with your partner. Even more uncomfortable, however, is discussing a prenup with a partner who is against signing one.
When considering a prenup, it’s not about approaching your marriage negatively or anticipating divorce. Unfortunately, that’s what many people think about when they hear the term ‘prenup.’ In fact, that’s what your partner may be thinking if their arms are suddenly covered with goosebumps when you bring it up. In some cases, your partner is simply uneasy, but ultimately comes around. But in other cases, the backlash from your partner can be all too real, unexpected, and disconcerting.
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Some of the things your fiancé(é) may be thinking:
“Why would you want a prenup? Do you think I’m a gold digger?”
“Aren’t we supposed to be married forever? That makes a prenup unnecessary.”
“Why enter into our marriage on a negative note?”
“Have you been hiding something from me all this time?” (Like a significant inheritance or other valuable assets)
“I’m simply against a prenup. As a hopeless romantic, this sours the whole deal and makes me think that you’re not dedicated to our marriage.”
The questions and statements point to your partner feeling inadequate, as if their love, opinion, or assets aren’t enough. But luckily you have the ability to teach your partner that signing a prenup doesn’t have to be a negative thing.
You may be required to
Sometimes you have to adhere to guidelines set up by a trust or inheritance. If that’s the case, it should be a little easier to ease your partner’s fears, because it’s reassurance that they’re not the “issue,” it’s simply a guideline as per a relative who has set rules for you as a beneficiary.
It’s helpful just in case
Divorce is common. Like, super common. Therefore, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, even if you yourself are a hopeless romantic at heart. Naturally, it’s not unrealistic to think that there’s a chance. Maybe not now, maybe not in 5 or 10 years, maybe never! But it’s good to cover your bases anyways. Not to mention, you can give your partner the facts; divorce rates are going down thanks to millennials, so wanting a prenup doesn’t mean you’re heading straight for divorce.
Only protecting past assets
Perhaps you’ve already received a sizable inheritance or saved up a ton of money. You can totally create a prenup that solely protects those assets, while then allowing your marital assets to truly exist as shared property. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to prenups, and you can choose what’s most important to protect.
It can benefit them as well
In the case that you are, in fact, independently wealthy and your partner is worried that your desire for a prenup is solely based on a fear that they’re a gold digger, there are ways that you can avoid the backlash and reassure them. Oftentimes when a wealthy person marries an “average Joe,” the average Joe can feel inadequate. As a result, when a prenup is mentioned, it can feel like a personal attack. After all, no one wants to be perceived as having ulterior motives. So if you’re wealthy and want to ensure that your partner has good intentions but is protected should you decide to divorce down the line, you can tailor a prenup accordingly.
And if you’re not independently wealthy and you have assets of any size, sometimes it’s just smarter to delineate “what’s yours is yours” versus “what’s mine is yours” versus “what’s shared is ours.”
Be rational but gentle
Don’t make yourself vulnerable by avoiding a prenup for the sake of pleasing your partner. Being able to compromise is a great predictor for a healthy marriage, so finding common ground and creating a prenup that you’re both comfortable with is super important. And above all else, make sure that your conversations about a prenup are grounded in love, patience, and knowledge. By handling a prenup with kindness and maturity, it’ll be easier for your partner to see where you’re coming from.
Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected].