Discussing a prenup with your partner can get tricky. Not only do prenups require careful thought and consideration, but they also can be a sensitive topic of discussion. For many engaged couples, bringing up the conversation of a prenuptial agreement can cause stress and anxiety.
One study from Harvard University found that 62% of people believed requesting a prenup sends negative signals about the future of marriage. These types of negative beliefs surrounding prenups are common. However, this does not hold any truth whatsoever.
If you believe a prenup is a smart decision for you and your partner, it absolutely should be discussed! Many people shy away from the conversation, for good reason. So, why are prenups so difficult to talk about with your partner?
Why It’s Difficult to Discuss
Depending on your unique situation, bringing up a prenup could be problematic for a variety of reasons. No matter what your reason, remember that it is okay to be nervous about the discussion. In this article, we’ll explore some helpful tips and reminders to consider helping you discuss a prenup agreement with your partner.
- Worried about bringing up a prenup because you know your partner will disagree?
- Has your partner spoken negatively about prenups in the past? Perhaps surrounding celebrities, family members, or friends that have had prenups?
- Already sure your partner has misconceptions around a prenup?
- Worried your partner will not want to spend money on a prenup?
- Worried the conversation will cause an argument?
- Worried about a potential end of a relationship based on the conversation?
- Concerned the prenup will cause distance or a divide between you and your partner?
- Don’t want to kill the spark of romance in the relationship?
- Worried your partner will think you’re not serious about the relationship?
- Don’t want to come off as greedy?
- Worried they will blow it off and not take it seriously?
No matter where your concern lies, it is important to understand your feelings are valid. Perhaps one of these reasons is your primary concern, or you have a touch of every concern. These feelings are normal. But don’t panic! There are many ways to approach the conversation carefully and gently about a prenup, that work to fight against these concerns.
Why you Shouldn’t Ignore the Conversation
It’s a natural human instinct to want to run from problems or potential conflicts. If you’re thinking about discussing a prenup, don’t run from it. While it may be easy to say, “forget it” and just let it go, you must honor your feelings. If you don’t speak your mind now, you may feel regretful in the future. Entering a marriage is a big deal. Therefore, you must enter it being fully honest. Not mentioning the idea of a prenup to your partner (if you’re interested in one) sets the tone for secrets and poor communication.
Though the conversation seems daunting, bringing up a prenup doesn’t need to be a stressful event. Many couples with differing beliefs can come to a mutual agreement that works best for their relationship.
Want to take the next step and bring up a prenup with your future spouse? Keep reading to learn some top ways to gently approach your partner about a prenup.
Find the Right Time
In the case of prenup discussions, timing is everything. Has someone ever caught you at an awful time with a question you weren’t in the right mindset to address? Think about your feelings at that moment. Chances are you weren’t calm, collected, or interested whatsoever.
The same applies to discussing a prenup with your partner. You must catch them at the right time. This means talking to them in a quiet setting, not a place that is busy with hustle and bustle. Your partner may not want other people involved in a personal discussion of a prenup. Therefore, avoid discussing a prenup in a crowded place, party, or group setting.
In addition, it is best to find a time and day where your partner is relaxed. If they have a hustle and bustle workday, it may not be the best time to get into a deep conversation about a prenuptial agreement. Try a day where your partner is not working, a weekend, or a relaxed evening setting.
Careful consideration of the best time to approach your partner will lead you to better success. A prenup conversation may take a while and it should not be rushed. If you have an appointment or other commitment, don’t bring up the prenup. Wait until your schedule is cleared, so you and your partner have adequate time to discuss your viewpoints.
Be Honest and Genuine
As you bring up a prenup, your partner must understand where you’re coming from. Your tone of voice will matter, so your partner sees the idea of a prenup as a beneficial thing for both of you. You do not want your partner to feel attacked or confused.
To start the conversation, you can begin by making your intentions clear. The exact words to use are up to you, but you may want to remind your partner that you want the best for both of you and that your idea of a prenup does not reflect the state of your upcoming marriage.
Explain your reasoning for wanting a prenup to help your partner make sense of the idea. If it’s financial, personal, or anything in between, remaining honest with your partner is always the best solution.
Manage your Expectations
Before you bring up a prenup to your partner, it may be helpful to manage your expectations. If you’re unsure how your partner will take the idea, don’t expect them to make an immediate decision. Remember that you’ve had time to ponder and sleep on the idea of a prenup, but your partner has not. Therefore, be prepared to give them to mull over the idea of a prenup.
Your partner’s timeline may not always align with yours. If you demand a decision quickly, your partner may get agitated. No one likes being pressured or rushed into making a big decision. Be patient with your partner, giving them time to process the idea on their schedule. While it may cause you uneasiness for a while, your chances are better if you give your partner time to think.
Managing your expectations also means keeping your own emotions in check. It’s going to be a heavy topic to discuss, and it may even be quite awkward. Prepare yourself mentally in advance for this best you can.
Approaching the prenup conversation should not be done randomly. What this means is you should prepare in advance. While you don’t need a scripted presentation or flashcards, jotting down your ideas beforehand is never a bad idea. This can help you get in touch with your personal reasons for wanting a prenup. In addition, it can also help you gather your thoughts for a clearer discussion with your partner.
It never hurts to do some research on prenups either. This will help you be prepared for questions your partner may have throughout the conversation. There are endless resources within Hello Prenup that cover the most frequently asked prenup questions. These resources are designed to help you stay informed on the realistic aspects of a prenuptial agreement.
Include your Partner
A prenup should not be created by a single partner in a relationship. The idea of a prenup is both parties’ concern and needs to be addressed. Both partners should be equally active participants in the drafting process. This will help your partner feel assured that their needs will be included in the prenup too.
A prenup should not be focused on the partner with more wealth or a higher income. Remind your partner that in some instances, a prenup may even be more valuable to the person who makes less money. This is because it helps provide assurance and security around finances in the event of a divorce.
Consider the Wedding Date
On the same idea of timing, be mindful of when you bring up the prenup concerning your expected wedding date. If you bring up a prenup three days before your wedding date, your partner is likely to feel rushed. This could end badly. In the case of discussing prenups, sooner is always better.
We recommend approaching the topic with your partner at least three to six months in advance of your wedding. Not only will this give you and your partner adequate time to think it over, but it will help ensure every detail you want is included in the agreement.
Already married and wish you had gotten a prenup? Postnups, while not as great as prenups, are still an option. However, discussing a prenup before marriage is always an ideal situation. Of course, some couples may have already discussed the idea of a prenup before they were engaged.
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].