You Want a Prenup, but Your Significant Other Doesn’t: How to Handle the Situation While Protecting Your Relationship
You love your partner and have confidence in your future marriage, but you think it’s wise to enter a prenuptial agreement. Your partner feels hurt that you’re even considering it. Is there anything you can do to move past this stalemate?
Absolutely. Most prenup-adverse people are simply afraid. They’re scared that the agreement reflects a lack of faith in the marriage or will doom it, somehow. Here’s how you can allay those fears and persuade your partner to enter a prenup that protects both of you.
1. Raise the issue well in advance of the wedding
Try to approach the issue as early as possible–ideally, before you get engaged. Bringing it up while deep in the throes of wedding planning can make an already sensitive topic even more fraught with emotion. Discussing it earlier gives your partner time to get used to the idea and puts less pressure on them.
2. Plan for the conversation
Avoid raising the topic on the spur of the moment. Choose a time when neither of you is under particular stress and when you’ll have time to talk without interruption. Think about what you want to say in advance and what you can do to reassure your partner during the discussion.
3. Emphasize how a prenup can empower both of you
Show your partner that you want the agreement to work to their advantage as well as your own. If your future spouse has a substantially lower income than you or is more likely to give up their career to raise children, discuss how the prenup can ensure that they will be fairly taken care of in the unlikely event of a divorce. For example, you might put aside a certain amount of money in their name every month, or you might commit to sharing an agreed-upon percentage of your retirement savings. Let your partner see that the two of you can work as a team on creating the prenup, just as you’ll work together on other thorny issues that are sure to arise during your marriage.
4. Clearly explain your reasons for wanting a prenup
Don’t assume that your partner understands why you want a prenup. They may be so caught up in the negative connotations that they haven’t stopped to think about it from a practical perspective. Your future spouse may be much more sympathetic to the idea of you wanting to protect the financial interests or property of your children from a prior relationship, for example, than a blanket statement that you want a prenup.
5. Frame it as an act of love
Although you fully intend that the marriage lasts until death do you part, divorce stats say that no one can be sure of happily ever after. You can be sure, however, that you love each other and want to always treat each other with respect and care. Ironically, a prenup is an excellent way of honoring your love. In the event that life doesn’t go as planned, this document can ensure that you both remain protected by the love that you share right now.