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Is There A Right Way To Ask For A Prenup?

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Love, Self

The Today Show seems to think so. We're not so sure we agree.

Dr. Gail Saltz, relationship columnist for the Today Show, recently received a letter from a woman who is on the path to marriage and wants her husband-to-be to sign a prenuptial agreement.

"I look at prenups with the perspective that, if you expect the marriage to last forever, it should not matter that you signed a prenup because it  will never come into effect," the woman writes. "People on the other side say you wouldn't need to sign one if you expect the marriage to last forever. How do you recommend broaching this issue so that my boyfriend doesn't assume I think the marriage won't last or that I don't trust him?" 50% Of Women Regret Marrying Their Husbands

After providing a disclaimer about how she holds no position one way or the other on prenuptial agreements ("That is an individual choice and legal matter"), Saltz gives the advice seeker guidance on how to talk about the topic and why it is necessary. Marrying A Much Older Man Made Me A Better Person

A lot of what she says is excellent—reassuring, clear and logical. But we can't help but wonder: Are reassurance and logic enough to persuade someone who normally wouldn't even consider the idea to sign a prenup? We're not entirely sure. Below are some of Saltz's key points on talking about prenups and our thoughts on them.

1. "If the relationship is too fragile to tolerate discussions of difficult subjects, then I suggest you think twice about the relationship. The inability to communicate openly is the problem, not whether a prenup signals you are already planning a divorce." While we argree with Saltz that communication is key in any relationship, and that being able to talk about difficult topics is crucial, we don't fully agree with her beyond that. Is it really accurate to blame a person's hurt feelings during a prenuptial agreement conversation on an inability to communicate? Doesn't it also have to do with the fact that the topic itself just sucks?

2. "These days, the divorce rate is so high that people are very aware of the possibility that a marriage won't last forever. Even though they enter marriage with optimism, statistics show they could be wrong." Yes, Dr. Saltz, a lot of people do get divorced these days. But knowing the statistics about divorce and planning for one before your wedding day are two very different things.Losing My Husband, Then Learning Of His Infidelity

3. "People are marrying later and therefore accumulating more wealth before marriage. Sometimes there are children from a previous marriage. Maybe there is a great economic inbalance with one spouse giving up a lucrative career to rear children." All of these actually strike as worthwhile reasons to consider drawing up a prenuptial agreement. Adoption Or IVF: Do We Have To Decide?

4. "When you go for a drive, don't you always buckle your seatbelt? You don't plan to get into a collision, but you take precautions just in case. The idea is to have a protective measure in place because of circumstances beyond your control." In theory, this sounds great. And analogies always help when it comes to dealing with difficult issues. But there are some big difference between a car and a marriage—not the least of which is the fact that a car is built in a factory and a marriage is built by the two people in it.

 

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