Thursday, February 3, 2011

"The Marriage Talk"

When the discussion of marriage first started between Andrew and myself there was plenty of talk on my part about the romance of getting engaged and married. I find it adorable that he wants everything to be surprise, from the ring to the proposal itself and found myself dreaming of all the possible ways he will ask me.

But soon the romance turned to a more serious discussion, the discussion of a pre-nup. To me, a pre-nup is something rich people have or people who are entering into a second marriage and have the interest of their children to protect. But for Andrew, its "an insurance policy for the relationship, a way for me to protect my stuff because you know what if you want to take my boat or my van when you get all bitter and want to divorce me." When I argued that it takes away the romance of marriage I don't think he quite understood where I was coming from, I felt my heart slowly falling apart and I wasn't sure what to do.

This discussion went on for months, I did my fair share of internet research and finally decided it would be a good idea for both of us to meet with his family lawyer and figure out if we really needed a pre-nup. So one dreary December day, we headed to his office. I had been writing down questions for months, not a lot of conversation went on during our 35 minute drive and when we arrived I got nervous. What if Andrew is doing this because he doesn't think or marriage can last? What if he thinks I'm a gold digger?

Although the family lawyer doesn't write pre-nups, he gave us some worthwhile advice from all of his experience dealing in family matters and the man did have some good advice for both of us. After voicing our concerns about marriage, divorce, inheritance and children this was the advice he had to offer.

He told Andrew that any inheritance he would gain would be his alone as long as it was not placed into a joint account and that the same went for anything I would inherit. He told us it would not deal with custody of children should we have any or anything that is considered "marital property." As we both weighed his opinion in our minds I could see that this was not something we needed. We would both have to get our own lawyer (big $$) just to have a pre-nup written, both parties would have to agree on every sentence and word and there would be no turning back once it was signed. I totally understood where Andrew was coming from when he mentioned how bitter and vindictive people can become during a divorce but I was also hoping he would understand that I don't believe in divorce (in most cases).

I was so relieved when we left the office and Andrew had decided that the whole thing was a bad idea. He's a really cheap person, and paying for two lawyers didn't sound like such a good idea to him. I had a feeling that we would end up not having a pre-nup at all but I had to at least let him talk it out with an unbiased party. Now I can spend my time worrying about planning a wedding instead of planning out a pre-nup.

So have you had this same discussion? Write it up and link up over at Mama Kat's for her weekly writers workshop!!!

Mama's Losin' It


Unknown said...

It was good of you to go along with your boyfriend to support him instead of putting your foot down and saying "no."

And I'm glad it's worked out. Planning a wedding and planning for marriage is so much more fun! :)

(Stopping by from Mama Kat's)

Jennifer said...

I have to wonder about prenups for people who aren't over-the-top wealthy. If a couple enters marriage not believing in divorce, why would they need one? It's a sticky issue for sure! I'm glad you and your boyfriend left the matter in agreement. Have fun planning your wedding!

Stopping by from Mama Kat's!

Stephanie said...

that would be tough. I absolutely do not believe in divorce (unless it's abuse or sometimes in cases of infidelity), and that's probably because my parents have been (happily) married almost 30 years. i don't know what i would've done if eric wanted a pre nup! ugh! glad you both worked it out. :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting story. Definitely shows the value of doing ones research - but also of talking to a human and getting an opinion from another viewpoint. Lots of emotions riding high, and that outside view can help put it in perspective. Glad you both were able to reach agreement calmly!

Nicole @MTDLBlog said...

Pre-nups are tricky. In my husband and I's case - we both had nothing to begin with, our families had/have nothing....hahaha. So, regardless - we entered at the same level and a pre-nup wasn't on our radar. But it sounds like you all did the right thing investigating it further, making an informed decision. ;-)

Unknown said...

I agree, it was good of you to go with him. Will and I also had nothing to begin with. Our pre-nup would have been something like:

Party A (Will) keeps ownership of that ugly glass-top table, the giant 20-year-old TV, and his X-box, or any gamesystem he has traded it up for.

Party B (Caitlyn) gets the laptop manufactured in 2003 and the DVD's made about stories written by Jane Austen.

Will Farrell DVD's to be spit equitably between the parties.

Except that you said it doesn't deal in property... so we wouldn't have had anything at all to worry about.

Amanda said...

Caitlyn, I suppose I could understand where Andrew was coming from seeing that he is 28 and has a house and 3 cars he owns free and clear. I'm the one with a closet of clothes, laptop and some movies.

I'm just so glad he decided against the idea!

Megan said...

Wow - I think you did a great job being supportive and open even though it was something that you found hurtful. I'm so glad it worked out!

The Constant Complainer said...

This is a very delicate area. But I think you handled the situation fine. These discussions are never easy.

I have a friend who is extremely wealthy. And I remember wondering why he didn't at least seek to understand a pre-nup before getting married - you know, just to determine how to protect himself. But like someone else said, my normal opinion is - why are you talking about it - do you not think the marriage will work? So it becomes a tool for the rich to protect themselves.

But this post made me realize that maybe more people worry about this stuff than I originally thought. And not because they think it won't work, but maybe they're just seeking to understand in a society where more than 50% of the marriages end in divorce right, wrong or indifferent.

But like I said, I think you knew where he'd land and it was good that you were supportive of his initial inquiry.