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On relationships and marriage

Updated on January 21, 2015

There is no such thing as “perfect couples” or “perfect relationships”. Marriage is a life journey where you encounter obstacles along the way. But such obstacles are not meant to break up your relationship. Instead, they are tests that both of you should tackle together to make your marriage stronger.

Unfortunately, though, many couples rather decide to call it quits when things get rough. They seem to be impatient in going through the “arduous” process of resolving issues, and rather go for quick fixes that are convenient for them than face the challenges of life.

In this present generation, commitment to be with the significant other for life seems to have been reduced to convenience relationships. Many couples tend to treat their union as something that can be disposed of when things don’t work the way they want it to be. To put it bluntly, people have become so egocentric.

Prenuptial Agreement

One of the issues that may challenge a relationship is when one of the partners wants the significant other to sign a legal document that would secure all inheritance and other wealth from him or her.

Prenuptial agreement is more than a legal instrument. It can either make or break a romance even before marriage takes place, depending on how couples take it.

History of prenups

Prenuptial agreement is not a new culture or legal development at all. Rather, this practice dates back over thousands of years ago, especially among the ancient Egyptians and Anglo-Americans.

It was a common practice of royal families and those who possessed an abundance of assets or income to make sure that their wealth were protected. In the olden times, it was the parents of the bride and groom who arranged for prenups on behalf of the new couple. In most, if not all, cases, it was the wealthier party who holds the cards.

Prenups do still exist at present. Actually, they are not harmful to marriage, per se. They are not the direct cause of divorce. Rather, this kind of arrangement is a symptom that leads the relationship to flounder.

Just like it was in the ancient times, prenups are power struggles. The idea that “family money and assets should stay in the family and should be passed down only to the next generations, but should not be given to someone who marries into the family” lives on even up to the present.

The conflict

From the legal and financial perspective, prenuptial agreements are instruments or documents that stipulate what couples should do in case their marriage won’t work. It sets down financial issues like division of bank accounts, real estate, and potential spousal support in the event that separation or divorce becomes inevitable.

But, that is only one side of the issue.

Prenups may be useful and an acceptable financial planning tool. The thing is, it’s not only what the legal instruments say that matter here. What it actually means is completely a different issue.

Psychological factors are always involved in getting into a prenuptial agreement. And there are even considerable occasions where prenups do break engagements, especially when adversarial lawyers get in the way.

On the part of your fiancé, he will likely entertain some thoughts and doubts about you, such as:

  • that you don’t trust him
  • that you are trying to control him
  • that you are not optimistic about your marriage to last
  • that you believe he has gone from a giver or provider to a taker
  • that you believe he is setting conditions to his loving you
  • that you doubt you can both rationally discuss issues and work out conflicts

On the other hand, securing a prenuptial agreement also reflects about you as a person, which actually boils down to your own insecurities.

  • that you feel you have been burned out in your previous marriage and you don’t want to risk it again
  • you are conscious about several things that are up for grabs, and so you determine to focus on the details
  • it is alright for you to give, but you cannot accept to be taken from
  • you are always skeptical that things can work well in your favor when you leave them to chance
  • you feel that you might become defenseless and inept against emotional reactions to marital issues

If you notice, the unspoken and significant issue here revolves around trust. This is a profound issue that should be addressed long before you both decide to get married. Otherwise, you run the risk of heaping problems upon another later on. You might get too entangled in your problems to the point of losing the love that you once nurtured.

Marriage should be a sacred bond and a lifetime commitment. It should not be a union of convenience.

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