If you are recently engaged, congratulations! Marriage is a wonderful thing for two people who love each other and are committed to building a life together. As you start thinking about wedding plans, it is also good practice to start marriage plans – thinking about what you want from your marriage and how you want it to begin.
One of the things you may be thinking about now, especially if you are looking at the price tag of many wedding expenses, is money. It is often said, money is the thing that couples fight most about. For that reason, a prenuptial agreement could be beneficial – especially if you are bringing significant assets into the marriage.
But having this conversation is not exactly romantic. You may be afraid your partner will see you as selfish, greedy or untrusting. In extreme cases, you may fear they will call off the wedding. How can you bring up this topic? Here are five tips to help you get started.
1. Approach the topic as a conversation
If you make the decision on your own to get a prenuptial agreement without talking to your partner, they may see it as a command. It is likely to breed feelings of distrust. Try starting with a discussion where you both discuss the pros and cons you see about an agreement and hear your partner out if they have concerns. They may have a perspective you have not considered.
2. Be direct about your own opinions
While you should listen to your partner’s opinion, your needs and concerns are also important. Without demanding, you can express why your financial independence is important to you or what your feelings are regarding the assets you bring to the marriage.
3. Remain calm
Money is an emotional topic. Even if you respect your partner’s opinion and begin the conversation as a mutual decision, your partner may still react poorly. However, if you remain calm, this will help your partner maintain a similar emotional state.
4. Keep asking questions
Even if the conversation becomes heated, continue actively listening to your partner and asking questions about their reservations. Do not interrupt them to get your point across; make sure they have finished their statement before offering questions or statements of your own. If you start talking before they get their whole thought process out, they will likely not listen because they will feel like you were not listening to them.
5. Have the conversation more than once
The decision to get a prenuptial agreement is not easy and it may not resolve itself in one conversation – especially if the discussion turns into a fight. By putting the discussion on hold and asking to come back to it later with clearer heads and time to process each other’s concerns, you may be more productive than if you try hash it out all at once.
Setting the tone with this transparent communication will likely be beneficial in your marriage for the long term and could keep arguments from turning into large fights that lead to a divorce. Regardless of the conversation’s outcome, following these tips will likely make your partner feel heard and respected, which is how any couple should feel.