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Ask Mom & Spawn: I’m Happily Engaged … But my Fiancé Wants a Prenup! What Should I Do?

Anonymous wrote in because her and her fiancé are happy and ready for their wedding. But he also asked for a prenup, and she feels a bit offended and her family is critical. What should she do?

“Hi! Thanks for reading this. I am a huge fan and am dying to get your advice on this touchy situation. My fiancé is a wonderful guy! He adores me and always makes me a priority. We have been together for over 5 years and we are 24 years old. He is of course, human, and flawed – but his heart and loyalty is tremendous. He told me before we got engaged that he would need a prenup to protect his pension. He comes from a broken family and has a good job. It doesn’t sit well with me, but I love him and we are working it out to remain fair despite his protection of pension. He was also very honest about the subject before we got engaged. This is also not a good look for him, and he is losing respect in the eyes of my family – which is so important to me! What do you both think? How should I handle this situation and the heartbreak of my family not appreciating my soon-to-be husband? Is love worth making this big compromise? Thanks Mom and Spawn!’ -Anonymous  

@CrazyJewishMom: Oh, grow up! This is no big deal. You’re making this more dramatic than it is. Prenups are great!

@KateFriedmanSiegel: Listen, I imagine this probably feels like a slap in the face, but I have a few thoughts. First, you said yourself that he’s been really upfront about it and that he comes from a broken home – I think you have to give him a bit of a break. He probably saw some really ugly things when his parents split up, and that is likely a big motivator for this prenup. It seems that sometimes the fighting over money at the end of a marriage can be even worse than the fact that a relationship ended.

@CrazyJewishMom:  Trust me, I’ve seen divorces that almost turned into homicides over money.

@KateFriedmanSiegel: In a way, it might be a relief to have all the financial questions worked out in advance should the relationship not go as planned. This brings me to my next point: prenups can go both ways. You can customize it to protect you too! A few small examples might be a provision that would exclude you from being liable for any credit card debt he might accrue, or you could ask for and work out spousal support for yourself, should the relationship end. Again, these conversations are inevitably going to be awkward and shitty, especially at a moment when you’d rather be going to food tastings and sipping champagne together, but ultimately life isn’t all shopping for impractical ballgowns and floral arrangements! Frankly, over the course of a successful marriage, you’re going to have to deal with far more stressful questions than “should we get a prenup?”

@CrazyJewishMom: Let’s just cut to reality here. Your fiance wants a prenup. You can choose to be offended and take it as an insult, or you can do what my spawn said and use it as a chance to to make a backup plan that can protect both of you.

@KateFriedmanSiegel: One that you probably won’t ever use! I also really think you need to discuss this with him more and try to understand where this desire is coming from for him, and also explain how it’s making you feel. Therapy might be a safe place to have that conversation. I want to say one more thing about your family too – if you ultimately decide to embrace the prenup and marry him, or even if you guys talk everything through and decide you don’t want a prenup after all, it’s up to you to make your parents understand. Right now, you are clearly offended, and so it’s natural that they would feel that too. If you decide to go with a prenup, you have to take ownership of that choice with your family, so they don’t resent him. And I think  helping them understand his past and talking about how it also protects you will help a lot with that.

@CrazyJewishMom: Don’t blow up a perfectly happy relationship over this!!

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