Pre-nups are something that seems to be very common now due to the high divorce rate. There are plenty of experts out there that will tell you that you not only need a pre-nup, but should not agree to a wedding without one. While I do agree that a divorce is less complicated if everyone knows exactly what it would look like before they walk down the aisle, I did not feel like having one was in the best cards for me, my family, and lastly my husband.
In order for me to completely get you to understand why I didn’t want a pre-nup and why it was not for me, I should give you a little backstory on why a pre-nup was brought up in at all. You see, me and my husband were together since junior year in high school. We had a child together already, and we have had a very rocky relationship that I have wanted to walk out on more than once. My husband has never tried to leave, it has always been me that has wanted to. So when he told me that his parents were requesting me to sign a prenup he did not expect me to be as shocked or as angry as I was. But, I really was. I mean I blew up in his face. Well, now I can see this probably was not the right reaction, I still do not regret that I had it.
You see, I wanted to go into this marriage, leaving myself no way out. I do not want a back door. I do not want an escape route. I do not want to be a statistic. Divorce was never an option. I do not want a divorce to ever be on the table, and to me that is exactly what a pre-nup symbolizes, two open doors just waiting for one of the parties to walk out alone. This would not only affect us, but our son as well.
So many people have told me that my thinking is stupid, childlike, or unrealistic. I get where they are coming from. I am ok with being stupid, childlike, and unrealistic, if that is what saves my marriage. I cannot tell you how many fights we have had in the two and a half years since we said I do. I am not talking little fights either. I am talking, sleeping in my car because I cannot be in the same house as him right now. But, without divorce being on the table I have known I was going to have to put my big girl panties on and get back in that house and figure out our problems together.
Not having that back door, that option of being done, cutting my losses, and moving on without him has lead me to look for the positives in my husband. Every bad day I am forced to make a list of everything he has done right instead of the ever growing list of things he does wrong. It has forced me to look at things from his perspective and see what it is like living with someone like me. It has forced me to grow up, learn to self reflect, and learn to not run away from tough times. There have been so many tough times, from my husband getting injured at work and me being his full-time caretaker, to his substance abuse problems, to infertility and miscarriages. There have been weeks and months that I have felt like life would be easier without him. But marriage is not to make life easy. It never makes life easy, even though people go into marriage believing that things will be amazing and then wondering what the hell happened when things go wrong.
But none of that is marriage. Marriage is about counting on each other to stick around even when one of you is not pulling your weight. Marriage is about giving before it is about receiving. It is about making it through the tough times together, not giving up at the low points.
Honestly, even if we ever were to get divorced, I would not want a thing from our marriage. He could have it all. Because if we ever did get divorced, it would be me who failed. It would be me who gave in and signed papers when I swear I never will.
So if you are reading this and have not yet got married, ask yourself and your spouse, how committed will you be making this marriage work? When is the breaking point? What will make you leave? Will you leave if he has an affair? Will you leave if you are miserable? If you haven’t talked in weeks? If someone better comes along? If he becomes a drug addict or alcoholic or likes to gamble too much? What is the breaking point and do you think you will ever be able to just work through it?
Because there will be a point that you want to run. To a point where it no longer seems worth it and what are you going to do then? For me it has always been a fight. It has been worth it to me to always find a way to fix things, to get help, and to make it work to give our son a home that is happy, stable, and parents that are together and do not share time with him. Our son it what gives us the will to fight through the tough times together to fix things and make it right. Our marriage has become stronger for it. We have found a way to be happy together because of it.
Marriages are not something you should ever go into without knowing you will never walk away. So while I am not saying a pre-nup is something no one should ever do, I am saying it was never an option for me, because a divorce will never be an option for me.
*Disclaimer: In no way am I talking about staying with someone through an abusive relationship. If you are in an abusive relationship, get out asap. For help and more resources on escaping an abusive relationship email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.