How to change your thinking (or your partner’s) about prenups

Posted by Zachary A. VanDykeJun 08, 20210 Comments

Prenuptial agreements are significantly more common than they used to be – for people in all stages of life and economic circumstances. However, some people still hold strong negative opinions about them. 

Maybe you've tried broaching the subject with the person you plan to marry, and they thought you were just trying to create an exit plan for the marriage before it had begun. Perhaps they were concerned that you wanted to keep all the money you might earn as your career takes off or that your family was pressuring you into getting one. They might have even thought it was tempting fate.

A study looked at Reddit comments on prenups

Researchers recently decided to study people's views – negative and positive – about prenups. When they had little success finding enough people willing to even talk about them, they went online where people can voice their opinions anonymously – specifically to Reddit. They reviewed over 26,000 comments in nearly 600 conversations about prenups. Their findings were published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

The researchers found that the majority of commenters saw prenups as a good thing. Most of those people explained their views by using metaphors related to insurance and safety.

Common metaphors for prenups

A number of people pointed out that you don't plan to have a car crash, a house fire or a serious disease. However, most people buy insurance to protect themselves financially in case one of those potentially devastating events happens. Similarly, a prenup doesn't mean that you're planning for divorce – just that you want some financial protection if it happens.

Another common metaphor involved car safety. As one person noted, “Getting a car with airbags does not mean you don't also make sure you have good brakes and tires. Smart people do all the above; only crazy people say if you get airbags you're jinxing it or are not committed to making things work.”

Metaphors like these provide a logical, unemotional way to look at prenups. Once someone can look at it as an insurance policy or safety feature they hope they will never need, they can change their entire outlook on them. Well-written prenups protect both partners. By learning more about what kinds of things can be covered in a prenup, you can develop one that works for you and your partner.