The Association Between Divorce and Risks for Acute

Divorce Prophylactics

Are wedding bells about to ring in your future? Don't let bats get into your belfry. Now is the time to take out an insurance policy. You need to protect yourself against the risk of divorce. Yes, I really am urging you to consider asking your lover to sign a pre-nuptial agreement with you.

Oh, sure, I can hear your moans even now as I write this. "Prenups? They're the anti-Viagra for true love!" "How can I ask my soulmate to sign an agreement that says I really don't trust her? Or worse yet, doesn't that say that I really don't trust myself?" "If I did ask him, he'd probably call off the marriage." And the lamest wail of all is: "I can't afford to hire an attorney for that! We're spending a fortune already on the wedding itself."

Now that one-third of all married women earn more than the man of the house, it behooves all parties to marital vows to reconsider their positions on pre-nuptial agreements. This simple step might actually serve to protect a marriage from premature breakdown. Rather than being a romantic's Viagra, a prenup can actually serve as an anti-divorce prophylactic.
How can I say that? Because taking such a step did just that for me. Before my second marriage was celebrated, I asked my fiance?� to enter into such an agreement with me. She did. Ten years later, I finally informed my wife that I had thrown the document away many years previously. The risk of divorce proved to be just a product of my fantasy fearfulness: "once burned, twice cautious." The rancor that attended the conclusion of my first marriage was so painful that I felt I had to take stock of the odds against my second marriage's success.
Be real, all of you youthful romantics. Most students of marriage in America note that while the odds of marital failure have been falling of late, it still seems that you've got at best just a fifty-fifty chance of having your first marriage last for your lifetime. And worse yet, two out of three-second marriages fail. When you put your life savings and future income on the line by taking a marital vow, it only makes sense to first take a cold-blooded look at the risk-reward ratio of that step. And then to take appropriate preventative measures to protect both you and your spouse against the chaotic emotions that almost always attend a marital split.
How can you "sell" the idea of a pre-nuptial agreement once you've decided you need one? I found it easy. My fiance?� and I had faced a classic standoff. We'd lived together for years. I held back from the wedding she finally demanded out of simple fearfulness. I proposed a prenup before I proposed marriage. To me, the two measures had to go hand in hand. Fortunately for me, she agreed. It's now been nearly thirty happy years since we finally struck that bargain.
Talking about the terms you and your loved one might agree to in such a contract can be a very enlightening experience. You'll find yourself considering marriage, and life-long commitments, in a very different light. Rather than requiring an emotional conflict, those kinds of negotiations can be very revealing and informative for both parties.
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 You will have to face all of the rational reasons for which people get married. It's certainly not just a romantic bond that you'll form. It's a legal one, that will entitle you to discounts on health insurance and taxes. It will provide both spouses with more certainty about mutual protections against loneliness, isolation, and disease. None of those reasons for marriage are irrational, or anti-romantic. They're just realistic.

And so is a pre-nuptial agreement. It's just an insurance policy you can acquire at no cost if you work out the terms on your own.
Yours truly: Mike Riley (call me "the Anti-Cupid")

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