How Do I Tell My Fiancé I Want a Prenup?

Kristen Curette / Stocksy

I’m 27 and I’ve been with my fiancé for just over eight years. We are finally getting married next year and are very excited. Our relationship has had its ups and downs just like every long-term relationship, but he is my best friend, and I cannot imagine my life without him. I just finished law school and am on my way to becoming a divorce attorney, which is obviously not the happiest career, especially with our wedding coming up. Being the type-A, organized person that I am, I want a prenuptial agreement for us but have no idea how to bring up this topic because who wants to think about a divorce when there has yet to be a wedding? I would hate to rock the boat when we are already stressed about wedding details. Even though I obviously never hope to have to get a divorce, there is always a possibility and I would just like to settle upon an agreement before things could get messy.

Obviously, asking for prenup is never going to be an easy conversation. But, as someone about to become a divorce attorney, I’m sure you understand that there are going to be thousands of difficult conversations in any marriage — and that the health of any relationship depends on how couples handle them. I’m sure you’ve also noticed that the most unhealthy couples end up with the most secrets. And healthy couples find a way to be open about what matters, even when it’s hardest.

I’d recommend that you approach your fiancé directly and respectfully. Yes, this might trigger some defensiveness or unease. But I want you to remember one thing: He knows you.

He’s not going to be blindsided by this request, is he? He knows you wouldn’t be getting married if you weren’t thrilled to be with him and, as you say, couldn’t imagine life without him. He gets you. He fell in love with a “type-A, organized person.” And he knows that you are a divorce attorney who is professionally wise about marriage. He fell in love with you because you’re a “type-A, organized” divroce attorney, so he’s going to understand where you’re coming from if you explain yourself clearly.

My advice? Put on your lawyer’s cap and write up a brief on why a prenuptial agreement makes sense for you and would help you to take this big step with even more confidence. Draw up your clearest talking points, in the way you might advise a future client. Anticipate what counterarguments he might offer and be prepared, like you’re walking into court.

Then, as you explain these reasonable, lawyerly points to your fiancé, remember that you’re not just a lawyer: Tell him how much you love him and how sure you are that you will never need this document. Frame the conversation within the larger argument of your love: that, together, you want to feel safe and protected, and this is just a part of that.

Admit to him that you almost shied away from this conversation: You were almost worried that, despite your grounded, type-A confidence that this is simply a smart, safe document to sign, you might hurt his feelings and you never want to do that. But, more than that, you want to start this relationship honestly, and promise him a lifetime of trust and openness, no matter how uncomfortable it gets sometimes.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for what seems like forever! We’re going on eight years and I couldn’t be happier with him; he’s my best friend. But over time, we’ve gotten way too comfortable with one another and kind of “let ourselves go” in a way. We’ve both gained a lot weight, we don’t go out and do anything fun and spontaneous anymore, and our sex life has gone from three or four times a week to once a week if I’m lucky. We would both rather get pizza, cuddle in front of the TV, and watch Netflix most nights. There’s nothing wrong with that — I actually really cherish that time with him, and I’d much rather do that than go out to a bar and drink — but I miss how we used to be: active, fun and social. How do you break this cycle and get back on track? I need my boyfriend to be on board but I feel like he’s too content on where things stand right now.

I get where you’re coming from: Bad habits can be contagious. And almost every long-term couple tends to speed wildly through the early years, only to crash on the couch at some point. It’s so easy to be with each other, why do anything harder? I get it: Netflix just has so many good shows now — not even counting the comedy specials, the documentaries, and the original films too. (Have you seen Shimmer Lake? So fun.) The view from your couch has never been better.

That said, you want to be careful about blaming the relationship. Is he stopping you from going for a morning run? Is he stopping you from eating less pizza and more vegetables? Is it his fault that you don’t plan more yoga dates with your friends? When’s the last time you planned one of those fun, outgoing activities you miss so much?

I don’t say that to blame you for anything. We all get comfortable. But I disagree with you when you say, “I need my boyfriend to be on board” on a number of these things. If we all stopped working out and being social when our partners did, we’d never get healthy — and would rarely stay happy. Self-discipline isn’t easy but when you’re talking about personal goals, you’ve got to be accountable to yourself.

Think of this as basic physics: It’s a whole lot easier to pull yourself off the couch than someone else.

If you wait for your boyfriend to get up off the sofa, you’re likely to be waiting for a long time — or struggling mightily against his inertia. He’s got to want it. It’s fantastic that you love him and want to spend time with him. But you also should be careful: Don’t let your health and happiness and social life revolve totally around his. Don’t use him — or “us” — as an excuse. Whether or not he gets on board, there’s no reason why you can’t take care of many of these problems yourself.

So work on the life you want. Set reasonable, achievable goals because hitting your goals feels good and encourages you to set more. Start running just twice a week. Grill up some vegetables once a week and tell him you’ll pass on Papa John’s that night. Then, once you’ve started committing to your own healthy routines, involve him. Invite him to join you for a run. Odds are, when he sees you getting healthy, he’ll want to join in.

The same goes with your social life. Lead by example. Buy some concert tickets ahead of time and plan the night. Plan a dinner out with friends. Research some activities that aren’t priced by the glass (or buffalo wing) and suggest something fun you can do together.

Of course, along the way, you’ve got to tell him how you feel. And don’t just tell him that you feel unhealthy and bored and upset that you don’t have sex, though those things should all be a part of the conversation. You can set reasonable goals here too — like getting a little more active, like you used to be. Remind him of how you miss the way you two used to have fun together: the way you used to be more healthy, the way you used to go out more, and, yes, the many ways in which you used to have four times as much sex. Tell him that you’d like to get back to that lifestyle and I bet he’ll agree that’s a worthy goal.

My three-year relationship with a man ended recently. While dating him, I was friends with this girl and I’ve always been romantically attracted to her during our friendship. After my breakup, she and I got drunk one night and had sex. I did like it and have continued sleeping with her. She is falling for me and I think I am falling for her too. I have been wanting to sleep with other men though. I really like her. I don’t want to ruin what we have. Do you think if I ignore my heterosexual urges, they will go away and I can just fully be into her?

Your sexuality is your sexuality, so nobody else can tell you how to feel or what to do or where your desire will lead you. All I can do is answer in generalities, which might not be much help. I can say that, generally, desire doesn’t just disappear — heterosexual, homosexual, or otherwise. Even the happiest and most committed couples have all kinds of complicated feelings that range from random, stray thoughts to essential, yearning needs. It’s hard to predict what or who someone’s going to lust after — or how badly they feel they need a particular connection.

Will your heterosexual desires fade if you commit to this woman? I don’t know. But lust isn’t destiny. You don’t have to abandon hopes of a relationship with this wonderful woman just because you fear you’ll “ruin” your relationship by desiring sex with a man. There might be a way to care for her and respect that desire, or even accommodate it.

Some bisexual people choose monogamous relationships, just like any gay or straight person: They commit to be with one person exclusively, regardless of who or whatever else turns them on. They don’t stop desiring or fantasizing or even role-playing, but they do make one person their primary partner. (And yes, others cheat and screw around too.)

Other bisexual folks choose to open up the relationship in any number of ways to accommodate those extra-monogamous desires. From polyamory to open relationships, there are a whole lot of ways to build a romantic life that works for you.

My practical advice is: Don’t lie. And whatever you do, don’t cheat. It’s OK to keep your feelings private for a while, until you learn how to talk about it with your partner. But if you are falling for her, eventually you’re going to need to be honest with her about who you are as you try to build an honest, real relationship. If you do have this strong connection, I bet she gets you . Talk to her, even when it’s hard. Do your best to frame discussion of your other desires as unthreatening: This isn’t about her not being enough; this about you falling for her while trying to figure out what you need.

Big picture, it sounds like you’ve found an amazing woman. Embrace her. Don’t pull away. Don’t give up on a relationship because you’re afraid of where it might go. Try trust.

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