By Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW. Photos: Getty.
“He asked me to sign a prenup, which nearly broke my heart. When I asked if he didn’t trust me, Ted explained that he had inherited a rental property from his family, a property he’s been paying property taxes on for a decade. He said the property has a lot of sentimental value; his grandparents and parents sacrificed a lot to keep it in the family. Once I understood his reasoning, I suggested signing a prenup just stating that the property was his alone and leaving all other assets out of the agreement. He agreed, and I wound up feeling our communication and ability to compromise augured well for the marriage.…I was right.” —Annie
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“Jim’s father wanted me to sign a prenup to protect his son’s interests. Jim didn’t care one way or the other. I told Jim he needed to show me he would put my happiness ahead of his father’s. It was a test of love and commitment. He stopped pushing the prenup.” —Ruth
“Five months before the wedding, he asked if I would sign a prenup. I was very hurt and said that while I understood this makes sense for a lot of people, it doesn’t work for me. I need to feel my spouse and I are on the same page and have full trust in each other. Otherwise, perhaps we are not the right partners for each other. He said he’d feel more comfortable if we signed one but didn’t want to put a wedge between us. I said that is exactly what would happen! He changed his mind because my desires came first. As soon as he did that, I felt reassured that my needs and feelings were his priority, not the security of a piece of paper. That’s when I said, ‘Okay, I’ll sign.’” —Debi
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“Since Arnie’s parents had a messy divorce, he felt it was important to get a prenup. I told him that while I empathized with his position, my point of view was that having the out clause would make it too easy to walk away from the marriage. I didn’t want an out clause. We weren’t like his parents, who’d been immature and volatile during their entire relationship. Arnie and I had been living together for six years and knew how to treat each other. The only thing marriage should change would be we’d have shiny rings. He saw my passion, realized the truth of my words, and stopped asking me to sign.” —Tara
“Rick’s family has a lot of money, and I was raised by a single mother on welfare and built myself up to the point where I was making a good middle-class income. After Rick asked me to sign a prenup, I did some research and saw that most prenups were coerced and greatly favored the wealthier spouse. That didn’t make me comfortable and I wouldn’t sign. Rick said he understood; was there any circumstance that would make me feel equal to him in this process? I thought about this for a few days and said, ‘If we each have a lawyer protecting our interests and you pay for my lawyer as well as yours.’ He thought about it for a few days as well and said, ‘Honey, this is such a sensible way to look at it. I’d prefer to sign, and I’m fine with using two lawyers, but overall I’m happy to be marrying such a smart person who knows how to protect both our interests, so I’ll leave it up to you. Should we sign or not?’ We didn’t, and 12 years and two kids in, things have worked out fine.” —Eve
This story originally appeared on Brides.
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