As men and women, we can struggle with relationships. Emily V. Gordon wrote an excellent post on Did You Know, Deep Down, That You’d Get Divorced One Day? She lays out some good questions to ask about marriage. I would add for any relationship, even a business relationship. Here are my takeaways.
Take time by yourself
In life, particularly when we are planning to move in with someone or marry someone, we can get caught up in the drama of the process and lose ourselves. The more you can have a time and place to renew, the more present and pleasant you will be. Even if everything is fun and exciting you still need your ways to renew.
Layout your emotions
Map out your emotions. Write them down, the past ones, the present ones and the ones about your future. Better yet, speak them to you partner. Have them do the same with you. It’s not revealing every secret. It is about speaking your hidden truth. It’s going to come out anyway, so you might as well speak it now.
Who are you doing for? Own the expectations of others. They are there. Both of you may discover it’s more culture, family or peer expectations making your decision for you more than personaldesire. Again, get honest.
What is the present showing you?
An old college professor taught me that the best predictor of the future is the past. I would also add the present. The quality of your relationship in the past and now is likely to be there in the future. Don’t expect miracles such as marriage to transform the other person, the relationship or yourself.
Gordon proposes this question:
Of the divorcees I know, the number one question that we all wish someone had asked us as we went headlong into marriage was, “If you could walk away with absolutely no consequences, would you do it?” Think about it honestly.
An honest appraisal – get it in writing
There will always be doubt and fear of the unknown. Gordon claims her and all her divorced friends had a feeling that it wouldn’t work out. I suggest we all have those feelings even when it does work out. So how do you know when it is your fear or your intuition speaking?
You go to a psychic? You could. I recommend you follow the above suggestions around being honest with yourself and your partner. Either the honesty will increase or decrease your concerns. If it increases your concerns you got your answer.
In business before you enter into a long term relationship you write up a contract. The negotiation of the contract tells you a lot about the other person. If the negotiation is difficult you don’t close the deal because you know the ongoing relationship will be difficult. I see coming up with a prenuptial agreement as doing the same thing. It is less about what the agreement says and more about what the process tells you.
You don’t need a prenup. I would suggest you go through the above process and come to ‘an agreement’ as to what your relationship/marriage will be. It is not about creating a rigid document. It is about learning about yourself and the other person to determine what kind of relationship you will create. When it has to be in writing it forces everyone to be clear and decisive. Take the risk – put it in writing.
Once a year you can review your agreement to amend it to reflect what has changed and what you want to change.
Is this something you can do?