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To Sign or Not To Sign

Dear Sugar
I am getting married to my college sweetheart next month, and I am counting down the minutes until the big day. He played football in college, we met when he made it on his college team, and we have been together for eight years now.

I supported him through the minor leagues: We have moved several times to his team's cities, and I travel all of the time and have made some major sacrifices for him. He was recently signed to the NFL and asked me to sign a prenuptial agreement a few weeks before the wedding.

I come from a very wealthy family and never thought about asking him to sign one, and now I am left hurt and offended just days before my wedding. It's not like I come from nothing and I feel like I have been with him long enough that he knows I'm not out for his money. What do I do? Disappointed Deedee

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Disappointed Deedee
Hmm, this is a very tricky subject and every couple is different. Let me first say congratulations on your upcoming wedding, how exciting! Pre-nups can be a very loaded subject and I understand how you could be offended by having one sprung on you so close to your wedding day.

Have you and your fiancé ever talked about money and the direction of his career before this incident? Starting a life together while talking about "what if this doesn't work out" is bound to leave you with a sour taste in your mouth, but if you have something to lose, a prenuptial agreement is something to consider.

Since you never thought of asking him to sign one, I can understand your hurt by his request, but try to take a step back and see things from his perspective. This newfound income is a new way of life for him. I can only imaging that his advisers and agent are probably pushing him drafts of a pre-nup, but the choice is ultimately up to you if you want to sign it.

Regardless of his love for you, money can wreak havoc on a relationship. While you have clearly demonstrated you are not in this relationship for the money and have clearly supported him through the good times and the bad, try to remember how much you love each other.

As hard as it might be, try not to take it too personally as it is really just a piece of paper that means nothing in comparison with the love you feel for each other. Listen to your gut, if you feel strongly against signing it, stick to your guns. Good luck.

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lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
it's just a piece of paper. get your own attorney so that someone is looking out for your interests. it's not uncommon to have one these days, especially when at least one of the parties has assets they want to protect. if it's upsetting enough to you that you question what you are getting yourself into, well better now than later.
DCStar DCStar 9 years
Many pre-nups don't even hold up in court. That being said, learning about and signing a pre-marital agreement is a wise thing. To me, if you don't even want to think about it or the possibility, you are afraid and scared. To face any eventuality and address it boldly is a sign of maturity. Also, it is wise to speak openly about finances right from the beginning of a marriage, because it will lay foundations and groundwork for you to move forward as a couple in an intelligent manner. My family doesn't believe in divorce, but I do believe in prenups.
cgmaetc cgmaetc 9 years
I can understand your hurt, however it's a much for your protection as it is for his. You say you come from a wealthy family: wouldn't you be peeved if after all your love and support, he cheated, you divorced, then he gets half of your family's assets? I make a good living, and I know I'm going to need a prenup for my future hubby. I don't see a prenup as a 'just in case we don't want to stay married' type of deal. I believe marriage is forever, and I plan to be married for life. However, if the marriage dissolves because of serious issues, like he becomes physically abusive or turns out to be a murderer (deal-breakers in my book), then the prenup protects me from him collecting money too. Would you want a guy who beat you up to get half your stuff? You can request that the prenup be structured to insure any future children's well-being and wells as yours. I suggest to get your own lawyer and you put in it what you want out of it. And be careful with putting a we have to be "married for this long clause" in the document. Look at Tom & Nicole: he filed for divorce 9 years and 11 months into the marriage... just shy of their 10 year prenup deadline! -the ceeg
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 9 years
Well, I would sin one if the man I was marrying had lots of money before I met him -- I wouldn't sign one under the facts here. Regardless, I would let him know you are hurt and why you feel blindsided and if you do sign it do not do it without some legal help.You should get some money per year etc and there must be a provision that after ___ years, you will be entitled to half.
yaliyah yaliyah 9 years
I agree with Popgoestheworld. Statistically, over 50% of marriages end in divorce. The odds are not in your favor. Add the stats to the fact that your man is an NFL athlete. constant travel and the regular presence of groupies, gold diggers and other assorted hangers on can only add to the challenge of keeping a marriage strong and healthy. Ideally, you will stay with your fiance forever but you never know. It doesn't hurt to protect yourself no matter what happens in the future. p.s. have you seen those news stories about Michael Strahan's wife? she got over half of his net worth in her divorce settlement...
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I definitely agree with some of the others that you should have your own legal counsel in setting this up. And I am very pro pre-nup so I also agree that you should eventually sign an agreement that you both think is fair and will protect both of you. The reality is that a huge number of marriages end in divorce. The reality is we all start out with the best of intentions and sometimes are dealt things we never dreamed of being dealt. This document will spare you some grief if for some reason something does go wrong in your marriage. I wouldn't take it as an insult at all.
boxem180 boxem180 9 years
neither my boyfriend or i have any money but i have every intention of getting a prenup before we get hitched. it may look like we're going into marriage, expecting it to fail but it's not it at all. it's just a safety measure for the worst possible scenario that i hope you (or i!) have to go through. i say sign and consider it a responsible decision.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Like Dear said, it is very likely that his team, his agent and his legal representatives are pressuring him to ask for a pre-nup. He may be under the impression that ALL pro athletes have them and he might not really think anything of it. And you left out really important details. What does the pre-nup declare? Does it leave you with nothing in the event of divorce? Or does it lay out a framework for you to continue to benefit from his success while still protecting his interests? Those are two different animals. But, at the end of the day, you just have to do what you feel is right. Have you talked to him about it?
bluejeanie bluejeanie 9 years
i would be pretty hurt too if i had supported him (do you mean financially?), moved around the country and made sacrificies for him and he slams me with a pre-nup a few days before the wedding. the logical part of my brain says that this is a good idea to protect both your assets in case the worst of the worst happens but the emotional part of my brain is sad that he's thinking about a gloomy future when you are about to be married! i'd talk to him first, suggest going to a couples counsoler just so the two of you could sort out any bad feelings and then contact lawyers if you two decide that the pre-nup is the way to go. brides should be happy, not sad. i hope everything works out for the best! congrats on getting married!!
L7amiguita L7amiguita 9 years
I think it is really sad that pre-nups even exist. It's like people are preparing for there marriage to end in divorce! Marriage is supposed to be forever. I personally wouldn't sign it. IF you guys ever divorce, well then that happens. But I don't think that it is right for him to PLAN how the divorce will end in advance. Besides, whatever money either one of you make while you guys are married, should belong to both of you...half and half. You seem to have supported him through the ups and downs (while he wasn't the rich one!) and I would really be concerned as to WHY he would even consider asking you to sign a pre-nup. Sorry, but this would totally raise a red flag for me. I hope you too are able to talk this through... :)
martini-queenie martini-queenie 9 years
I say absolutely sign it. While it sounds like everything in your life is on the ups and overall pretty fantastic right now, you want to prepare yourself for whatever situations may arise. However, PLEASE get your own legal council to look it over. You want to make sure that this pre nup is just as much protection for you and your family's (and your own?) assets as his. Additionally, you may want to have you parents look into methods of distributing your inheritance where they are safeguarded against divorce as well. Of course, you hope to never need these things, but you pay for insurance, right?
cubadog cubadog 9 years
You need to not look at this as sign that he doesn't trust you or have faith in your relationship. realize that it is there to protect you as well. I am a firm believer in protecting yourself even if it means you only have $1 in your savings account. Definitely have your or your families private attorney look it over before you sign it. I don't think it is a big deal.
bfly1133 bfly1133 9 years
Wow, I can definitely see why you are feeling this way. It would be a lot to swallow if it came out of nowhere. I agree with Dear that this probably came from his advisors and I can also see where they are coming from. Pre-nups are becoming more and more common. Even people with no real assets are signing them as a "just in case" mechanism. Since you come from a wealthy family, this also protects you and them if you two do split in the future. I am inclined to think that the document isn't what is getting to you. I think this makes you question his level of trust in you. Have a conversation with him about it and explore all of your feelings. Personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with signing one. But Dear is right, you have to do what you are comfortable with.
hrhdiana hrhdiana 9 years
It seems like you will both build loads of assets as a couple in addition to the ones you're individually bringing into the marriage. I think its a good idea to legally ensure the approrpriate division and protection of assets, even if you never ever need it. Make sure your attorney reads it over, if you choose to proceed, so that the prenup is satisfactory to the both of you.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 9 years
Wow this is a tough subject. 8 years together and it sounds like through most of them it was you who had the majority of the money in the relationship...now the tables may be turning and he's afraid that down the line you will take what he considers his. I'm with you that this is quite and insult and odd since you have been together so long. If Dear is right and this is something his financial advisers are asking him to do, it sounds like you need to talk to him about that. He knows what kind of person you are and all that you have been through together, these other people do not, so it is really up to you as a couple. Personally I would bring up to him that were circumstances not in his favour, you would NEVER have asked him to sign a prenup. I wouldn't sign it, but that's just me and you need to do what is right for you.
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