“Divorce? Never. Murder? Maybe.” So said an Irish wife in 1986 when Ireland was debating divorce law. Divorce was unthinkable for her generation, particularly for Catholics. “Prenups” were a waste of time and thought. Today is very different – even for devout Christians and for couples who seem to have everything going for them. No one has the culture “going for them”.
Today’s culture accepts pornography, divorce, cohabitation, one-night-stands, deliberate single parenthood, materialism, and pleasure seeking. (Just yesterday in Union Station in Washington DC I saw a millennial wearing a cap that said “Sex, drugs and money.”) American culture today rejects chastity, prayer and religious worship, the Ten Commandments, God, and even children. Marriage thrives on the flip side of all these.
The prenuptial I propose is not about preserving wealth but preserving the marriage to come. It is a vaccination against that divorce which will be a high temptation even for those who have good marriages. Our toxic environment guarantees this.
There are issues a couple should clear up before saying “I do” because there are marriage-destroying habits they may need to drop before they set out on their life-long expedition or else they will later find out they were never really “together”.
This prenuptial inoculation should be agreed to at least a year before the marriage so that there is time to “clean out the garbage” before the great day. If the garbage does not get cleared out then better to call the wedding off than destroy the lives of their children with a divorce later on.
Here is the prenuptial to fill in and sign after discussing the contents. This discussion itself will be a great eye-opener for many couples, even before they embark on fulfilling the terms.
Marriage preparation is much more than taking in ideas. It involves starting to make the changes needed to build a good marriage.
Pat Fagan is the director of the Marriage and Religion Research Initiative at The Catholic University of America. He is publisher and editor of Marripedia.org. Republished from the MARRI blog with permission.