Love is notoriously blind, and when you’re really happy with someone it can be hard to see the possibility of the bloom falling off the rose. This is one of the reasons that the introduction of a prenuptial agreement can be so jarring. When you’re in love, and planning a future together, who wants to plan your separation? But a recent story by Bonnie Rochman over at Time — “Is Divorce Counseling for Happily Married Women Really Necessary?” — explores the necessity of pragmatism even in the happiest of relationships.
A new service is being offered by a Manhattan divorce attorney, and it advises women who have no interest in leaving their husbands what they need to know if that scenario did indeed play out. The firm — Bedrock Divorce — operates under the impression that women are generally less financially sound than their male partners, and that they are more often in the dark about the details of family finances.
Writes Bedrock Divorce’s founder: “Just because a woman is ‘happily married,’ doesn’t mean she shouldn’t have a solid, working knowledge of her financial status, cash flow and net worth. Researchers cite ‘concerns about money’ as one of the number-one triggers for marital arguments and conflict, and personally, I feel that many of these worries are based on misunderstanding and miscommunication. Why not eliminate some of this confusion before it causes trouble?”
When you’re happy in love or work or anything else, it can be hard (or unpleasant) to envision anything else. (Unless you’re neurotic and can’t stop envisioning anything great falling apart at any given time and without warning.) I would like to think that the era of ladies lunching while their men are out winning bread and having their heads patted when they ask to see the checkbook are over, but women do still allow love to blind them to certain realities or potential unpleasant options. It’s all to easy to lose yourself in a relationship, placing your friends and family on the back burner, giving up your apartment, slacking on your own work, and generally subjugating all of your needs to the needs of the relationship. While it might make you happy in the short term, the longer term can offer a pretty devastating wake up call.
Safeguarding yourself against a pleasant outcome might seem like an act of bad faith, like you’re preparing an exit strategy before you’ve even run out of things to say to each other over the dinner table. But there’s no reason to feel guilty about taking care of your needs, and making sure that everything is a relationship is transparent and discussed. You should both be happier knowing that the balance of power is even, and that you’re both taken care of.