- 2 months ago
Long time lurker. Finally signed up to seek some feedback here.
Long story short, my fiance and I have been together for three years and we got engaged last fall. Everything has been fine in our relationships – not perfect, but fine. We get along pretty well and our goals in life align with each others.
My fiance is a 35yo medical doctor and he makes a very good salary. He has paid off his student loans and the only debt he has now is his house mortgage. Me, on the other hand, has little income at this moment. I am 31yo and I am finishing up the last year of my Ph.D. program. The starting salary of my profession is approximately 85k a year – about a third of what he makes. I have no student debt and no assets that I earned. The only asset I have now is what my parents gave me as a wedding gift, $100k. They heard my fiance already bought a house and they gave me this gift to pay for half of the house worth. They did that, so that this house will truly be a home for both of us.
We have talked about our future extensively. The plan has always been starting trying for babies right after I get my degree and I will stay home for 3 or 4 years to take care of our kids. Our communication is usually good and I thought we were on the same page. That is, until last night when my fiance told me what he wanted in the prenup.
He met with his lawyer yesterday afternoon and he told me what he wanted in the prenup. Basically, he wanted to protect his assets that would incur during our marriage. Initially he proposed we have completely separate finances – we each pay for half of the household costs and the rest is our own to keep. I have to sign away any rights to his retirement, his investments, or savings. I expressed objection as that would put me in financial risk – during the years I stay home I won’t have an income and won’t contribute to retirement, he is geographically restricted so I will have to look for jobs near his work (I already have made career decisions because of geographic restriction). He then said he would give me some money every year I stay home (he mentioned 15k a year) and that is all I get in terms of a divorce.
This arrangement really upsets me. I told him straight out I would not sign this. He paused for a bit, then offered to have a joint account for family expenses. All expenses related to the family, such as grocery, children’s educational cost, family vacation, would be covered by that joint account. He would contribute two thirds to the family expenses, and I will only contribute one third to that. Everything else is separate. For example, my clothes, my car payments, medical cost would be on my own. In case of divorce, you keep what you owned and the other person’s retirement, investment, assets etc would not be divided. The only thing that he agrees will be divided is his house, IF I use my wedding gift to pay for half of it.
I told him I would need my own legal counsel and he agreed to it.
Let me start by saying that I am not against prenups. He comes from a working-class family and he worked hard for his degree. I understand that and I believe people should protect their own financial security. I brought prenup up first and asked him if he wanted to prenup. I told him I am comfortable with a prenup. But this arrangement is not what I anticipated. He was upset that I objected. He spent the rest of the evening playing his electronic guitar obnoxiously loud. I could feel the floor shaking and my heart pounding for the whole night. When I asked him to play with headphones, he took a look at his amplifier, shrugged his shoulder “I don’t see a AC jack.” Then he looked directed at me in the eye, played a string of keys, and smiledled a daring grin.
That grin gets me to think about my relationship. Playing really loud music when you are upset to get to the other person is just… juvenile. Also, I think his proposal prioritizes his protection over mine. This makes me question his engagement in this relationship. We have dated for three years and he never wanted to meet any of my friends. I invited and invited, he just never wanted to come. I used to think he was just tired, shy, or don’t feel like going out. Now I think maybe he just has no interest in my social life.
I’m at my wit’s end here. I don’t know what to do. I have been cycling through total sadness, anger, and total zen. My appointment with a family law lawyer is next week. Does he really care about me? Or is he actually thinking I am marrying him for this money? Would you sign the prenup?