Finance, Fiancée, and Fairness

I recently read a financial story on MarketWatch, where a woman in her early 40s making $100,000 a year is considering a prenup because her partner makes less than she does.

This woman writes, “my girlfriend works a few gig-type jobs that she loves and makes $50,000 a year. She lives paycheck to paycheck, pretty much, and as she loves what she does, isn’t motivated to do anything else to make more.

My family isn’t thrilled about the relationship for a few reasons. My girlfriend doesn’t have a stable career. She has no ambition, and makes significantly less than I do. She understands and has said she is happy to sign a prenup.

Given all this, I need help figuring out what’s fair for the prenup and for our living situation. ”

It appears to me this person isn’t very supportive of her girlfriend’s career choice. The reason may come from a fear of losing her money. We are the product of what we experience, and she mentioned her brother is currently in the middle of a nasty divorce. His cheating and gambling estranged wife is trying to get every dime she can out of him. Not surprisingly her entire family is not thrilled about her relationship.

I don’t have any good advice for this lady. But I think marriage is about a lot more than money. If she prioritizes above anything else to be with some who has strong financial ambitions like herself, then this relationship could face many challenges ahead.

One person can make significantly more than the other and still be in a happy and practical relationship. The important thing is expectations. Love is a leap of faith. And you have to accept your partner for who they are. They’re not going to change after you get married.

Money isn’t good or evil. But it can exacerbate the current conditions of how we live with others. So I think one of the best things married couples can do is to make sure their relationship is maintained. If there are problems in the relationship, the first priority should be to deal with that. Then you can work on other problems together, whether it be financial or something else. 🙂


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05/09/2022 5:43 am

Money is no problem until it is.
Love is blind, lawyers are not.
Get the prenup.
If you don’t like that the other partner is not as ambitious as you are then sooner or later it will create conflict. Best to minimize anything that can upset the cart before you hit a rut in road.


05/09/2022 7:20 am

“Money isn’t everything, its just 99%” – Rocki Aoki the founder of Benihana

05/09/2022 1:20 pm

I think prenups are a good idea if you get hitched later in life (e.g. after 30’s 40’s) because you should by then, have more assets compared to if you got married at a much younger age and started with nothing. My husband has much more in assets than me and we got a prenup. We still have significant joint assets and our arrangement in my mind, is fair.

05/10/2022 6:27 am

The advice I was given was to NEVER get married but if you must, always marry up, never marry down (social economic level). That way, if the marriage breaks, you are not supporting the other person for life.

05/10/2022 9:31 pm

This used to be a lot more common than it is today. These days, people typically find a partner with similar means. Either by searching such a partner out, or just happening to meet them in University or work.

However, $50k ain’t nothing. But I’d be more concerned that she was doing gig work and not doing something that could lead to promotions or a stable career.

Chrissy @ Eat Sleep Breathe FI
05/11/2022 7:23 am

Well, she’s already over the biggest hurdle of having to tell her partner about it! It sounds like her partner is on board and okay with it, so the biggest consideration that’s left is how going through with the prenup will change their relationship.

Fortunately, my husband and I didn’t have to have this conversation. We were both of little means and very young when we met, so there wasn’t much for either of us to protect from the other! I think both of us would have been quite upset if the other had suggested a prenup.