Today, many couples looking to tie the knot are encouraged to sign prenuptial agreements to safeguard their assets in the event that the marriage goes south. But according to attorney and legal TV commentator Ann-Margaret Carrozza, entering into a love contract with your husband-to-be has the potential to save your marriage before it’s ever in trouble in the first place.
In an essay for the New York Daily News, Carrozza explains that these documents should be customized to address both finances and lifestyle issues. She writes:
I encourage couples to customize these documents to include provisions to address lifestyle issues, pet peeves, shared goals and “deal breakers.” Examples of common Love Contract provisions are infidelity penalties, vacation schedules, social media parameters — and even fitness goals.
We begin by looking at some common sources of a couple’s disagreements. High on the list for most couples is money. Applying the contract process to this (or any problem) requires each party to become clear about one’s goal.
This may take the form of reducing debt, building up savings or investing in real estate.
Of course, asking bae to sign a contract about fidelity or keeping in shape is everything but romantic; however, Carrozza explains that love contracts are more about self-reflection than placing contractual demands on one another.
Each party is then asked to take a critical look at their own behavior and determine what actions they are prepared to take to achieve the goal. These may include eating out less, cooking more or selling some unwanted items.
The parties then come together to share their goals and voluntary self-action steps. Only then, with this enlightened foundation, do we make constructive suggestions to each other. The actions and goals that both parties believe they can live with become incorporated into the contract.
The Love Contract is both a relationship blueprint and mission statement for a couple. It is a dynamic process that encourages periodic introspection and goal review. Properly utilized, the Love Contract can produce powerful results in terms of strengthening relationships and achieving joint goals.
Does this sound like something you’d be interested in exploring?