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After a lengthy quarrel, a wife said to her husband, “You know, I was a fool when I married you.”
The husband replied: “Yes, dear, but I was in love and didn’t notice it.”
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Scientists from the University College London have discovered that that feelings of love cause a suppression of activity in the brain that controls critical thought. They found that romantic love produces reduced activity in the systems necessary for making critical social assessments and negative judgments.[i] When you consider that you are making decisions that impact your lives “until death do you part,” this can have some serious implications.
It’s important to understand four common, but dangerous, attitudes that can develop as a result of this reduced critical thinking:
- You don’t feel like dealing with serious issues.
- You believe your feelings of love will get you through the tough times.
- You believe you can figure out your differences after you are married.
- You believe your fiancé will change after the wedding.
While you may not want to snap out of the euphoria that you are feeling, now is the time to deal with looming potential issues and differences. They will not work themselves out.
God created you as unique individuals. Some differences between you are complementary, making you a good team and giving your relationship balance. For example, commonly one person will be a saver and the other a spender. Preparing your prenup gives you the opportunity to explore how you will resolve your financial differences. Otherwise, if the spender spends the couple into debt, the saver will harbor resentment. Similarly, if the saver keeps such tight reins on the money that the spender never has any disposable cash, the spender will harbor resentment.
While going through the process of preparing your prenup, you may find that you cannot reconcile important differences. In these cases, you may decide to either postpone or call off the wedding. Certain issues should be deal breakers. For example, Christians should not marry non-Christians in hopes that they will change after the wedding. Addictive behaviors or other behavioral issues should also be deal breakers.
The most dangerous attitude you can have before marriage is expecting that someone will change once you are married. If they have not changed before the wedding when the love drugs are flowing and their incentive to change is the highest, why would they change after the wedding?
Your prenup gives you the power to overcome the suppression of critical thinking by helping you to take an objective look at your differences. While the love drugs are coursing through your veins, calling off or putting off the wedding may seem impossible, especially when you consider that your fiancé is essentially your love drug dealer. But there is great wisdom in being absolutely sure that it is the right time and you are marrying the right person. There is an old saying that goes, “Marriage is grand, but divorce is a hundred grand.” The financial cost pales in comparison to the emotional devastation left in the wake of divorce. You can always decide to marry later — no harm done. But you cannot undo a marriage.
The process of preparing the prenuptial agreement brings you back to reality from the dreamy state of eros. It forces you back to sobriety as you make decisions about your plans and work to reconcile your differences. The prenuptial agreement is your most effective tool for overcoming the power of the eros love drugs. Do not underestimate their effects.