What changes when you put things in writing?
Because I work in the divorce arena, many of my friends are divorce attorneys. Of course, when Patrick and I married they all admonished me to have a prenuptial agreement.
“No! Christians don’t have prenups, ” was my answer. But that wasn’t true. We do have prenups, we just don’t put them in writing. We speak them when we agree to marry and when we stand at the altar. Our wedding vows are our prenups, and if you use traditional wedding vows, you promise a whole lot of stuff that’s hard to do… like loving your spouse even when they are unlovable (like Jesus does us.)
So my answer changed to, ‘Yes, and my prenup is going to say, “If you leave me or cheat on me, I get everything.”‘
They looked at me as if I had grown a third eye and said, “No one will sign that.”
But isn’t that what we promise at the altar? Don’t we promise we are all in, totally committed, sold out for our spouses? If that’s the case, why would we not sign a prenup reiterating our promises?
Why is it so easy to take those vows if we just say them? What changes if your write them? Doesn’t it make the commitment real?
“Vows? What vows?”
I have had any number of divorce clients in my office who are leaving their marriages because “they grew apart.” When I ask them what vows they took, they get a deer-in-the-headlights look that says, “Vows? What vows?”
“You know… the ones that say you will stay married for better or worse until death do you part?” Guess they didn’t put them in writing.
There’s a physical/psychological phenomenon that occurs when we are “in love.” Neurochemicals are released in the brain that cause us to operate in the emotional area (back of the brain), and quiets the thinking part of the brain (frontal area). That’s where we get the idea that love is blind. We are really not thinking. However, when you write, it forces your brain to operate in the frontal area, which means you think when you write. That’s why it feels so shocking when you are asked to put something in writing. It becomes “real” because you are forced to think about it. Amazing how the brain works. So putting even just your vows in writing will help ensure that you understand the commitment that you are making.
What are you promising your spouse? Will you put that in writing?