We usually associate prenuptials with rich people needing to make some agreement over how their wealth would be split up in the event they divorce. Though I do think people ought to be very open with each other going into the relationship regarding money, and should discuss in detail how it will be shared and managed etc., that’s not the kind of prenuptial agreement I am talking about here.
When my wife, JoAnn, and I decided to get married, we had a friend who came round to our house, sat us down and went through a list of questions that were designed to uncover all our unspoken assumptions and expectations, as well as things we had never thought about, or had even asked ourselves before. Bringing all that up to the surface for discussion was the most useful thing we did for our future together. It gave us a lot of clarity about how we each envisioned the relationship. Where there was some divergence of priority, or disagreement over something, we had to hammer it out. This has been the foundation for our relationship for the last 22 years.
However, most people don’t see the necessity for doing this sort of inquiry until the relationship is in trouble. Even then, they don’t know how to do it. There is an online worksheet on the website for members of The Radical Living Association, which is helpful in making an analysis of your relationship. It asks you to examine how you feel about your relationship compared to how you felt at the beginning and to make an assessment of how your partner would answer the same question. It will ask you to assess the strength and quality of your love now, compared to when you first came together, and to assess how your partner might answer that one, too. It invites you to assess your relative satisfaction/dissatisfaction levels, and to gauge your partner’s, and what your thoughts were about him/her at the beginning, and what your thoughts are now. Recalling what expectations, judgments, assumptions, demands and values you both brought to the relationship, will also be enlightening.
Going over all the questions with your partner, and using them to initiate a conversation, will prove to be very beneficial, assuming you have an interest in expanding your capacity to Love using the relationship as the vehicle.
But, should it be the case that you have fallen out of love, the goal is not necessarily that you fall back in love with each other. Nor is it about getting agreements from your partner; at least not at this stage. It is not even about whether you stay together or not. The extent to which you expand in Love will be the degree to which you enter the process in a state of trust and willingness to accept and surrender to whatever outcome emerges out of the process, knowing that, without a doubt, that’s how it should be. I’m not saying this is easy to achieve, but it’s your best chance of finding peace and moving forward into an expanded Love.
Q. Did You Marry Your Parent of the Opposite Sex?
If you had issues with the parent of the opposite sex, it is highly likely that you will have attracted someone much like your mother, or father, to be in a relationship with. If it is the case that you have unresolved childhood wounds and/or forgiveness issues with that parent, someone who is just like him or her will be attracted to you, and will resonate with the energy of that wound. You will then play out the wound with your partner as if he or she were that parent. It is virtually a given, for example, that a girl who grew up with a Dad who was alcoholic will find a partner with that addiction. So, did you marry your parent?
Q. Who Controls the Relationship?
In every relationship, especially during the period when creating separation is the main purpose of getting together, one partner predominantly controls the relationship. There may be some areas and roles in which the controller has voluntarily ceded control to the other, but mostly it holds true that one partner will dominate.
In our society, it is still predominantly the male partner who dominates, since that is the nature of masculine energy. Female energy is more receptive, open and responsive. Where a woman does tend to dominate, she will likely posses a fair amount of masculine energy about her, and will, if the relationship is to work reasonably well, have attracted a male partner who has feminine energy in roughly the same proportion. “She’s the one who wears the trousers,” is a way of expressing this power arrangement.
We could also say that the partner who has the least sex drive controls the relationship. The one with the highest need for sex must continue to court the other partner in the hope that the favor may be granted, if not now, then at some time in the future. Even if they act powerfully in other ways in the relationship, if sex is important to them, their having to plead for sex, or, at worst, demand sex whether the other wants it or not, automatically puts them in a subservient position. For some, it can be extremely demeaning.
Q. Who Controls the Money?
Another way that one partner can control the other is through money. There are still some men who will never tell their wives how much they earn, or how much they have in the bank.
Either partner can also make it so the other is dependent on them financially in a number of ways; making the other feel they don’t have the freedom to spend money in the way they want to without asking permission, or would not be able to leave the relationship because they would be severely disadvantaged if they were to do so.
I realize this kind of analysis doesn’t seem very romantic. The experience can be uncomfortable, especially if you are doing it together. But, believe me, the chances of both of you expanding in love is much improved by going through the process together instead of taking the path of least resistance and ignoring the issues altogether.
PS: This week, members of the Radical Living Association receive powerful new tools to create love and build relationships:
- Discover new ways to assess and improve your relationship with the Relationship Assessment Questionnaire
- Bridge a painful gap in your relationship with Radical Reconciliation
- Get a new relationship off to a well-grounded start with I Am Ready for a New Committed Relationship
- Bring clarity and liberation into your relationship with the “Boundaries” Worksheet