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“Till death do us part'” is a statement you will likely hear in wedding vows. The phrase emphasizes the assumption that marriages are supposed to last forever. This makes the subject of pre-nuptial agreements quite awkward for many couples preparing to walk down the aisle. A prenup is not romantic, but it is definitely practical. If you have been struggling with introducing the subject to your partner, North Carolina State University researchers suggest that you use a metaphor and avoid mentioning the actual document.

Why people don’t like prenups

According to corresponding author Lynsey Romo, an associate professor at North Carolina State, many people are uncomfortable with prenups because they view them as a lack of faith in the marriage from the onset. However, the professor notes that other studies have revealed that open communication about finances contributes to successful relationships.

There is practically no academic research on prenups raising the question of how people write and how they make sense of them. This, according to the professor, was the reason they conducted the study.

The researchers had initially planned to conduct in-person interviews with couples on their prenups but finding couples willing to reveal such sensitive details proved challenging. The study authors, therefore, turned to Reddit, the social media platform, instead.

Romo explains that the semi-anonymity offered by Reddit enables people to talk freely on any subject, including prenups.

In total, the team looked at 596 Reddit threads with about 26,450 comments on the prenup subject. Overall, the commenters fell into two categories: people who find prenups useful and people who aren’t fond of prenups.

Those who were opposed to the idea argue that the documents contradict the role of marriage as a lifelong commitment. They also said that prenups are “exit plans” and show that at least one partner already doubts the success of the marriage. 

Metaphors describing prenups

Despite the opposition, researchers found that most Reddit users had a positive attitude towards prenups, using metaphors like “insurance” to describe them. Another metaphor that dominated the comments was that marriage was a “contract” and a prenup was just another clause.