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A recent AITA Reddit post delved into the complicated implications of parents demanding a prenup.
Despite the poster making twice as much money as his fiancee, her parents asked them to sign a prenup, which would apply only to "premarital and inherited assets."
They also offered to gift the couple a house, but one that would exclusively be in the fiancee's name.
A prenuptial agreement isn't as uncommon for couples today as it was for previous generations. This may be because of that 2005 Kanye West song that had us all chanting, "We want prenups!" at our school dances, not fully understanding what that meant, nor realizing that very few of us would grow up to have any assets worth protecting via prenup in the first place, thanks to that whole economic collapse that happened just three years after the song.
But pitching the idea of a prenup to your future spouse can still be a dicey proposition, largely because it can be seen as an implication of a lack of trust, or a lack of faith that the relationship will last. And when that prenup is actually proposed—not by either person in the relationship, but by one of their parents—that lack of trust and faith becomes less a possible implication and more of a full-throated, screamed-through-a-bullhorn direct message.
That's what happened to Reddit poster Due_Policy1268, who turned to the popular r/AITA subreddit (short for "Am I the A**hole?") with the inquiry, "AITA for telling my in future in-laws that it's not a wedding gift unless it's given to both people and telling my fiancee I don't want to live in a house I don't own?"
"My fiancee [27F] and I [29M] grew up very differently," the poster wrote, before diving deeper into his upbringing as the child of Pakistani immigrants:
"I was an immigrant who moved here when I was 6, and we were definitely struggling a lot. My parents worked extremely hard to provide for me and siblings, and they always prioritized our education over everything. My dad always told me it was his dream to live in a house that he owned, since we'd always rented, but he couldn't save up enough since we were renting in expensive areas with good schools. Unfortunately, both of my parents passed away before being able to realize that dream. My dad passed away when I was 17 and my mom passed away almost 3 years ago due to covid."
The poster's fiancee, on the other hand, had a far more privileged upbringing. "Like private schools, designer clothes, 3-4 international vacations per year flying first or business class the whole way," they note, while stressing that she's earned a great deal on her own, and that "...besides funding her education, her parents are in no way responsible for her accomplishments."
In fact, despite the disparity in generational wealth, the poster states he now makes more than double what his partner does, and they equitably split expenses based on their varied income (he pays two-thirds, while she pays one-third). It seems as though things were pretty well figured out for the couple.
... Until her parents got involved:
"However, this past weekend, we were at her family's house, when her parents told us that for a wedding present, they were going to give us a house. My fiancee was overjoyed, and although I was also happy, I wanted to know the details as well. Pretty quickly, her parents told us that the house would be in her name only, and that they expected us to sign a prenup to protect any (and only) pre-marriage assets "just in case". I was insulted that they thought I was after their money at all since I make more than she does anyway, and I ended up telling them that they can't call it a wedding present if they only give it to one person. I then told my fiancee I refused to live in a house that I don't own, and she knows exactly why. All three of them got very upset with me. So AITA?"
Commenters on the post were overwhelmingly on the side of the poster, and thankfully, so were some of the fiancee's family, and eventually the fiancee herself. The poster made an edit to include recent developments, including the fiancee's older sister "...calling me out of the blue a few hours ago to tell me that her parents did not ask her husband to sign a prenup before they got married." She did so because—get this—the parents apparently made this house and prenup demand in front of not just the poster and his fiancee, but also "...my fiancee's sisters and my fiancee's BIL."
The fiancee herself came around to seeing how insensitive her parents' demands were, apparently after some encouraging from her sister. Especially since, according to the poster, "...they expected the prenup to only cover premarital and inherited assets. They said they would absolutely refuse to accept any clauses that include future assets."
She reportedly didn't care for commenters suggesting there was any possible racism in her parents' demands, though considering they never made such requests of the white brother-in-law who married into their all white family, and also "they said they didn't want to do any traditional Pakistani events for the wedding," you know ... you can probably draw your own conclusion there.
And speaking of conclusions, the poster says he and his fiancee reached a conclusion of their own for how to resolve this rift. They will indeed have a prenup, to satisfy any anxieties on the part of the family, but one that will be drafted by their own independently retained lawyers, apart from her parents' influence. And as for the house, they will accept it, but only if it can be in both of their names, and if the poster gets to pay for 25 percent of it through his savings.
All in all, the couple reached a resolution that satisfies all parties. And that's important, because while the concept of a prenuptial agreement can be used as a cudgel or demonized, it can still be an important way for couples, and the people who care about them, to feel secure about the treasured personal assets they bring into a marriage, should a marriage end in strife or disarray.
For example, our lawyer made sure that, in the event of a divorce, we get full custody of the Batman Forever McDonalds glasses, and that's made everything feel a lot more secure.
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