Leaving BravoTV’s Midtown New York office after interviewing Vikki Ziegler, star of Untying the Knot, I couldn’t help but think about a flight I took two weeks ago. It was my first time flying Southwest Airlines, and it was a perfect experience. Great service, friendly in-flight crew, and a pilot that was very handsome. I had a comfortable seat and enjoyed a beverage with a complimentary, spot-hitting snack. Like all airplanes, my plane was equipped with emergency exits, oxygen masks and lighting that illuminates if the power is lost. We all know that these safety features exist on a plane and we know it doesn’t mean that an emergency landing or a crash is imminent. But if something dire does occur, we are prepared and in a better position to survive.
If airplane safety features and guidelines are in place to protect our lives in the event of a “maybe”, then why do people question the necessity of a prenuptial agreement designed to protect their lives in the event of a “perhaps”?
Many couples entering into a marriage do so thinking that having a pre-nup is a no different than waving the white flag of defeat. They look at the agreement as an admission that the dream of living happily ever while cutting wedding cake could one day have them taking the decorative knife and stabbing each other in the back. What nonsense.
If you think about it, every day we get into cars with airbags. We ride roller coasters with safety bars. And yes, we board airplanes that have floatation devices. More times than not by far- fortunately it’s not even close- we arrive at our destination unscathed. A prenuptial agreement is no different than the safety equipment. It allows us, in the event of an unexpected and unplanned ending to the relationship, to have the guidelines and protection necessary to get through that unpleasant experience. Thinking that a prenuptial agreement stands as an acknowledgement of impending relationship defeat is no different than thinking your nonstop flight to Miami is doomed.
EXaholics know all too well the difficulties of handling the emotional fallout from a break-up. Having the safety net of a prenuptial agreement basically takes some concern off the plate. Financial and other logistics are already agreed upon. The division of property was previously addressed. Having the business end of a break-up previously handled allows the couple a quicker response rate to healing their individual hearts. In the premier episode of Untying the Knot, if the ownership of the Paris apartment had been previously addressed, the time and effort the couple spent fighting could have been time better time invested for singular healing.
Vikki Ziegler is quite vocal about the necessity of prenuptial agreements. She even teaches the subject at Fordham School of Law. If an accomplished marital attorney and mediator is telling us that pre-nups are the way to go, we should really listen. And if we choose not to, the best we can hope for is having Vikki Ziegler as our mediator if procuring one is a necessity. Her approach of logic-based fairness combined with respect and compassion helps to take the sting out of the process. If you for any reason doubt me on this, my point is proven with each episode of Bravo’s Untying the Knot. My advice is to watch the show with your significant other and ask yourself, “Do I want to be on that couch combating my partner?” I’m pretty sure you’ll know the next step.
Craig Rogers is a correspondent and writer-at-large for EXaholics.com, an online community for those recovering from a break-up. For more on Craig Rogers, follow him on Twitter at @CraigRogersNYC. To keep up with EXaholics.com, follow @EXaholics on Twitter.