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Does Marriage Have Rules?

Prenuptial Agreements Should Be Required

By Shanon Marie Clare Angermeyer NormanPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 7 min read
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Painting by SN

How many times have you been married? Never? Once? Too many to remember? Did you go through a divorce or were you widowed? Did you win or lose in the divorce? What did you win or lose? Money? House? Car? Child? Did you have to start over with nothing but the hope that your life mattered enough to keep going even though you were broken-hearted and had nothing to offer the world except yourself? I've been watching that tragedy happen to so many people for a half-century, and I've read books and movies that depict these terrible experiences through history for centuries. Yet regardless of how many times we read or view a scene like the Red Wedding from Game of Thrones, we somehow still want to believe that Love and our silly immature notion of Love is worth gambling on. I am sorry to tell you, but at 51 years old, I have developed a very strong opinion that Love is not worth dying for. Romeo and Juliet were two stupid, horny idiots who committed suicide because they hated their parents and they thought that death was better than slavery. So be it. But if I had been Juliet, I would have told my parents, "I'll marry the guy you want me to marry, as long as we have a legal prenuptial agreement. This way when he screws up, I will be set and rewarded for agreeing to be his slave for however long it takes until he screws up. I'm not going to be the whore/slave for years and end up homeless and starving on the street just because I trusted my parents."

There it is in a nutshell. Prenuptial agreements write the rules of marriage. If you don't have a Prenuptial agreement that is legal and binding before you start calling each other Husband and Wife, all you've got is a fancy shmancy ceremony, a wedding band, and a piece of paper. When the wife or the husband cheats, and most of us marriage veterans know it's only a matter of time and circumstance, are you going to keep smiling about being a slave in a marriage that has nothing "sacred" about it? If so, you are more pathetic, abused, and poverty stricken than most people. That's why those Hollywood types get married in Vegas and divorced two weeks later. They wake up and say, "Hey honey, you were great in the sack, but I can't stand looking at your face in the morning." They've already got their own money, so they don't care about prenuptials or marriage rules. Rich people can afford to be irresponsible. Just ask Jordan or Daisy from the Great Gatsby. Do you honestly think they went to Myrtle's or Jay's funeral? I doubt it.

If you're in it for love, good for you. I hope you have a great time getting laid and loving all the people who allow you to love them. If you're in it for marriage, good for you. I hope you and your spouse are successful with whatever it is you think marriage is about. If you're just trying to do what your parents taught you, or you think marriage is a way to elevate your status or financial situation, then please heed this advice: GET A PRENUP!

The church can only do so much for young lovebirds who want a "forever" marriage. They try to tell you. At least the Catholic church used to be that way. They say, "Go to church. Read the Bible. Take marriage classes. " But most people don't want to do it that way. They want to go find some sexy person at a pub and let Lust replace Loyalty. Lust will never be Loyalty no matter how much you lie to yourself.

For me, I thought I got married in 2011. It was a sad, pathetic little wedding where the legal document was signed and we put some nice rings on each other's fingers. I thought I was in love and that both of our situations were so bad, that we had a good chance at success in our marriage because we had nothing to lose. I was wrong.

He had been married before me. I was his second wife. I remember getting upset about that when someone said that at a Memorial Day party.

"Oh, you're his second wife?" she hummed and it felt derogatory and snide.

I sneered back, "I'm his only wife." But I was wrong. She was right. I hated that she was right.

At our little wedding in 2011, I had no idea how stupid I was. How stupid I was to want to get married. How stupid I was to want to marry a person with a criminal background. How stupid I was to think his first wife was an idiot to reject him. How stupid I was to think that a little wedding in an apartment that was not blessed by the church or prepared for by any God-figure except for the money that it cost, would somehow be lovely and pleasant and joyful. I must have been insane.

He got drunk. I did not. He smeared cake all over my face and thought that was funny. I thought he was cruel. He flirted with another woman and ignored me the whole time. I thought he was cruel. Then one woman said to me, "Don't forget....It's just a piece of paper." I thought that was the cruelest and best thing I had heard through the whole stupid wedding.

Five years later, our "marriage" had survived many emotionally disturbing and stressful events. Mostly because we were both good at pretending those things didn't matter and stay focused on our financial goals. Money was always the driving force. I threw another wedding, a renewal of vows wedding at the church we were attending. Yes, we actually went to church together. We had our own business and we went to church together. I considered us very successful, even though we never had any children together. Not unless you count our cats and dogs.

The second wedding was more traditional and much prettier and I got to wear the big fancy dress and see him in a tuxedo for the first and only time. Most of our "friends" and "family" did not attend. Mostly it was the church people who were there. I finally got to dance with my husband, the first, only, and last time we ever danced together. Nothing Else Matters by Metallica was our dance song. I also danced with my son to a song that I can't remember the title of. I chose that song to dance with my son because the lyrics were all about my son's happiness and how much I will always love him. The wedding was a big waste of money really. Looking at the photographs after the wedding was disappointing when I saw how much money and effort went into it and it still looked ugly in my opinion. I guess that just means it was much too late to ask for or try to achieve my ideal of a wedding or a marriage. It was never going to be perfect and beautiful the way Bella and Edward had it in Stephanie Meyer's story. I tried. I failed.

Now I live in a humble abode grateful that I'm not homeless or starving on the street. If I die, there is no insurance policy for my husband or son to get rich on. If my husband dies, I get nothing. If we get divorced, we get only what is in our own names. It's fair to some degree I suppose. Yet I can recall another woman claiming that she earned a $10,000 diamond ring simply because she had sex with the man who wanted the ring back. I shrugged.

Was there a prenup?

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Shanon Marie Clare Angermeyer Norman

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