One Man’s Case For Relationship Contracts

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I believe that in the dark corners of the circles that only include men talking truthfully about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness all men reach a level of certainty. They realize that the current system of marriage in America is dysfunctional and that at the point that the marriage license is signed and nuptials are exchanged, the entire situation now favors the woman. It’s a gift and a curse. It goes without saying that we know that for much of the time that marriage has been a construct governed by the court it has typically worked out in favor of the man, but now things are different.

The long list of things that women say they’ll only do with their husband is endless. It stretches as far as however far the universe is… the irony of that statement is that no one really knows what that means. I have always told other men to make sure that they don’t accept these promises that come along with the next step in a relationship. Simply put, there is no guarantee that if your girlfriend says she’ll only do certain things when she’s married that she’ll actually do it. She can tell you that she is only going to cook and clean for a man that has put a ring on it, but if you’re in that marriage and she decides that she’s not going to cook or clean, what do you do?

I’ll tell you what you’re going to do; you’re going to do nothing.

That’s why when I hear about relationship contracts or marriage contracts, formerly known as, prenuptial agreements, I can’t help but be intrigued. I can’t say whether I would ever initiate one but I do understand that somehow, someway men need to find ways of ensuring their happiness. Knowing that at the point that a relationship doesn’t work out the man is almost always the bad guy and almost always experiences the biggest losses; some type of correction is needed.

There are four contracts that I think are worth having, whether formal or informal.

Confidentiality – The Confidentiality contract says that during and after this relationship, she agrees to keep the inner workings of this relationship inside this relationship. It’s almost like a non-disclosure agreement for relationships. This is needed because typically during relationships men don’t have tell-all sessions with their homies about their relationship. Also, when relationships end it’s the usually the woman who tells her side and the man who can either deny or confirm, but he never tells his side. The Confidentiality contract ensures that nobody benefits from telling a side.

Sustainment – The Sustainment contract means that you cannot slip or falter once in the relationship. No matter how much comfort you find in having a significant other, you can never begin to regress. If you want to throw in aesthetics into this category you can but it also can apply to all types of factors of a relationship. If you were supportive of his busy career before the relationship, you have to maintain that support.

[Read the rest at MadameNoire.]

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  • KitKatCuty84

    Regarding the additional relationship contracts, to me, these are something that is implied in the vows and should have been discussed prior to marriage, without the aid of a legal document.

    Side note: In my opinion, saying that marriage benefits one party more than the other is not recognizing all aspects of marriage, and seems like a somewhat bitter viewpoint.

    • DeKeLa

      Since the marriage itself is a legal contract, why not have the vows and other terms and agreements included in the document? I think it's a win-win for everyone in this divorce-happy culture of ours.

  • Just Peachy!

    Nothing wrong with any of the four but 1. How does signing into such contract guarantee any of it will be done and if not your liable to a lawsuit? I wonder how most of it will hold up in court. Technically speaking it might sound good and may look good on paper but logically it makes no sense. We are imperfect beings and if you feel that you should enter into a contract just to adhere to the basics of a relationship you've already lost. The rules should apply to both and the agreement worded for both parties and not just one as we both have just as much to lose.

  • DeKeLa

    I have always been in favor of pre-nuptial agreements, not just for the men's sake but for both parties. A marriage is not just a religious or cultural vow, but also hefty legal contract with social, business and financial obligations and consequences.

    If anything having a written contract and discussing these items can make for a much stronger marriage, because everyone goes in knowing what to expect if things work out or not.__

    the stigma associated with Pre-nups that "if you have one, you're expecting the marriage to fail" is the same as "why use a condom in a monogamous relationship". There's a level of trust, but still must protect oneself just in case.

  • Just Peachy!

    These relationship contracts say nothing about the the real reason people enter into prenuptial agreements with the exception of the confidentiality clause. All others- sustainment, reliability & honesty, growth and development are basic principles in a relationship that both parties should be doing anyway. You can protect your assets as best you can, not so much your heart.

    Has anyone read all four listed? All of them are informal and damn near impossible to keep. Not to falter at least once?? Keep up everything as how the relationship started in the beginning to end?? Imperfect beings cannot live perfect lives Point blank period. Only the confidentiality one makes sense, the rest is just every day living that you try to adhere to the best you can anyways as per your marriage vows.

    Are there any lawyers out there that can attest to how the other points may hold up in court? Or if people are really drawing up these types of documents/

  • cortonio

    This is a pretty interesting novelty. I'd be curious to hear if anyone has tried this, however I'm not into contractual stuff when it comes to relationships (not marriages) if we love each other and we're going to do it then it is what it is….and we'll work out all the kinks during.
    My recent post Rants On MLK, Love For Young Black America and A Seat For Miley Cyrus

  • cortonio

    This is a pretty interesting novelty. I'd be curious to hear if anyone has tried this, however I'm not into contractual stuff when it comes to relationships (not marriages) if we love each other and we're going to do it then it is what it is….and we'll work out all the kinks during.
    My recent post Rants On MLK, Love For Young Black America and A Seat For Miley Cyrus