I once did a call with a client where he wanted to talk about signing a prenup. He was getting married again for the 2nd time and felt conflicted. Some people were telling him signing a prenup was a MUST-DO! and others said that signing one would doom his marriage to failure.
As we explored the question a reframe came into view.
What if a prenup was just a way to let his best self make choices for his worst self?
Right now, he and his partner were deeply in love, generous, and open. Hopefully, it would stay that way, but what if one-day things shifted?
What if the relationship struggled or changed and they fell out of love?
If that happened they would both be full of grief and maybe even anger and frustration. Would they make the best choice on what was fair as they parted ways? Or would emotion and lawyers take over and turn a painful situation into something even worse?
By choosing how to separate today from this loving place, they would be prepared should the worse arrive.
From this perspective he began to see how signing a prenup could be a generous and loving act for both of them.
Too often we think that planning is about defense or protection. But often knowing how things will fall apart and deciding how we want to handle that in advance can be a powerful practice.
You can use this thinking to plan for
- Business partnerships that go south
- Hires that don’t work out well
- Choosing what do to when you’re very tired or worn out
- Planning for moments of trigger or upset
It’s not that you can plan and sort out everything in advance. It’s simply that you can consider how to allow your best self to choose for a version of you that may not be fully ready for all the feelings and challenges that show up when life gets hard.