Yes, my husband and I have talked about divorce.
One of the primary pillars in our marriage is transparency. Not the “lol i’ll tell you anything” but rather, serious and raw transparency, and no topic is off limits. I lovingly refer to it as “spousal privilege” — giving him the first right to know something…because he’s my spouse.
The two of us have talked about which ex-boyfriend we wish things would have worked out differently with, what our absolute darkest and most twisted secrets are, and who we have been attracted to. The reason we do this is because we recognize that we are not soul mates or guaranteed to stay married just because we’ve been together for 9 years. Rather, we are two adults who actively make the choice to be together every single day.
Do we share all of our bank accounts and credit? We do. Are we 50/50 on the houses and cars? We are.
BUT we also have kept our budget and expenses aligned in a way that we are not dependent on the other to survive. How could I sit here and preach “financial independence” if my husband or myself were fully financially dependent on the other’s sheer existence to simply feed ourselves? Nah fam.
Example. When we got our very first apartment in 2012 after 6 months of dating, we signed the lease for a $525 per month apartment with no washer/dryer hookups while knowing we could afford a much nicer place for $900. Why? Because we made sure that ONE of us could afford everything by ourselves… just in case.
Second Example: When we started getting out of debt in 2016, it took months… but we eventually leveled our expenses so that one income can afford our entire financial lives. Our mortgage payment is a figure that either one of us can comfortably afford by ourselves. The big test for this was losing my job in 2018 (and over half of our household income). Yet, we didn’t stress financially, because he was able to swing our expenses by himself.
These actions are especially crucial for us because, in our personal situation, it’s mandatory that we always remain financially independent of one another. We have limited backup plans, so planning ahead will guarantee success.
Our marriage may end. We could get let go or become disabled and stop producing an income. Either one of us could not live to the end of the day. No matter how strong our intentions are, anything could happen. So, we’ve talked about what our immediate financial action plan would be if we broke up. We’ve discussed our needs to protect our income, and we’ve evaluated our after-life finances.
If you fail to plan… plan to fail.
Plus, today (1/10/2020) is the “brokest” that we ever plan to be. We plan to become slightly wealthier every single day for the rest of our lives. It would be irresponsible to our legacy if we prepared so heavily for financial emergencies while pretending that nothing will go wrong…because tomorrow is never guaranteed.
I will always stand firmly on both feet and encourage my partner to do the same because tables are stronger with 4 legs.