KID GAMES: DON’T LET ‘EM DIVIDE YOU

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“Are you more strategic than your offspring?”

“Mommy, can I have some ice cream?” “No sweetie, you have to wait until you eat dinner first.” “Daddy, can I have some ice cream?” “Sure son, go ahead, but don’t eat too much.” “We still have to eat dinner.” And just like that, a parent has made a vital mistake in raising their child. There must be one voice in the household when raising a child. If that kid knows that they can run to one parent and always get an ok over an objection, that smells problems for your relationship. This also means that knowing they can get away with some things around one parent and not the other. The structure need to be clear and spoken from one voice.

What I mean by one voice is that if your kid comes to you asking for something they must know that when you say yes or no it means that on both sides. If a kid know they can play both sides, that speaks to the lack of communication from the parents. We are currently seeing the divorce between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie; where he seems to be more strict and she is more lax. This can be a recipe for disaster if both people are polar opposites. It’s fine to be a little bit different in the parenting styles, but too much difference results in long term problems; as seen with the Pitt-Jolie situation.

But since I am on the topic of divorce; what about communication here. It works so long as the parents are on the right page. But it’s hard to be on the right page with a child if parents are still bitter about their personal situation. Under these circumstances children really are in control. Because one parent might allow the kid to get away with more as a way to spite the other parent. For instance, daughter wants to have a boyfriend, but dad says no. Mom has sole custody, and is fine with daughter having a boyfriend. Daughter wants to date, so she is able to play her parents against each other because she knows they don’t get along.

This is an issue especially if the daughter finds herself in a serious situation and can’t find a way out. She will go to the parent that allowed her to break the rules to bail her out. Now mom has to bail her out because she went over dad’s head in the first place to prove a point. And if he finds out, it could make her look irresponsible. Or, on the other hand, mom might call dad and say guess what your daughter did, just to get a rise out of him. Daughter was using this divide in faction to her advantage. Now that she is in trouble, with the two of them bickering, she is unable to fix her situation. So the scheme that helped her is now backfiring.

In the end, children need to know they can’t play parents for fools. If they fell that one allows them to get away with more, they’ll run to that parent. Only problem is that when trouble arises, with both parents fighting the child suffers. So a child, even in the case of divorce, need to understand that both parents are on the same page. Even if both parents don’t get along, the child should not see that take place. Remember, you’re the adult; you’ve been on this planet longer than they have been. Don’t let them think they know life more than you. You should be the ultimate gamer.

HOLLA, WE WANT PRENUP! WE WANT PRENUP!

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“I love you, but can you sign something for me?”

How do you go about bringing this up to a spouse? “So sweetie, you I know love and want to spend the rest of my life with you.” “But before we go any further do you mind looking over some paperwork with me?” She replies, “Sure what is it a marital license, the mortgage for our new home, the will..” Then you interject, “No, the prenup (cough)! She says, “Hmm?” You say, “The prenuptial agreement.” And with a exclamatory reply she goes, “Prenup, what the hell for!”

GULP! What is the right way to introduce this into a relationship? How in one breathe do you speak love, then the next ask for signed documentation? Documentation which will protect your assets in the case of divorce. Well first you have to ask yourself why is such a document necessary for starters. It’s necessary because of the high divorce rates, that’s why.

In the United States today, the divorce is close to 65% after only 5 years of marriage. I don’t know about you, but knowing you may have to split assets with someone you’ve only been with for 5 years seems kind of unfair. If you were married for 25 years, or 30 years, or 40 years, then yes, but 5. The reason I say 25 years or more is because at least there was a long term investment into the relationship. The 5 year plan seems like more of a business exchange than a marriage.

And that is where the prenuptial agreement comes into play. Marriage has become an in and out business today in America. Meet someone whose financially stable, get your 5 years in, and see ya later. But if you’re a man without any money, than a woman has no interest. Now if you are a man of means, this could be somewhat of concern. So is the way to protecting yourself not succeeding and striving in life. Because think about, you work all these years and someone comes and goes, “I’m not happy.”

So what, my future should now be determined on if you’re happy or not. So if I am happy and you’re not, than I have to lose in life. So now you think to yourself, what’s the purpose in working hard in life. Why push if you’re not going to be able to reap the benefits of your labor? As a man, you work so that one day you can relax and enjoy the fruits of your hard work. But if you’re only working just to one day hand it all over why work at all. Divorce has become the reason to be a total loser.

Women say that it’s not fair, fine let’s flip it. As a woman, you make $100,000 a year, would you marry a $30,000 a year man. It’s hard to do so, why because even you know as a woman that is not a business smart decision. So if you’re not willing to give up anything you worked for, why are you so ready for us to do so? A woman goes, “You need to be at my level.” But how often do you go, “I need to be on his level.” It’s easy to talk love and marriage when you have a lot less to lose.

This is why when people who make a certain amount of income wed, they need to have these discussions. But asking your wife to sign a prenup when you are a construction worker, police officer, garbage truck driver, etc. can be tough. Her reply would be, “You don’t have anything to take.” “Why sign a prenup?” Well that’s where she’s wrong. These men in these job titles are the ones who need prenups the most. If you’re athlete with $50 million and your wife gets $20 – $25 million, then you’re still good. But if you make $35,000 and your wife gets $10,000 – $15,000, you could be in trouble financially.

Which brings me to the after affects of divorce. One of the leading indicators of poverty amongst men is divorce. Conversely the leading indicator of wealth amongst women is marriage. So now you can see why a prenuptial agreement conversation can be one of much debate. It’s still the come up of a woman in America, but the lose of wealth among men. Yet, marriage is not on the decline in this country.

Maybe marriage is still going strong, well getting married at least, because people want to believe. Everyone wants to believe those numbers will change with them. Everyone goes not my husband, not my wife. We have something special with each other. We have a bond that’s bigger than money. And that’s just it. We as humans know it can be a crap shoot, but want to believe that the person in our lives would never leave. Yet year after year, the divorce cases pile on the desk of attorneys.

It’s 65% today what, 80% in the future. No matter how you look at it, marriage is still a great union, but in today’s society we have no other option at times but to treat it as it is. A union whereas two people are pooling together finances to gauge how well this relationship will work. Which dwindles down to a business contract that is an investment into our future together.

I Do Means I Don’t, I Can’t, and I Won’t

Image result for wedding ring“The diminishing attraction of I do.”

Boy meets girl, girl says yes. Boy and girl start dating, boy and girl get really serious. Boy proposes, girl says yes, boy and girl get married. Boy says I do, girl says I do, boy and girl live happily ever after. This is the case for most people, or so most people think. Well I’m wondering how is this so, when the divorce rate in America has already surpassed 60%. We focus on the expectations of marriage, but what about the human element of marriage. Well, the human element; what is the human element?

When I say the human element, I mean is monogamy normal? Is it normal for someone to meet another person at a young age. They get married, stay together until the day they both or one past away. And even after the death of a spouse you’re sometimes expected to never marry again. It sounds like a great idea initially. I mean, you get to have a companion for the rest of your life. Whenever you’re sick there is someone there to care for you. You lose your job, there’s someone to aid in picking up the slack. Even a parent who can assist in the raising of a child so you’re doing the work alone.

What about more of the human aspects, the biological. Why when people say I do, it becomes I don’t, I can’t,  and I won’t? Why when marriage comes into play the consistency of the things you did before diminishes? I am not married, but from my basic understanding of the human species I have observed certain characteristics as to way relationships fall off. For starters, a reason as to why most fail is quite obvious, money.

When you meet in your 20’s it’s ok to have money woes. You live in a 400-500 square foot apartment. Hey, who cares, as long as you’re having a good time right. Wrong because with marriage comes even higher standards and expectations. That 400-500 square foot apartment must be upgraded to 2,000-3,000 square feet. That cute apartment in the city becomes a home in a suburb. That bicycle turns into a caravan or SUV. And that takeout becomes groceries each month. Why, well it’s because children typically come soon. Like that riddle, “First comes marriage, then comes a baby.”

Now you have yourself a home, with a mortgage payment. You have a child, car note, utilities, student loans, food, and medical bills. Then the problems start because the bills start stacking up. From the bills comes the arguments, then comes the sleeping in separate rooms. After that comes the separation, then divorce. Money just drains so much from you and compounds problems if you have money woes. But there are other issues such as attraction that ends marriages as well.

When you first meet someone you’re attracted, but marriage comes into play and attractions become second to the marriage. Like I said I am looking at the human element of what we are as people. Our human attractions toward someone comes from a desire. A desire to what the other person. Desire goes away because the thing that brought them together goes away. For instance, if I desire to buy a luxury vehicle, I’m attracted to having this car. Then once I buy the car the desire eventually goes away. People look at you at go wow, nice car, but to you it’s just a car. Desire leaves, why because you might need a paint job. Give your car a new look, so you look forward to driving the car.

Continuing a desire for something makes you want it. But the less desire conversely makes you not want it. Which brings me to the next reason marriages fail. You just know they’ll be there everyday, so hey why worry about missing out; they’ll be here tomorrow. In dating, you don’t know they’re going to be here tomorrow, savior the moment today. Taking for granted something is here today and tomorrow is something we all do. “Why call the person now, I’ll wait until they get home.” “Why keep myself looking good, I’m only with so and so.”

And there you have it, I’m not doing that, I can’t do that, I won’t do that. But in dating I’ll do it, I can, and I will. Human relationships diminish because we as people need to continue to desire something to continue to want it and work to keep it. What happens when Millennials turn 40 or 50 years of age? I just wonder what will come of my generation if it’s 60% today.