Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

What marriage resources have been helpful or encouraging to you?
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Leah
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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby Leah » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:37 pm

MayDayGirl wrote:What do you mean when you say 'background check'?


In the context of my post, I was talking about a serious background check--criminal record, credit report, etc. I was mostly referring to second marriages of older couples with assets. At the same time if someone rolls into town and pushes for marriage right away, that would be kind of a red flag at any age. Young people can have very destructive behavior that would affect a marriage. A potential spouse should be able to stand up to that kind of scrutiny. Too many people "fall in love" with someone they meet on the internet without knowing anything about them.

I would want hard evidence that "married before" means married once and widowed, not married six times and paying alimony and child support to all those spouses.
Leah

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”--C.S. Lewis


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poetess
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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby poetess » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:38 pm

Putting what they believe on key points in writing is a great thing--my husband and I did so--but I can't see the vast majority of Americans being either willing or able to do that. They could, however, volunteer together, helping at a church workday or in the children's program, but more than one time or they will simply see it as something to do and have it done. I think that other people's observation of how they function together can be very useful. When I was quite young I had a brother tell me that he did not like the way a particular young man spoke to me at a church picnic. Since the young man was beginning to draw my heart, having a man's perspective on his communication to me was very useful.
Marriage--what a wonderful image of Christ's love for His bride!

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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counselin

Postby neilethere » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:40 am

Just a bit of News Years Eve irony/humour here Job ......

The fox movies/ documentary channel is currently streaming Star Trek movies one after the other and Jon-Luc Picard has just asked (in the 26th earth century) why a particularly attractive 300 year old woman has not married.

So maybe marriage survives your morbid view.

Happy New Year, job.

ETA...... apologies on the word morbid, I meant pessimistic. I had my eye on a mosquito capable of giving me third world malaria, which is now dead in my bathroom. The good news is the next Star Trek documentary has Captain Riker (intergalactic root rat) marrying Counsellor Troi. ‘Nothing but blue sky’s do I see’. There is hope yet.

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SLS
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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counselin

Postby SLS » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:45 am

neilethere wrote:Jean-Luc Picard has just asked (in the 26th earth century) why a particularly attractive 300 year old woman has not married.


That would be the 24th Century Neil.

*goodness I am such a nerd

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poetess
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estate planning in a second marriage

Postby poetess » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:20 am

Re older second marriages: in some ways I am in one of those, and in some ways I am not. That is, it was a first marriage for me, and only in my forties and not my fifties, but for him it was a second marriage with children from the first. I was not bringing any children into the mix, nor would we conceive any together.

The concept of "what to do with our assets" is only relevant for couples who both come into the marriage with a lot of money, or at least one of them does. A prenuptial agreement generally comes with the idea "we may divorce someday." I would thus have not agreed to one, because I do not have that understanding of marriage, nor would I have married a man who did--in other words, there can be other reasons to refuse a pre-nup than deviousness. It is wise for any couple to do estate planning, and trusts can take care of who inherits what. I know a couple who married in their seventies, each with a few million in assets, and they arranged to hold their finances separately for the sake of their respective children. In their case that probably made sense, and certainly none of their children stood to suffer from such a deal.

The thing about second marriages is that they are every bit as much true marriage as the first one. If the parties are in their forties or older, the second marriage is less likely to conceive children--but it may last longer than the first marriage, if they themselves live into their seventies or eighties. Depending on how old the children are, the wife may be more free to hold a full-time job than she would have if they were raising children together--but she may well have used up most of her prime earning years raising her own children, or raising his children or theirs together. In other words, unless they are independently wealthy, they are likely to use most of their assets for living, and a man caring for his wife is a higher life priority than how much he leaves for his children. In our case things are a little simpler, since I have no children and his children are my heirs. (If he were to die and I remarry, at that point we would need to provide for the children in both families.) In our case, I owned a house that had only a few years left on the mortgage (it would have been paid off by now, had I remained single), and those assets have been brought into the family as they would have been in a first marriage for both parties, and my husband does not wish to have me hold a full-time job outside the home--so making sure that I am provided for is more necessary than anything else in our estate planning, just as would be the case in a first marriage for both. At the same time, our combined assets are more than either had together, and we have a little more ability to help young-adult children now than he would have had alone as a widower, so the net result is better for everyone, I think.

One also never knows how much the final years will cost. I know someone who did little saving in decades of working a good, professional job, with the assumption that most of the assets of the parents would take the place of a savings account. But the parents' assets ended up going into nursing care for the parent with Alzheimer's. It would be unwise, in other words, to tie up everything one had coming into marriage for this set of children or that, without taking into account that the household itself might need the money, or the widow might need the money. Protection against a greedy spouse who divorces and takes off with the assets is another situation entirely--and the best protection for that is somehow figuring it out before marriage, and not marrying the person. But don't protect against the possible shyster in such a way that the committed spouse gets hurt.
Marriage--what a wonderful image of Christ's love for His bride!

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Job29Man
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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby Job29Man » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:12 am

Neile,

Your questions are excellent; they cause me to look more deeply into what I want to achieve, the basic motivations.

Yes and No Neile, I want people to disregard modern Western thinking.
-- I want them to embrace and return to traditional Western thinking regarding marriage, family, children.
-- I want to see people have realistic understandings and expectations.
-- Perhaps most of all, I want a tool to reveal the true character of both people. A hundred years ago this was obvious to all because couples mostly grew up in the same community together, knew each other for years (unromantically) beforehand, and both of them were known to many trusted people in same community. Now with many people highly mobile and almost entirely unknown to all within the trusted circles of their loved on, it is soooooo easy to hide their true character.

The "community" involvement I seek was central to Western Civilization thinking up until about 1960, give-or-take, just after WWII. I know we won't be able to reconstruct that kind of civilization, but I'm hoping to recover a way to ascertain the inner character and flaws of both the counselees, and reveal them to each other.
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

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Job29Man
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Re: estate planning in a second marriage

Postby Job29Man » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:22 am

poetess wrote:A prenuptial agreement generally comes with the idea "we may divorce someday."
Not necessarily. I recommend prenups for older couples because "we will die someday."

poetess wrote:It would be unwise, in other words, to tie up everything one had coming into marriage for this set of children or that, without taking into account that the household itself might need the money, or the widow might need the money.
Yes, this is why I counsel that the finances should be arranged to assure that both spouses are well provided for until they die. Then, what money remains should go to the rightful inheritors.

poetess wrote:... don't protect against the possible shyster in such a way that the committed spouse gets hurt.
Goes without saying. But I understand that it may need to be said nonetheless. It depends on the State's laws of course, but an estate law attorney should be able to arrange it with trusts or some such instrument(s).
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.


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