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10 Strange Agreements Couples Make Before Getting Married

  • BY MARKHAM HEID, PHOTOGRAPHY BY THINKSTOCK
    1 / 11 BY MARKHAM HEID, PHOTOGRAPHY BY THINKSTOCK

    Marriage is for better or for worse—sort of. The biggest trend in prenuptial agreements are “lifestyle clauses” that put rules and restrictions on everything from your social media use to how often her in-laws can visit. 

    These types of clauses may sound nuts—and the farthest possible thing from romantic. But if you set aside the attorneys and potential litigation, hashing out a lot of these topics before you get hitched can help ensure you and your partner are on the same page, says Sheri Meyers, Psy.D., a licensed marriage and family therapist and author of Chatting or Cheating. 

    Here are 10 of the strangest real-life prenups, and why you should (or should NOT) discuss them with your betrothed: 

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  • SOCIAL MEDIA CLAUSES
    2 / 11 SOCIAL MEDIA CLAUSES

    From what you post to how much time you spend on Facebook, these types of agreements are exploding in popularity. And for good reason: “We’re all spending so much time texting and emailing and staring at social media, which is extremely addictive,” Meyers says. “Having agreed upon limits . . . that’s really important to avoid abandoning each other for an online diversion that really doesn’t matter.” 

    Meyers recommends determining what you’re allowed to post (no photos of her without her permission), and also how much time you’re allowed to spend each night on sites like Facebook or Twitter.

    Related: 9 Ways Your Marriage Can Be Ruined

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  • INFIDELITY CLAUSE
    3 / 11 INFIDELITY CLAUSE

    Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel have one. And—fortunately for Denise Richards’s bank account—she had one of these with former husband Charlie Sheen. But unless you or your spouse has a well-known history of struggling with monogamy, this type of prenup probably won’t benefit your relationship much, Meyers says. ?

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  • SPORTS-WATCHING CLAUSE
    4 / 11 SPORTS-WATCHING CLAUSE

    Some guys have reportedly agreed to limits on their football-watching habit. “But if watching sports is your passion and it’s important to you, these types of restrictions are a bad idea,” Meyers says. ??A better one: Agreeing to spend just as much time with your partner, focused on her, as you do watching football (or whatever hobby you enjoy). “This can help you both carve out time for each other without outlawing a spouse’s favorite activities,” she adds. ?

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  • SEX CLAUSES?
    5 / 11 SEX CLAUSES?

    Twice a week? More or less? Yes, some couples actually sign prenups related to sex frequency. And while this may not seem relevant when your relationship is young and your hormones are raging, after a few years it can seem tough to carve out time (and interest) in sex, Meyers says. “I think this type of agreement can help you both put a premium on intimacy and make the effort to stay romantically close,” she says.? 

    Related: 7 Unusual and Unspoken Reasons For Divorce

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  • BABY-PAYOUT CLAUSE?
    6 / 11 BABY-PAYOUT CLAUSE?

    According to some reports, Beyoncé will collect $5 million from Jay-Z for every child they have together in the event they get divorced. “I think these types of payout clauses are pretty tacky,” Meyers says, adding that the law already addresses child support. “On the other hand, agreeing on how many children you want to have—and when you want to have them—is a really important conversation to have before you’re married.”? 

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  • IN-LAWS CLAUSE
    7 / 11 IN-LAWS CLAUSE

    “This one is actually really important,” Meyers says. You and your wife may start out dating in a city far away from your parents. Later on, you may end up closer to the ‘rents. How much will they be allowed to stop by and hang out? Are pop-in visits cool with you both? Agreeing on visit limits could save you from some huge, very hurtful arguments, Meyers stresses. 

     

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  • DATING CLAUSE
    8 / 11 DATING CLAUSE

    At some point while they were dating, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and girlfriend (now wife) Priscilla Chan reportedly signed a “dating prenup” requiring him to spend at least 100 minutes alone with her each week away from Facebook’s HQ. “I’m sure a lot of women would love this type of security and structure, but guys will feel so strangled by it,” Meyers says. 

    If you recognize you have a work obsession and you want to show your partner how important she is to you, a just-for-fun dating prenup might be a good way to demonstrate that, she says.? 

     

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  • SCHOOLING CLAUSE?
    9 / 11 SCHOOLING CLAUSE?

    Some prenups feature rules regarding your kids’ education—things like public versus private, or religious versus secular. “That’s a little extreme,” Meyers says. On the other hand, you do need to discuss school expectations with your spouse, because a lot of times this issue doesn’t come up until well into your marriage. “It’s important to be on the same page beforehand,” Meyers says. ? 

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  • NO-SMOKING CLAUSE
    10 / 11 NO-SMOKING CLAUSE

    “Yes, yes, yes,” Meyers says. If one of you smokes and the other doesn’t—or even if you both smoke but one of you doesn’t want it in the house—agreeing on some ground rules is common sense, she explains. ? 

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  • WEIGHT CLAUSES?
    11 / 11 WEIGHT CLAUSES?

    Some couples put limits on how much a spouse can gain. “As a woman, the thought of someone telling me what I can or can’t weigh is threatening and offensive to me,” Meyers says quickly. Even if you’re applying this clause to your own weight in an effort to tie yourself to diet goals, you’re turning your spouse into your parent or your jailer, and that’s just a bad idea, Meyers says. 

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