Quite a few years back– “when I was still quite naive” (thank you, Carly Simon)– I took a course on marriage and divorce. A woman in the class expressed concern that so many women marry before they have the means of supporting themselves. And I — I am embarrassed to say– blathered on about building trust, so that it was safe, to what–? Put yourself into a potential hostage situation?
A decade or so later, I get it. Women, PLEASE, get a pre-nup. Hold half the assets. Have things in your own name. Know how you would make a living if you had to, and if you choose to stay home with the kids (I did), get a legally binding agreement about what this is worth, so if you have to leave, you know what you’re entitled to.
In short, fuck romance. Any guy who wouldn’t agree to this is not to be trusted.
As a former Catholic raised in the whole religious-poverty, solidarity-with-the-poor tradition, I’d be the first to say that your financial assets are not a barometer of your worth, and that money doesn’t buy happiness. HOWEVER: it does make a certain baseline of independence possible, and while if you’ve read my stuff, you know that I don’t think herbs and rocks actually draw money, I will say that money spells at least take the shame out of admitting that you need resources.
If you think that a magical roll-on oil (yes, I’ve seen them) will draw money, you’re as naive as if you think you can be rescued from hardship by the right marriage. But you should think about where the money will come from when you plan your life, and especially motherhood.
It’s not petty to think about money when you hook up with someone. You should have figured out how to take care of yourself financially before you commit to anyone, and if you make career sacrifices for the sake of children, you should have in writing whatever you need to protect yourself. To do so is real magick: using the resources you have to shape your world.