Married Dopers: Do you have a "back up plan?"

We don’t have separate bank accounts. I could see him getting sick of me and leaving. I couldn’t see him turning evil enough to take all the money with him.

Mr. Neville burps at me, because he knows I have a childish sense of humor and find things like burps and farts amusing.

I don’t have a back-up plan. My spouse has life and disability insurance, and lots of good job skills. I have been a SAHM for 13 years now, and had minimal job skills before that (worked in retail). I have faith in myself that I would do something, whatever was needed, to support our kids if my partner got taken by aliens, but I’m not sure exactly what.

If that’s a “back up plan” then my wife has one; she was employed until a couple of years ago, and could certainly go back to being employed, if necessary; though her salary would certainly take a hit.

Also, she has several large investment accounts.

None of this is concious “planning” though; it just happened that way. The only planning we’ve done is to have insurance and also reasonably liquid fund stashed away for a rainy six months or so.

Though OTOH if one’s spouse has a professional-type salary, I’m not sure that a regime of insurance combined with the number of a good divorce lawyer isn’t such a bad plan; the real risk is some uninsurable disaster that renders the earning spouse unemployable. Dunno how one plans around that, though.

I’m guessing that the majority of divorced people said the same thing at some point in their marriages.

I’m divorced, but I never had a back up plan. I was on equal footing as far as income with my ex-husband though, and was actually the main provider for a while as far as money goes (no kids). So, even when we split and I was left with half the income and all the bills I was still able to afford everything.

Then again, I’ve always had savings and a solid grip on my finances.

You know, I am not really so sure of that. My first marriage I had all kinds of “just in case” plans in mind, and what I would do and wouldn’t do in the event of divorce and made sure that all “my” stuff was separate and accessible only to me even though I truly loved my husband…and we ended up divorced. Had you asked me at the time I would probably have said something like, “I don’t plan to divorce, but you never know what might happen” and it kept it as a possibility at the back of my mind any time things weren’t going just how I wanted them to be. All of the planning and preparing made it very easy to divorce, otherwise I might have worked more on the marriage itself.

This time I threw caution to the wind so to speak, never considered the possibility of divorce and it is a laughable suggestion to both me and my husband, still going strong more than 10 years later.

I know that anecdotes are not data but I do wonder how much of divorce is a self-fulfilling prophecy for those who over-think it and plan a bit too much, if you know what I mean.

I think this is the key both within a marriage and the dissolution of one.

That, and divorce, death, or disability are not the only things that could cause you to lose an income.

Don’t “plan for divorce,” that’s fine. How about planning for the fact that the economy tanks approximately every 5 years? That health issues cost a lot of money (even with insurance), even if they don’t ultimately kill or permanently disable you?

Boggles my mind.

I’ve never heard them called that before. :smiley:

I expect the majority of divorced people never really gave it much thought. But point taken.

I can only really speak for myself on this - although I’m sure I’m not alone - I regard marriage vows to express certain absolutes - the unreserved and unconditional sharing of selves, lives and resources - it’s simply a different proposition if limits are introduced. I’m not saying people shouldn’t impose those limits if they really feel it necessary, just that there is a valid formulation of the thing that cannot possibly include limits.

For me, the acknowledgement that yes, those are incredibly high stakes, and yet, I still intend to play, is an important reinforcement of the gravity of marriage - it’s not just a scary detail, it’s a critical part of what makes it work.

I agree with this side of the argument. Sometimes stuff happens that just blows you away, you know? People do weird things that you would never expect or they change in strange ways.

Life is just really unpredictable and it throws weird things at you. People make mistakes or have a hard time. Most of us are trying our best, but that doesn’t always end well.

I get the sense from a lot of married women that they like to keep a “backup man” on hand. (Am I mistaken about this?) In fact, I get the sense that I may be the backup man for a couple of female friends. (And these are just friends. No hanky panky. But they have joked or otherwise hinted about me being in the bullpen, should the occasion arise.) Truthfully, I don’t mind being the backup plan.

I’m not married, but the SAHMs I know generally have backup plans, not in case of divorce: in case the husband gets run over by a truck. Maybe you (generic you) would consider that a lack of faith in life.

I can’t speak for other women, but I have no backup man. That sounds really strange to me.

Married for 4 years this week. Never considered a back up plan. My wife doesn’t work, but we have no kids. She doesn’t have a plan either.

I wouldn’t say a lot, but I’ve certainly known a couple of women (and men, for that matter) who wouldn’t consider leaving a relationship until they’d lined up another. Thing is, I don’t think it was a matter of financial planning, as much as a deathly fear of being alone for a few minutes.

I’m not saying it never happens, but honestly this just does not occur to me and I, personally, don’t know any women who have this as a plan.

“Several”? :stuck_out_tongue:

I needed no back up plan because I had already supported myself for many years prior being married and had no doubt I could do so again even with children. What is the worst thing that could happen? You have to start over.

I certainly have friends that I have thought if I am ever single, I might sleep with them. (What can I say? They are attractive). But no backup man to go to the next relationship with! If for some reason my relationship ended I’m sure it would be traumatic and I’d need time before the next guy.

But as a rebound relationship? Maybe.

No, no backup man. :eek: What a bizarre thought. But should I wind up single somehow, I would be a) very unhappy at the loss of my excellent husband and b) expecting to stay single.