You’re excited about your upcoming nuptials — but you’re also concerned about the future. What happens if the romance dies quickly after the wedding? What happens if you and your spouse uncover some deep incompatibilities after you’re married? Despite your happiness, you’re not blind to the possibility of a divorce.

So, how do you ask for a prenup without sounding like you’re already looking for a way out of the relationship? The last thing you want to do is sour a good thing, so consider these steps:

  1. Take a collaborative approach. You aren’t so much asking your intended to sign a prenup as deciding — together — how you want things to go if you ever do split. It’s much better to negotiate these kinds of agreements when you both want the best for each other (instead of waiting until you’re angry at each other).
  2. Have the discussion early. You shouldn’t wait until the wedding venue has been reserved and the announcements have gone out. That can put undue pressure on your intended spouse to sign — and that could ultimately invalidate the agreement. Start talking about prenups before you start talking about the honeymoon.
  3. Don’t blame anybody else. Don’t try to blame the idea of a prenup on your parents or your business partner. It’s disingenuous and shows a lack of adult responsibility on your part if you do. It can also lead your spouse to harbor ill-will toward important people in your life — which can later turn toxic.
  4. Be fair. You’ll make a lot more headway if you approach your intended by saying, “I want to make sure that the agreement is fair to you,” and mean it. Consider provisions that “time out” as the marriage endures five, 10 or 20 years into the future, for example.

Asking for a prenup may make you uncomfortable — but it’s still a smart thing to do. Find out more about how you can tailor a prenuptial agreement to your unique situation.