So, can money ruin a marriage? Is money the main cause of marriage break ups? Well, in answer to the first question, we don’t like to say that money can ruin marriage because money on it’s own is not the problem; it’s the user and the way it’s managed that is the issue. So, no, money doesn’t ruin marriages but the way it’s managed does.
Do you and your spouse fight about your finances? Is it frequent? How about more than once a week? Well, a study a couple of years ago showed that if a couple fights over finances more than once week, the probability of divorce increases.
The study was published by Utah State University and reported at napavalleyregister.com. We thought since we’ve been looking at money problems in marriage lately it’s good to get another perspective on how to avoid problems which could lead down the divorce path.
What we like about the following piece is it goes to the beginning and choosing a partner. For some reason, when couples come together, financial habits are not discussed; not enough anyway. Even if you have already walked down the aisle and tied the knot, then the following questions should still be raised with you and your spouse.
A 2009 study published by Utah State University found a strong correlation between the frequency of arguments about finance and the probability of divorce. Not exactly a scientific breakthrough; the more you fight, the more likely divorce is coming. The study did find something worthy of note, though: Once fighting about finances occurs more than once per week, there is a large increase in the probability of divorce.
When choosing a spouse, some overlook essential questions. Financial cohesion is often ignored. Whether you are engaged or have been married for decades, here are a few questions you should ask yourself, then discuss your answers with your fiancé or spouse:
• Do you consider money a tool or a commodity? Some people see money as a tool to buy status, invest or control others. Others see money as a non-renewable commodity. It is common for one spouse to be very carefree with money while the other saves it with a vicelike grip. These differences can create stress in marriage and need to be addressed.
• What were finances like growing up? Considering these experiences can expose one’s thoughts and feelings about money. Children pay attention to their parents’ spending habits, creating ideas and feelings that affect them as they enter adulthood and marriage.
• How much money do you want to save each month? This is a good question because it creates a goal. This question also reveals how a person views money.
• For what reasons are we willing to go into debt? Not all debt is evil. A couple should decide what the worthy reasons for debt are. Discretionary spending should never be one of those reasons…..
Are still still wondering “can money ruin a marriage?” Did the questions in the article make sense to you? Is this something you wish you had done before getting married? Have you been able to get things back on track and if so, what were some of the measures you took to avoid going down the path of a break up?
And once again, the underlying problem here is lack of communication. Sorry to keep harping on this but it is as a plain as day; unless couples discuss their issues openly success in marriage is going to be nearly impossible. Lack of communication eventually leads to resentment and a feeling of betrayal when things go wrong with finances. For example, one partner creating debt the other is not aware of and only being open about it when they realize they can’t repay it.
So before you want to head down the divorce path, talk about it. Look at the questions in the article and answer them honestly and truthfully. Marriage is a team game after all and is no place for individual performers.