Updated on May 29th, 2018
Marriage is an alliance between two people who strive to forge a common destiny for the betterment of their lives. When two people join in holy matrimony, they are taking a sacred vow to pool their energy, affection, and resources together.
The point of marriage is to strengthen the bonds of love and devotion between two people and their families. It is the merging of ideas, interests, and affections for the greater good. The willingness to perform selfless acts for another person is central to the concept of marriage.
And yet 50% of marriages fail, not through a lack of love, or devotion, but largely through the failure to manage finances correctly. Unfortunately, we live in a world where rising costs play a big part in the stress factors upon us. The burden of financial stress on a relationship can tear it apart instantly.
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There is an age-old expression along the lines of: ‘When the bills start coming in the front door, love goes out the back door.’ This is an unfortunate reality that too many couples are faced with today.
According to research from Psychology Today, there is a CREATE mechanism with successful relationships:
- C is for chemistry
- R is for respect
- E is for enjoyment
- A is for acceptance
- T is for trust
- E is for empathy
Quite surprisingly the author Dr. Mark Goulston did not expressly make mention of the financial element of relationships, and this is telling. However, it is implicitly evident in the Trust component listed above. Dr Seth Myers PsyD went to great pains to express how important the financial aspect of relationships can be to staying together.
Money-management ranks among the most important factors. It is difficult, if not impossible for a relationship to sustain the rigors of daily life if one person is cautious, while the other is a spendthrift. Psych Central penned an article about money arguments being a top predictor of divorce.
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A study conducted in Family Relations collected survey data from 4,500 couples from a National Survey of Families and Households. An interesting set of data was revealed: it didn’t matter how much money couples earned, all that mattered was how they argued about money.
Money -related problems typically take much longer to resolve in relationships than emotional problems. This makes sense: finances are real, while emotional wounds, while deep and affecting, are perhaps a little easier to deal with.
Education has been a useful tool in helping families to manage their finances better. People with financial stresses are typically focused on the short-term. Anytime there is a short-term stress factor, an increase in planning can alleviate that burden over time.
Anytime money is not managed effectively in a relationship, that relationship will be subject to lower levels of satisfaction.
What Are You Really Getting Married To?
If, according to research upwards of 50% of relationship breakups and divorces occur because of money-related issues, then perhaps further study is needed to understand why so many couples are mismanaging their finances. According to Wedding Bells Magazine, the average cost of a wedding in the United States is $32,358.
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Engagement rings cost anywhere in the region of $4,000, and a little extra is required to finish that off with a wedding band. When you take a partner for life, it’s important to understand what you’re getting involved in.
The warm emotions are one thing, but money issues are another. It’s always wise to be aware of financial issues in relationships. Contrary to popular opinion, it is possible for opposites to work well together, provided there is trust, openness and a desire to improve.
A spendthrift can be taught to spend wisely, and a saver can be taught to invest wisely. A nice home, a high quality of life, and a sizable retirement package are preferable to living like a pauper but with money in the bank.