Can money buy happiness? That’s a complicated question with regards to marriage in this country. It is a timely question due to the economic hardship that individuals and families have learned to live with during the past several years.
How a household’s money is made is part of the marriage and divorce equation. Is one person working outside of the household? Research since the post-war era has shown an increase in the divorce rate since women joined the workforce. The theory is that two spouses in the workforce bring home more stress, which can increase the likelihood of divorce.
It might not just be the stress of two careers that leads to a higher rate of divorce among these households. When a woman earns her own living, she potentially feels less tied to a marriage for financial reasons compared to in the past. She can think about whether the marriage is best for her in the long run and make a decision based on want not need.
A Utah State University study reveals more details about money’s affect on marriage and divorce. The amount of consumer debt between a couple increases the chance of divorce, again likely due to the stress that comes with unshakable debt. Debt can cause arguments between partners who may be frustrated about each other’s spending habits. The study also found that couples who argue about money more than once a week are as much as 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who argue less about finances.
So, have these statistics answered whether money can buy marital happiness? Somewhat, though statistics can only give a very general picture. Each couple’s situation is different and it’s possible that money doesn’t play a part in the outcome of some people’s unions. Unhappiness is unhappiness, whether it is caused by debt, career or simple incompatibility. If a divorce is the solution to that unhappiness, then so be it.
Source: CNBC, “The Cost of Marriage and Divorce,” Albert Bozzo, May 7, 2012