If you haven’t heard that money is the top reason for divorce, you’ve probably been living under a rock. This idea is so prevalent that many money experts use it in marketing their services.
Unfortunately… cue the tape on nerd glasses research moment… it just ain’t true.
When researchers asked divorcing people, point blank, their main reasons for getting divorced (keeping in mind some don’t want the divorce–their partner does), they responded as follows:
Notice that money was in there but as a complaint about their spouse–not about the lack of money itself.
Real people talk about disagreements over how to handle money as the real pain. Not having it or not. If two people have the same philosophy around money then the research doesn’t support the lack of it will harm your marriage (although being terribly poor is stressful). In fact we’ve treated couples with millions of dollars and they fight endlessly about money.
Money is ultimately about power, freedom, choice, and anxiety management. If you can figure out the emotional side of money, with your spouse, then you may help to “divorce proof” your relationship. The good news – marriage therapists know the emotional sides of money and can help you suss through the tangled web to get you on the same side.