Couples who have disagreements over finances at least once a week increase their chances of getting divorced by thirty percent, according to researchers at Utah State University. But what are the specific aspects of finance that can lead to marital discord? Sources: reuters.com
While there are a host of different tensions within a marriage, it seems that money is the most tense.
A survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Harris Interactive found that 27 percent of marital contentions started because of money.
Only 16 percent of arguments were started over children, respondents said.
When arguing over money, 58 percent of couples argue over needs versus wants.
Everyone has a different idea of what exactly needs and wants are, so it is important to talk about it beforehand.
In a 2003 national study, husbands and wives were asked about their income, assets and debt.
Husbands reported greater assets and income than wives did, and wives reported more debt.
About half of the spouses reported a 35 percent or greater difference in their assets.
Money matters in marriage can be more easily handled when husbands and wives realize that they see money differently.
Source: Handbook of Consumer Finance Research
Jeffrey Dew, PhD, a Utah State University professor, presented research showing that consumer debt increased the likelihood of divorce by increasing levels of conflict and decreasing marital happiness.
Couples also reported that conflict intensity rose as a result of consumer debt.
Financial problems become especially damaging when spouses are not honest about money.
A poll by Self Magazine and Today.com found that nearly one-half of people have lied to their significant other about money.
Hiding financial accounts from your spouse isn't a good thing for marital happiness.
But, a survey by CreditCards.com revealed that 6 million Americans have hidden accounts from their partner.
This deception is never healthy, even if it isn't malicious. Many people hide accounts because they are guilty or embarrassed by their spending.
When couples don't talk about finances, it can lead to problems.
And 55 percent of couples don't set aside time to talk about finances, according to data compiled by reuters.com
More than 50 percent of people didn't talk about marriage before they were married, according to a survey by American Express.
Considering the number of divorces that happen because of money, this isn't too surprising.
Research presented by Jeffrey Dew also found that the more assets a couple has the less likely divorce was.
But this correlation certainly doesn't mean wealth cures marital problems.
Jeffrey Dew said that when couples get assets, sound financial management of those assets helps couples stay happier and avoid divorce.
Photo: Lock some money away.
About two-thirds of couples have joint checking accounts.
Some see this as good because couples should approach finances together, as a team. It also can help couples be honest with each other about how they are spending money.
For 40 percent of people, honesty about finances is more important than honesty about fidelity.
For 32 percent of people, a partner's bankruptcy would be reason enough to call off a wedding, according to statistics gathered by reuters.com.
Student loans, housing payments, and bankruptcy are all common financial problems that can lead to marital tension.