After studying marriage for 25-years, Dr. Terri Orbuch, research professor at the University of Michigan revealed the number one cause of divorce.. can you guess? Money! Of course it is. If you can't pay the bills you get stressed and it occupies your thoughts and time. It's hard to be kind, understanding or affectionate when your thoughts are a million miles away. As provider of my household I can tell you that life is much better when there is money in the bank and the bills are paid. Bills and finances take a backseat to more important things like my family.
When you marry you are committing to stick it out through thick and thin "until death do you part". That is definitely easier said than done. It takes work to build something of worth. Most people, unfortunately, are not willing to be uncomfortable in any way and want to live life just for the "now". But by pushing through these trials and persevering we are opening up our lives to a beauty we have yet to experience.
Money is NOT the number one cause of divorce.
Money is not the cause but it's the affect of money mismanagement, miscommunication and not getting to the heart of the true issue at hand. If you and your spouse constantly fight about money ask yourself the question, "Why?". Is it really about the money? Maybe you don't have enough money to pay the bills so you fight about that. But why don't you have enough money? Maybe the real reason is because you have too many bills. Bills that could be eliminated. Expenses like cell phones, TV cable, high housing payment, and car payments. Maybe the real problem is you are too prideful to give up some luxuries that others have and you think you deserve as well or you are embarrassed to drive a not-so-nice car.
How to Prevent a Divorce Because of Money
We all know that money is definitely a major player in marriages. So, if money issues in a marriage lead to divorce 46% of the time how do you prevent it?
1. Create a Common Goal
Most money problems stem from not having a plan or having the wrong plan. If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Well, as I said in a previous post, I don't believe that completely. We create habits that sooner rather than later become our unwritten plan. Sit with your spouse and come up with a common goal. Maybe your goal could be to be debt-free or to buy a vacation house? Maybe it could be to have $100 a month to spend on anything your heart desires. Write down a goal that you and your spouse agree upon and keep it visible so that you can read it aloud each and every day.
2. Be Honest
Honesty is really the key factor to building momentum and reaching your goal quickly. Be honest with yourself and your spouse. If you did something contrary to your common goal then fess up and try again. Dishonesty could eventually lead to divorce even if your money management is good. Again, be honest with yourself and your spouse.
3. Communicate with your spouse
Communication is not just talking. It is also listening. God gave us two ears and one mouth, use them. This list, how to prevent a divorce because of money, is numbered but each item in the list is equally important. Silence can be golden but not if there is something you really need to talk about. Be honest with your spouse, communicate your successes and failures and stick to your common goal.
4. Revisit your Goal Monthly
One way of keeping your communication healthy and maintaining a steady focus is to revisit your common money goal each month. Make this time special with your spouse. Make it a picnic in the park, a trip to the local coffee shop or just some special time alone. Invest your time together.
1. Read your goal aloud together.
2. Share your successes and failures.
3. Reassess your goal. If it changes write it down and use it for the upcoming month.
The affects of mismanaging money can lead to divorce but if you are honest with yourself and your spouse you can prevent it. Create a common money goal, read it everyday and stick with it. Nobody is perfect so if you fail be sure to come clean and get back on course quickly. Dr. Orbuch's 25 year study revealed not only that 46% of marriages end in divorce but that the majority (54%) of marriages succeed!
All the best to you for a long, happy, successful marriage!