The National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia took a look into marriage and money with their report on “The State of Our Unions, Marriage in America 2009: Money & Marriage.”
Things I found most interesting are in Jeffrey Dew’s piece, “Bank On It: Thrifty Couples are the Happiest” (pg. 23 of the full report):
When individuals feel that their spouse does not handle
money well, they report lower levels of marital happiness.
Couples who reported disagreeing about finances once a week were over 30 percent more likely to divorce over time than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times per month.
In particular, couples who are wise enough to steer clear of materialism and consumer debt are much more likely to enjoy connubial bliss.
Seems that financial disagreements are the major predictor of marriage success or failure, so agreeing on finances and also having more assets than debt is actually critical to marital happiness. Probably something many people knew intuitively, but nice to have research to back up that hunch.