It’s no secret that many couples fight – and even divorce – over money issues. But despite the fact the American economy has been in the doldroms the past few years and placed great stress on couples, there are two silver linings!
According to a new survey by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, many couples say the recession has deepened their commitment to marriage; and among those who were considering a divorce prior to the recession, a large minority of couples say the recession caused them to postpone or put aside divorce.
The survey was released this week in connection with National Marriage Week USA (Feb 7-14). Surveyors found that 38 percent of troubled married couples surveyed said that the economic downturn caused them to work harder at saving their marriage. Not surprisingly, those with fewer financial stresses report happier marriages, and those with the most money problems reported more problems. Those who have redoubled their marital commitment are much more likely to be in a very happy marriage (52 percent) than those who disagree that the recession has caused them to deepen their commitment (25 percent).
“This new survey tells us that the Great Recession has had a double-edged impact on American marriages,” said study author Bradford Wilcox. “For some, the financial stresses associated with the Great Recession have hurt their marriages. But for others, this recession has fostered a new commitment to marriage that appears to have improved the quality and stability of their marriages.”
Here are some other findings:
-More than 34 percent worry often or almost all the time about being able to pay the bills
-12 percent report either difficulty making mortgage payments or a home foreclosure
-29 percent indicate they have experienced unemployment or reduced pay or hours as a result of the economic downturn
-Just over half have been affected by one or more of these three financial stressors.
If you find yourself stressed about your marriage over money or other issues, genConnect relationship expert Laurie Puhn has 5 tips for couples to fight less and love more: Pick the right battles, give a character compliment, avoid premature arguments, show you care, and disagree without being disagreeable.
“The values we hold dear to us – respect, appreciation, compassion, loyalty and companionship – are fostered or destroyed every day by our word choices and actions,” Puhn says. “If you follow these 5 tips, you should see a quick improvement in your relationship. The wiser your words, the better your relationship.”
More From Laurie Puhn:
These are one experts views on the news. Share with us your thoughts in the comments box below.
For more article by Laurie Puhn and our relationship experts, sign up for genConnect.com.