How big is the impact of money on happy marriages?

Couples in Kentucky who are facing financial difficulties might be interested in the findings from a study that focused on marital satisfaction over the first five years of marriage. The general belief in the past was that couples began their married journey full of excitement that declined over time into a feeling of contentment. This belief was based on an earlier study that focused on middle-class white couples. Researchers, however, were concerned that this belief was linked to socio-economic factors, so they looked at couples in low socio-economic areas in Los Angeles to see if this had an effect.

The study, published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science, studied couples who fell into three categories at the beginning of marriage: those who exhibited high, moderate or low levels of satisfaction. What the study found was that couples exhibiting high and moderate levels of satisfaction at the beginning of their marriage continued to show satisfaction in their marriage over the next five years. But the couples who had low initial satisfaction showed a higher risk of decline.

When socio-economic status was considered, the couples who had high and moderate satisfaction at the beginning showed stability in their levels of satisfaction. Meanwhile, in the couples with low satisfaction, wives seemed to be impacted more by socio-economic risks and showed a steeper decline over time in marital satisfaction. Husbands in these groups showed decline at the beginning but seemed to return to a more satisfied state in the next three to five years. Lower satisfaction can be one of the factors that leads to the end of a marriage.

If couples find that they are not satisfied in their marriage, they might decide to seek a divorce. In those cases, they may speak with a lawyer with family law experience. A lawyer may offer help through the process by explaining options for their client regarding mediation or litigation.