Top 10 Reasons Why Recession is Good For Relationships 6 – 10

recession1Perhaps recession is doing something the good times couldn’t – encouraging couples to stick together and face their problems as a team.

As we mentioned in Part One of this Top Ten survey, one out of three people questioned in a Romance in Recession Poll in January 2009 feel that financial constraints have brought them and their partner closer together.

There are a lot of good reasons to see the black clouds of recession as having a silver lining.

Top 10 Reasons No 6 – 10

6 ) Communication improved: 34 percent of poll respondents claim that over the past year, they haven’t argued with their partner about finances. A typical comment:
“When my husband and I lost our jobs, we had to learn to really communicate with each other to figure out what to do next.”

7 ) The relationship developed resilience: two key predictors of a resilient relationship, experts say, are mutual support and a willingness to sacrifice. A 2006 study by Scott Stanley, the director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, and colleagues found that the willingness to forgo personal interests and put a partner’s needs ahead of one’s own was directly linked to a long-lasting, happy marriage — provided that such sacrifices weren’t damaging or one-directional.

8 ) Despite tough economic times you’ll be better off financially if you hang in there. Marriage is as important, if not more important, than education in determining a man’s wealth. Married men make, by some estimates, as much as 40 percent more money than comparable single guys, even after taking into account education and job history. The longer a man stays married, the higher the marriage premium he receives. Wives’ earnings also benefit from marriage, but they decline when motherhood enters the picture. Childless white wives get a marriage wage premium of 4 percent, and black wives earn 10 percent more than comparable single women.

9 ) Did I mention stick together and you’ll be much richer? Married people not only make more money, they manage money better and build more wealth together than either would alone. At identical income levels, for example, married people are less likely to report “economic hardship” or trouble paying basic bills. The longer you stay married, the more assets you build; by contrast, length of cohabitation has no relationship to wealth accumulation. On the verge of retirement, the average married couple has accumulated assets worth about $410,000, compared with $167,000 for the never-married and $154,000 for the divorced. Couples who stayed married in one study saw their assets increase twice as fast as those who had remained divorced over a five-year period.

10 ) Recession may encourage you to stay in the relationship for the long haul – and there is plenty of evidence for many people this is the best choice. What proportion of unhappily married couples who stick it out stay miserable? The latest data shows that within five years, just 12 percent of very unhappily married couples who stick it out are still unhappy; 70 percent of the unhappiest couples now describe their marriage as “very” or “quite” happy.

Resilience evolves over time, as long as couples make it a mutual priority — and that takes patience. Keep in mind also that over the long haul, the health and mental benefits of marriage are countless. Says Diane Sollee, a marriage and family therapist and the founder of SmartMarriages.com: “You’ve got to know that you actually do better if you hang in there.”

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