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Today we have a guest post from Stacy B. Miller.
Stacy is a content editor at Oak View Law Group. Her articles are a beautiful union of her love for money and playing with words.
After working as a content writer for 5 years, she launched her own blog kissyourmoney.com where she posts articles on money, credit, debt, personal finance, and other financial topics.
Her blog gives real-world advice, tips and tricks to manage money like a pro. In the next 5 years, her plan is to explore the world and take her blog to the next level.
On my blog, Frugal Asian Finance, I often discuss the importance of personal finance in my marriage with Mr. FAF. Stacy has offered to share her thoughts on love, marriage, and money in her post below.
Last year my cousin, Kelly, divorced her husband, Brad, in Texas. Brad and Kelly were happy after marriage.
But things turned sour due to Brad’s irresponsible financial behavior.
Brad spent a lot of money, and he ignored his credit card bills every month.
His debt increased gradually, and creditors started calling every day. Kelly asked Brad to clear his debt, but he never listened to her.
Both of them lived in the community property state, so Kelly was held equally responsible for Brad’s debt. Her credit score dropped, and she was under deep financial pressure. Kelly wanted to enroll in a debt management program to pay off her debts, but Brad was against the idea.
Spats started over money and other financial issues regularly. Kelly tried her best to save her marriage. But eventually, she lost her patience and filed for divorce.
Marrying for money
Money matters in marriage. In the 18th and 19th century, most women married for money. They looked after the household affairs and expected their husbands to provide money for covering household expenses.
Parents asked their daughters to ‘marry well’ so as to avoid financial problems. Women were not financially independent back then. Most of them had to marry purely for financial stability.
Time has changed.
Women are now educated and financially independent. They are in stiff competition with men in school, college, office, and pretty much everywhere. But many still look at the man’s pocket when it comes to marriage because money and debt have a direct effect on a relationship.
You don’t marry just a man. You also marry his money and debts.
Why is it a good idea to marry for money?
One of the reasons behind the increasing divorce rates is debts. Financial problems lead to ugly fights, heated arguments, and stress.
The financial crisis, job loss and a huge amount of debt create a perfect storm in a marriage. Bitterness creeps into the relationship gradually and ultimately leads to divorce.
Money can buy happiness, which is an essential ingredient for a long lasting marriage. The enthusiasm of love and romance fades after awhile. But the penchant for the good things in life remains.
When you get married, your expenses increase gradually. You and your partner can live in a tiny apartment after getting married. But when kids arrive in the family, you have to move into a bigger apartment. Logically, it will be impossible to buy an apartment if one of the partners refuses to save.
Apart from a big apartment, there are other expenses you need to think about like prenatal care, birthday presents, doctor appointments, summer camps, vacations, college, etc. Higher education has become too expensive nowadays. A good bank balance is required to provide higher education to kids.
I don’t think that a woman’s point of view has changed substantially. Yes. Women are now educated and work outside of their home. But they still earn less than men. Men make 3 times more money over their lifetime than women.
Moreover, a large section of women leaves jobs after having babies. Sometimes, they leave jobs when their husbands relocate for better job prospects. Women have to do a lot of adjustments. They are seen as the flexible ones.
However, women are the ones who suffer most post divorce. They’re less valuable in the job market since there is a long gap in their career. Besides, they’re also less marketable on the marriage market.
Why should women take so many risks? Why should women suffer? From a financial point of view, women should marry men who are affluent, financially responsible, and have a good credit score.
Don’t laugh. Girls prefer to date men with a good credit score because they are smarter from their earlier generation. They know very well that a good credit score is important for buying an apartment or obtaining a loan. Plus, if a man has good credit score, it means that he is financially responsible.
Marriage is not just the union of mind and soul. It is also about the union of finances. A good relationship has proper financial planning. It is important for both partners to be on the same financial page.
Let me explain to you why. Frequent financial disagreements can break a relationship if both partners don’t compromise and adjust. Brad, my cousin’s husband, refused to change his attitude towards money. If he was filthy rich, then Kelly, my cousin, might have thought twice before filing for divorce.
Love and romance sound good in fairy-tales. Love is the highest ideal in the popular romantic stories. It is cherished and celebrated in the imaginary world. But in reality, there are many other important factors you need to consider when it comes to marriage such as finances.
Life is short, and you live only once. Why should you suffer by marrying a guy who refuses to be financially responsible and does not care about your well-being? And believe me, all your romantic feelings will die when you can’t agree with each other about money and struggle to put food on the table every single day.
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26 thoughts on “When Marrying For Love (And Not Money) Just Isn’t Enough”
I definitely agree that love can only hold your relationship together for so long. Money will be a huge factor when it comes to a couple’s union. It’s best to be transparent and honest about money before you get married. In addition, having similar money and spending philosophy will determine how long your marriage will last. It takes two to tango.
This is well written Stacy. If I may add, the situation can also be reversed if the wife is a spender and the husband is a saver.
Thanks Leo! Yes, you’re absolutely right. It takes two to tango. Brad and Kelly were love birds. But their love was not enough to sustain the marriage since money is important. Financial stability is important. Brad couldn’t give that to Kelly. Kelly is a saver but Brad isn’t.
Like Blair Waldorf says,
“The most important thing in a relationship is trust. After sex. And hygiene. And earning potential.”
Thanks for sharing. You’re so right. Love is obviously the most important aspect of any relationship, but communication is second. Communicating on certain topics (such as finances) can be incredibly difficult for people. Understanding where each person stands at the beginning of the relationship is the best advice I’d give. Make sure you’re either on the same page or at least have similar thoughts and are working towards the same goals.
Agreed. Even if you’re not the same page, at least try to cooperate with one another. If your husband is trying to save money, appreciate it. Try to save little bit of money. Talk about your financial goals. It’s important.
I agree. It’s best to marry for love and financial responsibility. Your prospective partner doesn’t have to be rich, but fiscal responsibility is necessary for a happy marriage. Whew, am I glad I’m married to someone with a similar financial value. I’d hate to be single.
Congratulations! You’re lucky!
If your partner is not financially responsible but has lots of money, then you can live a comfortable life without any worry 😛
Coming into marriage, we both knew we were combining finances. We had talked in depth from early in daring about what we expected. Even then, there were definitely some issues and struggles when marriage happened.
I’m not sure I ever consciously thought of whether he had a good score, but looking back, I’d say his strength in that area gave me comfort in knowing he would be a good partner for a life together.
Really enjoyed the post!
You’re a practical woman. Issues will be there in marriage, but we have to try to solve them. You’re lucky. You got a good partner.
“And believe me, all your romantic feelings will die when you can’t agree with each other about money and struggle to put food on the table every single day.”
This is sooooooooooo true! You need some money to be at least at baseline happy.
Money can buy happiness. If someone doesn’t agree, then I would say that he/she doesn’t know the places to shop.
Yeah, this is very very true.
Someone close to me recently had a divorce after dating for 10+ years and marriage of only 2+years. The husband were in so much credit card debt that he even used his wife’s social security to open up more credit cards. This leaves the wife in a horrible situation. Not to mention that their 2-year-old is not receiving the best care which only makes the situation worse. Needless to say this led to a divorce and mom is especially in a worse position.
Money and finance is definitely very very important if not just as important as love.
Glad to know that she had a clean break from him. Is she doing any job now?
So true!! People sometimes forget that marriage is a legal contract as well as a bond of love. No one should tie the knot before they know the definition of “jointly and severally liable”!
Of course, in my ideal world, there would be no government-recognized marriage, and we would all be single people in the eyes of the law by default. If we wanted to join our finances with our spouse, or anyone else for that matter, there should be a separate legal contract to do so. I’m afraid that the legal obligations of marriage have not kept up with the times.
True. But I don’t feel it’s a wise financial move to join finances after marriage. It only increases trouble. Few things should be kept private.
Marriage is definitely easier when your fundamental values are compatible. Agreeing on spending, giving and saving was automatic for us. We have been early retired and FI for awhile and are so enjoying this time of our life. But we’ve only been married 39 years so it could be beginner’s luck.
Congrats! God bless. I hope I too have a such long lasting marriage.
The first piece of advice I give, solicited or unsolicited, to younger people about money is to marry the right person. I have seen too many horror stories and know that money plays a very critical role in marriage. Serious financial issues almost always lead to divorce. Unfortunately, the financial devastation often persists for years after the divorce.
Although I’m only 4 years into my marriage, I whole-heartedly agree with you. Love is great, but it won’t be sustainable without mutual understanding of finances.
Good call by Kelly. I have seen this play it in many people’s lives. One is responsible and one isn’t. It sounds like Brad was never going to change. I imagine he also struggles with compromising and learning in other areas too.
My wife was very average at managing her money (terrible by my standards but compared to the average American she was probably ahead) when we met. It wasn’t that she was irresponsible she had just never been taught anything. It sounds crazy to some people but I actually had her read some financial books and discussed them with her soon after we started dating. She read the books, learned a lot, started paying off her debt and investing. If she would have said yeah yeah but I want these shoes I’ll read that book later I probably would have been on my way.
Love and friendship are still the most important ingredients for marriage but I agree that people shouldn’t kid themselves into thinking the other stuff doesn’t matter.
I’m amazed to know that she agreed to read those financial books. Appreciate her a lot. Actually, most couples don’t think about money management when they are dating. Both of you gave importance to money management, debts and investing. Probably, this is why both of you’re still together. Much love 🙂
i really enjoyed this article , thank you for sharing . the first piece of advice I give, solicited or unsolicited, to younger people about money is to marry the right person. and thank you for sharing again
hope so you are write new article soon
Financial issues were behind our separation and it wasn’t until those were resolved that we reconciled.
Two thoughts: Finanicial maturity with both husband and wife is a prerequisite for a stable marriage but there MUST be love. I have known women who married only for money and they were all very sad because there was no love in the relationship; they envied their friends who had truly loving relationships in their marriages. Understand, a couple can be school teachers and be financially responsible while deeply in love. To seek out someone of wealth to marry seems quite shallow – it’s called being a “gold digger.”
When selecting a life partner it is wise for both parties to be “on the same page” regarding financial responsibility; but also human and/or spiritual values and ethics; open communication and approaches to conflict resolution; trust; sex; common shared interests; and believe it or not “love.” I have known people who married only for wealth and while most are still in their marriages they are unhappy, unfulfilled and often envy “the magic” that other couples, and are susceptible to affairs. When you only marry for money – that’s usually all you get. And that is a terribly shallow approach to life if you ask me. And others come to see how shallow and empty you really are.
This makes so much sense. We dislike to think about it but my cousins husband became a lawyer cause she expected a certain level of living. Wish my husband and I had thought of that haha ?