You probably realize that severe financial difficulties — and the resulting stress — can lead to the breakdown of marital relationships. However, did you know that an abundance of wealth is also capable of destabilizing a relationship? There’s a growing body of evidence that indicates that good economic times and personal prosperity are actually bad for the longevity of marriages overall.
In many cases, wealthy couples consist of one partner who has a substantial income and career and one partner who doesn’t. The spouse with little or no income may be a stay-at-home parent, working on a creative endeavor or career that hasn’t come into bloom yet, functioning as a support person for their spouse on a personal and professional level or simply enjoying the lifestyle their spouse is able to provide.
Unfortunately, a significant economic disparity between spouses can create a rift between the duo over time — for a number of different reason. For example, the spouse with the greater income might become resentful of the other spouse’s spending. The working spouse may feel taken advantage of, while the non-working spouse may feel like their spending habits are always under unnecessary scrutiny.
In cases were one spouse agreed to stay at home to raise the children and maintain the household, that agreement can lead to new sources of strain. The stay-at-home spouse may feel isolated and lonely when the working spouse has to be gone all the time. He or she may also resent having to sideline his or her own personal ambitions for the sake of a spouse’s career.
In addition, a strong national economy — not just a household’s own financial situation — is another factor that can raise the chance of a divorce. During poor economic times, couples are more inclined to pull together for support — and more afraid to strike off on their own. When the overall economy is good, however, individuals can more easily picture themselves surviving without their spouse’s financial support.
What’s important for people to remember is that money offers no guarantee of marital bliss. Even high-income, high-asset couples seek divorces — and having more money often just makes some of the issues involved more complicated to settle. No matter what your financial situation, it’s generally wisest to seek legal advice as soon as possible.