Many Illinois residents have likely heard that money can’t buy happiness, and a new study on marital satisfaction partially backs that up. The study was published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science.
Historically, most marital satisfaction studies have been conducted on white middle-class couples. Because of this, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Georgia thought past research may have overestimated marital strength and stability. Therefore, they set out to determine the impact socioeconomic status had on marital satisfaction and how it changes with the passage of time. To do this, they tracked the marital satisfaction of 431 low-income couples in Los Angeles County between the years of 2009 and 2014.
The researchers found that 60% of the couples began their marriages feeling very satisfied with their relationship, 30% began their marriages feeling moderately satisfied, and 10% began their marriages feeling unsatisfied. They also found that those who were unsatisfied with their relationship at the beginning of their marriage were more likely to experience declines in satisfaction as time passed. In comparison, those with moderate or high levels of satisfaction at the beginning of their marriage were more likely to retain satisfaction going forward. Finally, they found that couples who began their marriage feeling unsatisfied were more likely to experience dissatisfaction when confronted with economic struggles. This was especially true for wives. However, couples who felt satisfied with their relationship at the beginning of their marriage tended to be resilient when facing money problems.
People who are contemplating a divorce will have a lot of legal issues to work out, including property division and, if they are parents of small children, custody and visitation. They might find it advisable to have the assistance of a family law attorney throughout the process.