Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage

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Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage

When you see a disaster is eminent, the best plan is to get out before it’s too late. After that, it’s all triage. Nowhere else is this truer than when entering into a bad marriage—the consequences of which can follow you for years. Sometimes we’re blinded by love. At other times, something arises that cannot be reconciled. Either way, when the divorce is final, we often look for easy things to blame. We feel confused, overwhelmed, hurt and angry. But usually there are many things that lead to the decline and dissolution of such a relationship. Enjoy love but keep on the lookout for important warning signs. You may be able to duck a bad situation or likely recognize when your relationship is heading south. Do you remember your first fight? Few couples do. Well, maybe some women do. In any case, lots of couples fight about the same things, money being the topmost issue, confirmed in several studies. But if you start fighting about money early on, say as you’re boarding the plane on the way to your honeymoon, the marriage could be in trouble. That’s according to research out of Kansas State University. That’s because arguments about money early on affected the marriage even years later. Fighting about money was the “top predictor for divorce” regardless of socio-economic status or income level.

If you got married by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas at the spur of the moment, surprise–you might not make it. But if you dated for three years before deciding to get married, you have a 39% less likelihood of seeing the inside of a divorce court, according to researchers out of Emory University. Couples who dated for three years had far better odds than those who dated for less than a year. Are you both teetotalers? Or perhaps you both like to party until the wee hours. If you’re drinking habits diverge sharply, your relationship might soon too, so say University of Buffalo researchers. If one spouse drank heavily, the couple was more likely to get divorced. But the same results weren’t true when both partners tipped the glass often. Apparently, it’s the mismatch rather than the habit that causes strife.

Did you two talk about a prenup before marriage? If so, you are more than likely to keep your money when you two go your separate ways. That’s because the longevity of the marriage isn’t the utmost concern to both parties. Couples that don’t share a bank account are 145% more likely to divorce, says the National Center for Family and Marriage Research. The reason is financial generosity and sharing is conducive to marriage. It makes you a unit. Keeping things for yourself and separate is not, though of course we all need some individuality. Still, complete separateness denotes something. How much did you blow on the wedding? Some events seem to cost more than a mortgage nowadays. But one Emory University study found that the more you spend on the wedding, the less likely you will have staying power. That’s because spending more gave each elevated expectations for the marriage. When you aren’t ready for problems when they inevitably strike, there are no coping strategies set aside to deal with them. Those who coughed up $20,000 or more were 3.5 times more likely to divorce than those who spent $5,000-$10,000. Social networking sites have us all interconnected. They influence us more than we think. In fact, one study published in “Social Forces” Journal found that if a friend or neighbor got divorced, that person was 75% more likely to get divorced themselves. For ways to make you marriage strong whether entering into or already in the thick of it read, The Marriage Guide Book: How to Make Your Marriage Thrive by Vanessa Pagan.

Ways for Couples to talk about Money

MONEY-CONVERSATION

Ways for Couples to talk about Money

What’s one of the biggest indicators of an oncoming divorce? Talking about money. Money is the number one most contentious issue for couples and the topic fought about the most. People are even using financial indicators as to whether or not they want to marry a person. A survey conducted recently by the website Lawyers.com found that 40% of responding couples, ranging in age from 25 to 55, found honesty about finances more important than fidelity. Today lots of couples want to manage their money in a smart, healthy way.

Gone are the days when one or the other spouse took care of all the money matters. Today couples want to discuss it and manage it together like partners. But what is the best way for couples to talk about money without the conversation devolving into a squabble? Financial advice website Learnvest.com CEO and newlywed Alexa von Tobel has some ideas. She recently teamed up with Cosmopolitan magazine to conduct a “Love and Money Boot camp.” This five day seminar includes how to best combine your finances and what moves you should make to ensure a successful financial future together. Couples are talking about money early nowadays as the relationship moves on.

But why is money such a thorny topic for couples? Mrs. Von Tobel said in a statement, “Discussing finances openly with your partner is crucial because money plays into every aspect of our lives, from the jobs we take to the way we raise our children. Since it affects so many major decisions, it’s necessary to check in with your partner from time to time to make sure that you’re on the same page when it comes to your finances.” Understand that there is no set way to manage money. If you are having difficulty in planning together, why not consult a financial planner? If one person thinks the other spends too much, the planner can go line by line through the credit card statements. It takes the pressure off the concerned party and takes resentment out of the equation.

Next, consider how you will merge your assets and your debts. Perhaps figure out a percentage out of each person’s salary that is put into a joint account that then pays the bills. Decide who pays those bills too, how it is done and so on. Don’t wait until there is a problem. Discuss financial issues often. Why not even schedule a certain time once per month or every other week to revisit the issue? Decide on a discretionary spending ceiling. Keep your shared goals in your mind. It isn’t always easy to iron out the money situation. But if you can do it, you will come out stronger as a couple. For more financial advice read, Home Finances for Couples: Resolve Money Problems in Marriage and Learn Easy Steps to Manage Your Family Budget by Leo Ostapiv.

Red Flags with Dollar Signs on Them

Young couple worrying over finances

Red Flags with Dollar Signs on Them

Your spouse’s debt can really wreck you financial future. So much so that people are avoiding certain financial behaviors in others, and with good reason. Who wants to be weighed down by another’s irresponsibility? Here are some red flags with dollar signs on them; behaviors that let you know this person is bad with money. If the one you’re dating carries along some huge credit card debt and they aren’t making any headway on it, be afraid, be very afraid.

It’s not that you shouldn’t date someone with debt. Everyone in the modern world has some kind of debt to a certain extent. What is alarming is the lack of management. Everyone needs to manage their debt. A report by the National Marriage Project in 2009 concluded that debt destroys marriages. No matter what socio-economic class, race, or ethnicity, it’s debt that wipes out marriages. So hitching yourself to someone who has a lot of debt may be a recipe for an eventual divorce.

Do you know what makes the likelihood of divorce rise 45%? Thinking your spouse is spending too much. If you notice the person you are dating has horrific spending habits, they go for expensive trips, spa treatments, shopping sprees and other luxuries they can’t afford, to no abatement, put the brakes on that relationship. You’ll find the common account cleared out before the bills are due. Sometimes couples have different outlooks when it comes to money. One person tries to save as much as they can. The other feels that you can’t take it with you when you’re dead, why not spend it now? But these two vastly different attitudes will tear you apart if you aren’t careful. You have to manage it correctly. It takes a lot of talking, rule making, negotiating, and compromising.

If your lover is frequently receiving unemployment checks, beware. If they were unlucky, that is one thing. But if they keep finding and losing jobs, that’s another. If the latter is your sweetie’s case, kick them to the curb no matter how sweet they appear, unless you don’t mind supporting them. They may be immature, have a hard time getting along with others, or have commitment issues. Whatever the case, it doesn’t sound like good qualities to have in a relationship. For advice on improving you and your partner’s financial situation read, Debt-Proof Your Marriage: How to Achieve Financial Harmony by Mary Hunt.

A Second Marriage is Often Better than the First

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A Second Marriage is Often Better than the First

Lots of people swear off marriage after their divorce. Those who felt controlled or dominated swear they will never lose their independence again. Infidelity makes others question commitment. Some feel that they would never want to go through the agony of divorce again. There are those who feel marriage is doomed because once the initial nuance wears off a lot of problems rear their ugly head. But the truth is your second marriage is often much better than the first.

Lots of folks put trust in the idea of marriage, until they get into and out of one. Then they realize that it’s a tremendous amount of work. And not only does it bring out someone else’s issues, but worse yet your own rise to the surface when interacting with a spouse. Some people don’t want to deal with all of that. And that’s understandable. Realize that most people are trained on how the subtle dance of courtship and getting married works. But lots of people don’t know what to do once in a marriage. After one is over however you are more knowledgeable, wiser and carry lots of experience. You know yourself a bit more. Lots of people fail to understand what they themselves bring to the marriage in terms of baggage. But after one marriage is over, and one has to face one’s baggage you start to realize your own patterns and mistakes, and seek to rectify them. This makes you a much better and more mindful spouse in the second marriage.

There are a lot of pressures on young couples that many times doesn’t exist on people getting married for a second time. Young children, a mortgage, striking out in a career and student loan debt all weigh on the marriage. But second marriages usually happen a little later in life when one is settled in one’s career, more comfortable financially and whose children are generally older or old enough at least where they don’t need constant supervision and care. There’s a lot less pressure that can weigh on the marriage. Money is the number one issue both in terms of starting marital conflicts and ending relationships, including marriage. If one or both of you is financially sound then there is far less of a chance of contention, should you get along in other aspects emotionally, sexually and intellectually such as shared goals and values.

After going through the first marriage you know how to fight and communicate correctly, and how not to fight and communicate. This will make the relationship more stable. Another advantage, you can take the lessons learned from the previous marriage and apply it to this one. Say you were taken for granted in your last marriage, now you may know how to speak up. Or if you took your spouse for granted you’ll appreciate your new one more. There are lots of advantages to a second marriage. But truthfully consider whether or not it’s right for you. For more advice read, Making Your Second Marriage a First-Class Success by Doug Moseley and Naomi Moseley.