The Washington Post reports that a University of Virginia study found that 29 percent of married couples said the recession has put financial stress on their marriages. About a third of married individuals said this led to a deeper commitment to their marriage. 38 percent of married persons who were considering divorce before the recession, postponed splitting up due to the recession. The authors attribute that to the financial costs of divorce.

The study examined the effect of level of education and religious attendance – lower educational levels and less or no religious attendance together were both correlated with higher incidence of marital stress. The effect of the presence or absence of children was not examined in the study.

So it appears that the recession is causing financial stress in many marriages. Paradoxically this is not leading to more divorces. The UVA survey indicated that some couples are renewing work on improving their marriages. But perhaps some are just living with unhappy marriages until they can afford to separate and divorce. If so, will the recovery mean more divorces?

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