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Money matters can place serious strain on marriages

The shifting gender norms witnessed across our country in the preceding decades have manifested themselves in several forms. These shifting norms have changed the makeup of work environments, the makeup of homes and also the makeup of divorce trends. No longer is it only men being ordered to pay women alimony, or women being awarded full custody of children in cases of divorce in Texas. Divorce decrees are being issued to couples with splits and settlements that are far more varied than they were even just a few decades ago.

Where women used to predominantly stay home with the children, there is now nothing unusual about both spouses working fulltime. While it has become commonplace for women to work fulltime, it has become less socially accepted for men to not be working. This can mean that unemployment for a husband can cause more marital stress than unemployment for a wife because it can be more socially-stigmatizing for a husband to not be working, according to some researchers.

Related to this, money matters can play a very significant role in a marriage. Some reports indicate that one of the biggest red flags that a couple could be headed for divorce is when the couple regularly fights about finances. This can drive a couple apart more frequently than disputes about intimacy.

A study conducted by a professor out of Utah State University concluded that couples that argue over money at least once a week were 30 percent more likely to divorce than those spouses that only argued about money matters a few times a month. A breakdown in communication is a very common cause for couples in Texas to decide to end their marriage. In today's economy, such stressors are not unusual in Texas and elsewhere across the country.

Source: USA Today, "Money Quick Tips: Job loss and marriage," Regina Lewis, Jan. 26, 2013

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