I have always been fascinated in handling divorces when I discover the couples have very separate finances. I use to think this was an indicator that the couples would get divorced. This is not always good logic. It may be that I did not see marriages where the couple had separate finances and stayed together. I was reminded of this when I read an article in the August 16, 2009 New York Times by Catherine Rampell entitled, “I Say Spend. You Say No. We’re in Love.” See the entire article at
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/16/weekinreview/16rampell.html. She says that “Despite the old saying “opposites attract,” scholars have found that in almost every way imaginable, people tend to choose mates who look, sound and act as they do. But in the area perhaps most fraught with potential conflict — money — somehow, some way, people gravitate toward their polar opposite, a new study says.”
She goes on to ask, “Why do people seek out their opposites in spending attitudes? Most likely, what we hate in ourselves, we also hate in other people….”I can see how this might be one of those kinds of seductive differences in the early stages of courtship,” said Stephanie Coontz, a professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and research director for the Council on Contemporary Families. “Maybe you say to yourself, ‘This guy makes me feel so free,’ or ‘This gal reins me in.’ “
She rightly states that this is unfortunate because spending decisions are a common source of marital conflict and a major contributor to divorce.
What does all this mean? For me it is another good reason to do premarital counseling.
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