Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several years, you know that the U.S. went through one of the toughest economic periods in the country’s history. In fact, you were probably impacted in some way by the recession. Nearly everybody and everything was touched by the economy, and believe it or not, that includes the institution of marriage.
As it turns out, the improving economy has brought with it increased divorce rates. During the recession, divorce rates actually declined. The divorce rate fell about 7 percent during the recession. Is this because people were frightened of separating during times of financial uncertainty? Could the economy have actually scared people away from taking the step of separating from their spouse?
Evidence seems to indicate that this is the case.
After the Great Depression, divorce increased significantly.
There’s a pent-up tension that comes from two people working together to survive a difficult situation. Once the dust settles, they have time to truly think about whether or not divorce is best for them.
One recent study found that 38 percent of couples who were considering divorce before the recession actually put aside those plans once the financial crisis kicked in. Furthermore, another 29 percent of couples said they felt the recession actually deepened their commitment to one another.
The reasoning behind this is that a major part of marriage is for the spouses to support each other during times of need. Therefore, when the tough economic times began, the difficulties actually helped bring married couples closer as they worked to get through it.
Of course, this isn’t the case with all couples.
Some findings from these studies indicate that other married couples postponed divorce because they were simply unprepared to deal with the financial fallout from divorce. They wanted to postpone their divorce until they could buy a new home or were in a position to be able to provide for themselves financially after the divorce.
Unemployment, debt, declining home values, and dwindling income were all running rampant during the recession, and that combination of factors makes it difficult for someone to divorce their spouse and step out on their own.
Having said all of this, it’s important to point out that there are many different, complex factors that are involved in marriages. And every marriage is different. So, while the economy certainly appears to influence divorce rates and give couples pause before they take that drastic step forward, there are certainly other issues at play that might not be accounted for in these studies.
Regardless of how the economy is fairing, it’s important that couples don’t let financial issues boil under the surface until it’s too late to deal with them. Unfortunately, a lot of married couples don’t discuss their financial problems and disputes. Over time, these financial issues fester, and because no one talks about them, they explode after some period of time and lead to divorce.
It’s interesting to study the connection between Florida divorce and the economy. Do you believe there’s a link?
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