Diamond ring

Behavior

When a Diamond Isn’t Forever

While student loans are a painful, long-term expense, they are also an investment in one’s career and earnings prospects. But what does lavish spending on a wedding provide?

It can lead to divorce, according to a study by Emory University researchers Andrew Francis and Hugo Mialon. More interesting, they suggest that the stress that comes with wedding debt might be the underlying cause for the unhappy outcomes.

Weddings, which peak in early summer and surge again in the fall, have become more elaborate over the years. Engagement rings usually have diamonds – that wasn’t always the case. The average expense for a wedding and reception in this country is now $30,000.

But the researchers found that women who spend more than $20,000 on a wedding were nearly four times more likely to become divorced than women who spend under $10,000. In the case of men, buying a more expensive engagement ring was linked to a higher divorce rate.

They based these findings on data from their own random survey asking 3,151 adults about their wedding costs and current marital status.They controlled for education, household income, whether the person was employed and other things that play a role in whether a couple stays married.

Stress may be the undercurrent that explains their findings: couples who spend more money are also more likely to report being “stressed about wedding-related debt,” the researchers found.

The links between marriage and money are a perennial topic in academic literature. Other studies have shown that divorce creates financial problems, particularly for people closing in on retirement. It just might be that excessive spending on a wedding – usually a couple’s first major expenditure – gets a marriage off to a bad start.

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5 Responses to When a Diamond Isn’t Forever

  1. Larry Littlefield says:

    Correlation is not causality.

    A lavish wedding may be an indicator of unrealistic expectations about marriage, or life in general, that will also manifest itself in other ways.

    Particularly if a fancy party takes priority over the number of friends and family members than can be invited, and the ceremony itself.

  2. Ken Pidcock says:

    Our son-in-law gave our daughter his mother’s diamond in a new setting. Sentimental and wise. When they were able to, they bought a new diamond and gave the other back.

    Unfortunately, there are many families where failure to throw an adequate bash will be taken as a slight.

  3. Rajkumar says:

    This post throws light on the present life of our youths and how they are losing the sight of their life from the stress of clearing the debts.

    One can argue that money doesn’t matter in relationships, but the fact is every penny you save today is a penny earned for future. I suggest everyone lead a simple life and also arrange marriages at a low cost so that they can utilize the money for their future life. It also makes them economically self-sufficient.

  4. Bodhik says:

    I believe it may also mean that the divorce rate in higher among richer men and women. Richer men and women can afford $20,000 USD for a ring but comparatively poorer women/men would spend much less. It does not imply that people with more money share less love or trust in each other. Every relationship goes through troubled times. It is more the case that rich people lose their patience and want a divorce. People with less money like to give the relationship another shot.

  5. Interesting statistics about the correlation between amount spent and chances of a divorce. So money can’t buy happiness.