Money is a stressful topic for many married couples. In fact, it is one of the top marital woes that contribute to divorce.
One facet of this financial tug of war is a disparity in income. When one partner makes substantially more than the other, no matter the reason, it can place additional stress on the relationship. Take a look at three of the reasons behind this trend.
1. Deciding who gets to spend it
A person making substantially more than a spouse may wonder why the other is not doing more. While some situations are understandable, such as one spouse staying home to raise children, there still may exist resentment for a spouse underperforming financially. This is never more evident as it is when it comes to spending money. The higher earner may resent the amount spent by the other. Likewise, the lesser earner may feel guilty for spending the other’s cash.
2. Making money may require absence
Depending on the type of position the higher earner holds, the job may require a lot of time away from home. Whether this is due to late nights working under tight deadlines, weekends spent brainstorming or even trips away, distance is an unfortunate side effect of financial success in the workplace. When couples spend a substantial time apart, the intimacy may wane making it difficult to connect.
3. Maintaining appearances
The more visible the higher earner’s position, the more the couple’s private life may come under a watchful eye. The pressure to maintain a certain standard of living may outweigh the money in the bank. While the higher earner may attribute it to part of the job, it may cause undue strain on the other partner. Having to put money into material things and keeping up appearances, even if there is not enough to do so, can cause strain on the marriage.
If a couple is not able to come to terms with the divide in their financial makeup, it may lead to divorce.