"People are made to be loved and things are made to be used. The confusion in this world is that people are used and things are loved." — Author Unknown.
I watched 20/20 last week with millions of others to see the aftermath of destruction that followed the scandal Bernie Madoff put in motion. The story depicted the results of greed, deception, narcissism, and destruction when you value money more than anything else. Closer to home, with the current economic situation, loss of jobs, loss of income, and loss of respect from a business you have worked for most of your life, it's tough to find a balance.
When does stuff become too much? How much do we need to survive happily as a family? When couples struggle financially, we also see an increase in domestic arguments, breakups, and chaos. It's difficult to show love toward your partner if you are worried about paying your cell phone bill, car payment and house note. However, research in this area is finding that materialistic people have unhappier marriages than couples who don't care much about possessions. 5 Simple Minutes to Meditate Financial Worries Away
This holds true across all levels of income, according to Jason Carroll, who is a Professor of Family Life at Brigham Young University. Dr. Carroll goes on to say that if you are materialistic, you will have a happier marriage if you find someone who isn’t. Two like-minded materialistic people suffered the least satisfying of marriages.
Dr. Carroll and his colleagues have been studying materialism and marriage and have uncovered information about the effect of money on marriage. The more materialistic you are, the more you suffer anxiety, depression, and insecurity than non-materialistic types. The more you value money, the more troubles you suffer at home, because work usually comes first, and after work is done, people have left you and moved on. Your intimate relationships many times no longer exist. How To Tackle Money Matters In Relationships
The research was done through the RELATE Institute, which is a respected national research non-profit organization. In this case, they studied 1,734 married couples and collected online questionnaires from them. Across the board, the marriages with at least one materialistic spouse were worse off on all measures than marriages where neither spouse was materialistic.
It had nothing to do with gender of the spouse; the non-materialistic couples were 10% — 15% better off in the categories studied (marital satisfaction, marriage stability, and lower levels of conflict). The study couldn't test how materialism erodes a marriage, but Dr. Carroll and his team have a couple of theories: