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Love and Money Go Hand-in-Hand: Couples Who Make Similar Salaries Stay Together Longer

"Economic dependence strengthens couples' commitment and sense of obligation to one another."

Love and money go hand in hand. They just do.

And a new study says that not only are couples that are high earners more likely to get married, people who make similar (high) salaries like their partner, are more likely to stay together.

Patrick Ishizuka, a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University, studied how money affects relationships, and discovered a theory known as “the marriage bar,” which determines that couples are more likely to marry when they hit a certain salary point.

“Once couples have reached a certain income and wealth threshold, they’re more likely to marry,” he says. “They want to have a house and a car and enough savings to have a big wedding; and they also want to have stable jobs and a steady income.”

Couples with lower salaries are more likely to split, because “marriage is increasingly reserved for couples that have achieved a high economic standard,” he adds. “Rising divorce rates since the 1960s have also been steepest for individuals with less education.”

It boils down to a simple factor: “Equality appears to promote stability.”

“It’s really the couple’s combined resources that seem to matter,” he says, and strong incomes strengthen a couple’s “sense of obligation to one another.”

“This new evidence reflects a growing socioeconomic divide in family life. Marriage is increasingly reserved for couples that have achieved a high economic standard. Rising divorce rates since the 1960s have also been steepest for individuals with less education,” says the study.

Overall, the equality in men's and women's economic contributions to the relationship, children, and household may hold these couples together. Men's income or employment status was no more important than women's when it comes to predicting whether or not they marry or stay together. "It's really the couple's combined resources that seem to matter," he said.

When one half of a couple makes way more than the other, it can cause major tension in a relationship. According to Forbes, “When there’s a big difference between a couple, the inequality can threaten to erode your bond, unless you address it head on...Unfortunately, we don’t like to acknowledge that money influences our intimate relationships — it's like a hidden operating system whose presence is undetected, but has the potential to influence everything."

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