There’s no question that money can solve a lot of problems, but that old saying that “money doesn’t buy happiness” is apparently true — at least when it comes to the “happily ever after” that most couples envision when they marry.
It turns out that the ultra-wealthy end up getting divorced at roughly the same rate as everybody else. When a study examined the marital stability among the nation’s 50 wealthiest people, it found that divorce rates were about 49% — which is roughly the same (or a little higher) than seen among couples of lesser means.
When there’s no money stress, what leads to divorce?
Financial issues are often cited as the reason a marriage began to fall apart. If money isn’t a problem, then, why do couples still break up so often? As one person familiar with the trials and tribulations of the ultra-wealthy put it, “You’re still dealing with the same human emotions, the same human problems. Having wealth does not insulate you from that.”
What sort of things drive wealthy couples apart? Consider these:
- Loneliness and resentment: Wealth takes effort to grow and maintain. If one party in the marriage is always working, the other may grow to resent their absences or detachment from the home life. If both work, they may simply grow out of step with each other.
- Financial discrepancies: If one spouse holds the vast majority of income and wealth, the other may feel (fairly or unfairly) like they’re kept on a financial leash and resent being dependent. In turn, the wealthier spouse may end up resenting the dependent spouse for being unproductive.
- Less reason to stay: When there’s plenty of money to go around, couples don’t have to weigh their marital problems against their budgets.
No matter what your financial situation, divorce is seldom easy — but you may take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. If you’re approaching a divorce, start organizing your financial records right away so that you can position yourself for a smoother, easier split.