If you repeatedly end up arguing with your spouse over financial matters then your penchant for materialistic possessions may harm your love life and push you marriage towards trouble, as suggested by a new study.
The paper was published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues and for the purpose of the study, the researchers asked 1,310 married individuals to answer a questionnaire in order to assess their materialism, perception of marriage importance and marital satisfaction.
The study found that when materialism (the pursuit of money and possessions) gets prioritized over other dimensions of life, it harms marital bonding. Materialism forces out other life priorities and creates a scarcity of time for other concerns like communication, conflict resolution and intimacy.
It thus decreases the importance and sense of satisfaction in a marriage.
“Marriage dissatisfaction occurs because those who highly value money and possessions are less likely to value their marriage and are thus likely to be less satisfied in their relationship,” said lead author Ashley LeBaron, Professor at the Brigham Young University (BYU) in Ohio.
Further, materialism may also be associated with a possession-oriented approach to happiness rather than a relationship-oriented one, which means that materialistic spouses may be looking for happiness in possessions, rather than people and so they end up putting less time and energy into making their marriage a success, the researchers noted.
“Many people are not fully aware of their materialism or the degree to which the pursuit of money is becoming an unbalanced priority in their life,” explained Jason Carroll, Professor at BYU.
“It is helpful for spouses to evaluate and openly discuss the time patterns in their lives and make sure they are devoting enough time to prioritize and strengthen their marriage relationship,” Carroll suggested.
Despite the findings, the researchers believe that changes can be made by couples to solve this issue.