Married couples who keep their finances separate are more likely to have seriously flawed, less fulfilling relationships. Also, as a compendium to the first unfair assumption comes this bonus unfair assumption:
As agreeable as a couple claims to be about their financial division, there is almost always one person in the relationship who is not entirely comfortable or happy with the arrangement.
Unfair assumptions? Yes. Of course. Hence the title of the post.
I’m sure that there are many couples who divide their finances and are perfectly happy.
But it’s also an assumption that I have been making for a long time and is now supported with research showing that the more a couple pools their money, the happier that marriage tends to be.
These effects seem to peter out at some very high level -- if you keep 5 percent of your income to yourself in order to have a little bit of discretionary spending, it won’t make you any less happy than you’d be if you pool 100 percent. But people who pool 80 percent are happier than those who pool 70 percent, and so on. People who keep it all to themselves are the least happy.
Always nice when science supports one of your harebrained ideas.
I actually feel bad for couples who don’t pool their money. Not only does this arrangement strike me as logistically insane and almost certain to cause resentment at some point in the marriage, but I believe that in most cases, it represents an underlying crack in what is supposed to be a unified, rock solid partnership.
You’re either in this thing together or you’re not.
I don’t feel bad for the couples who don’t pool their money as much as I feel bad for the person in the marriage who secretly wishes that they would pool their money but has agreed not to. In my experience, it’s almost always the woman who laments the arrangement, and she is almost always a little sad and a little stressed by this financial division.
She may tell her spouse that she is not saddened. She may assure her spouse that she supports the arrangement fully. But behind closed doors, in the company of a friend and confidant who is not requiring her to maintain her own checking account, she frequently says otherwise.
Honestly, I have no idea how this division of finances even works. What if one spouse runs out of money? Or spends foolishly? Or loses his or her job through no fault of their own? What is one spouse suffers unexpected losses in the stock market or is sued after running over a little old lady’s dog?
Does he or she borrow money from their spouse?
Actually, I know of one instance in which this actually happened. A husband’s business was losing money, and he was suddenly unable to pay his half of the household expenses. Rather than being evicted from his home, he borrowed money from his wife, presumably interest free.
But if your borrowing money from your wife, why be married in the first place?
Unfair assumption? Yes. Absolutely.
But based upon my limited experience (and now a little bit of science), absolutely, positively true, too.