I work with a number of couples.
This year, two couples had a very specific issue: the women were disappointed with their husbands’ paycheques.
It’s interesting. While I’m guessing the romance didn’t include discussions along the lines of, “I love you because you’re smart and funny and honest and because you make $60K now and I imagine that will only increase” …. at some level, the question of earning power played into the mix of why the women committed themselves to these particular men.
And while I’ve yet to find hard data supporting the theory that finances are one of the leading causes of divorce, it won’t surprise me if a study comes out that corroborates this.
In these cases, I had no easy answer to offer. For their own all-too-human reasons, indeed the economic promise of these men did not materialize. This means the couples have to examine their own understandings of what it means to be married. Like it or not, for most of us “being married” still has a cool, hard business angle to it. “Being married” is (d’uh) a different state than “being in love.” And more often than not, as the years go by in marriage, the business factor outweighs the being in love factor if there is a significant discrepancy between present reality and early promise.
I haven’t yet met with a couple where the husband was re-evaluating his relationship with his wife because she wasn’t earning enough. But I imagine that day will come.