Getting married to the wrong person is the surest way to destroy any ability to create wealth. Yet according to one study, 30% of women knew on their wedding day that they were making a mistake.
According to Thomas Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door, the majority of wealthy people in America have married and stayed married to the same person. This is a concept supported by studies illustrating that married people accumulate more wealth than those who are single or divorced.
But while a strong marriage is the road to financial stability, marrying the wrong person can be a recipe for financial disaster. Divorces are perhaps the most painful and expensive trials of life.
I’m currently watching two close relatives suffer through ugly divorces, and the economic consequences are devastating. Like leeches, two sets of lawyers bleed family finances dry. The costs for setting up two separate households for the kids escalates while marital assets such as homes and investment accounts are being prematurely liquidated at significant losses.
In the beginning our family matriarchs knew both marriages were doomed. I don’t know how they knew. Grandmothers and great aunts just seem to have a great sense about these things.
And according to research by divorce counselor Jennifer Gauvain, three out of ten women walked down the aisle knowing their marriage was destined for failure. Why would a bride follow through with a wedding fully knowing she was about to marry the wrong man?
Gauvain argues that it’s common for people to talk themselves into a decision that they know deep down is wrong. Some of the reasons women in her study rushed into a doomed marriage include:
“My biological clock is ticking.”
“Marriage will instantly make the relationship better.”
“It’s my last chance to get married and no one else will come along.”
“If it doesn’t work out I can always get a divorce.”
“We’ve dated for so long I don’t want to waste all the time we have invested in the relationship.”
“I don’t want to be alone.”
“He’ll change after we get married.”
“It is too late, too embarrassing and/or too expensive to call off the wedding.”
“He is a really nice guy; I don’t want to hurt his feelings.”
And I know it’s not just women who ignore their intuition before marriage. Many married men find themselves in situations they knew they should have never become part of.
The lesson seems to be to trust our gut. It can save us from suffering considerable financial losses and prevent significant emotional pain down the road.
BMWK, how do you warn a friend or relative about entering a marriage you feel is destined for failure? Do you try to intervene or keep your mouth shut? Have you ever called off an engagement because you knew you were getting married for the wrong reason?