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Should You Choose Love over Money in Marriage? The Real Costs and Benefits

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When it comes to marriage, the question of whether to prioritise love or money has been a hot topic for centuries. Shakespeare’s plays often touched on this dilemma, and modern rom-coms haven’t shied away either. But what does science say? A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that love is a significant predictor for marital satisfaction, but financial stability also plays a crucial role in long-term happiness.

What money can buy in a relationship

Money can’t buy love, but it can buy comfort and security. Financial stability allows couples to focus on each other rather than worrying about bills or debt. It can also provide opportunities for shared experiences like travel, which can strengthen a relationship. A 2017 study revealed that couples who are financially stable are less likely to argue about money and are more likely to have a satisfying relationship.

Love’s intangible benefits

On the flip side, love offers what money can’t: emotional support, deep connection, and a sense of belonging. These intangible benefits often provide the glue that holds a relationship together during tough times. When both partners are committed to each other’s well-being, they’re more likely to work through challenges, including financial ones.

The risks of marrying for money

While financial stability is important, marrying solely for money can be risky. The absence of love and emotional connection can lead to loneliness and dissatisfaction. Moreover, money is not a constant; financial situations can change, leaving the relationship vulnerable.

The risks of marrying for love

Marrying solely for love isn’t without its pitfalls either. Love can be blind, making it easy to overlook red flags like irresponsible spending or a lack of financial planning. These issues can become major stressors down the line, potentially leading to the breakdown of the marriage.

Striking a balance

So, is it better to marry for love or money? The answer is neither black nor white. A successful marriage often involves a balance of both. Love provides the emotional foundation, while financial stability offers a safety net for the relationship to flourish. Open communication about both love and money is key to finding this balance.

Final thoughts

The debate between love and money in marriage is complex and nuanced. While love offers emotional richness and a deep sense of connection, financial stability brings its own set of benefits, including less stress and more opportunities for shared experiences. Ultimately, the most successful marriages seem to incorporate both elements, backed by open communication and mutual respect.


Siobhain Evergreen, PhD is a relationship expert, specialising in marital dynamics and financial planning.

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