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For marital success, initial happiness and finances matter

Many people assume that contentment in a marriage changes and possibly declines with time. However, this may not be the case. California residents might like to know more about a study concerning socioeconomic status and martial satisfaction.

Studies already exist showing that couples can experience lasting happiness and satisfaction in a marriage, but these studies have typically surveyed middle-class and white couples. A study conducted by the University of Georgia and the University of Texas focused on low-income marriages in Los Angeles County.

From 2009 to 2014, 431 couples involved in the study were contacted five times and asked eight questions about their relationships with spouses. Based on the responses, couples were divided into groups that consisted of high, moderate and low initial marital satisfaction. The high satisfaction category consisted of 60% of couples while 30% were in the moderate and 10% in the low groups.

As time passed, the feelings of those in the high and moderate satisfaction groups typically stayed steady. Dissatisfaction increased over time among wives who started a marriage with low satisfaction. This also applied to husbands at first, but satisfaction levels for them eventually improved as years passed.

Researchers also looked at the couples who were the most economically disadvantaged and hypothesized that people in this group would be most likely to experience declines in satisfaction, and this was generally true with wives. Additionally, the wives who started in the low satisfaction group were disproportionately those who faced more socioeconomic risk.

Understandably, money and finances can be difficult subjects during a marriage and when going through a divorce. The person who earns a lower income may be entitled to alimony. This amount might be determined by looking at various factors like the length of a marriage, employment status and the ability to earn a living.

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