Psychological studies have shown that couples are much happier when they share the financial burden, rather than having separate incomes, according to a new study.
A study by psychologists from the University of Florida and the University at Buffalo in New York suggests couples are happier and more satisfied when they’re financially independent.
Psychologists from the Department of Psychology at the University College of New York have now examined data from 1,700 couples in the United States.
They found that when couples are financially independent, they have higher levels of happiness, happiness, health and self-esteem, compared to couples where the financial support is shared.
The study also found that those who shared the financial costs tended to be more satisfied than those who did not share.
Dr Daniel G. Leiter, a co-author from the US and University at Albany, said the results of the study were important because they help us understand how our culture, and the pressures it puts on couples, can affect our health and well-being.
He said the study was particularly important because it looked at the effects of the psychological costs of being in a marriage in isolation.
“There is an expectation that couples will be able to get on with it, that it will all be smooth sailing.
But in reality, there is often a lot of stress, and there are times when you need a partner to be there to provide support,” Dr Leiter said.
“This study provides some good evidence that the psychological cost of being apart can lead to greater health problems than the psychological benefit.”
The study was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.
Dr Leitch said the findings were based on the research of a group of 30 couples who were in a relationship for eight years.
They were then randomly assigned to receive a psychological support package, which included money for mental health counselling, medication and psychological tests, or to have no financial support at all.
Psychologist Dr Joanne Leiter is part of a team of psychologists studying the impact of psychological costs on happiness.
She said while the results suggested couples were happier in their marriages when they had financial independence, there were still other factors that had a greater impact.
Dr Joanna Leiter and her husband have both studied the effects that money can have on couples’ wellbeing.
“When we are in a good relationship, we know how happy we are,” Dr Gail Leiter told the ABC.
“So if we were separated, we wouldn’t know how much happiness we were getting.”
She said the couple’s relationship had been going on for nine years and they had both struggled to find a steady job.
“It was tough.
We both felt really stressed and unhappy,” she said.
She was also unhappy with her partner’s work.
“We would go to the same store, and it wasn’t going well,” she recalled.
“Sometimes we would take two or three weeks off work, and then he would go back to work.”
Dr Lepper said it was important to pay attention to what your partner is paying for.
“What you do is pay attention how much your partner pays for things, and that can help you to find what you need for your happiness,” she explained.
Dr Gails Leiter also said that the financial cost of the relationship was still present, even after their relationship had ended.
“He said it made me feel like I wasn’t really in a loving relationship,” she recounted.
“I felt like I was getting nothing.”
‘I’m just so grateful for the money’ Dr Leiters advice is backed up by other research.
A recent survey by the US-based National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) found that while couples who had been financially independent were more satisfied with their marriages than couples where one spouse was financially independent did, the opposite was true for couples who shared financial responsibility.
The survey also found couples who agreed to share the burden were happier, healthier and had lower levels of depression and anxiety.
The research found that in the absence of financial support, couples with partners who shared costs had more negative feelings and were less likely to seek help.
Dr John Gettman, co-director of the University’s Centre for Family Research, said that despite some research to suggest financial independence was linked to poorer health, he didn’t think it was good for the relationships.
“The thing is, I think that it is really hard to say that financial independence is necessarily bad, because it’s a choice.
And it’s one that a lot people are willing to make,” he said.
But Dr Gettmans findings showed that, despite the negative effects, financial independence did have an effect on happiness, and did not negatively impact the health of the couples in it.
He believes that if couples could decide what to do with their money, they would be better off.
“One of the big messages that I think is important is to make decisions for yourselves.
That is, it is important to make the decisions that are right for you, and if