Financial Stress and How it Affects a Marriage
A healthy marriage is good for a couple’s mental and physical health. In Western cultures like the US, more than 90 percent of people marry by age 50 however about 40 percent to 50 percent of married couples in the US end up in divorce. And one of the leading causes of divorce is financial stress. Actually some even claim that financial stress is the number one cause of divorce and divorce is also the number one reason for people filing bankruptcy. How exactly does financial stress affect a marriage?
Effect of Financial Stress in a Couple’s Sex Life and Love Life
All marriages are burdened with some sort of financial stress. Financial stress in a marriage can actually result in another type of stress known as chronic stress. Chronic stress happens when a married couple suffers from insufficient funds to cover debt over a long period of time and when married partners suffer from chronic stress for quite a long time this can diminish their sexual desire.
A lack of sexual desire between a married couple leads to a lack of intimacy in marriage which only increases their even more.
When a woman suffers from chronic stress, it can actually prevent her from achieving orgasm while chronic stress in men can cause temporary impotence.
Effect of Financial Stress to Fertility
Financial stress affects fertility because stress hormones affect the hypothalamus gland which produces reproductive hormones. When either partner suffers from infertility, it also increases stress in marriage as they feel the pressure and frustration of not having a baby even when they desire to have one. And when there’s a huge desire to have a child, they can increase their expenses as they seek medical treatment which results in more financial stress.
Financial Stress as a Reason for a Couple’s Argument
Married partners who are under a lot of financial stress can cause them to react angrily towards each other, using hurtful words and loud voices with the slightest provocation. And at times, people who are struggling with financial stress tend to drink alcohol more often, abuse drugs and/or smoke more. This unhealthy action only decreases a married couple’s available funds to pay incoming bills causing more financial stress. All of these stress coping behaviors tend to result in increased arguments between the married couple. They may blame each other for the financial problems, causing ongoing arguments and these conflicts provoke a chain reaction that results in a decrease in socializing together with friends and family. In short, financial stress can lead to two other type of stress called emotional stress and social stress.
Financial Stress and its Link to Health Problems
According to various stress studies, ongoing chronic stress in a marriage can increases each partner’s risk of serious health problems. Various stress studies confirm that stress and depression have a relation to each other as well as stress and heart disease and stress and obesity. The effects of chronic stress tend to sneak up on individuals and can cause a decrease in productivity at work, crying spells, increased fatigue, anxiety, and withdrawal from each other and friends. Severely high cortisol levels caused by chronic stress, according to the American Institute of Stress, can also result in higher incidence of miscarriage.
The health problems from chronic financial stress can be long-lasting, especially if exacerbated by unhealthy stress coping techniques like alcohol, drugs or nicotine. All of these health problems and financial worries usually result in couples spending less time together. This fact makes financial stress a leading cause of marital conflict and divorce.