When It’s Not Cheaper To Keep Her: How A Bad Marriage Can Hurt You
If protecting your finances is the only reason for staying in your marriage, consider the findings by Rosie Shrout, a social researcher who studied married couples over 16 years. She and her fellow researchers found that long-term conflict adversely affected both genders, but men, even more so. Here are some reasons why and how a bad marriage can hurt you:
1. Health problems. Chronic dumping of the stress hormone cortisol creates inflammation the body, which can then cause serious health problems with the heart and immune system.
2. Impaired functioning. Marital conflict can make it hard to sleep and eat properly, which then leads to depression. Depression, in men, often manifests as irritability that can negatively impact job performance and social interaction.
Shrout’s study also found a link between the number of topics on which couples disagreed and the decline in men’s health. Surprisingly, there appeared to be no correlation between disagreement topics and women’s health.
Divorcing Sooner Can Save You Money
Many men are afraid to divorce because they don’t want to lose half their assets and see their paycheck eaten up by alimony and child support payments. But staying for years in a bad marriage can build animosity that makes an amicable divorce unlikely – especially if a wife finds out about an affair or financial infidelity, such as hiding assets.
While there’s no direct link between infidelity and alimony, the anger a betrayed wife feels may fuel a contentious divorce that drives up legal costs. And any community monies spent on affair partners can be ordered repaid to a spouse.
There’s another reason divorcing sooner than later is a smarter financial choice. Although life-time alimony is no longer guaranteed in New Jersey pursuant to the 2016 spousal support reform bill, marriages that last longer than 20 years may qualify for “open duration” alimony that has no cap on time.
Divorce should never be undertaken lightly, nor before every avenue for conflict resolution has been exhausted. But keep in mind that long-term marital discord can damage health and finances beyond repair.