Can a Recession Actually Save Marriages?

Sociologist Philip Cohen doesn’t think the evidence is there. He challenges a part of a study by the National Marriage Project in his post on the Huffington Post, Is the Recession Really Saving Marriages?   Cohen thinks that the report, “The State of Our Unions 2009: Money and Marriage” goes too far… …when it concludes that “Judging by divorce trends, many couples appear to be developing a new appreciation for the economic and social support that marriage can provide in tough times. Thus, one piece of good news emerging from the last two years is that marital stability is up.”

Maybe it’s more like  “forced “stability.  In their post, “The Year End Round Up in Marriage”Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn cite the poll of 1600 members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Nearly 40 percent said that filings were down by 40 percent.

I wonder how adding the dimension of children to the research would affect research findings on divorce trends during tough economic times. Are divorce rates during a recession any different for couples who have children versus those who do not?  I don’t think so.  There are so many reasons why couples divorce.  Money, at any economic time, is one of the biggest areas couples need to address, kids or not.  Couples can begin preventing money issues before they even get married. If a couple has unresolved money issues, recession or not, at one point or another it will show up in the relationship and need to be dealt with if the marriage is to go the distance.

Do you think marriages with no children are more likely to do better doing times of recession? How about in general-do you think marriages without children by choice are more likely to go the distance?

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