Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

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Landmonster
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Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

Post by Landmonster » Sun May 22, 2011 11:18 pm

Hi Bogleheads.

This is a bit of a theoretic type question, primarily aimed at men. But women can certainly offer perspective too.

For the modern American man.... is the institution of marriage, a wealth-building one, or wealth-draining one? Why or why not?

Furthermore, if a young man in America is interested in becoming wealthy, is getting married a wise idea?

Finally, what type of woman is an ideal candidate for marriage?

Manbaerpig
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Post by Manbaerpig » Sun May 22, 2011 11:52 pm

up until you get divorced or have kids, sure

SP-diceman
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Re: Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

Post by SP-diceman » Mon May 23, 2011 12:36 am

Landmonster wrote:
This is a bit of a theoretic type question, primarily aimed at men. But women can certainly offer perspective too.

For the modern American man.... is the institution of marriage, a wealth-building one, or wealth-draining one? Why or why not?

Furthermore, if a young man in America is interested in becoming wealthy, is getting married a wise idea?
If your in love with money, you may not want to get married.
(having a wife could be considered cheating)

Landmonster wrote: Finally, what type of woman is an ideal candidate for marriage?

A single woman.



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SP-diceman

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LH
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Post by LH » Mon May 23, 2011 1:10 am

I have kinda looked at this issue in the past. I knew the proverbial "50 percent divorce rate" 10 years ago, but kinda like many rates reported, just did not see it in the people I knew. No where close. I looked it up back then. found out, my personal risk was much lower statistically.

http://www.drheller.com/divorcemyths.html

I cannot vouch for that site per se, but it basically mirrors what I have read many many times 10 years ago, and since.


Conclusion:
The historical belief that 50% of all marriages end in divorce and that over 60% of all second marriages end in divorce appears to be grossly overstated myths. Not only is the general divorce rate most likely to have never exceeded 40% but the current rate is probably closer to 30%. A closer look at even these lower rates indicate that there are really two separate groups with very different rates: a woman who is over 25, has a college degree, and an independent income have only a 20% probability of her marriage ending in divorce; a woman who marries younger than 25, without a college degree and lacking an independent income has a 40% probability of her marriage ending in divorce.

Thus, factors of age, education, and income appear to play a significant role in influencing the outcome of marriages and that for the older, more educated woman, getting married is not a crap shoot but, in fact, it is highly likely to produce a stable, lifelong relationship.
A main financial problem with marriage, is divorce. Divorce has risk factors. If you do not have many risk factors, you are not likely to end up getting a divorce.

http://www.amazon.com/Millionaire-Mind- ... 0740703579

The millionaire mind, if you have not read it, may interest you. I think he may go into that actual question or touch on it, but if wealth and statistics such as marriage v. wealth are up your alley, I bet you would like/benefit from the book.

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interplanetjanet
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Re: Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

Post by interplanetjanet » Mon May 23, 2011 2:56 am

Landmonster wrote:Finally, what type of woman is an ideal candidate for marriage?
One whose values are aligned with your own. Interests can and do vary wildly within a relationship, temperments can be night and day, but if your values are very different then you will have a hard time believing in and trusting one another. Without trust and respect there is no relationship, at least not one that I think can be really meaningful.

Values do shift over time. People grow, sometimes unpredictably. Whoever you fall in love with will not stand still in time. Relationships, even the best ones, take a continued investment in time, emotion, and understanding.

</soapbox>

-Janet

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ShowMeThe...
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Post by ShowMeThe... » Mon May 23, 2011 2:59 am

Manbaerpig wrote:up until you get divorced or have kids, sure
+1 :lol:

Valuethinker
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Re: Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

Post by Valuethinker » Mon May 23, 2011 4:02 am

interplanetjanet wrote:
Landmonster wrote:Finally, what type of woman is an ideal candidate for marriage?
One whose values are aligned with your own. Interests can and do vary wildly within a relationship, temperments can be night and day, but if your values are very different then you will have a hard time believing in and trusting one another. Without trust and respect there is no relationship, at least not one that I think can be really meaningful.

Values do shift over time. People grow, sometimes unpredictably. Whoever you fall in love with will not stand still in time. Relationships, even the best ones, take a continued investment in time, emotion, and understanding.

</soapbox>

-Janet
The issue is that Americans (and other western nations although to a somewhat lesser extent) marry for love. The whole marriage then rests on an internal dynamic of continued compatibility.

The further away you go from that model towards 'marriage as an institution' the potentially greater the durability of the marriage: marriage being a public declaration and an institution designed to protect and raise children, provide women with a status in society etc.

Interestingly Catholic Americans still have a markedly lower divorce rate than other groups of Americans-- from research I read. Hence there is this 'low divorce belt' that runs out of New England and into the Upper Midwest.

(from memory, the 'Born Again' Protestants have the highest divorce rate. Perhaps a psychology of personal renewal in religion includes one in relationships?).

let's contrast that to France. Historically in France marriage has been 'an institution'. It was quite common for married partners to have affairs, to even recognize that they could not meet all their partner's sexual needs, and the marriages persist. See any number of French presidents (I am leaving aside DSK's newsworthy peccadilos).

I was also surprised that a French colleague, senior exec, 2 children in their early teens was not married-- she and her partner just carried on- -and that was perceived as normal. That's not impossible in the UK, but it's relatively rare.

Japan this is even more the case -- marriage as an institution (I can't speak to their internal morality but the way they treat marriage as an institution). Even in modern India (urban) marriages are no longer 'arranged' (as I understand it) but they are still 'introduced'-- the phenomenon of the marriage broker is still quite strong.

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Post by Valuethinker » Mon May 23, 2011 4:10 am

Morgan wrote:I take your point LH, I didn't do diligence on the actual stats. However, even if it were 10% over a lifetime, that's a Giant Risk (and when you contrast with the way we treat other investments, marriage is surely heading into penny stock/microcap territory!).

Then again, maybe a successful marriage increases life expectancy, and that's got to be worth a whole lot of moolah (without even getting into a happiness measurement contest/debate).
I think the data is that successful marriage increases life expectancy for men, but not for their partners.

Marriage is huge event risk-- it's not a diversified investment and so it's hard to compare it to even microcap.

It's more of a 'venture capital investing' type scenario. One bet: win or lose big.

With modern UK divorce law, middle aged people I know (men and women) think twice about marrying (again). Too many assets to lose.

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Re: Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

Post by nisiprius » Mon May 23, 2011 4:48 am

interplanetjanet wrote:
Landmonster wrote:Finally, what type of woman is an ideal candidate for marriage?
One whose values are aligned with your own. Interests can and do vary wildly within a relationship, temperments can be night and day, but if your values are very different then you will have a hard time believing in and trusting one another.
Well said.

It's hard to calculate the dollar value, but I have no doubt at all that if two people are able join a part of their lives it has a stabilizing or, if you like, diversifying effect. Risk reduction.

A random synaptic firing evoked two quotations:

"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?"--Ecclesiastes

"Oh, we don't know what's coming tomorrow
Maybe it's trouble and sorrow
But we travel the road
Sharin' our load
Side by side."--Harry Woods, 1925
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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Post by imagardener » Mon May 23, 2011 6:42 am

There is a positive correlation between marriage and wealth and health. Marriage does not cause wealth but it is an attribute of it.

If you wish to emulate millionaires then you should take on their characteristics which includes long-term marriage. Men benefit in multiple ways from marriage, money being just one measurement.

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Re: Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

Post by 3CT_Paddler » Mon May 23, 2011 7:15 am

Landmonster wrote: For the modern American man.... is the institution of marriage, a wealth-building one, or wealth-draining one? Why or why not?

Furthermore, if a young man in America is interested in becoming wealthy, is getting married a wise idea?

Finally, what type of woman is an ideal candidate for marriage?
I think this question is no different than the one about kids. Which to me boils down to this... What is more important, money or relationships? This is about values. I think a good marriage (I don't know of a perfect marriage) has shown to positively influence mental health. A divorce can wreck your finances. An ideal candidate for marriage is someone who shares your values (or at least the couple of important ones), and hopefully your values are suitable for a lifetime commitment.

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3CT_Paddler
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Post by 3CT_Paddler » Mon May 23, 2011 7:31 am

Morgan wrote:I say; marry the person you love. But sign an annulment contract. Do not mix romance and money. I understand why a lot of people are opposed to the idea. But if everyone had to do this by default, and had to deliberately sign themselves out of an annulment contract in order to get married, I think the world would be a simpler, nicer, more honest place with much poorer lawyers. That's not a slur on lawyers, I think a lot of them would prefer this to making money on such grief.
So what if a couple gets married in which both parties have no money and ten years later they have accumulated a large sum of money and one partner decides they want a divorce? How does an annulment handle their splitting of finances? I think life is too complicated for that approach. In my opinion it is impossible to not mix romance and money. Even people with prenuptial agreements mix love and money to a certain extent.

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Post by rustymutt » Mon May 23, 2011 7:45 am

Definitely can be for one, or both partners.
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Re: Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

Post by rustymutt » Mon May 23, 2011 7:49 am

Valuethinker wrote:
interplanetjanet wrote:
Landmonster wrote:Finally, what type of woman is an ideal candidate for marriage?
One whose values are aligned with your own. Interests can and do vary wildly within a relationship, temperments can be night and day, but if your values are very different then you will have a hard time believing in and trusting one another. Without trust and respect there is no relationship, at least not one that I think can be really meaningful.

Values do shift over time. People grow, sometimes unpredictably. Whoever you fall in love with will not stand still in time. Relationships, even the best ones, take a continued investment in time, emotion, and understanding.

</soapbox>

-Janet
The issue is that Americans (and other western nations although to a somewhat lesser extent) marry for love. The whole marriage then rests on an internal dynamic of continued compatibility.

The further away you go from that model towards 'marriage as an institution' the potentially greater the durability of the marriage: marriage being a public declaration and an institution designed to protect and raise children, provide women with a status in society etc.

Interestingly Catholic Americans still have a markedly lower divorce rate than other groups of Americans-- from research I read. Hence there is this 'low divorce belt' that runs out of New England and into the Upper Midwest.

(from memory, the 'Born Again' Protestants have the highest divorce rate. Perhaps a psychology of personal renewal in religion includes one in relationships?).

let's contrast that to France. Historically in France marriage has been 'an institution'. It was quite common for married partners to have affairs, to even recognize that they could not meet all their partner's sexual needs, and the marriages persist. See any number of French presidents (I am leaving aside DSK's newsworthy peccadilos).

I was also surprised that a French colleague, senior exec, 2 children in their early teens was not married-- she and her partner just carried on- -and that was perceived as normal. That's not impossible in the UK, but it's relatively rare.

Japan this is even more the case -- marriage as an institution (I can't speak to their internal morality but the way they treat marriage as an institution). Even in modern India (urban) marriages are no longer 'arranged' (as I understand it) but they are still 'introduced'-- the phenomenon of the marriage broker is still quite strong.

Where did you find these stats? I'd take issue with some of your stats without any supporting references. We protestants are taught about covenants between ourselves, and God, and that's the standard a marriage is held in. Perhaps you've managed to confuse Christianity with sectarianism, or some other ism. And while priest have their own set of issues in our society, they don't contribute to the divorce rate because the catholic church still refuses to let them marry. A practice many of us don't understand with the issues they have to live with.
Last edited by rustymutt on Tue May 24, 2011 6:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
I'm amazed at the wealth of Knowledge others gather, and share over a lifetime of learning. The mind is truly unique. It's nice when we use it!

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HomerJ
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Re: Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

Post by HomerJ » Mon May 23, 2011 8:00 am

Landmonster wrote:Hi Bogleheads.

This is a bit of a theoretic type question, primarily aimed at men. But women can certainly offer perspective too.

For the modern American man.... is the institution of marriage, a wealth-building one, or wealth-draining one? Why or why not?

Furthermore, if a young man in America is interested in becoming wealthy, is getting married a wise idea?
Heh, my wife makes more than me... I highly recommend it. :)
Finally, what type of woman is an ideal candidate for marriage?
Ho ho! Now THAT's a loaded question... And the answer will be different for everyone.

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Re: Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

Post by yobria » Mon May 23, 2011 8:05 am

Valuethinker wrote:The issue is that Americans (and other western nations although to a somewhat lesser extent) marry for love. The whole marriage then rests on an internal dynamic of continued compatibility.

The further away you go from that model towards 'marriage as an institution' the potentially greater the durability of the marriage...
Gee I dunno. I met a woman a couple of years ago who wanted to marry me "as an institution". She was beautiful, successful, eminently qualified.

She didn't like me very much on a personal level, but I "looked good on paper", she said.

I'm not sure how durable that marriage would have been.

Nick

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Re: Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

Post by matt » Mon May 23, 2011 8:17 am

Landmonster wrote:Furthermore, if a young man in America is interested in becoming wealthy, is getting married a wise idea?
If I had to make a list of things you should work on in order to become wealthy, I don't think "Get married" would make the list. That doesn't mean that marriage can't be beneficial to your net worth, but if your goal is wealth, then marriage is not even close to the first place you should be looking for it.

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Post by sscritic » Mon May 23, 2011 8:23 am

Many people have mentioned divorce, but no one has mentioned death.

Marriage as a wealth building scheme:
1) get married
2) buy lots of life insurance
3) death
4) Wealth!!!!!!!!

The trick is not to be the one to die first.

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Post by KyleAAA » Mon May 23, 2011 8:29 am

Assuming the marriage lasts and you have a spouse who shares your financial goals, I'd say yes. Those are some pretty big if's, though.

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Post by bru » Mon May 23, 2011 8:32 am

It was for my soon to be ex wife. For me, not so much.

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Post by dhodson » Mon May 23, 2011 8:54 am

marriage is more likely wealth draining strictly from a dollars point of view but i consider that irrelevant.

rarely do both people make the same amount of money or spend the same amount of money and like has been mentioned there is a risk of divorce which is always wealth draining.

my wife doesnt "earn money" from an employer. she definitely spends a lot more than i do not including shared expenses.

All of this is meaningless. Our family has value that one can not put a price tag on. If you do, you will either have to monetarilly artificially over value tasks done in the marriage to make the numbers work or you will put too little value on things that are harder to value just bc it isnt the going rate to prove it isnt cost effective.
There are some issues that can not be measured in dollars and this is just one of them. Unless you just love money, measuring this in dollars will only lead to the wrong conclusion.

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Re: Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

Post by JimInIllinois » Mon May 23, 2011 10:02 am

rustymutt wrote:
Valuethinker wrote: Interestingly Catholic Americans still have a markedly lower divorce rate than other groups of Americans-- from research I read. Hence there is this 'low divorce belt' that runs out of New England and into the Upper Midwest.

(from memory, the 'Born Again' Protestants have the highest divorce rate. Perhaps a psychology of personal renewal in religion includes one in relationships?).
Where did you find these stats? I'd take issue with some of your stats without any supporting references. We protestants are taught about convents between ourselves, and God, and that's the standard a marriage is held in. Perhaps you've managed to confuse Christianity with sectarianism, or some other ism. And while priest have their own set of issues in our society, they don't contribute to the divorce rate because the catholic church still refuses to let them marry. A practice many of us don't understand with the issues they have to live with.
I don't know about the statistics, but I can tell you that getting married in the Catholic church requires a formal preparation program including compatibility testing (you can't fail but it points out potential issues) and separate interviews (a formality for impediments like "are you being coerced"). If one of you isn't Catholic there's an extra program (you don't have to convert, as that takes a year in itself). The only way to shop around is if you're getting married in a different diocese and even then it's not a huge difference. Getting through the program is good practice in dealing with shared adversity and probably an excellent predictor of marriage success.

As for the priesthood, it's a voluntary institution entered into by adults with a long preparation period. If you're already married (and a man) you can still be ordained a permanent deacon. Celibacy is pretty straightforward. I'd have a much harder time with obedience or poverty.

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Post by dhodson » Mon May 23, 2011 10:19 am

as a catholic who is married and doesnt think he will ever get divorced, ill say the catholic program mentioned above is worthless as a predictive tool. There are absolutely no real studies by outside organizations to show it to be effective (i asked). while it may appear to some to make sense that such a program would be helpful, it is really just a speed bump. Many people purposefully put whatever they think the priest wants to hear as answers. I filled mine out honestly and the priest was very concerned that i thought i could spend 10k without asking my wife for permission for work related expenses. Im a doc and that is nothing. Additionally other non religious ideas on predictors are also typically of limited value. My favorite being living together. People wrongly assume that if they live together for a while then they know what it is like to be married together and then will have a lower divorce rate. Not true. We could debate the reasons, which may get back to beliefs that have some religious backing, but in the end it doesnt matter, it doesnt work either as a predictive tool.

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Post by norookie » Mon May 23, 2011 10:26 am

:D Its well known most women marry up. :lol: Think like a woman!
" Wealth usually leads to excess " Cicero 55 b.c

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Post by dm200 » Mon May 23, 2011 10:29 am

I don't know that marriage builds wealth, but I am quite sure divorce, child support and getting/not getting child support leads to lack of wealth and, sometimes, poverty.

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Post by dm200 » Mon May 23, 2011 10:31 am

Regarding Catholics and divorce rates - How would you "count" Newt Gingrich? Not a Catholic, divorced twice - then becomes a Catholic after the second divorce?

JimInIllinois
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Re: Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

Post by JimInIllinois » Mon May 23, 2011 10:33 am

interplanetjanet wrote:
Landmonster wrote:Finally, what type of woman is an ideal candidate for marriage?
One whose values are aligned with your own. Interests can and do vary wildly within a relationship, temperments can be night and day, but if your values are very different then you will have a hard time believing in and trusting one another. Without trust and respect there is no relationship, at least not one that I think can be really meaningful.

-Janet
Yup. Only marry someone you like, are attracted to, enjoy spending time with, and whose values are compatible with yours. If you like her parents and siblings and they like you it's a very good sign. If she's the only reason you would want to associate with her family then take a closer look at why you're together.

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Re: Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

Post by 3CT_Paddler » Mon May 23, 2011 10:38 am

Valuethinker wrote: Interestingly Catholic Americans still have a markedly lower divorce rate than other groups of Americans-- from research I read. Hence there is this 'low divorce belt' that runs out of New England and into the Upper Midwest.

(from memory, the 'Born Again' Protestants have the highest divorce rate. Perhaps a psychology of personal renewal in religion includes one in relationships?).
Here are some numbers from a Barna study in 2007...
http://www.christianpost.com/news/study ... age-31815/

Part of the study backs up what you are saying VT...
Among all born again Christians, which includes evangelicals, the divorce figure is 32 percent, which is statistically identical to the 33 percent figure among non-born again adults, the research group noted.
But this part shows the divorce rate for evangelical Christians to be slightly lower than that of Catholics.
Still, the divorce rate among evangelical Christians – who are defined as meeting the born again criteria plus other conditions – was lower (26 percent) than the national average.
...
Other population segments least likely to have been divorced include Catholics (28 percent), Asians (20 percent), adults who graduated from college and whose annual household income is $75,000 or more (22 percent), and adults who deem themselves to be conservative on social and political matters (28 percent).
...
The study is based on interviews with a random sample of 5,017 adults, age 18 and older, from January 2007 through January 2008.
I think the very low number for Asians is interesting, in that it is lower than any other group they looked at (or at least that they mentioned here).

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Post by JimInIllinois » Mon May 23, 2011 10:48 am

dhodson wrote:as a catholic who is married and doesnt think he will ever get divorced, ill say the catholic program mentioned above is worthless as a predictive tool. There are absolutely no real studies by outside organizations to show it to be effective (i asked). while it may appear to some to make sense that such a program would be helpful, it is really just a speed bump. Many people purposefully put whatever they think the priest wants to hear as answers. I filled mine out honestly and the priest was very concerned that i thought i could spend 10k without asking my wife for permission for work related expenses. Im a doc and that is nothing. Additionally other non religious ideas on predictors are also typically of limited value. My favorite being living together. People wrongly assume that if they live together for a while then they know what it is like to be married together and then will have a lower divorce rate. Not true. We could debate the reasons, which may get back to beliefs that have some religious backing, but in the end it doesnt matter, it doesnt work either as a predictive tool.
Maybe you're part of a double-blind control group that got a sham marriage preparation course. :wink:

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Post by SP-diceman » Mon May 23, 2011 10:53 am

I think most marry young, so money/wealth isn’t really an issue.
Ironically, the danger seems to be if you are already wealthy.
(the Trumps, Gates, Jobs of the world may have different worries,
but I don’t think the “common” man is in that category)

Seems a little cynical to me to think about money, a good relationship should be priceless.
Kind of like deciding to buy a new car based only on crash statistics.


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Post by bottlecap » Mon May 23, 2011 10:54 am

dhodson wrote:while it may appear to some to make sense that such a program would be helpful, it is really just a speed bump. Many people purposefully put whatever they think the priest wants to hear as answers.
It, too, was just a "speed bump" for my wife and I, but I don't think it was designed for us in mind. It's funny how this topic has come up now, though, as I learned about a week ago that a friend of mine is not getting married because of the issues that came up in this "speed bump." I'm sure it's the exception and not the rule, but it seems like this process is valuable for some couples. If it was a total waste of time, why would the Church require it?

All in all, I'm sure that Catholic divorce rate is lower because of the Church teaching far more than any pre-Cana course.

To get back on topic, marriage has been a wealth builder for me, but I admittedly have a frugal wife who earns a decent wage. We've been married less than 5 years, but even if we were to split we'd both probably leave with more than either of use would have accumulated alone in that time.

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Post by dhodson » Mon May 23, 2011 10:56 am

JimInIllinois wrote:
dhodson wrote:as a catholic who is married and doesnt think he will ever get divorced, ill say the catholic program mentioned above is worthless as a predictive tool. There are absolutely no real studies by outside organizations to show it to be effective (i asked). while it may appear to some to make sense that such a program would be helpful, it is really just a speed bump. Many people purposefully put whatever they think the priest wants to hear as answers. I filled mine out honestly and the priest was very concerned that i thought i could spend 10k without asking my wife for permission for work related expenses. Im a doc and that is nothing. Additionally other non religious ideas on predictors are also typically of limited value. My favorite being living together. People wrongly assume that if they live together for a while then they know what it is like to be married together and then will have a lower divorce rate. Not true. We could debate the reasons, which may get back to beliefs that have some religious backing, but in the end it doesnt matter, it doesnt work either as a predictive tool.
Maybe you're part of a double-blind control group that got a sham marriage preparation course. :wink:
I could be. The sham is working so far. Ill try not to ruin their study. No promises. :D

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Post by HomerJ » Mon May 23, 2011 10:58 am

dhodson wrote:as a catholic who is married and doesnt think he will ever get divorced, ill say the catholic program mentioned above is worthless as a predictive tool. There are absolutely no real studies by outside organizations to show it to be effective (i asked). while it may appear to some to make sense that such a program would be helpful, it is really just a speed bump. Many people purposefully put whatever they think the priest wants to hear as answers. I filled mine out honestly and the priest was very concerned that i thought i could spend 10k without asking my wife for permission for work related expenses. Im a doc and that is nothing. Additionally other non religious ideas on predictors are also typically of limited value. My favorite being living together. People wrongly assume that if they live together for a while then they know what it is like to be married together and then will have a lower divorce rate. Not true. We could debate the reasons, which may get back to beliefs that have some religious backing, but in the end it doesnt matter, it doesnt work either as a predictive tool.
I think I would have a hard time accepting marriage counseling from a celibate priest who lives alone.

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Post by greg24 » Mon May 23, 2011 10:59 am

Yes, it is a wealth-building institution.

Regarding the catholic pre-marriage course.... My wife is catholic, so I had to go through the course. I was informed that I am "incapable of love", either due to pre-marriage cohabitation (which we did) or due to a belief in birth control (which we use). I can't remember which one caused the claim of my inability, as I was letting nearly all of it go in one ear and out the other.

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Post by dhodson » Mon May 23, 2011 11:03 am

the cynical reason why the church might require it would be that u have to promise to raise your kids catholic. if u value that promise then they have a vested interest.

I personally believe they "think" or "hope" it provides value, unfortunately, marriage and divorce is very complicated and likely no one "test" will discover the correct answer. I also believe there is a selection bias in these stats. If you were "once catholic" and get a divorce, you may not consider yourself catholic. there are other problems with such studies and stats, not that someone is purposefully trying to deceive the population but that they just may not be cause and effect.

Just to be clear, i am catholic, married for 15 years, have 3 kids who are all being raised catholic, but i just dont like to promote ideas that arent factually based.

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Post by dm200 » Mon May 23, 2011 11:05 am

Just my unscientific opinion on the current required Catholic preparation for marriage - I doubt that it works very well in either having more successful marriages or lower breakup rates.

What it does do, in my opinion, is reduce the number of "Catholic" marriages because many folks then choose to be married in a civil ceremony, in another church, etc. (Maybe not get married at all).

Is that good? I do not know, but I do know that if such a marriage breaks up, remarriage in the Catholic church is easier because it doesn't "count".

Again, just my unscientific opinion.

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Post by dhodson » Mon May 23, 2011 11:05 am

rrosenkoetter wrote:
dhodson wrote:as a catholic who is married and doesnt think he will ever get divorced, ill say the catholic program mentioned above is worthless as a predictive tool. There are absolutely no real studies by outside organizations to show it to be effective (i asked). while it may appear to some to make sense that such a program would be helpful, it is really just a speed bump. Many people purposefully put whatever they think the priest wants to hear as answers. I filled mine out honestly and the priest was very concerned that i thought i could spend 10k without asking my wife for permission for work related expenses. Im a doc and that is nothing. Additionally other non religious ideas on predictors are also typically of limited value. My favorite being living together. People wrongly assume that if they live together for a while then they know what it is like to be married together and then will have a lower divorce rate. Not true. We could debate the reasons, which may get back to beliefs that have some religious backing, but in the end it doesnt matter, it doesnt work either as a predictive tool.
I think I would have a hard time accepting marriage counseling from a celibate priest who lives alone.
you are looking at it wrong....if u look at the situation, u realize u dont want to be him and u will stay married. :)

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Re: Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon May 23, 2011 11:13 am

interplanetjanet wrote:
Landmonster wrote:Finally, what type of woman is an ideal candidate for marriage?
One whose values are aligned with your own. Interests can and do vary wildly within a relationship, temperments can be night and day, but if your values are very different then you will have a hard time believing in and trusting one another. Without trust and respect there is no relationship, at least not one that I think can be really meaningful.

Values do shift over time. People grow, sometimes unpredictably. Whoever you fall in love with will not stand still in time. Relationships, even the best ones, take a continued investment in time, emotion, and understanding.

</soapbox>

-Janet
^^^ This as to type of woman to marry. The key word being "woman" - do not get married if either of the parties is unemotionally available or immature. Do not become involved in a one-sided relationship.

As to whether it can be financially rewarding? Only if you meet someone with similar goals and values as it pertains to finances. Actions more than words counts heavily.
A frugal person and a spendthrift is a receipe for disaster. Look past the wrapping for what lurks beneath is the true measure of an individual. Besides, in most cases, the wrapping becomes aged, torn and ripped as it becomes exposed to the elements of life, unless medical intervention is involved. :wink:

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Re: Is marriage a wealth-building institution?

Post by interplanetjanet » Mon May 23, 2011 11:57 am

Valuethinker wrote:The issue is that Americans (and other western nations although to a somewhat lesser extent) marry for love. The whole marriage then rests on an internal dynamic of continued compatibility.
I couldn't marry someone I didn't love, but I couldn't love someone I didn't trust and respect. On top of that, I have to trust and respect myself in order to really be able to extend the same to someone else.

That said, if I look at my life honestly, I have to admit that I'm flighty, emotional, and have a history as a hopeless romantic. Speaking as someone who's had to come to terms with that, I think the secret is not convincing yourself that someone else is what they're not. We tend to mold our image of other people in our minds to what we wish they were (I do, anyway). Self honesty is hard.

-Janet

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Post by Opponent Process » Mon May 23, 2011 1:05 pm

if only one spouse was raptured, particularly if it was the higher-earning spouse, I could see that being a problem.
30/30/20/20 | US/International/Bonds/TIPS | Average Age=37

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Post by hsv_climber » Mon May 23, 2011 1:15 pm

Opponent Process wrote:if only one spouse was raptured, particularly if it was the higher-earning spouse, I could see that being a problem.
http://www.ehow.com/how_2085542_sue-church.html

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Post by bottlecap » Mon May 23, 2011 1:23 pm

rrosenkoetter wrote:I think I would have a hard time accepting marriage counseling from a celibate priest who lives alone.
You know, I hadn't thought of that. I never asked my doctor if he ever had a hernia before here operated on mine, either. I'm also pretty sure that my psychologist never had multi-personality disorder.

I'm also a lawyer who has never been personally sued.

In any event, it's not always the priests who do the "counseling." In fact, it's not really counseling.

JT

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Post by dhodson » Mon May 23, 2011 1:24 pm

bottlecap wrote:
rrosenkoetter wrote:I think I would have a hard time accepting marriage counseling from a celibate priest who lives alone.
You know, I hadn't thought of that. I never asked my doctor if he ever had a hernia before here operated on mine, either. I'm also pretty sure that my psychologist never had multi-personality disorder.

I'm also a lawyer who has never been personally sued.

In any event, it's not always the priests who do the "counseling." In fact, it's not really counseling.

JT
i think he was joking for the most part

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Post by bottlecap » Mon May 23, 2011 1:25 pm

dhodson wrote:the cynical reason why the church might require it would be that u have to promise to raise your kids catholic. if u value that promise then they have a vested interest.
I don't recall that being a part of pre-Cana. There's no way I'm going to take my kids to a separate church on Sunday, so the Catholics got me anyway, I guess.

JT

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Post by bottlecap » Mon May 23, 2011 1:31 pm

dhodson wrote:
bottlecap wrote:
rrosenkoetter wrote:I think I would have a hard time accepting marriage counseling from a celibate priest who lives alone.
You know, I hadn't thought of that. I never asked my doctor if he ever had a hernia before here operated on mine, either. I'm also pretty sure that my psychologist never had multi-personality disorder.

I'm also a lawyer who has never been personally sued.

In any event, it's not always the priests who do the "counseling." In fact, it's not really counseling.

JT
i think he was joking for the most part
Obviously, I was being tongue in cheek, myself. Although I don't think he was joking - a lot of people have mentioned that belief to me. My Mom's pastor suggested that to me. I asked her if a Protestant pastor had to experience a divorce prior to counseling her parishioners as to one? The discussion was quickly tabled by her spouse!

JT

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Post by dhodson » Mon May 23, 2011 1:34 pm

bottlecap wrote:
dhodson wrote:the cynical reason why the church might require it would be that u have to promise to raise your kids catholic. if u value that promise then they have a vested interest.
I don't recall that being a part of pre-Cana. There's no way I'm going to take my kids to a separate church on Sunday, so the Catholics got me anyway, I guess.

JT
its in there. the better way to do it is send your kids to catholic school and then pretend you dont need to go on sunday. i occasionally pull this rule which of course isnt true but yes they address the kids in precana.

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Post by Bruin » Mon May 23, 2011 1:46 pm

I would argue wealth building, in all aspects.

Assuming both partners work, assuming they both make about the same amount of money (yes I know there's data to support women making less).

Reason being, it is cheaper to live as a couple than it is as two separate households.

You don't have to pay 2 rents (buy two homes), pay for 2 cable bills, pay to heat or cool down 2 homes, etc. The same effect of having a roommate. It's ok to have roommates in your 20s, but I don't know many (any) in their 40's that do - thus while possible, not probable.

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Post by dm200 » Mon May 23, 2011 2:11 pm

Bruin wrote:I would argue wealth building, in all aspects.

Assuming both partners work, assuming they both make about the same amount of money (yes I know there's data to support women making less).

Reason being, it is cheaper to live as a couple than it is as two separate households.

You don't have to pay 2 rents (buy two homes), pay for 2 cable bills, pay to heat or cool down 2 homes, etc. The same effect of having a roommate. It's ok to have roommates in your 20s, but I don't know many (any) in their 40's that do - thus while possible, not probable.
It depends on your single lifestyle, I believe. When I was single, I shared a house with 2,3 or even 4 other guys (and 1 gal for a while) the the rent was very low (split 3 or 4 ways). Even with 2 incomes, housing costs went up a lot when I got married.

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Post by SamGamgee » Mon May 23, 2011 2:12 pm

If you wouldn't willingly endure poverty to marry her, don't bother.

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Post by epilnk » Mon May 23, 2011 10:30 pm

I haven't been through pre-Cana myself, but I've known couples who speak very highly of it (both the weekend retreat style and the many weeks of meetings style). And quite a lot of it seems aimed at making sure those values are aligned, as Janet pointed out upthread. One exercise I hear about is having each member of a couple individually work through a set of thought provoking questions on their financial goals and priorities, then come together to discuss and compare their answers. That sounds like something a boglehead could value. It seems less about the priest dispensing advice, and more about the priest/facilitator making sure they've discussed important topics before the wedding.

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