How to Make a Future Marriage Last

I recently read a study suggesting that there is a correlation between the cost of engagement rings and the duration of marriages. Researchers looked at 3,000 U.S. adults who had been married at some point in their lives, and found that subjects were more likely to end up divorced if they had spent large sums of money on engagement rings and weddings.

For example, male participants who spent $2,000 To $4,000 on engagement rings were 30% more likely to end up divorced than guys who only spent between $500 to $2,000.


Similarly, people who spent $20,000 or more on their weddings were 3.5 times more likely to end up divorced than people who spent $5,000 to $10,000.

The authors of the study believe the correlation between high wedding and engagement ring costs and high divorce rates is probably due to the financial stress placed on couples who are overly determined to have the “perfect day,” regardless of their actually ability to afford it. 😕

The diamond and wedding industry has done an excellent job promoting their businesses over time. Before the second world war, only 10% of engagement rings contained a diamond. But by the year 2000, about 80% of rings did. In 2012 alone, Americans collectively spent roughly $7 billion on diamond rings. 😯

Here’s my analysis on all this. People who want expensive rings and fancy weddings are generally more materialistically demanding in the first place. Later on in the marriage they’re more likely to live in expensive neighbourhoods, drive fancier cars than their friends, and shop at high end stores. These kinds of behaviours usually lead to debt and other money problems, and we all know how financial stress is often the primary contributor for divorce.

When actor Ben Affleck proposed to Jennifer Lopez in 2002 he famously gave her a 6.1 carat diamond ring from Harry Winston worth $1.2 million!💍 But she reportedly returned it when they broke up 2 years later in 2004.

On the other hand fellow Canadian blogger, the Asian Pear, told me this morning that her parents only spent $175 on their wedding back in the 1970s. That’s about $1,000 after adjusting for inflation. The happy couple celebrated their Ruby Anniversary last year, which commemorates 40 years of marriage.

Thrifty people rejoice! 😀

So guys, it’s okay to spend less on that ring for your significant other. If she gives you the stink eye just tell her you’re simply doing what’s best for both of you to insure a long lasting marriage together. 😉

And ladies, it’s okay to not have a lavishly expensive wedding. If your friends call you a cheapskate just explain to them that cheaper nuptials lead to more enduring relationships. Then you put the extra money you’ve saved in a diversified investment portfolio of long term growth funds so you can enjoy an early retirement some day, unlike your judgemental, fiscally irresponsible friends. 😀



Random Useless Fact:

You can meet someone tomorrow who has better intentions for you than someone else you’ve known since childhood. Time is not important. Character is.

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04/25/2015 10:32 am

I think the pictures really make this post fabulous, especially that last one hahahaha. I’ve always said I don’t want a big wedding, just take me to vegas and make sure the ring lasts, that’s it. Now I have proof to throw in peoples faces when they laugh at that!

04/25/2015 12:13 pm

Based on your findings my future marriage is not going to last @_@

The Asian Pear
04/25/2015 2:20 pm

Thanks for the link!

To be fair to others though, my parents share the same values (such as thriftiness, heh… ^_^; ) which has made their marriage last as long as it has. And honestly, their wedding was a bit of a rushed/shot gun wedding-ish. They got married in late December as soon as Mom arrived in Canada. They were in a hurry to get married before January 1st so that they could apply for some sort of tax credit for that year. Hahahaha. XD Yeah… ^__^;

While I do think my parents tend to be extremists sometimes I do tend to follow in their footsteps and think weddings should be modest/moderate. Big weddings are great if you can afford it but in the end, it’s one day. Personally, I’d want a marriage, not a wedding day.

04/26/2015 5:27 am

Great reason to be “cheap”! Some how I think she might like a small diamond tho…

04/27/2015 6:12 am

When I discussed engagement rings with Mrs. SSC she said specifically, she did not want a diamond ring. She likes peridot, so I found a nice antique Victorian peridot ring for ~$600 that she loved. Our wedding was also a modest family only affair.

I think you nailed it on why that correlation could exist between materialistic attitudes, expensive rings, and subsequently higher divorce rates.