Causes of Marriage Failure: Money, Sex, and Communication

Money, sex, and communication are frequently cited as the most common reasons for a marriage failure. The following discussion will details some of the reasons these three topics are the top contenders for marriage failure, what can be done to avoid these issues, and how a marriage can be restored after suffering from these issues. Income levels can create difficulty in marriage. Low-income families may be greater affected than middle or high-level income families. Low-income families may not have the resources to take care of basic needs, e.g. medical costs, nutritional foods, housing, etc. This may lead to increased stress within the relationship, which can lead to increase marital discord, fighting, and ultimately may lead to dissolution of the marriage. Middle and high-income marriages may fight over spending levels, who is earning more/less money, the authority to spend the money, and whether each partner is doing his/her share. Women, in today’s society, are at less financial risk than ever before. As a result, many women expect men to help with the traditional household chores. Since many men still believe this to be woman’s work, the equal partnership with both partners bringing in an income, can create problems that are essentially created by money. What are some of the ways to prevent money related marriage failure?

Create financial goals – make this a joint decision. Set personal spending limits; create personal allowances in which each person has a fixed dollar amount per wk/mo that each may spend without consulting their partner. Get out of debt – destroy the credit cards – build a savings account – invest in a mutual fund – have a joint household account from which the joint expenses are paid e.g. mortgage/rent, utilities, groceries, insurance, etc. Also, have separate accounts for personal spending. What are some steps to restore a marriage suffering from money problems? Get out of debt! Create financial goals – together. Live within your means – who cares what the Jones’ are buying – “find ways to temporarily increase your income” (Breslawy, 2003).

Why does communication cause marriage failure? “Lack of communication/tone of voice/body stance” (Stewart, J.K.). – not being clear in expression/not hearing what the other is saying. What are some of the ways to prevent communication related marriage failure? Establish a joint relationship with God. Acknowledge your own faults. Spend time together. Encourage and praise each other. What are some steps to restore a marriage suffering from communication problems? The same steps used to prevent marriage related communication problems can be used to restore a marriage.

How does sex cause marriage failure? (Byers, L. 2005) Poor self image, poor sexual image, inhibitions, fear of intimacy, childhood sexual abuse, molestation, rape, lack of privacy, guilt, hectic lifestyles, stress, anxiety, depression, unforgiveness, grief, bitterness, fear, anger, hate. Lack of nonsexual intimacy, lack of sexual intimacy, sexual dysfunction, frustration, disappointment, poor communication, lack of knowledge about sexuality, lack of trust, betrayal, adultery, lack of respect, abuse, manipulation, selfishness, boredom. Medical conditions, medication affects, medical treatments and drugs, hormones, exhaustion, Painful sex. Depending on the cause of the problem, the steps to resolve the issues may include the following – some problems may require the assistance of trained medical professional, therapists, etc.

Breslawy, E. (2003). Marriage, money, and sex: dr. hamilton finds a wife. Journal of Social History, Spring. Retrieved Nov 15, 2005, from
Killam, J. (2004, Winter). Vanishing Act. We should have money. So where does it go? And what can we do about it? Marriage Partnership. Retrieved October 30, 2005, from
Stewart, J.K. (2005, July 31). Money and marriage: a certain togetherness. Los Angeles Times Retrieved October 30, 2005, from,1,4118818.story?coll=la-utilities-business&ctrack=1&cset=true

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