Like everything in life, the “Stay Married to Become Wealthy” saying really depends on the situation!
I have two different friends that have financial inept spouses from Hell. One got a divorce and is doing fine, while the other is living in a continually tortured life with constant battles with debt.
Friend #1 (this is really the guy in the story Financial Pig 1, in my story of the three little financial pigs)
Of the three little financial pigs that I’ve mentioned before, he is the most dynamic. After his divorce, and the purging of his debt, he was able to turn his life around and actually get another great job with potential. Had he stayed married, he still might be living with his wife in relative’s basements while she spends all of the money he makes.
For him, getting a divorce meant that he has a shot at accumulating wealth like he hasn’t before. I talked to him recently, and now he’s driving an economical Chevy Malibu (which I have too and hate), and is socking way his money. And although his new wife (she was his girlfriend in the last update), is much better than his previous wife, she does spend more freely than I feel comfortable doing. But on the other hand, they aren’t going out as much either though, so perhaps I’m not getting a good read on his situation in this area.
I’m positive if he was still married to wife 1, they would still be in massive debt and trying to declare bankruptcy a third time! Hooray for him, his divorce probably saved him from permanent financial ruin.
Friend #2 (I haven’t talked about her before, but she could use a divorce too, and I’ll explain why now)
My other friend at work (who was laid off a year ago), has a husband that floats in and out of work, but spend all their money on toys to entertain himself.
He buys mostly muscle cars, and car parts, always goes out drinking and like to go on trips with friends while my friend just keeps working away like it’s nothing.
They were married in high school, so they have a long history together. But unfortunately, they aren’t really that compatible. Perhaps he realizes this and that’s why he cheats on her. Yep, and the kicker is multiple people have called her and told her so. So here you have a guy that spend all the money in the family for toys for himself (and the kids), who goes on trips without her and is even cheating on her, but still she stays married.
And the real punch in the gut is that he’s perfectly healthy, but hasn’t worked a real job in the last five years!
In this friend’s case, it would make total sense for her to divorce her husband, but she chooses not to. I can guarantee that they will never be wealthy unless they win the lottery. But even if they win the lottery, the money would be gone in five years.
So have I debunked this wealth myth! It really does depend on the couple. For my wife and I it makes sense because we are both frugal and agree on many issues, but for my friends above, divorce is the best answer (and not just for financial reasons).
Do you have any stories about couples that are married but would be better financially if they got a divorce?