Washington: Confirming The Beatles’ lyrical hypothesis, a new study has found that “the kind of thing that money just can’t buy” is a happy and stable marriage.
Scholars at Brigham Young University studied 1,734 married couples across the country.
Each couple completed a relationship evaluation, part of which asked how much they value “having money and lots of things.”
The researchers’ statistical analysis revealed that couples who said money was not important to them scored about 10 to 15 percent better on marriage stability and other measures of relationship quality than couples where one or both were materialistic.
“Couples where both spouses are materialistic were worse off on nearly every measure we looked at,” said Jason Carroll, a BYU professor of family life and lead author of the study.
“There is a pervasive pattern in the data of eroding communication, poor conflict resolution and low responsiveness to each other,” he stated.
For one in five couples in the study, both partners admitted a strong love of money. Though these couples were better off financially, money was often a bigger source of conflict for them.
And despite their shared materialism, materialistic couples’ relationships were in poorer shape than couples who were mismatched and had just one materialist in the marriage.
The findings have been published Oct. 13 in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy.