We have all heard the various calculations that supposedly help people determine how much to spend on an engagement ring. We are told a ring should cost about as much as a person would earn in three months; or we are led to believe that unless it is a big, flawless diamond, it is inadequate.
However, many people would agree that an engagement ring, and how much it costs, is not an indicator of how strong a couple’s relationship is. But is it?
Recent research by two economics professors suggests that the price of an engagement can, in fact, predict the likelihood of a couple’s divorce. Their research consisted of surveys taken by 3,000 people who have been married, and researchers concluded that couples who spend more on engagement rings were more likely to get divorced.
They also found that couples who had extravagant weddings were also more likely to divorce. Specifically, couples who spent at least $20,000 on a wedding were 3.5 times more likely to divorce and couples who had at least 200 people at their wedding were 92 percent more likely to divorce.
Several explanations have been given for these results. To begin with, overspending on engagement rings or weddings could lead to serious financial burdens for a couple, and many couples cite finances as a major source of anxiety in a marriage. Another reason could be that people spending so much on a ring or the wedding celebration might not be focusing on why they are getting married and what that means in the long run.
While this research is not exact or scientifically-sound, it is certainly interesting to see how planning a wedding could bring up some bigger issues a couple could face later on.
Of course, there is no surefire way to predict divorce. Every couple – and every marriage – is unique and extremely complicated. However, reports like this may be a good way to discuss how certain behaviors or priorities could ultimately hurt a marriage.
Source: New York Post, “The pricier the ring, the likelier the divorce,” Oct. 15, 2014