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The study's authors said that while the recession has put many American couples under "considerable stress," it's also forged stronger ties in some relationships.While economic setbacks like unemployment or mortgage woes are linked to declines in marital happiness, some married Americans say that the recession has actually deepened their commitment to each other.Jim and I have been together ever since, and things have picked up — he's got a full-time job, and I am freelancing — but the strength of our relationship has nothing to do with our work lives.We didn't always believe in where our next jobs were coming from, but we always believed in each other." Reality: Recently, I overheard a woman at a bar whisper to her friend, "I've dated rich guys and I've dated poor, and let me tell you: rich is better." I wondered what had motivated her to share that little pearl of financial wisdom, so being the shy writer that I am, I asked her. "My point is that it's better as long as the guy makes you happy.The truth is, it really just depends on the two people involved.I've spoken with couples who have hunkered down and bonded through some tough times, while other couples busted up at the first sign of money problems. According to a study from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, the recession has both "stressed and strengthened" American marriages.Nadia and her boyfriend, Jim, just got engaged and are planning a summer wedding.They've also saved enough for a modest-but-elegant dinner reception.
There are many parts of Roger; he isn't just his job or his bank account to me," she explains.
"I met the guy of my dreams, and we've been blissfully happy for six months," said Washingtonian Mary Ann, 45. while I still might have met him, I never would have entered into this relationship so easily if I'd stayed at my high-pressured corporate job. While I'd love for the recession to end soon and bring a time of renewed prosperity for everyone, I'd also like us to remember a couple of love lessons we've all learned from these tough times.
I wouldn't have had the flexibility to spend hours of quality time with him. on a weeknight, completely stressed out of my mind, and unable to really be present with him." Reality: You've heard all the myths around dating and money; i.e., women are gold diggers, and guys solely rely on their credit cards to impress dates. For example: many folks — sometimes by default — have learned to focus less on showy finances and more on deeper personal connections when it comes to dating.
"I'd been let go from my job as a lawyer when I met my girlfriend last fall," says North Carolinian Mike. But she saw I had resolve and knew I was pounding the pavement so I could start working again soon." Other new couples are finding that a lighter workload offers more time to focus on their romantic relationships, which are such a meaningful part of everyone's lives.
For many of us who've let our love lives slide in favor of making our careers and other obligations higher on our list of priorities, the recent economic downturn has offered a chance to rediscover the joys of spending quality time with someone special.
Love takes a backseat when you're concerned about your career and making a living, but sometimes, out of the bad financial news comes something good.