This might seem to be a bit of an odd post on a personal finance and bargain website. But it's one of the more important choices that people make in a lifetime. The choice of your spouse (or the choice not to marry) will change your finances for the rest of your life.
I was reminded of this after reading a brief story of a man who allegedly tossed half a million dollars worth of gold coins into a landfill as part of a divorce dispute. If he did do it, it's actually not a bad way to dispose of the money. The coins are small and individually heavy, so they'd get quickly buried in a pile of loose refuse. Even the total weight isn't that much: maybe 25 to 30 pounds. Among hundreds or thousands of tons of trash, they're gone.
Divorce is expensive, especially if it's a bitter divorce
I've read some stories of divorces that went smoothly, amicably, quickly, and cheaply. Great if you can get out cheaply, but the average divorce costs somewhere in the $15,000 to $20,000 range. (That's more than our wedding cost.) And that's just to separate the assets and make both people single again. There may (likely will?) be ongoing costs from one ex to the other.
These are typical expenses, but the figures don't consider revenge wealth depletion like someone tossing $500,000 into the landfill. The article calls this behavior crazy, but in a way it's human nature. People — men, usually — see half of their assets walking out the door. So, instead of looking at the half they still have, they work to make the half walking out the door as small as possible. Of course, that usually means destroying their half in the process.
It's envy-driven, not reason-driven. The goal is to make the other person lose. Period. At all costs. Even personal cost.
So, choose wisely.
Given that nearly half of all first marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, this is easier said than done. And just about any married couple will admit that marriage isn't always easy — that even though you love the person you're married to, you don't always like them.
Choose wisely. Marriage is a big decision. In a Christian marriage, it's a covenant: an agreement between the two parties and God.
After choosing wisely, work things out in the open. Talk. Communicate. You may have chosen wisely, but getting to know one another, what makes the other person tick — or ticked off, what motivates them, and what they're afraid of takes a lifetime to learn. Not knowing where the other person is coming from causes friction and miscommunication.
If you've chosen wisely, and work things out, then cut the other person, and yourself, some slack. Overlooking little offenses goes a long way. Likely the other person isn't out to get you (if you've chosen wisely). Talk things out, but let things go if it won't matter tomorrow.
Again: Choose wisely. Not doing so can result in a large lifelong expensive. It's called divorce.