Family Law Blog

Excessive Holiday Spending Could Mean Marriage Trouble

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The holidays are undoubtedly a joyous time for families, but for many couples, these can also be a highly stressful time. One of the biggest issues for couples during this time is the amount of spending that one spouse does during the holidays. In fact, according to a new survey, approximately 50% of all married couples in the United States admit that they spend the holidays fighting over how much to spend during the season. The research also indicates that some of that fighting could possibly lead to trouble for the marriage after the holiday season is over.

The research was conducted by McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union, and was based on questionnaires that were given to 1,000 individuals. The participants included individuals in both heterosexual and same-sex marriages, as well as divorced couples who were remarried or in relationships.

Approximately 40% of heterosexual married couples admitted then they fought frequently over holiday spending. The rates of such fighting seemed to be lower than in the case of divorced couples, with a rate of 43%, and 37% in the case of same-sex couples.

The survey also finds that holiday shopping and spending is a major issue for many married couples. Many couples admitted that they often resorted to stealthy and devious behavior to hide their spending from the partner. Many couples admitted that they often resorted to using secret credit cards that were unknown to their partner, in order to buy things on the sly without their partner's knowledge. They also admitted to frequently lying about the amount that they spent on shopping.

One of the most underestimated factors in any divorce is the breakdown of communication and marriage. Lying about money matters, especially something like shopping during the holiday season, can actually indicate a breakdown in marriage communication.