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A better understanding of marriage and money

Donte Hunt

With the assumption that Bermuda shares similar statistics based on culture and belief similarities consider the following data.

More than 90 per cent of all Americans will marry at some point in their lives. Fifty per cent of marriages will end in divorce. The average marriage will last about seven years with 75 per cent of those divorcing remarrying.

Many of these remarriages will also end in divorce (Centres for Disease Control 2004). Sixty per cent of those who don’t divorce are admittedly NOT happy. Unresolved conflict (the “Cumulative Effect”) is the No 1 cause for divorce. Money is the No 1 area of conflict in a marriage. Based on these depressing statistics, there is a slim chance (approximately 20 per cent) of enjoying a happy marriage.

After spewing this barrage of ugly facts, I am sure you are thinking that I am on an all-out assault on “tying the proverbial knot”. Actually, my mandate is quite the opposite.

I wholeheartedly believe in marriage. There are numerous precious treasures tucked away within chambers of mystique and hidden caverns waiting anxiously to be discovered and relished within this union. However, the only way to experience this life-enhancing and soul-fulfilling bounty is through acquiring and implementing the necessary marital knowledge and skills.

So, what do marriage and money have in common? Well, aside from the fact they both begin with the letter m, they are two of the most important, fragile, intense and impactful elements in one’s life.

Decisions pertaining to these life-altering constituents should be made only after much consultation (with a team of at least ten trained experts and professionals, huddled in a room for days pondering all aspects, contingencies and research) before concluding on the best option.

Those of us who have said “I do” know where I’m coming from and exactly what I am getting at.

Marriage, of course, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful institutions created and experienced. According to Elizabeth Gilbert: “To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow — this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.” (Committed; A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage.)

In its own way money shares the mystifying complexity and effect that marriage inflicts on us. “How?” I can hear you ask; after all money is simple — you make it, you spend it, you save it (well, you should) — and don’t forget, you give it away.

However, we find that money is not that simple after all. Just look at the extraordinary high quantity of bankruptcies and foreclosures, the plethora of those experiencing crippling and debilitating debt and the fact that money (in the form of debt) is associated with the leading cause of suicide: depression.

Money has a component that intertwines with our being, seemingly forming into a living entity that represents an extension of our emotions, experiences and personality. Money and its effect on us, if not tamed and understood, becomes the source of pain and stress (that many, if not most have unfortunately experienced).

With marriage and money being such a significant force and aspect of our lives, one can only wonder why we are unleashed into the epicentre without any mandatory preparation and training. Imagine if the only prerequisite to becoming a surgeon is to have an immense emotional feeling of desire and the ability to wield a knife — no in-depth knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of the human body required. Disaster! Lives would inevitably be damaged and lost.

Now let us examine marriage and money from the perspective of responsibility of the lives of others; the proper nurturing and adequate care of children for example. Shaping the direction of their future is on the line. Additionally, partners have accepted the mammoth responsibility and robust task of ensuring the happiness, security and wellbeing of each other.

Now, a little bit about myself and the impetus behind my passion for helping couples achieve marital success through financial harmony.

I am a husband of 15 years and have been given the gift of raising two beautiful daughters. As an advisor, specialising in helping people structure tailored financial strategies, I am afforded the opportunity to establish relationships built on the trust of providing sound and proven financial guidance.

Since I can remember, my parents have been strong advocates and proponents of healthy marriages. From providing counselling services to a countless number of couples in the living room (free of charge may I add), to hosting group learning sessions, presentations and simulcasts, I was immersed in their passion and focus to the point of assimilation.

I invite you to join me as I explore the complex, complicated and underinformed relationship between marriage and money, suggesting proven technics, practices and mind shifts that ultimately connects marital success with financial harmony. Stay tuned.

Follow me: Twitter @donteohunt Facebook.com/dontehunt