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Money, Money, Money
1 Tim. 6:10 

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For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 

What is the leading cause of divorce in America. During Senate debate, on Nov 4, 1999, Senator Jeff Sessons from Alabama said, "One of the main reasons for divorce in America today is financial difficulty. That is a known fact. As a matter of fact, it is the main reason." (http://www.abiworld.org/legis/bills/s625/11-4-99sessionss625.html) Steven Pybrum, author ofMoney and Marriage: Making it Work Togther, promotes the sale of his book on a website by saying, "The majority of marriages end today because of financial reasons." (Http://www.silcom.com/~ricky/1pybrum.htm)And in an article for Marriage Partnership, a publication of Christianity Today, Int., Annette LaPlaca wrote, "Research indicates that it's more common for spouses to fight about money that about sex or in-laws." (http://www.christianitytoday.com/mp/8m2/8m2028.html)

All three of these citations have something in common, they all state a common perception that money is a major source of discord in marriages and that the problems ultimately lead to divorce. The second thing these citations have in common is none of them have a specific study to back up the generalization. 

I searched the Internet and couldn't find that statistic with a reference. I asked Susan Jones, our resident research expert for help. She found several helpful documents, but none of them substantiated the claim of the three people I quoted. Here's what we found:.

In their book, The Day America Told the Truth What People Really Believe About Everything That Really Matters,Patterson & Kim, say the top 10 reasons for divorce in America: include money problems as reason #7, after communication problems, infidelity, constant fighting, emotional abuse, falling out of love, and unsatisfactory sexual relationship. (http://www.coastal.edu/wcb/schools/LRN/de/khilgenk/3/modules/page17.html)

In their book, Should I Stay or Go? How Controlled Separation Can Save Your Marriage Lee Raffel and Jean Houston give eight common reasons for divorce: Chronic abuse--sexual and physical, Chronic substance abuse, Sexual infidelity, Trust betrayed by deception, lies, and emotional and/or sexual abandonment, Verbal brainwashing, which impairs self-worth, Falling in love with another, An intent to remarry, Personal safety and protection of children (pp. 243, 245 - 246) Finances didn't make their list.

Carron & Fink, attorneys in Connecticut say, Drug abuse, Alcohol abuse, Violence, Criminal Behavior, Sexual infidelity, Neuroses/Psychoses, and Incompatibility are the major reasons for divorce. (http://home.earthlink.net/~eplight/divorcefamxt.html) Finances didn't make their list either.

Over a ten-year span from 1988 to 1997, according to the National Statistical Office, the highest percentage of couples that divorced because of economic problems was 4.2% (http://healthguide.kihasa.re.kr/eng/statistics/sts020205.html)

In their study, "Towards understanding the reasons for divorce," Ilene Wolcott and Jody Hughes wrote: "Only 5 per cent of respondents claimed financial problems were the main cause of their marriage ending." (Http://www.aifs.org.au/institute/pubs/WP20.html)

So which is it? Are finances a major problem in family relationships or not? Certainly it was to the five percent that claimed it was the main cause of their divorce. And certainly they can be in your home if:
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