A diamond is forever, and marriage is supposed to be, as well. However, a new study conducted by economics professors at Emory University in Atlanta, GA suggests that the bigger — and therefore more expensive — the diamond engagement ring is, the shorter the marriage may be.
The study surveyed 3,000 men and women in the United States who had been married at some point during their lives. Data from the study suggests that participants who spent large amounts on their engagement rings, weddings, or both were ultimately more likely to divorce.
Men who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on engagement rings were 1.3 times more like to have their marriages end in divorce than men who spent $500 to $2,000. On the flipside, women who received expensive bling were also subject to higher divorce rates. Talk about being ice cold.
The study also went on to find that women whose wedding ceremonies cost $20,000 or more were at least 3.5 times more likely to end divorced as opposed to women who spent between $5,000 and $10,000. Keep in mind that the typical cost of a wedding in the United States is roughly $30,000, according to data from wedding website The Knot. On the other hand, those who spent $1,000 or less on a wedding reduced their chances of divorce.
However, spending too little on an engagement ring isn’t a good idea, either. According to the study, those who spent $500 or less on an engagement ring experienced higher divorce rates.
The study’s authors theorize that the link between expensive engagement and wedding costs and divorce may be tied to the financial stress placed on brides and grooms who are focused on having the perfect day at all costs, whether they can afford it or not.
“To further illustrate this theory, women whose engagement rings cost over $2,000 were up to three times more likely to complain about financial stress related to wedding debt,” says Craig L Cook, Founder of The Law Offices of Craig Cook. “On the other hand, and predictably, couples who spent $1,000 or less on their nuptials were 82-93% less likely to be stressed out over the cost of getting hitched.”
“Marriage is a complicated institution today. In life and in negotiation, it always seems that you always have to find a sweet spot for balance no matter what the situation is.”
It seems like common sense that overspending on an engagement ring or wedding would cause undue financial stress, so why do so many couples do it? Researchers place some of the blame on the media and wedding industry, for painting an idyllic yet unrealistic picture of what a wedding should be, through advertisements and marketing campaigns that encourage brides and grooms to spend beyond their means. Wedding reality TV shows also play into the hype, leaving many couples feeling as though they need to keep up with the Kardashians or other celebrity power couples
Researchers also found that having more guests, in addition to having a honeymoon, also led to longer marriages — possibly pointing to the beneficial effects of friendship and relaxation during the process of putting a ring on it.
What Happens to An Engagement Ring After a Divorce?
Getting a divorce can be a very stressful situation for all parties involved. Hiring a reputable divorce lawyer can help ease the process.
With a divorce, comes the question of who the engagement ring belongs to. Why is this an important factor? They can be very expensive. Everything you own is subject to scrutiny during a divorce.
The court will determine who gets what if the two parties involved cannot come to the conclusion by themselves. Sometimes gifts given during a marriage can be considered individual property and not divisible. Engagement rings are traditionally not considered marital property.
If you had a short marriage, then the court might decide to sell the ring and split the proceeds. Some families have engagement rings that are passed down through generations. If your engagement ring was an heirloom, then the court will probably order it be returned to that family.
If you have questions about what happens to your property during a divorce, then it is wise to consult a divorce lawyer. Engagement rings other keepsakes can be at stake during any divorce. Lean on your attorney to help alleviate any stress that comes with a divorce.
Of course, when looking for engagement rings divorce is the furthest thing for your mind. When you are shopping for diamond engagement rings for her, it is important to know the purpose of your trip. If deep down you feel that anything less than a full diamond engagement ring will end in rejection, the issue is not the quality of new diamond engagement rings. Spending more than you can afford on a full diamond engagement ring in order to impress your potential bride-to-be could be read as a warning sign. When looking for engagement rings ask yourself if she is more interested in a giant rock than she is in building a life with you.
Diamond and engagement rings don’t necessarily have to break the bank. The old cliche is diamond engagement rings for her should cost three months salary. Don’t feel pressured to spend money you don;t have for fear of rejection. If the answer is going to be yes it’ll be yes if you propose with something from a vending machine or with a $50,000 full diamond engagement ring.