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Trust issues

Dan said his brush with the legal system during his divorce seven years ago left him feeling disillusioned. “I’ve been through the court system,” he said. “It’s not fair. It’s really not fair for anybody.” He went on to describe legal professionals as “blood-thirsty tyrants.”

Dan’s unpleasant experience isn’t unusual. A survey by Rasmussen Reports found that only 35% of Americans trust lawyers. Less than half have trust and confidence in the Supreme Court, the highest court in the country, according to a recent Gallup study.

However, Dan’s trust issues seem to go beyond just the court system. He’s been with his current girlfriend since the divorce. She wants to get married now, but he isn’t sure that’s a “smart move” because he recently became wealthy through his business.

“What is it about your girlfriend of seven years that you don't trust?” Delony asked him. “You built a life for almost a decade with her, yet over here your language is, 'I've become wealthy.' So you've created a life of your own inside of this seven-year relationship.”

Dan’s reluctance highlights how money plays a key role in marriage decisions.

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Lack of financial compatibility

Financial disputes are a key cause of unhappy relationships. In a survey by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, three out of four married or cohabiting respondents said making financial decisions caused stress in their relationships. The cost of raising children, managing debt and splitting limited resources could all be the root of these tensions.

Wealthier couples have a lower risk of divorce, according to a study published in Demography, the flagship journal of the Population Association of America. It turns out more resources may make a relationship more stable. Dan claims his net worth is roughly between $1.2 million to $1.5 million, so financial stability might not be a concern for him.

However, wealth can’t completely mitigate the risk of divorce. A lack of shared values around money could also end a relationship, regardless of financial resources.

Dan’s tendency to view his wealth separately from his relationship with his girlfriend could cause trouble, according to "Ramsey Show" co-host Jade Warshaw. She says she enjoys traveling with her partner, and what they each can afford is not an issue.

“[I wasn’t like] this is what I can afford to do. Sorry, you can't come because you can't afford to do that,” Warshaw explained on the show. “I wasn't like — I'm gonna ride on this plane, you ride on that plane, and I'm gonna stay in this hotel because I can afford it, and you stay in that hotel. … Do you see how kind of crazy that sounds?”

Both hosts agreed that Dan must reconcile this gap in perspective if he wants a happy marriage; otherwise, he should end the relationship.

“Set her free,” Delony said.

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Vishesh Raisinghani Freelance Writer

Vishesh Raisinghani is a freelance contributor at MoneyWise. He has been writing about financial markets and economics since 2014 - having covered family offices, private equity, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and tech stocks over that period. His work has appeared in Seeking Alpha, Motley Fool Canada, Motley Fool UK, Mergers & Acquisitions, National Post, Financial Post, and Yahoo Canada.

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