Why couples with money argue more

Couples who have considerable sums of cash and are materialistic in their outlook may be more likely to argue when compared with those less well-off. This is the suggestion of new research published in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, which found pairings who place less importance on money score around ten to 15 per cent better regarding relationship quality than their asset-obsessed counterparts.

Investigators at Brigham Young University studied 1,734 marriages and found that for one-in-five couples, both of the parties had a love of riches.

However, it was demonstrated that money was a bigger source of conflict in these partnerships, with Jason Carroll, a Professor of Family Life at the institution - which started life as Brigham Young Academy in 1875 - noting materialistic pairings were worse off in almost every subject area looked at.

Professor Carroll observed: "There is a pervasive pattern in the data of eroding communication, poor conflict resolution and low responsiveness to each other."

Kim Stephenson, Chartered Psychologist and author of the forthcoming Taming the Pound, commented: "The number one reason for consulting Relate is money worries. According to various studies, a vast majority of people feel financial honesty is important, but a significant minority are deliberately dishonest about revealing debts, the price of new purchases etc. to their partner.

"It's fairly well established that money doesn't lead to happiness - in fact materialistic values are commonly linked to unhappiness.

"However much money you have, there comes a point at which you must stop. You can buy 20 homes, a yacht, a fleet of private planes, your own Caribbean island, but perhaps you are still unable to afford a space station, a country or another planet and somebody else can.

"If you can only feel happy if you have the 'best stuff', you will always be unhappy, if you are content with what you actually need, you can potentially be happy in a tent.

"All of these suggest that a couple with materialistic values, who focus exclusively on money, are likely to be individually and collectively more unhappy (and probably have poorer communication and be more argumentative) than couple's who are more interested in relationships, values, activities and other things that have been shown to be linked to happiness."