According to a recent study published in the journal Demography, spouses who make similar amounts of money are more likely to stay together and have a happy marriage. Being financially secure doesn’t hurt either. Money may not be the only secret to happy marriage, but it’s certainly one of them.

The Truth About Money And Marriage

Patrick Ishizuka, a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University’s Cornell Population Center, conducted the study. He analyzed the Census Bureau’s “Survey of Income Participation from 1996 to 2013. According to Ishizuka, “higher and more equal earnings” are key ingredients to a healthy marriage.

Despite the findings, the American public clings to traditional marriage values. According to a recent Washington, D.C. poll of 5,000 adults, more than 70% of Americans say it’s important for the man to be the primary breadwinner.

Equal Incomes, Happy Marriage

Couples that make similar amounts of money are more likely to stay hitched. Spouses who believe that the husband should be Mr. Money Bags may want to consider changing their tune. The age of equality is upon us, and women continue to make strides over the wage gap. Just a year ago, divorce rates dropped to a near 40-year low.

Wives, try not to make too much more than your husband. Studies show that divorce rates skyrocket when women make significantly more than men. Society has taught husbands to feel inadequate if they don’t rake in the dough. The sense of failure can breed tension and resentment.

Higher Income, Less Stress

Financial stress strains marriages. When the two of you make enough to afford the common marital goals, relationships thrive. Couples have goals of a white picket fence and great school district. When they get them, the marriage feels successful. Stress levels are lower when you feel like you’re winning as a couple.

According to Ishizuka’s study, “Economically disadvantaged couples are also more likely to separate.” As soon as a couple can afford a comfortable quality of life, the more likely they are to get married and stay married.