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Study Shows Engagement Ring Cost Linked to Divorce

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Take this with a grain of salt, but if you’re currently planning the Kimye-inspired wedding of the century or laying not-so-subtle hints to your guy for the rock of your dreams, you may want to scale it back—or risk upping your chances of divorce.

While successful marketing ploys (like diamond company De Beer’s famous slogan: “Isn’t two months’ salary a small price to pay for something that lasts forever?”) have conditioned us to believe that wedding spending—on engagement rings, lavish weddings, and honeymoons—is linked to a long-lasting marriage, a new study out of Emory University’s department of economics finds wedding splurges and marriage duration to actually be inversely related.

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The researchers surveyed 3,000 U.S. adults who had once been married for more than 13 years and found that men who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 times more likely to get divorced than those who spend between $500 and $2,000. (Spending less than $500 on the ring also led to higher divorce rates.) What gives? The researchers write, "If wedding expenditures are indeed associated with debt stress, then it is possible that wedding expenses raise the likelihood of marital dissolution given that prior literature suggests a link between economic stress and marital dissolution."

The same goes for wedding costs too—spending more than $20,000 on a wedding was linked to significantly higher divorce rates than those who spent between $5,000 and $10,000. You may even want to consider a Carrie and Mr. Big courthouse-style wedding: spending less than $1,000 is associated with the lowest risk of divorce. Food for thought before you let the $50 billion dollar wedding industry turn you into a bridezilla.

The good news: The study found that things like regularly attending religious services, having a baby, a bigger wedding (i.e. inviting more people!), and splurging on a honeymoon trip are all linked to a lower risk of divorce. So, Jamaica, here we come?

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