Money stories of successful long-term married couples
This qualitative study explored the money stories of successful long-term married couples. These stories provide a rich and in-depth description of experiences from those couples who have lived with and co-managed money issues over the long-term. Marriage and Family Therapists as well as other couples can benefit from the themes, strategies, and characteristics developed in these money stories. The theoretical foundation for this study was family systems theory.
The orientation of this study is phenomenological in approach and interpretation. Twenty couples married a minimum of 25 years were recruited locally and asked to tell their money story. They were conjointly interviewed. An assumption of this study was that long-term married couples have in many ways succeeded in the co-management of money issues.
The researcher conducted conjoint interviews with 20 couples asking them to tell their money story. The interviews were an open narrative between spouses. The researcher used a semi-structured interview protocol, asking eight questions designed to encourage an exploration of the couple's experience with money. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed for the essence of each couple's story. The two primary themes culled from the participants' money stories were the process of struggle, and a commitment to faith. In the analysis of data, the participants' stories were categorized into one of three groups, dependent upon the stories and degree of struggle, changes made during the couple's marriage, and the overall sense of financial peace reported by the couple.
An important aspect of qualitative study is the researcher impact. The researcher's voice is presented. Conclusions based on the findings are processed. Stated are implications to be considered by marriage and family therapists, other helping professionals, and other couples. Finally, recommendations are made for consideration of long-term marriages and money in future research.