Marital commitment, money and marriage preparation: What changes after the wedding?



This paper explores conceptions of commitment and styles of money management in heterosexual couples at two points in time: Just before the wedding (T1) and about a year later (T2). It also examines the potential effects of using FOCCUS as a form of marriage preparation (MP). Forty-two couples were recruited at T1 and randomly allocated to either A MP group and a group that would not be offered any marriage preparation - the Non-Marriage Preparation group (NMP). Individual, in-depth, semi-structured interviews were carried out at T1 and T2, recorded and fully transcribed. A thematic analysis (TA) yielded three themes or levels of commitment which were used to categorize couples at T1 and T2. Their money management styles were defined based on Pahl's (1989) typology. The results showed that conceptions of commitment had developed slightly overall by T2, and had been enhanced in the MP group. At T2, a more elaborated conception of commitment was associated with a greater tendency to treat money as a collective resource. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.