Here's one case when birds of a feather often do not flock together, but they probably should. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, and Northwestern University rated married individuals on a Tightwad-Spendthrift Scale based on surveys that asked each partner about their personal feelings toward spending money.
The results show that many people end up marrying someone with opposite money behavior. Professor Stephanie Coontz commented, "I can see how this might be one of those kinds of seductive differences in the early stages of courtship. Maybe you say to yourself, ‘This guy makes me feel so free,’ or ‘This gal reins me in.’ " I never thought of money habits as a seductive element in the kindling of a relationship, but I do see Coontz's point.
Unfortunately, the initial attraction to another's differences in the way they handle finances could lead to big trouble down the road. Relationship experts think people end up with opposites because they don't spend enough time discussing money before they walk down the aisle. Eli J. Finkel, a Northwestern psychology professor, said, "People may not think about these things when they first get married. But a bad economy serves as a crucible for complementary marriages."