The roles in marriage have evolved, particularly since the reign of the “Nuclear Family” of the 1950s with the homemaker mother and working father. Since then there have been shifts in regards to employment and pay, division of household chores, the role a mother and a father play in raising the children, and countless other aspects of the marriage and gender roles.
Job is number 1 issue
Now Harvard has released a study that assesses why wives divorce their husbands. The most common answer for the split is the spouse’s “lack of employment.” This conclusion involves many factors, but one that shows in the numbers, which jump from 2.5% likelihood of divorce for employed men to 3.3% for unemployed men.
Researchers looked at 46 years of data involving 6,300 heterosexual families here in the U.S. While the employment number may seem slight, the difference was consistent, versus other issues like household responsibility, finances and economic co-dependence that varied widely on a case by case basis.
Feminism to be blamed?
According to the study’s author Alexandra Killewald, the blame for this seemingly dated emphasis on employment and providing for the family is based on feminism. Killewald asserts that women before 1975 who did less housework were more prone to get divorced, but that changed as they went into the workplace and had more freedom to define their marriage on their terms.
Any job will do
The study found that the more successful current-day template for husbands was working fulltime while also doing a larger share of the housework, childrearing and chores. Therefore, it is not a matter of getting a higher-paying job as much as having a job and contributing equally in all areas.
Divorce can happen for many reasons
A wife will likely find it frustrating to work a fulltime job and then come home to a spouse who appears to have done little to help the family. However, other issues can become areas of disagreement, such as parenting style, work-life balance or naturally growing in different directions.
A knowledgeable family law attorney can work with clients who have grown apart from their spouse to find fair and equitable solutions when divorce is the best option for moving forward.