More likely to divorce if wife earns more?

Admin 12:21 pm

What are your thoughts on income and divorce?

Should the husband earn more than the wife? Or is it okay vice-versa?

In this day and age, i personally think it’s fine for the woman to earn more. Times are changing fast and we have to keep up. Women are given more opportunities and are more empowered as compared to 30 years ago, and more and more are getting higher education and working in high paying jobs. Some are even starting their own businesses and becoming successful. It’s a fact of the times and we cannot ignore it.

In the future, higher earning wives could very well be the norm and these challenges we talked about will be long forgotten. However, we are still in the ‘transitioning phase’ , whereby men are still expected to earn more than their wives.

The question is, if a woman earns more than her husband, does that increase the likelihood of divorce?

A University of Chicago study found that :

The notion that a man should earn more than his wife not only impacts marriage rates, the researchers show, but also influences how much a married woman works outside the home and how household chores are divided. Moreover, women who deviate from that norm pay a social price.’

This means that earnings affects the roles each person plays within the marriage, and it may deviate from the norm. With changes in their lifestyle, their attitudes and beliefs may change along with it.

If a woman earns more than her husband, chances are she’s holding an important position in her workplace. She could be a manager or boss, in charge of a group of people. She might then bring in those boss or manager traits back into her home, bossing her husband around, or demanding certain things to be done.

For a man, this can be quite an issue because it makes him look like the weaker party in the marriage. His masculinity is threatened. Whatever she wants, he has to do simply because she earns more. She has the final say when it comes to how their money is to be spent.

Another part of the study found that a woman’s happiness level in her marriage decreases when she earns more than her husband. This could be due to the fact that as a man, the husband may still have a strong say in household decisions. He may not allow her to spend on certain things, even though she is using her hard-earned money for it.

She may even have to opt for a lesser demanding career, or stop work altogether to take on the more traditional female role such as doing household chores and taking care of the kids. Some women prefer working as it keeps them busy, especially those without kids.

“A woman outearning her husband could even doom the marriage, as the researchers report this “increases the likelihood of divorce by 50 percent.””

This is a strong result of the study. A 50% increase in the likelihood of divorce is sure to alarm anyone, and we’ll discuss the reasons for it below.

One of the most interesting findings of this marriage maybe contradictory to what we have read above. The study says that women who earn more than their husbands are more likely to do more household chores to alleviate their husband’s unease.

Dad and daughter

More likely to split if wife earns more?

Reasons for divorce

Playing 2 main roles – the breadwinner and the homemaker may be too much for one person, and it could be a strong reason behind the rise in divorce rates for women earning more than their husbands.

Furthermore, a woman who is financially independent will also find it easier to get out of an unhappy marriage. She can support herself and her new life after the separation, without the need to think through too much about her finances.

Lastly, it’s about ego. Sure, some husbands may not care that much about his wife earning more than himself. But it could become a hot topic when it comes to arguments and can cause tension in the relationship. The male pride is threatened and it can be difficult to live under such circumstances for a man. Some people even attribute this as a reason for lesser-earning husbands to have affairs during their marriages, but we’ll save this for another time.

I’m not saying that if you are a woman and are earning more than your husband, you’ll be unhappy.

In every situation, there are bound to be exceptions. You can very well be earning more than your partner and still be happy. You like your job and your husband likes his. You have a maid to take care of the household chores and are able to spend enough time with the kids. In such a scenario, there are lesser problems because every aspect of the marriage and lifestyle has been taken care of. Each party knows their roles and responsibilities that makes the marriage work.



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