Dr. Helen

"Hmmm, but women still aren't picking up the check."

This is a comment over at CNBC in response to an article on how the divorce rate is falling due to two-income couples:

Suzanne Doyle-Morris, author of “Female Breadwinners: How They Make Relationships Work”  believes improved education levels and later-in-life marriages are the biggest factors in the divorce decline.

Bringing Home More Bacon

And that gives Doyle-Morris optimism for the ability of couples where women aren’t just in the workforce, but out-earning their husbands, to stay married.

In relationships where one partner earned at least 60 percent of the household income, women were the bigger earner only about 4 percent of the time in 1969, she says; now, women are the big earner in 25 percent to 30 percent of those relationships.

“Couples will become increasingly comfortable with ebbing and flowing economically in the relationship — a woman who says, ‘I’m supporting him now as he goes back for an MBA, because he supported me when I started my business,’” Doyle-Morris says. “Resentful males — and resentful females — will decrease with time.”

But the key in to why divorce is lower might be the following:

And many marriages that might have ended in divorce are not occurring in the first place. Nearly 90 percent of men born from 1940 to 1944 got married by age 35; that rate fell 14 percentage points for the group born between 1965 and 1969.

The rate for men getting married is even lower now. Though I doubt this the main reason men don’t get married, I wonder how many more marriages would occur if women started picking up the check more often?