Men, Divorce and Employment

Many times we hear that divorce is caused by money woes but now it gets more specific: “A Harvard study finds it’s more complicated than financial strain, zeros in on the guy’s employment status.”


Financial stress and fights over money can eat away at a marriage. But do they cause divorce? That’s a more complicated matter.

A Harvard University study suggests that neither financial strains nor women’s increased ability to get out of an unhappy marriage, starting in the 1970s, is typically the main reason for a split.

The big factor, Harvard sociology professor Alexandra Killewald found, is the husband’s employment status. For the past four decades, she discovered, husbands who aren’t employed full time have a 3.3 percent chance of getting divorced in any given year, compared with 2.5 percent for husbands employed full time. In other words, their marriages are one-third more likely to break up….

“Wives have more freedom in how they ‘do’ marriage,” Killewald said, but husbands are still expected to be the breadwinner. ..“The late 1970s were really a time of change in what women expected for their careers,” Killewald said. What hasn’t changed nearly as much is the role men are supposed to play as husbands.

I love the way most of the burden in marriage is put on men. Women’s roles have changed but they still expect men to earn the money and help with the housework. No wonder so many men are going on strike.


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