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Well-Paid Women Have Higher Divorce Rate

Everyone enters a marriage with certain expectations. For some, the expectation may be that the wife will stay home when the couple has children. Others expect that both spouses will contribute equally to the housework. When these kinds of expectations are not met, the relationship can become strained.

A recently released study suggests that women who bring home more money than their husbands have a higher divorce rate. These couples often expect the man to be the primary earner. When that expectation is not met, they often get a divorce.

Western Washington University Research

The Journal of Family Issues published a new study in the October issue. Jay Teachman, a sociologist at Western Washington University, looked at the divorce rate for 2,500 women who were married between 1979 and 2002. All of these women expected the husband to be the primary breadwinner in the family.

For women who earned at least 60 percent of the family income, the divorce rate was nearly 40 percent higher than women who contributed less to the family's bank account.

Teachman suggests that the primary reason for the higher divorce rate is the unmet expectations on the part of the couples. When the wife brings home a bigger paycheck, Teachman says, "There's some wounded egos. The man is going to expect he'll make more money, and the wife is going to expect she's not." The disconnect between expectations and reality can strain the couple's relationship and lead to divorce.

That said, Teachman acknowledges that many women who make more than their husbands do not get divorces. "You don't know which is leading the divorce - the rocky marriage or the decision to get a better job," he said.

Source: New York Post, "Women's divorce 'cur$e'", Cathy Burke, 10 Sept 2010

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