Women Who Earn More, Divorce More

One of the researchers attributed the results to the fact that women with access to money are more able to live on their own. Also, men's egos might be bruised if their wives are making more money, causing marital stress.

Further, the researchers report that the breaking point for marriages occurred when the woman was making at least 60 percent of the family's income. Couples in this situation are 38 percent more likely to divorce in any given year, no matter how much the couple makes.

The study involved 2,500 women who were married between 1979 and 2002. One researcher, sociologist Jay Teachman, stated that many of the women were of a generation that expected the man to be the family's breadwinner. Because those expectations are not met, both sides experience stress.

Therefore, Teachman would like to conduct the study again in ten years using women from a newer generation, to see if their incomes would have any effect on the status of their marriages.

There could be other explanations for the findings as well. For example, higher paying jobs usually require more hours spent at work. Therefore, marital stress could result from the woman spending more time away from home. Likewise, women could become frustrated with their lower earning husbands for not pulling their weight in the marriage. 

Regardless of the exact cause, the researchers were quite surprised that a woman's earning power could have such an effect on her marriage.  

Source: New York Post "Women's divorce 'cur$e'" 9/10/10

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