As of 2009, women are the main breadwinners in 38 percent of marriages, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, as reporte by the Sacramento Bee. Among couples where both earn an income, the woman out-earns the man in only 29 percent of them. These percentages have only risen in the years since. Divorce has also been on the rise, and one study suggests that there could is a correlation between the two. However, it’s not as simple as one causing the other. Everything discussed in this article will refer to heterosexual marriages.
The Harvard Business Review published a study on Tuesday that seems to show that women are affected by something called “status leakage”. Status leakage means that a person feels that their status is affected by the status of others.Therefore, if they associate with those of a lower status than their own, then they will feel that their own status is lowered, and vice versa. This means that if they are earning more than their husband, they may start to feel embarrassed or ashamed. The wife may have felt that they’ve worked very hard to achieve their success, and if the husband doesn’t match that success, then they can start to feel resentful.
This can start a snowball effect on the marriage. This feeling of resentfulness can affect the wife’s satisfaction in her marriage. This can affect the husband’s own satisfaction as well. As the saying goes, “happy wife, happy life.” However, there does seem to be a remedy for this leakage. Strangely enough, if the husband stays home and helps out around the house, then those wives who are the breadwinners don’t feel as resentful. The key is that the husband has to show he is doing work around the house. Being emotionally supportive doesn’t seem to do the trick.
The theory is that by providing this support, the husband is also providing respect to his wife. In many marriages, even if the wife is the primary breadwinner, she still does the majority of the housework. In some cases, she does this to make her husband more comfortable with the situation. Men are also more likely to cheat if their wives make more. All this discomfort with the power dynamics in marriages can lead to divorce. If each spouse treats the other like a partner and worries less about gender roles, then there will be less anxiety and less of a chance that the marriage ends in divorce.
As mentioned, divorce is on the rise all over the country. If you’re in Raleigh, NC., and you feel like a divorce is unfortunately on the horizon, then it’s best to contact a divorce attorney to protect your rights. Divorce is complicated and emotional at the best of times, and having an expert by your side to guide you and fight for you is vital. Don’t make your divorce any more difficult than it has to be. Contact an attorney right away to help you with your divorce.