Women’s Success at Work Can Mean Divorce at Home

success.jpgA new study published in the October issue of the Journal of Family Issues says that when women are the breadwinners in their family, they are almost 40 percent more likely to get a divorce than lower income women.

Researchers at Western Washington University studied 2,500 women who were married between 1979 and 2002 and found that the divorce “tipping point” came when the wife provided at least 60 percent of the household income. WWU sociologist Jay Teachman said that it did not matter whether the couple was rich or poor – it just mattered who earned the most money.

He said that the generation of women studied entered marriage with certain economic expectations and expected the man to be the primary breadwinner. When that did not happen, the marriage became strained. He said that successful women with higher incomes might also resent a husband who does not “pull his weight” – and that extra hours at the office for women also translates into a higher level of stress.

“When marriages form, there are expectations,” Teachman said in a New York Post interview. “So, if you get new information about the relationship, you’re likely to think, ‘This isn’t what I bargained for.’”