Ten out of 10 haters agree that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Lucky for married dudes, that figure is technically slightly less, and it turns out your boss might deserve a surprising amount of credit for keeping you and your spouse together. A new massive study from Harvard University reveals that the main reason women divorce their husbands is lack of employment, which may come as quite the old-fashioned blow to your work-life balance. But at least it will give you something to keep in your back pocket the next time you have to stay at the office through dinner — you did it for love.
Researchers looked at a whopping 46 years worth of data of over 6,300 U.S. heterosexual married couples obtained by the Panel Study of Income Dynamics from 1968 to 2013. After 1975, they found that men who were not employed had a 3.3 percent chance of getting divorced, compared to a 2.5 percent chance of divorce for men who were employed. While a .8 percentage may seem slight, the study took into account a number of other relationship factors like household responsibilities, economic co-dependence, and finances, but none of them had as strong of a correlation with an increased chance of divorce as the husband’s employment status. Though this hardly seems fair for you, it works out well for your wife and daughter.
Ironically, you can blame these arguably dated employment expectations on feminism, because another woman did first. Sociology professor Alexandra Killewald, the author of the study, concluded that prior to 1975, women who did less housework were similarly more likely to get divorced. But second-wave feminism made it so women could become more career focused and “have more freedom in how they ‘do’ marriage.” The study also found that men have contributed to more housework over time on top of full-time employment expectations. Killewald concluded that husband income did not matter as much as simply having a job at all. And suddenly Mrs. Doubtfire and Mrs. Featherbottom finally make sense. Those dudes were just trying to kill 2 birds with one stone.
[H/T] Inside Hook