Bad Marriage? Send the Wife to Work

News Channel 10 – Employment – Working Wives Lower Divorce Chances

Marital unhappiness frequently drives wives into the workplace, said Dr. Robert Schoen, a sociology professor. Whether it be unhappy wives, husbands or both, unhappiness can play an important role in wives taking on full-time employment.

This story is interesting. It seems that when a man or woman gets unhappy in a marriage, it greatly increases the chances that the woman will enter the workforce. If a couple is happy, odds that the wife will go to work are lower.

“We see no consequences of wives’ full-time employment for marital happiness, but wives’ full-time employment decreases the risk of subsequent marital disruption,” Schoen explained.

I suspect that in these unhappy couples, the working husband does not respect his wife’s role as homemaker. When she goes to work, her self-esteem probably improves because she has been conditioned to think of her self-worth in purely economic and career terms. The husband’s opinion of her probably increses as well.

It’s also possible that a second income resolves most financial issues, which is a big source of conflict in marriages.

Another possibility that comes to mind is that co-workers provide emotional support and needed relationships that a homemaker is not getting from her family.

Maybe it’s none of those. Maybe a combination of some. I dunno.

Another interesting quote:

The researchers also found that having a child reduced the likelihood of wives’ employment by 55 percent. Women with one child were also less likely to work full-time than wives with two or more children and wives with no children.

I guess moms want to stay home with the first baby, but by the time number 2 comes along they want to get away! :-)

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One Response to Bad Marriage? Send the Wife to Work

  1. Teresa says:

    Interesting article. Seems logical to me.

    Unfortunately, there are increasingly less men out there now days who will do everything they can so that the kids have their moms anytime they need them. These guys seem to think that if the wife is at home with the kid(s) she should have plenty of time to make the house spotless and not have equal sayso as to how the money is spent. If the husband doesn’t actually complain, threaten or coerece the wife to going out to work, the wife goes back to work just to try and stop some of the criticism, and to get income that she can use at her discression (in otherwords, freedom). Guess who still ends up doing the vast bulk of the housework, even working part and/or fulltime?

    With all fairness to men, this is how a lot of working women see things as well. Families of the husband also seem to share the above opinion, even when the wives of older generations stayed home!

    Staying home with the first is a wonderful thing. After 2, the couple is probly running out of money and needing to draw in more.

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