Correlation between divorce rates and household chores

A recent study is sure to shock quite a few readers. It turns out that in those marriages where housework duties are split between a husband and a wife, those couples have a 50 percent greater chance of divorce than those couples where the wife is the one doing most of the chores.

When looking at why, there are two reasons cited. The first being more cause and effect and the other more speaking to attitudes.

In terms of cause and effect, when it comes to household chores, not having to partner together may actually be a benefit for a couple’s marriage. Researchers claim this could be due to the fact that this means there are clear roles where one person is not stepping into the other’s role. Without having the same roles, there is less of a chance of getting into an argument about the way a chore was done.

However, researchers are quick to point out this cause and effect reasoning is not as strong as the correlation between being a more “modern” family and attitudes regarding divorce. For example, in a more modern family where the chores are split, these couples tend to also have more relaxed view on marriage.

Additionally, in many of these families the wife is educated and has a good paying job and is therefore not as financially dependent on her husband. This means that if the marriage were not working, there are not as many financial pressures to try and make it work anyways.

Of course, while this study is certainly interesting, it’s important to keep in mind that couples end up divorcing for a number of different reasons — and many times — it’s actually a combination of reasons.

Source: New York Daily News, “Higher risk of divorce for couples sharing housework: study,” Sept. 28, 2012

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