This Is the Biggest Reason Women File for Divorce

It's not something you did — it's something you didn't do

August 1, 2016 9:00 am

It’s not the housework. It’s not the kids. It’s not even those quote unquote late nights at the office.

The biggest reason women end marriages, according to a recently published Harvard study?  Their husband’s employment status.

Starting in the 1970s, sociology professor Alexandra Killewald has been researching the effect a man’s job security has on divorce rate. After analyzing 46 years worth of data and more than 6,300 U.S. heterosexual married couples, she found that husbands who are not employed have a 3.3% chance of splitting in any given year, as opposed to a 2.5% chance of divorce for husbands with a full-time job.

When did this happen? Around 1975, according to Killewald. Why did this happen? Crazy little thing called a revolution. Second-wave feminism ushered in a new era for American women, and as they became more independent and career-oriented, “Wives [began to] have more freedom in how they ‘do’ marriage” Killewald reports.

The study considered a host of relationship factors, including household responsibilities, economic co-dependence and finances — but none correlated with a higher instance of divorce than the husband’s job status. It’s worth noting that this didn’t take into account husbands who voluntarily didn’t work, which bodes well for the aspiring stay-at-home dads among you.

Otherwise, better start pounding that pavement.

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