According to 2009 Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, at least 38 percent of heterosexual marriages are lead by female breadwinners. Among similarly married individuals, women earn at least 29 percent more than their husbands do.
Wives earning more than the men they live with is an ever-increasing trend, not all that different from divorce. While it’d be easy to say that a woman’s higher earnings gives way to higher rates of broken marriages, researchers have recently determined that’s only an accurate statement under certain circumstances.
A Harvard Business Review study, published on May 2, 2017, suggests that wives who bring home a higher salary than what their husbands often find themselves plagued with “status leakage”.
This condition is described as a condition in which a couple feels as if they belong to a more privileged status, provided that they affiliate with similarly yoked individuals. It also espouses the idea that any interaction with a lower class of individuals would greatly reduce the status the couple enjoys.
How this observation applies to the divorce rates in this country is clear. If a wife works hard to attain her high-paying role and yet has a husband that maintains a lower-paying job, she may become concerned that her high status will be comprised by her husband’s inferior one. It’s the embarrassment or resentment that she may develop internally that may ultimately resort in discord in the marriage.
In each of these seemingly a, researchers found that there are instances in which it’s possible for wives to feel less self-conscious about the earning disparity between spouses. They found that husbands who made lower salaries than their wives could enhance their worth in their wives’ eyes by either helping more with household chores or by taking care of the kids.
The researchers noted that it was important that the added effort that the wives saw in each of these situations was tangible as opposed to just being emotional.
Another study conducted by the University of Chicago found that in households where the wives were the primary breadwinners, couples that admitted to having ‘happy marriages’ were 6 percent less than ones where both spouses had more equitable pay.
If you are a female head-of-household and you feel unfulfilled in your marriage, then you may benefit from the advice a Fort Myers, Florida, divorce attorney can provide you with.
Source: Miami Herald, “Wife the breadwinner? You’re more likely to get divorced unless husbands do this,” Katy Irby, accessed July 07, 2017