These days, at 24 years old, it seems everyone on Facebook is either engaged or getting married. But on the flip side, although it’s not publicized on social media, it seems like every Tom, Dick, Harry and Sally is divorced. Out of my parents’ friends, I’d say most of them are separated or living incredibly tough and unhappy lives together, mostly for the sake of their children. For those who grew up in broken families, it’s safe to say that custody battles and screaming domestics are not fun for the kids nor the parents.
Everyone dreams of meeting their soul mate and living happily ever after. However, though at first it may seem like this person is ‘the one’ and the be all and end all, it pays to take a step back and analyze the situation.
With divorce becoming somewhat the norm, the 20 and 30-something year olds are more terrified than ever that we will join the statistic. A new study by Harvard sociologist Alexandra Killewald published in the American Sociological Review nails one problem that increases the probability of divorce.
Titled, “Money, Work, and Marial Stability: Assessing Change in the Gendered Determinants of Divorce” Killewald’s study investigates ” how spouses’ earnings and division of labor relate to their risk of divorce.” She followed 6,309 couples from 1968 and 2013, of which 1,684 were divorced or permanently separated. She considered how their financial resources and a wife’s ability to support herself (if they were to be divorced) was associated with the risk of divorce. She also analyzed how these aspects changed before and after 1975.
The thing to take from all this is that for marriages formed after 1975, the “husbands’ lack of full-time employment is associated with higher risk of divorce, but neither wives’ full-time employment nor wives’ share of household labor is associated with divorce risk. Expectations of wives’ homemaking may have eroded, but the husband breadwinner norm persists.”
So it all comes down to the husband’s job and the financial stability he can provide.