If a woman makes more money than her husband, there is a high chance she will divorce him.
A study revealed that married women have a significantly higher chance of getting divorced within three years of being promoted to the position of CEO compared to their male counterparts.
The study by Johanna Rickne, a professor at Stockholm University and co-author of the research published in the American Economic Journal, examined the lives of heterosexual men and women working for private enterprises with 100 or more employees. Using data spanning three decades, researchers found that women elected as mayors or members of parliament increased their likelihood of divorcing their partners.
75% were still married eight years after the vote, compared with 85% of those who didn’t get promoted, while there was no evidence of a similar effect for men. Female medical doctors, police officers, pastors and priests who progressed in their careers also followed the trend.
Numerous couples face stress and tension when there are shifts in the distribution of their economic and social responsibilities, such as deciding who dedicates more time to the children? Who does more domestic chores? Who takes care of the household expenses? According to the research team, marital problems tend to intensify when women are promoted, as it creates a greater disparity in expectations.
American actress, Gabrielle Union said she divorced her first husband because she was shouldering all the financial and domestic burdens.
Economic and domestic inequality
When it comes to gender equality, married life has not kept up with the progress in the labour force. Although there has been progress in the workforce, it is still considered somewhat uncommon for women to earn more money than their husbands and for men to play a supporting role in their spouses’ careers.
Power dynamics and ego
The person who has the upper hand in a marriage is usually the one who earns more; a woman earning more than her husband affects power dynamics. In contemporary times, men often feel thrilled at the beginning when their wives outearn them and try to portray themselves as supportive; however, as time goes on, it can be more challenging for them to cope with the situation since having fewer financial resources can cause them to feel powerless and weak.
Marriage doesn’t seem so beneficial to women any more
Many women become exhausted with marriage after spending considerable time yearning to be married, only to find that their marital expectations are not met. Experts suggest that women often have higher expectations for how their partners will fulfil their emotional needs, which can lead to disappointment after getting married as compared to men. This explains why 70% of divorces in Western countries are initiated by women.
Women tend to have more issues with their marriages
Men are typically trained to have lesser emotional intelligence than women, which leaves women to perform the majority of the emotional work in the relationship since they are primary communicators. Women may also be the first to voice issues that aren’t usually worked on, which may ultimately lead to separation or divorce.
Men benefit more from marriage
Working women may get “overwhelmed and stressed” as a result of having to shoulder the majority of domestic and financial responsibilities.
Additionally, women typically experience fewer emotional advantages from marriage, and in some instances, marriage benefits men more than it does women. Although married men enjoy numerous benefits, such as increased life expectancy and access to their chef and housekeeper through their wives, women generally do not experience the same advantages in their relationships.
The situation in Africa is different, since laws, religion and culture seem to put women in a more subservient position in the society and financially and divorce is difficult and expensive.
Plus, most women stay in bad marriages in poor and underdeveloped countries because they lack economic means and independence.
Women who marry rich older men tend to stay married to them. Despite the progressiveness and equality present in countries like Sweden, Rickne highlights that women still tend to choose to marry men who are older and wealthier than themselves.
It was said, “High-status, high-income ladies don’t wed low-status, house-husband-aspiring men. They frequently look for a wealthy husband.”
Another solution is for married couples to match each other in success and drive and be supportive of each other.