Even though society has moved on from men being the sole breadwinners in relationships, recent findings suggest that those men who don’t fulfil this traditional role are more likely to end up divorced.
The idea that a husband’s job and, more importantly, whether that job is full or part time job have a big influence on the success of marriage is a controversial one but a paper written by Harvard sociology professor Alexandra Killewald shows results that this is the case.
The report does go on to suggest that wages themselves are not a deciding factor in the likelihood of divorce, the women in those relationships still seem more likely to stick with men who fulfil their stereotypical role according to the study.
Couples who took part were married both pre- and post-1974 in the study Money, Work, and Marital Stability: Assessing Change in the Gendered Determinants of Divorce. Interestingly divorce was found to be less likely among those marrying pre-1974 when it came to men not fulfilling their traditional breadwinning role.
This may in part have been due to more women taking responsibility for housework than men. Since the 70s, women are far more likely to be going out to work and contributing significantly to household finances which might also be a factor.
It is possible that even though women are earning and more likely to be in full time employment than they were pre-1974 many are still not prepared to assume the role of breadwinner in their marriages and these tensions can result in divorce.