More and more families in Maryland and across the rest of the country are finding that they need both parents working to make ends meet. However, this also means that both parties are coming home after a long day of work having to face the household tasks of cleaning, cooking and laundry. When either party feels like he or she is having to do more than one's fair share or that the spouse isn't appreciating one's efforts, it can lead to problems and eventually divorce later on.
A team of researchers from Harvard University looked at data from more than 6,300 couples to try to figure out how the division of labor affected the divorce rate. The results were surprising. It turns out that doing chores may be good for your marriage. Even though contemporary couples tend to come into marriage with an idea that both will need to contribute to the housework, 70 percent still usually falls to the woman's list. However, the study found that couples who were able to agree to divide the chores evenly, such as one person cooks and the other does the dishes, were less likely to end up divorcing.
Time spent at work was also a factor, particularly for men. The study found that unemployed men were approximately 32 percent more likely to get a divorce. This was true even if the woman was also working and was able to financially support the family on her own.
The same was not true for women. If the woman was not working outside the home, it did not impact how likely it was for the couple to divorce. The researchers for the study proposed that traditional gender roles could be responsible for the women doing more of the housework and the men facing more pressure to provide.
Source: Live Science, "Unequal Division of Labor in Marriage Ups Risk of Divorce," Cari Nierenberg, July 28, 2016