Divorce & House-work: Is there a connection?

A British study by the London School of Economics has shown that when men assist their wives with the house-work, the marriage tends to last longer. Why is that? Could it be because the wife nags him less? Or is there something intrinsically intimate about dusting and washing the dishes?

LONDON (AFP) – Divorce rates are lower in families where husbands help out with the housework, shopping and childcare, according to a study of 3,500 British couples published Tuesday. The research by the London School of Economics (LSE), entitled “Men’s Unpaid Work and Divorce”, found that the more husbands helped out, the lower the incidence of divorce. The study said its conclusions blew open the theory running since the 1960s that marriages were most stable when men focused on paid work and women were responsible for housework. “The lowest-risk combination is one in which the mother does not work and the father engages in the highest level of housework and childcare,” the study found. Researcher Wendy Sigle-Rushton said economists have spent much time examining and trying to explain the link between women going to work and divorce rates. [YAHOO NEWS]

Or could the study really be saying something a bit simpler, and that is, that when wives work out of the home, they function better and are happier with a spouse who helps out inside the home. In other words, if both husband and wife has a job outside the home, it makes sense that they share the housework. It’s fair and equitable; but some guys don’t like to do housework. They see it as women’s work even if their wives also work outside the home to help bring in the bacon. Women who work outside the home are happier where the husband assists with housework and so this reduces the rate of divorce for this group (probably due in part to the fact that she nags and resents her husband a lot less than if he didn’t help her.) This makes complete sense. It doesn’t take a rocket economist to put the lightbulbs on with this one.
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