My parents are divorced. They actually had a good divorce. It doesn't make me sad to think or talk about it. I have no memories of terrible fights or custody battles. No, they decided their marriage wasn't working out and just decided to go forward as friends instead. They're still best friends to this day.
So, I guess as far as children of divorce go, I'm the best-case scenario. That being said, I don't want to get divorced. I want to get married and live happily ever after. I mean, don't we all? Maybe not the marriage thing but the happily ever after. Nobody wants to fall in love with THE ONE, only to have it all fall apart years down the line.
Whether we admit it or not, I think we're all terrified of getting divorced. That being said, a new study shows some of us should be a little more terrified than others. Harvard sociologist, Alexandra Achen Killewald's study, published in the American Sociological Review, finds what increases the probability of divorce for some couples.
This study was no joke. She tracked 6,309 (yes, 6,309) married couples between 1968 and 2013. In that time, 1,684 of these couples either divorced or permanently separated.
What she found in her study was interesting. While a wife's paid or unpaid labor has little to do with her chance at a divorce, whether or not the husband is working full-time is the biggest determinant in their likelihood of getting divorced.
Turns out that, despite the many strides we've made in feminism since 1968, we still like our men to be breadwinners. A man with full-time employment has a 2.5 percent of his marriage splitting up within the next year, while a man without a full-time job endured a 3.3 percent chance of the same.
Killewald explains the significance of these findings to New York Magazine's Science of Us,
This shows that, for contemporary couples, wives can combine paid and unpaid labor in various ways without threatening the stability of their marriages.
Meanwhile, men have to be a little more concerned,
But, for those same marriage cohorts, the risk of divorce increases substantially when the husband isn't employed full-time.
If you're a man afraid of divorce, I'd suggest a full-time job.
Citations: Turns Out That the Husband's Job Is Probably the Best Predictor of Divorce (New York Magazine), Money, Work, and Marital Stability: Assessing Change in the Gendered Determinants of Divorce (American Sociological Association)