Does Sharing Housework Really Lead To Divorce?

chores, men doing chores, men cleaning
Modern couples work together, but they also divorce more. Related or not?

A Norwegian study released Thursday shows that “Couples who share housework duties run a higher risk of divorce than couples where the woman does most of the chores,” The Daily News reports. The paper continues, “The divorce rate among couples who shared housework equally was around 50 percent higher than among those where the woman did most of the work.” It should probably strike most women as odd that couples who work together in the home are more likely to divorce, since study after study shows that women still do most of the work in the home. So that these marriages are managing to find this kind of equality is amazing in and of itself.

There’s an article on The Atlantic Wire debunking this study with quotes like, “this study may mean nothing more and nothing less than that modern couples are more likely to divorce than they have been previously (this seems indisputable) and that modern couples are more likely to share chores in general.” Additionally, Erin Ryan at Jezebel notes that “educated women tend to marry later, and later marriages tend to result in a more equitable distribution of household labor and lower divorce rates.” So this study seems to be a whole lotta bunk to most women, and even the study’s authors note that there may be no real correlation between chores and divorce rates in modern marriages. “Modern couples are just that, both in the way they divide up the chores and in their perception of marriage as being less sacred,” Thomas Hansen, co-author of the study entitled “Equality in the Home,” said.

If there is a direct link between shared duties and divorce, the only thing I can imagine is that in these marriages, the men are willing to do half of the work but can’t or won’t do it to a sufficient standard according to the woman who is holding onto the idea that she has no value unless her home is a perfect showplace. Studies show that women enjoy the control they have as both breadwinner and homemaker, and that sometimes women spend up to 3 hours undoing the housework their husbands have done. (That’s sad, because other research shows doing housework makes dads happy.) Just a reminder that some of us need to let go a little bit, ladies!

Photo via iStock


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