According to a new study concentrating on the impact of spousal employment on divorce suggests that there is a strong link between the husband’s employment status and the success of the marriage. The study, entitled “She Left, He Left: How Employment and Satisfaction Effect Men’s and Women’s Decisions to Leave Marriages,” which was published by the American Journal of Sociology, was conducted by Liana Sayer of Ohio State University.
Contrary to popular belief, the study finds that a woman’s employment status has no significant effect on the likelihood that her husband will decide to leave the marriage. Although an employed woman is more likely to initiate divorce proceedings than an unemployed woman, according the the study, the decision to leave the marriage only comes when such a woman reports being highly unsatisfied what the marriage. Additionally, even though a woman’s likelihood of initiating divorce proceedings increase if she is employed, the fact that a woman is employed does not increase the likelihood that her husband will decide to leave the marriage. According to the study, a woman’s employment (or lack thereof) has no real effect or her husband’s decision to leave the marriage.
On the other hand, Sayer’s study finds that a man’s employment does have a significant impact on his decision to leave the marriage. For men, lack of employment not only increases the chances that his wife will initiate divorce, but the likelihood that he will decide to leave the marriage also increases. Surprisingly, the study reveals that even men who are relatively happy in their marriages are more likely to leave if they are not employed. According to Sayer, this result may be explained by the fact that a marriage in which the man does not work “does not look like what [men] think a marriage is supposed to.” What this research tends to show is that although it has become more socially acceptable for women to seek employment in lieu of remaining in the domestic realm, it has not yet become as socially acceptable for men to be unemployed.