According to a Norwegian study published last year, couples who split housework equally between husband and wife had almost a 50 per cent higher rate of divorce, compared to marriages where women did most of the chores.
However, this isn’t a valid reason for a husband to skimp on helping out. The researchers couldn’t find any specific cause-and-effect correlation; instead, they believe the statistic comes from couples having “modern” attitudes.
“In these modern couples, women also have a high level of education and a well-paid job, which makes them less dependent on their spouse financially. They can manage much easier if they divorce,” Thomas Hansen, one of the co-researchers, says. He also claims that many modern couples don’t view marriage as sacred as it used to be, which may be another factor in the high divorce rate.
Hansen offers another possible reason why couples who share housework have a higher divorce rate: sharing chores can have couple bickering about the best way to do something. If chores are separated, spouses can’t bicker with each other that their way is more effective.
While the study covers divorce rates related to housework, it does not show any statistics about equal child-rearing. In Norway, approximately seven out of 10 couples share responsibilities for kids. However, seven out of 10 couples say the wife takes care of most chores around the house. And from these couples, the study shows, women are generally happy with this traditional arrangement—just as happy as women in a modern marriage.
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