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Is it true successful women are more likely to get divorced?

The old adage:

“Success comes at a price”

…is one that should always be taken heed of. The reality of life is that for every positive, there is a negative waiting to show itself. Likewise, with every negative, there is a corresponding positive.

When it comes to success on the career ladder, women seem to have paid for this positive with a corresponding negative of an increased risk of divorce. And considering that women are earning more and more money (in a lot of cases more than men) in the workplace, the statistics are at risk of potentially only getting worse.

What do the findings show?

One particular 25-year study that involved 2500 marriages showed that career women who are also the breadwinners of the family have a higher tendency to seek divorce than women who are more dependent on men.

“Dependent” might be the keyword as to the reason why these self-sufficient career women can easily seek divorce. According to Sociologist Jay Teachman of Western Washington Technology, this is because their financial stability makes divorce a much easier option for women than it ever has before throughout their history.

Other reasons given for why successful women are more likely to get divorced include:

  • Insecurity: Women expect to earn less while men expect to earn more which leads to insecurities when the reverse happens. As a consequence, insecure men may start cheating or seeking some other method to reassure themselves of their male dominance.

  • Disappointment: Meanwhile women may feel disappointed when they earn more than their male counterparts who they expect to do better than them.

  • Work Demands: Women who earn more, generally have to work more hours …which results in less time at home. Not having their wife at home like this is something which men have traditionally not been used to.

  • Used To Success: If a woman becomes used to success in the boardroom, but sees failure at home with her choice of husband and their relationship together, it may be a catalyst for some women to feel that they deserve more and so cheat on their husbands.

But at the same time, the researchers behind the study do admit that these reasons are still vague and inconclusive.

How “successful” is “successful enough” for an increased risk of divorce?

Generally it’s once the woman starts earning more than the man. The study found that once the wife earns at least 60% of the couple’s joint income, the likelihood of divorce rises by up to 38%. Another study from the European Sociological Review shows results consistent with Teachman’s findings wherein women who work full-time were found to have a divorce rate that was thrice as much as ordinary housewives.

These findings won’t be palatable to many women, and indeed many men. “Why should it be the case that women should have to pay for their success which they have worked so hard to earn?” – is a fair question. However, at the same time, ignoring the statistics wouldn’t be a smart move either.

There Is Good News However...

The good news is that when you look at the above reasons given for the statistics of increased divorce among successful women, they are all generally avoidable …as long as the woman is aware of them AND willing to act on them.

Success is a good thing, but it must be measured by sacrifice too in order to be in balance and congruence with other areas of a womans life. If you know where the downfalls lie, you can avoid them and not only be a success in your career …but also in your personal life and marriage.

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