A workaholic wife may signal marital trouble
More time in the office could mean trouble in paradise.
Wife working late? A new study says it might be a sign that divorce is right around the corner.
Researchers from the London School of Economics studied the legalization of divorce in Ireland to determine how the rates of marriage breakdown affect women's participation in the workforce. They found that for every 1 percent increase in the risk of marital breakdown, women work an extra 12 minutes per week.
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"We see that women who are at a higher risk of divorce significantly increase how much they work. And it isn't that women working outside the home are more likely to get divorced," Dr. Berkay Ozcan, the study's lead researcher, explained of the findings.
While the simple answer may be that women spend more time at work to avoid marital strife, Ozcan says it's a bit more complex.
"Rather, faced with a rising probability of divorce, women work more, whether they ultimately separate or not. They are working as a form of insurance in case of divorce or in anticipation of it."
Essentially, women who think divorce may be in their future work more in an attempt to secure "their outside options." For men, this link didn't exist — their productivity remained the same whether their marriage was on the rocks or not.
The researchers found that, following the legislation, married women increased their work hours by around 18 percent. While it might seem like a smart move to secure your role at work amid the looming threat of a costly divorce, Ozcan says there's a definite downside:
"Women who have secured their outside options, in case of divorce, may have done so, at least in the short run, at the expense of their leisure time and potentially their well-being."
Photo: Nullplus/Getty Images
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The irony is, the fact that women must (or simply want to) work outside the home can be part of the reason why the marriage is going south. The cost of so called freedom or women's rights to work, etc, has negatively impacted many a marriage. And, at the same time, there have been positive impacts. There is no cut and dry case....each family must decide for themselves. Either way, there is a cost.
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