New study: switching male and female marriage roles makes both sexes unhappy

Child grabs for his mom, who is leaving for work
Child grabs for his mom, who is leaving for work

Here’s a report on a new study from the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

When females were the main breadwinner in the family, they were discovered to report more symptoms of depression.

However, the opposite effect was found in men: Their psychological well-being was highest when they were the primary wage-earners.

Researchers at the University of Illinois examined data on nearly 1,500 men and 1,800 women, aged between 52 and 60. Their well-being was evaluated through surveys.

The researchers first found that men’s well-being decreased once they had exited the workforce to become home-makers.

Meanwhile, the inverse was not so for women: Women’s psychological well-being was not affected by leaving their jobs to become stay-at-home mothers.

‘We observed a statistically significant and substantial difference in depressive symptoms between men and women in our study,’ says lead researcher Karen Kramer.

‘The results supported the overarching hypothesis: well-being was lower for mothers and fathers who violated gendered expectations about the division of paid labor, and higher for parents who conformed to these expectations.’

If you don’t like the UK Daily Mail, CNN reported on a similar study back in 2014.

Indeed. The trouble is this: who can afford to provide for a stay-at-home wife on one salary, in a country where 30% of your income is taxed, and many things (e.g. – health care, college tuition, etc.) are way more expensive because of socialist welfare state policies? We have a $20 trillion dollar debt, and taxes are only going to go higher, making it that much harder for a working man to provide for a family – no matter how diligent he is about getting STEM degree(s) and working full time, non-stop. Marriages where the woman stays home with the children are happiest for everyone, but thanks to the voting patterns of radical feminists, husbands have been replaced by government programs, and those cost taxpayer money. You can either have a big government welfare state or you can have a stay-at-home wife. You can’t have both.

I got a snarky comment on a post I wrote last week about how marriages where the husband does not work full-time are more likely to fail.

Here is the comment:

Well done.
I’ll now await your follow-up article on the divorce rate for couples where the wife works full-time outside of the home and how men should choose a woman who has demonstrated an ability to do marriage tasks – like taking care of the household full time, raising and nuturing children, being loving and supportive of a husband when times are tough (especially if, God forbid, he should ever find himself unemployed and thus no longer a provider, in which case most wives’ base and visceral impulse is to abandon him), not wanting “a career,” and not insisting that her husband waste all his earnings on fun and thrills for her.

Well, I’m blogging about it again today, but if the commenter were very clever, then he would have found this post from June of 2013 entitled “STUDY SHOWS THAT FEMALE-BREADWINNER MARRIAGES ARE LESS HAPPY AND LESS STABLE”.

Excerpt:

Given these findings, it isn’t surprising that when a wife earns more than her husband, the risk of divorce rises, too. To study this, the authors used a survey conducted in two waves, 1987-88 and 1992-93. (There were no more recent data available for this particular test.) Then they investigated the likelihood of a divorce in the five-year interval. For this sample, some 12 percent of all couples were divorced during this period — a sobering fact about the stability of marriages in general. But the divorce rate rose by half, to about 18 percent, for couples in which the wife earned more than the husband.

When I was a high school student, I can remember trying to decide between being an English teacher, being a prosecuting attorney, or being a software engineer. It was my Dad who pointed me towards software engineering. As an avid stock picker, my Dad was seeing tech stocks exploding in value, and he knew that I would be able to find work even if I was laid off during tough times. I am glad that I listened to his advice, although my career still has not been easy, which is why I saved money for the two times where I was laid off (both times my subsidiary was folded by the parent company!). My reason for going into a field where I could earn more money was because I wanted to get married, have 4 children, and “heal” the experience of being neglected by my mother (who stuck me in day care after 6 weeks and worked full-time until she retired) by watching her parent my kids as a stay-at-home mom. I knew enough to know that marriage works better when the man provides and the woman focuses on the children – at least until they are 6 years old. Since then, I’ve discovered homeschooling, and I would definitely have done that. It’s not that I am opposed to women working, it’s that I am opposed to children not being raised by their mother.

As I explained in my lengthy reply to the snarky commenter, it’s gotten much harder for men to be the sole provider, and have a stay at home wife and homeschooling mom:

Regarding tough times, I think that the situation for men right now is horrible with respect to marriage and children. $20 trillion debt and a generation of unskilled snowflake millenials voting for socialism in droves. I also think that co-ed schools where teachers and administrators are 80% females produce lousy outcomes for boys (read Christina Hoff Sommers’ “The War on Boys”, 2nd edition). Affirmative action in higher education and in the workplace for women doesn’t help men become providers, either. Men also pay the same premiums for health care as women, and yet they use far less health care: more tilting the field against men. And so on, don’t even get me started on divorce courts and child custody.

If you want to do things the old-fashioned way, you definitely need to plan for it. You probably won’t be able to get the outcome you want just by following your heart.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve blogged on studies about male and female roles in marriage. If you want to get good results from your marriage, you definitely want to follow the studies below.

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6 thoughts on “New study: switching male and female marriage roles makes both sexes unhappy”

  1. It’s a shame many families cannot live on just one provider income anymore. The other issue I feel too, is a social one. Many marriages are on shakier foundations of selfishness and egos, and often end up in divorce, so a woman who would stay at home is then thrown into poverty if she does not have work experience or her own income or an education to get good work. As wonderful for a woman to focus solely on her family would be, it is a high stakes gamble to have no income, savings or education of their own in case the man flies the coop, so to speak. Also, many men brainwashed by feminism would see a woman who doesn’t work as lazy and mooching off him, instead of being the provider. My mother wanted to stay home full time to raise me, but she had to work to keep her credentials up to date, and we couldn’t live solely on our father’s income. They came to a compromise where she’d go part time and be on opposite schedules so there would always be a parent with the children. It’s a great privilege and luxury nowadays to have the traditional male breadwinner with the wife and children provided for. I think it’s a testament to how far our society has fallen, our economy, and our social priorities when it comes to family. Of course too, there are many women who feel that a traditional life is oppressive and that they have to imitate men to be worth something by the radical feminists.
    https://aladyofreason.wordpress.com/

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    1. There’s a biblical reason not to have your wife working (a job) even if she doesn’t have children at home. By allowing that you’re putting her under someone else’s authority, so now she’ll have 2 heads. Proverbs 31 is all about a family-based business, jobs are just 21st century slavery.

      Also, anyone who has got themselves under too much debt can keep their wife home if they just moderate their lifestyle, make fiscally-conscious choices and stay debt-free. They just have to resist the pressure of the world for a larger lifestyle.

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  2. I would love to be a stay at home wife but DH wants me to work. I attribute this to his mom working throughout his childhood. I have a great career but would love to manage my household better. Right now, as it’s always been, my house comes last, only when I have enough energy. I am not appreciative of the feminist movement in this area. I’m not a robot. I can’t do it all, nor do I want to.

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  3. My wife is a stay at home mom. I don’t make very much money (somewhere between “working poor” and lower middle class). It can be done if that is your priority.

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