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Gender role expectations can lead to divorce

Gender roles and expectations around them can have unanticipated effects on the future of many Texas couples' marriages, research indicates. While many people start their marriages on equal footing with both partners committed to their careers as well as household management, other marriages are based on more traditional ideas of masculine and feminine gender roles. While either type of marriage can last over the long term, when roles shift and redefine themselves, couples can find themselves in tense situations.

One study noted that women who start out their marriages without a job or earning significantly less than their male partners are more likely to divorce when their own careers and incomes rise. There are several factors that could lead to these results. For example, many people who enter into their marriages with traditional gender expectations may find it difficult to change their approach to one another even when the changes come with greater financial opportunities and success for the entire families. Wives who become high earners may have less time to dedicate to household tasks or child care, and husbands in these types of relationships may find it difficult to adjust to the changing roles in the household.

In addition, men who place a strong value on their jobs and consider being the breadwinner as a reflection of their masculinity may find it difficult to deal with wives who outearn them. These men may feel threatened by, rather than celebrate, their spouses' success, which is a dynamic that can lead to bad feelings and resentment on both sides.

When tensions and negative attitudes build in a marriage, it may no longer be repairable, and divorce may be the best option for both parties. A family law attorney can help someone protect his or her rights and advocate for a just settlement on a variety of issues, including child custody, property division and spousal support.

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