Study shows that sharing housework doesn’t keep couples from divorcing

It may seem counterintuitive, but a new study finds that couples who share housework are actually more likely to divorce.

A Norwegian research study found that divorce rates were actually higher for the roughly 25 percent of couples who shared housework duties than they were for the 71 percent of couples where women did more or the majority of housework.

Men, though, should not use this as an excuse to skip on the housework, the researchers said.

Here, the authors indicate that the results of the study should be interpreted as showing that the sharing of housework does not necessarily protect against the emergence of other issues that might damage a marriage, such as infidelity, abuse or general unhappiness.

What the study doesn’t show, according to the authors, is that the sharing of housework itself actually leads to divorce. As one author wrote, the study’s findings should be interpreted as showing only a causal effect between shared housework and divorce.

Interestingly, the study’s authors said that the report might also show that the type of couples who believe in sharing housework might also hold more modern views of marriage and divorce, meaning views that might reduce some of the stigma that other couples feel about ending a marriage.

Furthermore, the study’s authors theorized that women in such marriages might posses more financial independence, something that would make it easier for them to end an unhappy marriage.

To complete their study, the researchers relied on data gathered from 2007 and 2008 on thousands of Norwegian adults. The goal of the study was to determine the potential links between marriage, housework and happiness.

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This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


NBC News, “Divorce rate higher for couples that share housework, study finds,” Allison Linn, Oct. 1, 2012