Does one's tax bracket define their marriage in America? Unfortunately it does, and in more ways that one, according to a new article in the Washington Post. Because while the number of college-educated couples getting divorced by their seventh anniversary has dropped more than 20 percent since the early '80s to 11 percent, the number of couples divorcing who are defined as "lower-income couples" stays stagnant. Why is that?
Two main reasons are money, which is obvious, but also the role of women in America, which is less so. First the money issue — it's the inverse of the old "Mo Money, Mo' Problems" mantra because in this case, it's less money more problems. Lack of resources causes many couples to fight, and the strain wondering how your child is going to eat causes very many sleepless and frightening nights.
The second is how women's movement not only changed their role in America, but in the house, as well. Women initiate two-thirds of all divorces, according to Bill Doherty, professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota. In the 1960s and '70s, he said, highly educated mothers got divorced at about the same rate of less educated mothers. It's this new, work-centered woman who has decided, in essence, that she needs her relationship to be a well-oiled machine.
"What we have is historically high expectations for what young people call a 50-50 marriage," Doherty said. "People are looking for a high-intimacy, high-income marriage where both partners contribute, regardless of income bracket. Unless you have a good economic base and a certain level of personal maturity, it can be very hard to survive this ideal of modern marriage."
Men are to blame for the high divorce rate among America's poor (Washington Post)