I listen to the radio pretty much all day long. Especially since being home on maternity leave, I hate silence so I usually keep it on in the background. Last night, while doing the dishes (because our dishwasher is broken…sigh) during some talk-radio, life-lesson-type of program, they started talking about why divorce rates are so much higher today.
This radio program started discussing various reasons behind divorce and, according to them, they feel the number one reason marriages are splitting up nowadays is because women are taking more of a financial lead in their marriages, making more money, protecting themselves financially and ”no longer need their husbands to support them, or their families, anymore”.
My first instinct was, interesting. I guess I hadn’t thought about that before. While it’s true the role of the woman in the average North American household has changed dramatically in the past 50 years is this really the number one reason behind divorce today? Because woman make more money?
I have a hard time believing divorce rates are higher today than they were 50 years ago because the woman in the house suddenly, according to this show, has more ‘power’ or say in the running of the household expenses.
I think divorce rates are higher because of a breakdown of financial communication and laziness.
I’m strictly talking about money. Especially in today’s world of plastic, we all know (to well) how easy it is to swipe now and think about it later. Our grandparents didn’t have this luxury. When they were young newlyweds they actually had to use cash or cheque, and have the cash in-hand to pay for something. I’m not suggesting they didn’t frivolously spend and buy a new toaster or hot curlers for their hair instead of budgeting for food or gas, but they paid with money they already earned.Communication about money in their marriage was almost forced. Even if the woman was a homemaker who was given money from her husband to maintain the house (food, gas, clothing), she quickly found out if there were money issues going on if she wasn’t getting her household cut to buy things the family required. Secrecy was a rarity.
Fifty years ago, if you wanted to discuss something, especially finances, you were required to see the person and discuss your issues face-to-face or at the very least on a land line. You didn’t have the luxury of hiding behind e-mail or text messages. You had to discuss the matters in person or over the phone and if you wanted to work things out you needed PAPER and a PEN, again, excel and fancy budgeting programs didn’t exist.
While divorce happens for many reasons, I don’t think it’s fair to say that women now leave because they’re more financially stable. While this may be true, I think the real reason women leave is because they don’t want to face the music and deal with financial issues the hard old-school way. Leaving and starting over on her own is, unfortunately, often easier than putting the HARD effort into the marriage that is required to make things work again.
Then again, who would honestly answer that question on a questionnaire? Especially when a divorce is happening, because as you may know, it’s always the other persons fault anyway. It’s difficult to get a true reason in the heights of emotion. I just think the points brought up by the show were off a little and it’s not their fault; it’s because no woman, especially a financially stable one, blazing her way through her new-found path to freedom, would want to honestly say ”I gave up” or ”I didn’t want to put the effort in”.
I know marriages breakdown for many reasons and require two people to fail. I’m strictly arguing the points of this show which were female centered.