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Working hard or hardly working? How this can affect marriage

It has often been said that marriage takes a lot of work. Sometimes this work pays off and extends a relationship, other times it doesn't and a marriage ends. In either case, the people involved are likely quite familiar with the notion of work. 

However, one recent study suggests that it is not just the work people do on their marriage that ultimately protects it. According to a recent survey of 6,300 couples, the difference in whether a marriage continues or ends could come down to the work one spouse is not doing outside of it.

Research suggests that couples are 33 percent more likely to get a divorce if the husband is underemployed. This includes men who don't work, men who stay at home and raise the kids as well as men who work part-time.

Why might this be? There are a few different potential answers to this question. According to researchers and sociologists, financial pressure is one of the most commonly cited reasons for couples to divorce. If one spouse -- the husband in this case -- is not working full-time, the family can be strained without his financial contribution.

It has also been suggested that gender roles and expectations can be unfulfilled when the husband is not serving as the primary breadwinner in a household. There is also the notion that underemployment can cause or exacerbate feelings of depression, inadequacy and frustration. These emotions and failed role fulfillment can cause incredible stress and anxiety, which can be too much for spouses to cope with.

Whatever the reasons may be for it, the link between underemployment and divorce is certainly interesting. However, it is critical to note that statistics and studies like the one discussed in this post are to be taken with a grain of salt. There is no way to guarantee or accurately predict divorce, though these surveys may provide some interesting perspectives on a specific situation.

Ultimately, the decision to file for divorce comes down to the two people in a relationship. If you are in this position right now, you can discuss your individual needs and unique situation with an attorney.

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