New Study Shines Spotlight on What Dooms Marriages

A new study sheds light on a problem that plagues many marriages, and we believe that most couples would agree with the findings. We're not talking about adultery or gambling, it has to do with something much closer to home.

According to Columbia University Professor Heidi Grant Halvorson, for decades researchers have been aware that women are more likely to file for divorce. However, data presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association shows that with committed, non-married couples, the men are just as likely to call it quits as women.

Halvorson said that this disparity has to do with the difference in how men and women share responsibilities in married vs. non-married relationships.

There's data that shows that the division of chores is a major source of unhappiness in marriages, which are mainly handled by women, even when they work as long as men do, she told CBS This Morning.

Sixty-nine percent of women in married relationships initiate divorce, according the author of the study, Michael Rosenfeld.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that nearly half of all married women perform daily chores, as compared to just 20 percent of husbands.

Plans to Split Chores Often Don't Stick

Though society's views on women in the workforce, gender equality, and marriage have shifted dramatically in the last 50 years, thus making it easier for women to file for divorce, that ratio has remained unchanged, said Halvorson.

According to Halvorson, many couples enter marriage with the plan to split the household responsibilities, but that plan rarely works out.

She said that lots of marriages are failing because couples started out wanting equality but then fell into the roles.

The data shows that the division of chores is a major source of unhappiness in today's marriages, Halvorson said. She stressed the importance of couples having a continuing conversation about who is doing what as the marriage evolves.

All married couples can attest, as the marriage evolves, responsibilities change, work changes, and children are born, changing the dynamics of the relationship. When couples don't talk to each other about who's doing what, or better yet, make accommodations, resentments grow and sometimes until they reach the boiling point.

Need an Encino divorce attorney? Call Cutter & Lax to schedule a consultation with a Board Certified family law specialist.