Issue: In one of the most comprehensive studies of women in marriage, University of Virginia sociologists Bradford Wilcox and Steven Nock tested egalitarian marriage — a partnership of equals who split duties inside and outside the home. “As wives went off to work and husbands took on new jobs at home, couples would supposedly have more in common and more to talk about. Husbands would do more ‘emotion work,’ as sociologists call it, and wives would be more fulfilled,” writes John Tierney/Madison County Journal here.
Conclusion: “Sure enough, they found that husbands’ ‘emotion work’ was crucial to wives’ happiness. Having an affectionate and understanding husband was by far the most important predictor of a woman’s satisfaction with her marriage. But it turns out that an equal division of labor didn’t make husbands more affectionate or wives more fulfilled. The wives working outside the home reported less satisfaction with their husbands and their marriages than did the stay-at-home wives. And among those with outside jobs, the happiest wives, regardless of the family’s overall income, were the ones whose husbands brought in at least two-thirds of the money.”
Question: Are you surprised by these findings?