High-earning wives ‘more likely to pay the price with divorce’

London: High-flying career women, who make more money than their husbands and end up becoming the chief breadwinners in their domestic partnerships, are more likely to end up in a divorce, revealed a study.

Researchers admit that the reason is unclear, but it may be that male pride is wounded by not being the biggest earner in the household.

The finding comes from a 25-year study of more than 2,500 marriages, hot on the heels of other research showing that househusbands are prone to affairs.

With almost one third of British women earning more than their men, the results could sow doubt in millions of minds.

For the study, American researchers studied the marriages and income of more than 2,500 women who married for the first time between 1979 and 2002.

They found that those women who consistently made more money than their husbands were up to 38 per cent more likely to divorce than others.

Jay Teachman, of Western Washington University, said there could be several reasons behind the statistic.

For instance, financial independence makes it easier for women to find a way out of an unhappy marriage. Besides, dented egos - of both sexes - may also play a role.

“There may be ‘wounded pride’ on the part of the male that may lead to tension in the relationship. It may also be the case that some women react negatively to a mate that does not earn as much as themselves,” a news daily quoted Teachman as saying.

A sudden increase in hours worked was also linked to marriage break downs, according to the Journal Of Family Issues.

“This may simply be a reflection of a woman beginning to work more in response,” said the professor.

For a happy marriage, Professor Teachman recommends a 60:40 split in income, with the husband being the highest earner.