Norwegian researchers found that couples who share housework duties are more likely to divorce compared to those in a relationship where the woman does most of the chores. They found that the divorce rate among couples who shared domestic chores equally was around 50 percent higher than among those where the woman did most of the work.
"The more a man does in the home, the higher the divorce rate," said Thomas Hansen, co-author of the study entitled "Equality in the Home", according to AFP. While researchers found no or very little cause-and-effect, they believe that the association could be due to "modern" attitudes.
"Modern couples are just that, both in the way they divide up the chores and in their perception of marriage" as being less sacred, Hansen said, stressing it was all about values. "In these modern couples, women also have a high level of education and a well-paid job, which makes them less dependent on their spouse financially. They can manage much easier if they divorce," he said.
Researchers say that sharing equal responsibility for domestic chores doesn't necessarily contribute to contentment, and that the lack of equality at home and quality of life was surprising. "One would think that break-ups would occur more often in families with less equality at home, but our statistics show the opposite," he said.
He said that the correlation could be because couples are happier when they have clearly-defined roles in the relationship where people aren't stepping on each other's toes. "There could be less quarrels, since you can easily get into squabbles if both have the same roles and one has the feeling that the other is not pulling his or her own weight," he added.
The results from the latest survey appears to contradict a recent study carried out by researchers at Cambridge University earlier this year which found that men were actually happier when sharing the housework.
The previous study was based on a study covering 30,000 people in 34 countries. Researchers found that men had benefited the more they contributed to household chores, but researchers suggested that this could also be because preferred a quiet life doing housework than having a disgruntled other half.