Monday, April 28, 2008
Women MBA's More Likely to Divorce Than Men?
So this article recently came out in the Wall Street Journal. The basic findings on successful women and divorce:
1. Women with MBAs described themselves as divorced or separated more often than women with only bachelor’s degrees (12% of female MBAs compared with 11% of women with only bachelor’s degrees) and more than twice as often as men with MBAs (5% of whom reported being divorced or separated);
2. Women with law or medical degrees divorce less often than those with only bachelor’s degrees, but are still more likely to divorce or separate than their male counterparts (10% of women with law degrees and 9% of women with medical degrees, compared with 7% of male lawyers and 5.1% of male doctors).
3. Finally, the study also found that female professionals (aka high wage earners) abstain from marriage at double and sometimes nearly triple the rate of men.
This article is reminiscent of the article in Newsweek magazine published in June of 1986 entitled "Too Late for Prince Charming?" which contained the infamous line, "Well-educated women over the age of 40 are more likely to be killed by a terrorist than to find a husband." Newsweek incidentally retracted this statement 20years later.
Truly harsh words. It seems like everyone blames WOMEN for today's failed (or non-existent marriages). In my own experience, I do handle several divorces of women who are extremely well-educated (sometimes more so than their husbands). However, it seems to me that their education doesn't really have anything to do with the rising divorce rates. I think it has more to do with today's changing society and morals. Decades ago, when women weren't allowed to work or be self-supporting, it was much more difficult to file for divorce. Financially, it wouldn't make any sense. That didn't mean there weren't any unhappy marriages. Just meant there weren't any divorces.
I think the best advice I can give to marrying couples is to:
1) Pick the right person at the right time in your life. Yes, like the standard "best interests of child", this label is incredibly vague, and contains many factors. But, as an ecstastically married person, I can tell you - you definitely know when you find him or her;
2) Prior to marriage, have the tough discussions. You know - about money, about children, about religion, about beliefs. Leave no stone unturned. ALWAYS get a prenup. It's worth it. As they say, "Marriage is grand! But divorce is ten grand. (at least).
3) After you get married, honor your commitment. Treat each other like equals. Share chores and duties. You'll know when you're honoring.
The WSJ article on MBA's ended with this bad advice: "Well-educated, highly compensated women should be targeting particularly loving and supportive men."
My own two cents: I think EVERYONE should marry loving and supportive people, not just MBA's.