Wednesday, July 25, 2007

At-Home Dads and Divorce, Redux

I have been writing this blog for almost five years ("wood" is the traditional anniversary present), penning almost 1,000 posts in the process. And before this week, I'd used the word "divorce" a half-dozen times. But on Monday, I posted on blogger Penelope Trunk's marital woes, and today I want to flag a story in the Daily Mail (UK) which posits that at-home fatherhood is linked to an increase chance of divorce:

But are the couples who go down this domestic route sowing the seeds of marital disharmony? It seems that in many cases the rise of modern career women has had an unexpected - and disastrous - knock-on effect on many husbands who assume the traditionally 'female' role.
The stats the article cites don't seem all that solid, and with the divorce rate running at 40 percent, give or take, there's plenty of room for all kinds of dysfunctional marriages. But let me reiterate what I said on Monday -- there are no magic solutions that will guarantee happiness, nor are there family setups that are doomed to fail. Each individual is different. Your mileage may vary.

At-home fatherhood isn't for everyone, and it can be a strain (as can kids or jobs or in-laws or a hundred thousand other things), especially if both partners haven't signed on completely.
But to suggest that men staying home (and its corollary -- women working) is a disaster-in-waiting is both unsubstantiated and sexist. Trust me, the divorce rate would not improve if we just got more men back in the workforce and more women out of it.

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