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Why the divorce rate among the poor is steady for three decades

Washington residents may not know that according to recent statistics, divorce rates among Americans have dropped over the past few decades. The divorce rates among highly educated married couples married seven years has almost been cut in half since 1980s. Unfortunately, this drop has not occurred among couples in lower income groups. The divorce rates among the poor have remained almost constant since the 1980s.

Studies have revealed that a lack of adequate income can strain relationships and lead to separation and then divorce. Money is a source of major tension for any couple and a lack of money creates rifts in relationships that cannot be mended.

In the present economy, people without a college degree find it more difficult to find a decent paying job and this adds to the tension in the relationship. The job market has become polarized with high and low income jobs. The middle income jobs on which the average non-college educated American depended have shrunk substantially.

Studies have revealed that the conventional view of men as the breadwinners of the family is more prevalent among working class families. Researchers who have studied marriage among different classes conclude that divorce among working class couples is often the result of unrealistic expectations.

Rapid change in social structure has allowed women to work more freely, and women are working hard to get their families out of poverty where as men face the brunt of financial instability as factory and industrial jobs are quickly vanishing. Working women aim for a 50-50 marriage where they expect their partners to work with them and contribute to the family equally. If their partners do not live up to that expectation, many believe it a strong enough reason to walk away.

Source: The Washington Post, "Men are to blame for the high divorce rate among America's poor," Darlena Cunha, May 4, 2015

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