When New Jersey couples embark on a marriage in which the gender roles are equal, they may be creating a more solid base for their relationship than couples who begin with traditional gender roles and then change. According to researchers in Sweden, this may lead to divorce.
It is not uncommon for women to postpone developing their own careers in order to support their husbands' jobs and raise children. Later, when they do throw themselves into their careers and start making as much or more money than their husbands, it can create tension. Some husbands become controlling, trying to tell their wives what to do with the money and making accusations that they are having an affair.
Other husbands may cut back on work because it is not as necessary to bring in as much income. However, they may also fail to take on additional housework and child care tasks. Resentment may build in the women who are juggling chores, caregiving duties and demanding careers, and divorce may be the result.
Couples might be able to avoid getting divorced even if they begin their marriages with each person in more traditional roles. It can be difficult to predict what challenges may be ahead, so it is best if they agree to be equal decision-makers in the marriage. Couples also need to communicate clearly with one another about their needs.
Despite a couple's best efforts, their marriage may still end in divorce, and this can mean having to negotiate property division and child custody. Couples may still be able to do this amicably even if they were unable to agree during the marriage, particularly if they use alternative dispute resolution methods like a collaborative divorce. This allows them to have more control over the process and outcome than they would if the case went to litigation. Litigation may still be an option if they cannot resolve some issues.