Boss Lady

Top jobs lead to divorce for women more than men


Equality has come on in leaps and bounds in the last 50 years or so but not always in the world of industry. In this article, we’re looking at why top jobs lead to divorce for women but not for men.

In 1938, Harmon Nelson divorced Hollywood star, Bette Davis, stating that she prioritised her career over her marriage. Sadly, many a divorce lawyer in the UK will testify that little has changed since then, as many continue to deal with divorces whereby the marriage has broken down due to the woman’s career. In this article, we’re looking at why top jobs lead to divorce for women but not for men.

While less than a third of the UK’s top jobs are held by women, the fairer sex are closing the gap. Unlike in many countries, many women in the UK hold prestigious roles in most areas and industries, including politics whereby 34% of the members of the house of commons are now female. Women also own some of the UK’s most successful businesses including IQ Capital, the Development Bank of Wales and Generation Home.

Why high-level women experience divorce more

A recent study showed that women who win promotions in the world of politics are much more likely to experience a divorce than their male counterparts and this is mirrored by many other industries. Data show that women business owners are more likely to divorce. There are many reasons for this, including:

The nature of nurturing

While it may now seem extremely antiquated, women have traditionally taken on a nurturing role in the marriage with a focus on championing their husband’s career and validating his success.

When there is a shift in this dynamic within the home, it can often lead to the man feeling resentful and uncared for. While this is of course incredibly unfair, it can produce a rift in the marriage whereby neither partner is willing to make a change.

Childcare issues

These days we do tend to live in a ‘have it all’ culture and this means that women no longer have to choose between having children or a career. While this is most definitely progress, the reality often means that a large chunk of childcare is performed by a nanny or a childcare facility.

Even in 2023, many men find this to be less than acceptable as they feel that a mother’s place is with their children. This can lead to an endless cycle of arguments and incriminations which can ultimately lead to a divorce.


It’s an ugly fact – but a fact nonetheless – that some men can feel intimidated by their wife’s success. While women tend to champion their husband’s achievements with a sense of pride, this is not always the case with husbands.

Some men unfortunately, very much resent their wife’s success – particularly if that success brings with it a salary which is higher than his own. This kind of insecurity will often lead to a slow corrosion of the relationship which may eventually end in a divorce.

Is It More Acceptable in a Marriage For Men to Be In Top Jobs?

In this article, we’ve noted a few reasons why top jobs can lead to divorce for women but what about the men? The reasons stated here very rarely apply to men as, traditionally, they have been expected to be the main breadwinner.

This has generally meant that men will very much compartmentalise their lives, allowing them to focus on their career during the day and returning to a nurturing home and time with the children in the evening. Although workaholic tendencies in males may lead to divorce – particularly in high stress professions such as the military and the police service.

In general, when a man holds a top job this will actually tend to strengthen a marriage as he will tend to be happier; not to mention wealthier, which reinforces his self-image as the family provider.

Equality within the marriage benefits both parties…

When it comes to equality between the sexes, it seems that we may still have a way to go when it comes to wearing the trousers in the boardroom. Having said that, every marriage requires a degree of compromise – and a lot of communication. Couples can often turn down the dial on any tension by communicating how they feel. Couples can also help to strengthen the marriage by making time for one another; however busy or stressful their job may be.

It’s a simple fact that most of us need to work in order to pay our bills, the better our jobs, the higher our pay and subsequently, the better the lifestyle that we’re able to afford. The benefits of both spouses being successful also extends to any children involved.

As important as work is, it’s also vital that couples, whatever they may do for a living, try to achieve a balance for themselves and their children. This can be done through taking needed time out to do things as a couple or as a family. While many men may not welcome what they see as a role reversal, this will often be easier to accept when this is balanced by quality time together.


About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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