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Part-time lover

Marriages where a husband works part-time are more likely to collapse and end up in divorce, says a study.

sex and relationships Updated: Aug 07, 2013 12:44 IST

It isn’t too much work that can cause your marriage to collapse, but it seems too little work.

Australia's most comprehensive continuing social survey - involving 14,000 people over five years - has found that marriages where a husband works part-time are nearly twice as likely to end up in divorce, than marriages where a husband works long hours.

"Sometimes it is having too much time that is causing stress," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Professor Mark Wooden said the director of the Federal Government-funded Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, as saying.

They found that though 1.7 per cent of the couples separated regardless of whether the husband was working 35 to 40 hours, more than 50 hours, or more than 70 hours, the number of broken marriages increased to 2.7 per cent when men worked shorter hours.

This is because, Dr Wooden, due to the fact that men in part-time jobs are more likely to be underemployed.

"Presumably they're getting cranky, and that's leading to stress," he said.

"The idea that working long hours is the death knell for marriages is not only overblown, but wrong," he added.

The survey did not account for the quality of the relationship from year to year, or look at other factors influencing a successful marriage, such as household income, length of marriage, age at marriage, and level of relationship satisfaction.

When higher, each of these factors tends to bolster marriages.