Email crash/Cruise speakers/Wives income effects - 1/31/02

Smartmarriages ® cmfce at
Thu Jan 31 15:51:09 EST 2002

subject: Email crash/Cruise speakers/Wives income effects - 1/31/02

from: Smart Marriages

If you sent me email between 10pm Jan 30 and 3pm Jan 31, please resend it.
It was all lost.  Please don't resend unless it was during those hours.
Things seem to be working again, but it's all feeling very fragile and
pasted together.  - diane

HI Diane,
We are seeking possible life enrichment speakers to present topics (in an
entertaining, interactive way) aboard cruise ships. The speakers do 45
minute presentations while the ships are out to sea in exchange for
discounted travel for the speaker and a guest.

If you or anyone you know would be interested, please see our website for
more information/application:, or contact Trish
in our office at 708-301-7535.

This is a wonderful opportunity to share your expertise that may also open
new doors.
Best Regards,
The staff at The working Vacation

(Note from Diane: Remember everything in life is negotiable.)
- - - - - - -  -
I got more out of the "Are You Smart Enough to Have a Smart Marriage"
article posted on your web site than I did out of 3 different marriage
counselors.  My ex-husband and I went to 3 marriage counselors over a 2 year
period (some were limited by insurance to a certain no. of visits).  Not one
of these counselors provided the type of information that you have or any
real tools to have a better marriage.  We got a lot of "how does that make
you feel?" and " Take time away from the issue, but come back to it".  You
guessed it, the person who wanted the time away, rarely came back to
discuss and we're now divorced.

My frustration is how can the marriage counseling profession do a better
job of helping couples that are actually seeking help?
Andrea H. 
- - - - - - -  - - -

January 31, 2002
Increases In Wives' Income Contributions Affect Psychological Well-Being Of

University Park, Pa. -- Being the main breadwinner still seems to carry an
important distinction for husbands and their sense of well-being, says a
Penn State researcher.

In reacting to increases in their wives' percentage contribution to overall
family income, men appear to experience declines in well-being as measured
by their reports of depressed feelings, varying levels of life satisfaction
and physical symptoms such as headaches, says Dr. Stacy J. Rogers,
assistant professor of sociology and human development and family studies.
She notes that, paradoxically, the husbands' marital happiness is not
affected to a significant degree.

"It may be that the persistence of bread-winning expectations for men in
our culture contributes to personal pressure and stress when their wives
increase the percentage that they are contributing to the total household
income," Rogers notes.

This negative psychological effect is not related to husbands' level of
education or whether or not they have traditional gender role attitudes,
according to the Penn State researcher. It is also not related to husbands'
own reduced resources as a result of periods of unemployment or declines in

"It is important to note that the decline in husbands' well-being is
relatively modest but it is interesting that this reduced well-being does
not seem to make their marriages more vulnerable to divorce," Rogers says.
"Having additional financial resources in the family and the enhanced
marital satisfaction and psychological well-being experienced by wives when
their income increases may actually stabilize marriages.

"Interesting enough, neither the marital happiness nor the psychological
well-being of husbands is affected by an increase in their wives' absolute
income, but only by an increase in their percentage contributions. It may
be that increases in percentage contributions are more visible in the
marriage," Rogers adds.

Rogers and Dr. Danelle D. DeBoer, assistant professor of sociology and
anthropology at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, are co-authors of the
paper, "Changes in Wives' Income: Effects on Marital Happiness,
Psychological Well-Being and the Risk of Divorce," which recently appeared
in the Journal of Marriage and the Family. The researchers employed data
from a sample of 1,047 married persons (not married to each other),
measuring the impact of changes in wives' income and corresponding levels
of marital happiness and psychological well-being between 1980 and 1988.
They then related these findings to the incidence of divorce in the same
sample between 1988 and 1997.

Other factors may contribute to the decline in psychological well-being of
husbands when their wives' percentage contribution to the family income
increases, Rogers notes.

"Married women may draw attention to the increased size of their
contribution as a means to obtain greater equity in decision-making and
sharing of household duties with men," says the Penn State researcher.
"This may be unwelcome to some married men and therefore lower their
psychological well-being, though their marital happiness is unaffected.
This finding is consistent with the notion that marriage continues to be
highly valued but that it may be a more difficult and personally
challenging arrangement in the current social and economic climate."
This research was supported by the National Institute on Aging and the
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

EDITORS:  Dr. Rogers is at (814) 865-8798 and sjr11 at by email.

A'ndrea Elyse Messer
Science & Research Information Officer
Penn State
aem1 at

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