Long hours break up marriages

A husband’s long hours have become the fastest growing reason for women to seek a divorce, even if they do not suspect infidelity, new research shows.

The research into changing reasons for divorce shows that while violence and adultery broke up post-war couples, modern women judge a marriage by the amount of quality time they spend together.

Violence is now blamed for divorce by fewer than half as many women as after the war, while infidelity is mentioned by one third fewer. The percentage citing overwork, by contrast, has more than trebled.

The research, carried out by Paul de Graaf, associate professor of sociology at Radboud University, and Matthijs Kalmijn, professor of sociology at Tilburg University, was based on interviews with more than 1,700 people in Holland who have divorced since 1949.

Experts say the trends uncovered in the research are likely to apply to Britain as well.

Anastasia de Waal, head of family and education at Civitas, the social policy think tank, said: “Comparable liberal attitudes and levels of female emancipation in the UK mean the findings in this Dutch research are likely to reflect the situation in this country.”


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