Does Unemployment Cause Divorce?

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Does Unemployment Cause Divorce? [EXPERT]
Three reasons why getting laid off may be linked to divorce.

I was laid off for the second time in November 2005. I'd been laid off once before, so I knew what to do. I sent out resumes, networked, looked online for jobs and leveraged the resources at an outplacement firm. By March, I had a few strong prospects but no job offers.

I knew it was going to be a long haul and felt resigned to that. Experts said it took one month for every $10,000 in salary. My wife was getting concerned; being a stay-at-home mom, she didn't relate to the job search process. And because I was home, why wasn't I spending more time with her? Tension mounted. Stress culminated. Fear increased. Not for me, but for my wife.

By June 2006, we had separated, and she filed for divorce. In July, I moved out. I found a job in August (with a nice pay increase), but the inertia of the divorce process and ill feelings towards one another was too great. In May 2007, our divorce was final.

At first I thought my situation was uncommon. But as I met more divorced men through my company, I was surprised to learn just how common it was. Being laid off seemed to increase the chances of getting divorced.

This suspicion was confirmed in a study led by Liana Sayer at Ohio State University examining marital satisfaction and employment status. The examination found that when men are not employed it heightens the possibility of either man or woman to leave the marriage. Why? We've found that with the men we work with at Divorced Guys, coupled with the results of the above study, there are three main reasons for the layoff-divorce correlation:

1. Marital dissatisfaction amplifier. If marital dissatisfaction is great, the loss of a job is just another reason to end the relationship. The pesky habit that she has that was a minor annoyance is now blaring in your mind like a voice through a megaphone. The lack of effort he shows to help with housework is like a thousand fingernails scraping against a chalk board. Instead of creating ways to stay together, thoughts turn towards dissatisfaction and an exit strategy

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