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“It Took Divorce to Make My Marriage Equal”

“It Took Divorce to Make My Marriage Equal”

From Glamour: I began to joke that it had taken a divorce to make my marriage equal. But like all good jokes, it’s only funny because it’s true.

In America, in heterosexual relationships, women do three times as much work as their male counterparts. It’s true that modern men are doing more than they once did, but their efforts do not come close to evening the scales. When they do chip in, they expect not just credit, but lavish praise. And though they have increased their share of household chores, they report doing more than they actually do.

In the pandemic, this split is shattering American mothers. Among heterosexual couples where both partners work, women are now doing 70% more childcare. With mothers and fathers at home—both of them ostensibly working, if they’re employed, watching children, and supervising online school—women are doing on average 15 hours more work than men.

What would it take to make a marriage finally equal? (Divorce isn’t an option for everyone! Like, for example, people who want to stay married.) I was never going to find equality through marriage therapy—which, naturally, I had to set up and send reminders for appointments for—or through constant negotiating over chores. It was never going to be achieved by nannies (which we couldn’t afford) or house cleaners (which we could, but barely). 

But I found a way; I burnt it all down and started over again.

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