After years of hard work and climbing up the corporate ladder, you’ve finally reached the C-suite. Receiving a promotion to an executive role comes with new responsibilities and possibilities. But a step up in your career could mean a big step back in your marriage. Within three years of their promotions, women are twice as likely to divorce as their male colleagues in similar positions. Why are we seeing this trend?
Understanding the reasons
As a successful woman, your marital friction may stem from a shift in power. Your spouse may have been proud of your promotion at first. Yet, your role may keep you away from home for longer periods, leaving them with household or childcare responsibilities you once held. And while you two may have had comparable incomes before, you might now earn more money than they do. Some men adapt to these changes without a problem. But your spouse may have difficulty coping if they hold traditional beliefs around gender roles or feel like they come second to your ambitions.
Why some marriages survive
Certain marriages can weather the wife’s promotion to a CEO-level role without issue. You and your spouse may be close in age and have similar values regarding gender roles. If you do, your marriage is far more likely to survive than if a significant age gap exists between you two – especially if your spouse is older than you. Your odds may also improve if you and your spouse can honestly discuss your promotion. By discussing how it will affect your marriage – together or with professional help – you can create a blueprint going forward.
Yet, your spouse may cling to traditional gender roles and may try to hamper your professional advancement. In this case, divorce may be a net positive for both your career and well-being. Consulting a family law attorney can help you determine whether it makes sense in your situation.