Your Marriage Will Be Happier If Your Husband Is Better-Educated Than You


Usually, if I tell her I am seeing a new guy, one of the first questions my mom asks is, “What school did he go to?” Meaning: college or university. Sometimes the answer is, “he didn’t,” which she does not like. And a new study has found that wives are less likely to be satisfied with their marriage when they are better educated than their husbands.

Historically, in most human civilizations, in heterosexual relationships, when it comes to education and employment, the man is supposed to do “better” than the woman. Have a better education, a higher-paying job. Take care of her. But lately, the dynamics have shifted. As Marina Adshade, PhD notes on her blog:

If you are under the age of 45, and living in North America, you belong to a generation in which women have graduated from university at much higher rates than men. That growing gender imbalance in education (currently, for every 100 men in college there are 135 women) has created a shortage of equally educated marriage partners — for both men and women.

But according to the study (which was actually conducted in Hong Kong), tying the knot with a man who is not as well-educated doesn’t turn out so great for women:

The likelihood a woman is satisfied with her marriage decreases by 40% when she is better educated than her husband, compared to when they are equally well educated.

Ugh, my mom would love this study.

But you have to wonder: Isn’t education’s role changing? Mark Zuckerberg’s a dropout, after all. Okay, he’s the exception to the rule. But even if your college dropout husband isn’t a billionaire, just a regular guy without a slew of degrees, is it just about job satisfaction and money? Or is it emotional — some kind of regret, desire, bitterness lurking? Why does an imbalance in education make women feel unsatisfied?

The Secret to a Happy Sex Life? Not a Better Educated Wife [Dollars and Sex]
Does Similarity Breed Marital and Sexual Satisfaction? [Journal of Sex Research]

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