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Study Shows More Women Than Ever Are Family Breadwinners

CHICAGO (CBS) -- More women than ever are CEO's of Fortune 500 companies and in every day households more women are bringing home bigger paychecks than their husbands.

CBS 2's Dana Kozlov shows us how it's working for some Chicago couples and warns about possible pitfalls.

Life is a constant juggling act for John Davidson. He is a stay-at-home dad, by choice. His wife Karen brings home the paycheck and they've never been happier.

"I think it's been really great for our family and our relationship," said Karen Davidson.

The Davidson's are part of a growing trend, as are Bennie and Celeste Currie and Ivo Widlak and his wife Lale Zabreda. According to the Pew Research Center, women are now the main breadwinners in 40 percent of U.S. households - compared with just 11 percent back in 1960.

"It's a big deal and it's changing the face of the, I think, the family," said Dr. Reginald Richardson.

"You gotta shop, you're working on the garden, you're taking care of the animals, not to mention cooking," said Bennie Currie.

And then there's caring for children.

"My job, if you will, of being home with my kids is what I would rather have define me than any job than I have on the outside," said John Davidson

But it isn't always wine and roses. A recent University of Chicago study found the divorce rate, in a five year period, was 50 percent higher for couples where the woman earned more than her partner.

Dr. Reginald Richardson isn't surprised by that.

"If you haven't really discussed those roles and come to some agreement, the expectations aren't really articulated and so there, there's conflict," said Dr. Reginald Richardson.

Flexibility - a weekly meeting - and showing appreciation is something the Curries have worked on in their 28 year marriage . Without it, "You make a point of saying hey, did you not notice that I got your dry cleaning today?" says Celeste.

"Just because we made that choice doesn't mean it's the right choice for everybody," said John Davidson.

But it works for them. Proof? Just ask the Davidson's son Charlie what he wants to do when he grows up.

"Play baseball and take care of my kids," he said. "Just like daddy does."

A recent study found only 28 percent said it's bad for a marriage when a woman makes more than her husband compared to 40 percent who said that in 1997.

Stay-at-home dad John Davidson is the son of a CBS 2 cameraman.

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