Why Do More Women Ask for Divorce?

In 2015, researchers made a presentation to the American Sociological Association. Their findings concluded that statistically, more women ask for a divorce than men. Non-marital breakups on the other hand, were initiated by men and women more equally.

The results were drawn from a survey entitled, “How Couples Meet and Stay Together,” which studied 2,262 heterosexual adults between 2009 and 2015. The survey asked the study participants about their relationships with opposite-sex partners during the above time period, which revealed that women were the ones to initiate a whopping 69% of divorces, while men initiated just 31%.

During the study, participants were asked a number of questions, such as:

  • How did you meet your spouse or partner?
  • What is your partner’s gender, race and ethnicity?
  • What is the level of your parents’ education?
  • What are your living arrangements with your partner?
  • Did you and your partner grow up in the same town?
  • Did you attend the same high school, college or university?
  • How many times have you been previously married?
  • How often do you visit with relatives?

Over the years, many studies have been conducted on divorce and almost all of them show that women ask for the majority of divorces, according to Michael Rosenfeld, the author of the study. Rosenfeld is an associate professor of sociology at Stanford University and he pointed out how social scientists have assumed that women were more likely to end marital and non-marital unions because they are more sensitive to the ups and downs of relationships; however, recent data is indicating its more involved than that.

In a TIME.com article entitled, “Why Women Are More Likely to Ask for Divorce,” the author, Alice Park said, “Women may be responding to still arcane conventions of spousal roles, which contrast with growing equality in other institutions, such as the workplace.”

“I think that marriage as an institution has been a little bit slow to catch up with expectations for gender equality. Wives still take their husbands’ surnames, and are sometimes pressured to do so,” said Rosenfeld. “Husbands still expect their wives to do the bulk of the housework and the bulk of the childcare,” he said in a statement.

Top Reasons Why Women File for Divorce

1. They feel like their husband took them for granted. Like all relationships, in order for a marriage to survive and thrive, both spouses have to create it. Successful marriages are built on a solid foundation of strong communication, mutual respect, and consideration for each other’s feelings. Often, women do so much for their families, they feel like they’ve done the lion’s share of the work, while their spouse has taken them for granted.

2. They feel responsible for the marriage. Many women feel solely responsible for the “excitement” in their marriage. They’ll shop at places like Victoria’s Secret, cook romantic dinners, get breast augmentations, etc. to remain attractive to their spouse. They can get frustrated when their husbands don’t return the favors, or worse, develop pornography addictions that replace real-life activities in the bedroom. These wives think, “Why bother?”

3. They always argue about the same issues. Ask any marriage therapist and they’ll say that many of their clients argue about the same issues over and over again. When each spouse’s need for the argument to be resolved is unmet, the resentment only grows. When couples can’t forgive and forget, it can be lethal to the marriage.

When a woman harbors resentments because she can’t influence her husband, she starts to feel like he doesn’t care about her feelings. “He’s going to do whatever he wants anyway.” Or, “You’re full of empty apologies that don’t mean anything.” This is a particular problem when the husband has a drug or alcohol problem, or continues to flirt with other women. Eventually, women don’t feel like they’re being heard so they see divorce as their only way out of a hollow marriage.

4. They find their sex lives unsatisfying. Once a woman begins complaining about what’s going on in the bedroom, it’s usually a sign there are bigger problems outside the bedroom. When a wife feels like her marriage is sexually unsatisfying, it’s an indicator the marriage is starving emotionally. Sexual intimacy is one factor that can drive a wedge in a marriage.

5. They don’t connect with their husbands anymore. One of the main reasons why women initiate divorce is because they no longer feel emotionally connected to their husbands. When a spouse no longer feels that connection, they’re more likely to have an affair and find a connection with someone outside the marriage.

6. They’ve grown apart from their husbands. This is especially common in marriages where the spouses married young. As the years go by, the spouses grow up, mature and in many cases – they change as individuals. In this scenario, it’s not uncommon for the wife to grow apart from her husband and realize, they have nothing in common. Often, the wife will encourage her husband to join her in couples’ therapy, but if he’s resistant, it could make her feel helpless and as if her only choice for happiness is to seek a divorce.

7. They’ve lost their identities. In many cases, a wife has been dealing her husband’s long-standing issue, such as an alcohol or pain pill addiction. After years of trying to help him to no avail, she’s finally been pushed over the edge. Upon dealing with these issues day-in-and-day out, often at the expense of their bank account and her dignity, she’ll finally reach the point of no return and ask for a divorce.

We hope this post sheds light on why women ask for divorce. If you’re looking for divorce representation in Los Angeles, contact us for a free consultation.