Why Are Women More Likely to Initiate Divorce Proceedings than Men?
Divorces occur between all types of couples for a variety of reasons. Just like no two couples and no two marriages are alike, every divorce is unique in its own way. But this does not mean that there are not measurable patterns and statistics that can help us learn more about which types of couples are most likely to divorce and why couples choose to end their marriages. Data from many different studies can tell us quite a bit about who is most likely to file for divorce and why.
According to a 2015 study of 2,262 adults in heterosexual marriages, women initiate approximately 70 percent of divorces. The most common reason for divorce is dissatisfaction with one’s marriage, which women are more likely than men to experience and take action to address by filing for divorce. This is not a new phenomenon. Women have been more likely than men to file for divorce since the 1940s.
Married Women Report Lower Levels of Marital Happiness than Married Men
The study reported that married women are more likely than their male counterparts to rate their relationship quality as “low.” Interestingly, breakups between non-married couples are initiated almost equally between men and women, so this is not the case of women simply being more likely to become dissatisfied in their relationships and choose to end them. Rather, there are specific demands that come with marriage that weigh more heavily on women, pushing them to seek divorce at greater rates than men.
Marital Dissatisfaction Largely Comes from an Unequal Division of Household Labor and Gender Expectations
The specific marital demands that push women toward divorce are primarily gendered expectations. Although many wives work outside the home, women still perform a disproportionate amount of housework when compared to their husbands. Mothers also tend to shoulder a greater burden of childcare responsibilities, sometimes to the point of sacrificing their own career and personal goals for their families’ benefit. Less tangible gendered expectations include our societal pressures on married women versus married men, such as the expectation that women take their husbands’ last names when they marry and that they defer to their husbands when making decisions for their households. Many of the women surveyed for the study reported controlling husbands and a lack of independence as their reasons for seeking divorce.
After a divorce, women tend to recover emotionally more quickly than men despite suffering its financial effects longer.
Work with an Experienced St. Charles Divorce Lawyer
Whether you are male or female, married to a partner of the same sex or the opposite sex, recently married or with the same spouse for decades, you always have the right to file for divorce if you feel your marriage is broken beyond repair. Learn more about the divorce process in Illinois and what you can expect from it by scheduling your initial consultation with an experienced Kane County divorce lawyer at Shaw Family Law, P.C. today. Call us today at 630-584-5550 for help with your case.