Why are women more likely to initiate divorces than men?

  1. Please remember that all comments must be helpful, relevant, and respectful. All replies must be a genuine effort to answer the question helpfully; joke answers are not allowed. If you see any comments that violate this rule, please hit report.

  2. This is going to sound awful but it's a combination of economic factors, divorce becoming culturally more acceptable, and men being socialised to not do a ton of heavy lifting in a relationship (thanks popular culture!).

  3. Economically, it shouldn't take two people working full time to support a family, but the public and working classes have been and are being robbed, enslaved, gaslit, and

  4. Ill be honest too. Men really expect a lot from women, and not all of them are bad, by any means, but a lot of them can hardly be bothered to return the favor. Not to mention how rare it is to have a relationship without cheating or derogatory comments about your body/appearance.

  5. I’ll add on this nugget: we are not as far as you think from a time where 1) marital rape was legal; 2) children were seen primarily as the man’s property; 3) women were fired from whatever job they had once they got married; 4) women could not get a bank loan or their own credit card without a male co-signor. Access the capital has been huge.

  6. Thank you. Closely reasoned, very well written, and I agree. I'm in the first generation of women in the USA who were legally allowed to get a loan or a mortgage or even a lease sometimes without permission from some male. And I'm from a privileged upper middle class family, not a PIC, etc. I can seldom find a person in my children's generation who knows this.

  7. I can say a lot of negative things about my kids father. But I can also say, he changed half the diapers because I asked. And he did dishes and cleaned too. Sadly, if it weren't for his emotional damages brought on by how he was raised by his father and the alcoholism his father taught him...he might have been a great man for me.

  8. I totally agree and I would like to add that women are more likely to divorce because - although we were taught differently - men were the ones who really benefited from marriage. Not most men nowadays, but most men in the previous years had a sex partner, a cleaning lady and a nanny for free. What did women get out of this? The existence of their children, if they really wanted children. Nothing else. Now, they - mostly - get to choose and they choose to leave such relationships.

  9. The boomer humor about "the ol ball and chain" is still alive and well in the younger generation. I just went to see a comedian on tour and one of the guys who opened for him straight up trotted out that same "i hate my wife" shit like it was funny. He's a millennial.

  10. This is why that dumb fucking Boomer meme "we were born in a time when if something broke you fixed it not threw it away" is such idiotic trash. Women were forced to endure garbage relationships with toxic men because financial ruin if they left was often a best case scenario. Thats also a reason you saw so many people come out as gay really late in life in the past 20 or 30 years: they had little choice but to conform and play ball.

  11. This is a brilliant and truthful answer. We still have more work to do, but we're getting there. I'm constantly trying to work on being better - a better man, partner, father, human.

  12. People who are arguing that it's unfair to say a lot of marriages have men who don't pay attention to how much domestic labor their partner is doing need to look at nearly every week's worst

  13. You are certainly right about the diapers. I changed more diapers while still in the hospital with our first child then all the men in the previous two generations on both sides of the family combined.

  14. I bow to your well thought out well researched simplified response that anyone could follow and understand. Kudos.

  15. Curious if as equality in homes came if there’s been more recorded abuse toward men.. or not? Genuinely curious if you know. Socially it feels like it’s just dismissed but I can imagine how leverage and power might shift things.

  16. I present to you the Indian Family system.And it is wrong both ways, even though both earn a man will be liable to pay for everything and for household chores a women.

  17. I was talking about this with a colleague and she had a great point, about couples with children divorcing in middle age.

  18. What do you mean “they’re getting there?” Rates of divorce have stabilized at high numbers, and young people are getting married less, having less sex, and being in less relationships that any other generation in history. By what metric is this moving in the right direction?

  19. So marriage is a useless shame that costs a lot of money and means nothing, essentially. As a guy that's been divorced that's what I'm getting from this. Marriage - Whats the point?!?!?

  20. Just had a call with an old friend whose wife decided to leave him after 3 decades together. This is an inventory of her reasons. I am sad for him, but he made this bed.

  21. My situation is the reverse, where I do all the work and she does almost nothing. I think it's because my mother was a great spouse and I try to channel her, whereas my in-laws are both pretty dispassionate, inexperienced and unmotivated.

  22. There’s a book about this called All The Rage and also an article written by a divorced man called “She left me because I left dishes by the sink”.

  23. This reminds me of a Father's Day episode of Jimmy Kimmel where they ask fathers on the street to answer basic questions about their children (for comparison, they asked a mother some questions as well):

  24. I recently put together out son’s table. My partner the engineer has been saying he will do it for over a year. It had to be done. I’m bad at assembling furniture. It took me hours. It would have taken him 20 minutes.

  25. Can confirm, I have memories of my dad bitching at my mom for being slow to get out the door. She's the one that had to get the snacks, pack the bags, get the water, get our clothes and toys and blankets. My dad just had to stand up from playing his game on the computer and go to the car. Even as a kid I could see the hypocrisy. The lack of awareness is astounding and insulting.

  26. This was my exact thought. It's yet another mental load task. Think about all of the work that goes into this. Sure, you can google 'divorce lawyer near me' and fill out the first contact form you find but it's better to ask around for references/do some research, get several quotes, find a personality fit.

  27. Because women are more marginalized and undervalued in the relationship, and thus are more likely to be unhappy about it. If YOU were expected to go to an outside the home job, then come home, plan meals, organize the chores (even if the couple does them together,) get the laundry washed, and (if kids) get the kids stuff set for school/the next day, you'd be tired of it too! I think men are more prone to cheating as well, and women finding out their spouse was perfectly ok with lying to them about it.

  28. I always did the grocery shopping even though my ex and I worked the same hours during the day. I finally realized I was growing resentful because of this and I snapped and told him that it would be nice if he sometimes offered to get groceries instead of expecting me to always go. He got really defensive and we fought a bit but we finally reached a compromise but that wasn’t before he told me that it’s easier for me to do the shopping because his work is more strenuous than mine and he needs to use more of his brain so he is too stressed to even think about groceries.

  29. Because marriage benefits men more than it does women. The man more often than not gets to continue building his career and has someone at home providing the household and childcare needs while the women are more likely to be sacrificing career and are generally in a position of vulnerability. It doesn’t really benefit her the same way unless they’re completely happy and he never dies/cheats/leaves but there’s a lot of room for shit to go wrong for her and if things go belly up, the worst thing he’s worried about is heaven forbid she’s not out on her ass with nothing and he gives up some of “his” stuff

  30. There’s a big assumption there that people who marry have children yet the birth rate in the West is in decline.

  31. Because a lot of men tend to check out once they’re married and expect their wives to carry the physical and mental load of marriage. It’s actually scary how many men basically treat their wives as moms they can sleep with.

  32. And they also expect their soon-to-be-ex-wives to carry the physical and mental load of filing the paperwork for divorce.

  33. And I think this right here is the heart of the issue. So many men are culturally trained to not see women as *people* - women are just NPCs in their IRL videogame, there to provide sex and children and a clean house and the emotional support they've been trained to avoid seeking with other men. They don't see any reason to take the complaints seriously because an NPC doesn't have real emotions like a Person does, they just whine about shit sometimes and it stops eventually. They have more important things to do than think about the motivations and actions of an NPC...... until that NPC stands up and says "I'm done" and half the time even that isn't enough to snap them out of it.

  34. The funny thing about this is that as a father, nothing pisses me off more than when I am spending time with my kids away from my wife/their mother. People call it babysitting or daddy duty or some form of that, its bullshit, I am being their parent and having a relationship with them. Can't stand this mentality.

  35. Because as men age, they want someone to take care of them. As women age, they want less and less to care for anyone

  36. Yep. It happened to my grandma. My grandfather cheated on her and left her for weeks taking care of the children without providing for them. He was a shitty husband in general. As he got older and developed diabetes, he expected her to take care of him as a child, cutting his apple into pieces because he said he couldn't, remembering and giving him his meds, cooking and bringing him his food to the table etc. And she served him until the day she died, in pain. He's still alive.

  37. By the time a woman is ready to file for divorce she’s probably already spent years trying to work on the relationship, trying to get her husband to go to couple’s therapy, trying to get him to understand how he’s hurting or neglecting her, only to be met by silence or hostility.

  38. Yuppers. I requested almost yearly “can we please go to some marriage counseling” or saying that I needed therapy. Or he needed therapy. Years upon years upon years just drowning and asking for help or something from him.

  39. idk why i surprised to know that theyre here on Reddit after reading your comment. Of course they would be here too

  40. The real answer is that for some reason many divorcing men don't file their paperwork. They just... refuse to, for some reason, even if they were the ones who asked for a divorce. They don't seek an attorney and have to be constantly called and emailed and begged by the wife's attorney and just... don't do it. There was a giant thread with divorce attorneys talking about how the men almost always dragged their feet and ghosted them and would have to be hand held through the process for months - I wish I could find it. Allegedly, typically the wife has to physically bring the papers to him and make him sign and do it all herself, even having to draw up the husband's demands from the divorce for him.

  41. If the man cheats, they tend to wait for the woman to initiate it, after the damage has been done. I’ve seen this play out over again. But, I may be wrong, because I haven’t researched it to find out the unbiased version.

  42. The suicide rate difference is not a matter of men internalizing conflict more than women. Women actually attempt suicide more, but men have a higher suicide rate because they tend to use more lethal means.

  43. I agree but it depends on the male. We're they raised with, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease?" or more like, "Appreciate what you have as you could easily lose it?".

  44. Not so. Women get remarried all the time, as do men. But in both cases they're generally more aware of what mistakes not to make this time around, and what warning signs to look out for

  45. This doesn’t directly relate, but might indirectly, to give historical context. My great-grandmother filed for a divorce after the stock market crash that preceded the Great Depression. Because her (alcoholic, abusive) husband was legally in charge of her (you know, the guy she wants to get away from), he was able to commit her to a mental institution… just for asking for a divorce.

  46. Probably because men can tolerate emotional and romantic drought more easily and for longer periods (generally) than women (generally.) There will always be exceptions, of course.

  47. Interesting. I think it's the opposite. But we all have different experiences thanks for sharing your view.

  48. In my empirical experience, men rarely don't end relationships. Even when they want out, they make the wife's life hell until she asks for divorce instead of leaving themselves.

  49. Sadly people, of all genders, have gotten a lot more selfish and narcissistic in recent times. To the detriment of all and especially children.

  50. If they’re like my wife, you sit on your ass for 40 years, have a: housekeeper, gardener, lawn service, laundry service, hair and nail appointments, lunches with the “girls”, etc. never brought a nickel into the household. SHE initiated divorce and by law gets half of everything I ever earned or acquired. I was moderately successful, saved millions. She now gets half.

  51. In my experience, one partner snaps eventually while the other is cool with the status quo and coasting as long as they and their household is taken care of. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  52. As someone who works for a domestic violence advocacy org, for straight couples, male abusers don’t do anything that doesn’t keep their power over their female partners. Divorce is often dangerous, and once accepted by the abuser, becomes a drawn out process in order to (again) gain control and power and just generally exhaust their female partners.

  53. Statistics show that single women are happier that married ones. And the last seven years that I have been single have been a lot less stressful, a lot more fun, and better in every way than any relationship has been. And I don't get pressured to have sex I don't like such as anal. I don't have to give blow jobs.

  54. A lot of these answers are point on. I'd like to point that Men can be trapped in a relationship from an abusive women due to the same cultural aspects. This is what my grandfather did. He stayed with my grandmother, a "cat lady"(the easiest way to describe my grandmother), out of this cultural aspect of his age. My mom, I've overheard, bemoaned of why didn't my grandfather leave my grandmother(this was during the 90's to 00's.

  55. Because they have no attraction/sexual attraction towards their partner and usually cheats because of that, and in divorce they see an opportunity to divorce-rape the man they no longer want to be with, and force the man to pay for a woman who no longer wants them. Simple as that

  56. To be blunt speaking as a dude, dicks come cheap. Most any moderately attractive woman can get any guy they want to date them. The reverse is rarely true.

  57. Personally, I think it’s because divorce often benefits women and screws men. When we see real equality in the courts we will see either less women file for divorce or more men.

  58. Men get settled into a comfortable lazy rut and quit trying to work on the marriage and romance. A woman checks out emotionally long before she gets to the point of divorce.

  59. One of the main reasons no one mentions is that women are much more comfortable socially to speak negatively about their friend's partners. Men rarely talk about their marriage problems with friends and those friends definitely wouldn't tell him to leave her, where as women do the opposite more often.

  60. A lot of women povs. My pov is that they're not satisfied with anything. They always want more and with the rise of social media and Instagram they all think they should have that magical relationship or big awesome surprise of roses every week.

  61. i don't even know anymore. i just believe all complex problems need to be solved on a case-by-case basis rather than always going off of previous stigmas, stereotypes, or bias.

  62. Real answer is men generally earn more than women so if a woman is unhappy, they can file for divorce and odds are they get the kids and get most of his money.

  63. Very late to the party BUT it's simple . Look at statistics with income , now look at statistics when it comes to divorce and custody, and that's your awnser m The guy, statistically looses half his stuff AND has to pay support payments.

  64. I'm sure the courts generally going easier on them when it comes to divorce (and all civil battles that typically result) is a factor, but surely there's more to it than that.

  65. I read a book about when there is a problem, men and women approach it differently (not saying one is better than the other!) Women will want to talk about the emotional aspects of the problem, while men will completely avoid the emotion and swan dive head-first into fixing the problem immediately. Men are often seen as insensitive this way, and I have even been banned from two subs for trying to solve the OPs problem when all they wanted to do was talk about it.

  66. This is a solid point. My wife and I are in a good place now but when times were tough somehow every disagreement rose to her (saying) she wants a divorce, which I took as just being so frustrated walking away seemed like the answer. I on the other was like "fuck no, I've spent a lot of years and effort on this relationship(we have kids) I'm not just throwing it all away" because that would feel like quitting

  67. Women are more likely to look for a partner that can fulfill their needs. As men are known to be the providers, some men can't provide enough financial, emotional or physical needs which causes the woman to look for better options. Men don't care a lot about this as they are taught to live independent, men only leave when they feel like their own life/career gets influenced too much because of their partner.

  68. The link to quantity of previous sexual partners is quite interesting. Do you have a link for that data? Not saying that because I don't believe it, I actually find it very believeable. Just haven't heard it before.

  69. Our world is misogynistic, and that's a fact. I know the full answer is more complex, but this is the biggest root of the problem

  70. Fight / flight - flight is only option for many women. Women are on average more socially aware, so will be first to spot major incompatibility and think ahead.

  71. Why would men bother to get divorced? The process is going to hurt them and help the wife in like 99% of cases. If a man doesn't like it, he won't get divorced, he'll just leave. He has no real incentive to file for divorce, and in fact many good reasons to take his time with it. Meanwhile, the wife has very good reason to initiate divorce proceedings.

  72. Barring the fact that cultures suck, which leads to bad character development for both sides (and higher percentage of failing marriages), the system is sexist. It was supposed to “protect” women’s rights, but instead of doing just that, it favors women too much. Imagine a man trying to divorce his cheating wife and get full custody of his kids. Very unlikely to be in his favor, unless he can provide solid evidence. On the other hand, the wife can just make a false allegation of domestic violence, and the husband would be detained (guilty before proven innocent). The record will later be held against the husband in court.

  73. Men are often withdrawn into themselves, unfortunately raised to be that way, si often easily become emotionally unavailable, put themselves and their work first, are automatically competitive even at home, and don’t reciprocate or help. Culture of patriarchy teaches them this, from earliest childhood and that anger is the only acceptable emotion to express. Sexually women get tired of a man same as vice versa, but appreciate their companionship if it’s there, but if it’s not it gets anxious tense and with the anger power and physical strength issues inherent it gets so it’s not worth it after a certain point. Better to split before it gets truly ugly and dangerous. Also men frequently leave women either walking out or cheating and then also expect her to do the filing for divorce, which she will do to be officially free and have the settlement situation clear.

  74. This is a gigantic social question that is evolving over time with social economic and cultural forces are playing out for woman and they’re reacting. Like the Industrial Revolution or the internet age. Individuals within may find ways to navigate themselves into satisfactory outcomes and stable meaningful relationships but many even thru no fault of their own will not. There’s still a lot of fallout from the past like patriarchal religion and misogyny and differences based on where you were born and grew up that are big wild cards. Can’t make too many definite pronouncements while everyone is caught in the churn and flux of change.

  75. This may be apocryphal, but I have heard (on a BBC podcast) that since the advent of same-sex marriage, lesbian couples have divorced at a significantly higher rate than gay men.

  76. Wow…these comments. It’s definitely not because women have more options and move on. Or getting half of the assets plus custody and child support, no matter time circumstance.

  77. As somebody who started out as a guy dating women and is now a girl dating guys all I can say is what the fuck was I like this too?!

  78. Bc most men don't make as much money as they could. Most men also don't have as much balls towards life as they could. Also most men don't read women's bodies as well as they could.

  79. Women tend to have better social support networks than men do, whereas men tend to rely on their wives for all their social and emotional needs. Studies show that married men live longer and are generally happier than single men, whereas the inverse has shown to be true for women, who are doing the bulk of the domestic and emotional labour of running a home.

  80. Because it’s the right choice obviously? If you had more options you’d be picky too. Combine that with the fact women just can’t have kids without risk past a certain age and raising a kid by yourself is hard and verrrrry bad for the child results in having to be picky by nature. Men can have babies up until they die of old age

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may have missed