Women More Likely To Seek Divorce. Why?
About three-quarters of divorces are filed by women.
Now why is that?
Married men happier, healthier
Studies suggest that:
- Married men are both happier and healthier than their wives
- Married men are happier and healthier than single men
- Divorce seems to be harder on men than women
So men seem to have more to lose.
Partly, “women’s role” still tends toward caregiving, and encouraging healthier behavior. In fact, divorced women often associate marriage with more care obligations and less freedom.
Husbands usually have more power
Although 20- and 30-something couples of both sexes usually want equal-partner marriages, most marriages find men with a bit more power.
Probably because we have all unconsciously internalized patriarchy to some degree. In other words, some level of privileging males over females is in our heads and feels natural and normal.
Another source of greater dissatisfaction for women.
Men behaving badly
Husbands also seem to have more problems with drinking and drug abuse. And men more commonly batter.
Maybe that’s because men aren’t allowed to express their emotions or seek help, because they are expected to be independent.
Meanwhile, many men do “emotion work” to turn so-called weak emotions into strong ones, like anger. A man feels put down at work and goes home and beats up his wife to make himself feel strong and superior to someone.
Men more emotionally dependent on partners
Men may also be more emotionally dependent on their romantic partners. Women are more likely to have a larger group of friends who they can talk to, and get support sorting out their emotions and problems.
Many men only feel safe opening up to their spouses.
Marriage also provides the ability to gain touch — a human need. (Babies who aren’t touched are less likely to thrive.) And it is more okay for women to touch one another than for men to do the same thing.
An article from Psychology Today reports that:
When asked who they would turn to first if they were feeling depressed, 71% of men selected their wife whereas only 39% of women selected their husband.
Men fear losing their kids
Men are also more likely to fear losing contact with their children post-divorce. That’s because courts usually look to the “best interest of the child” when awarding custody, and it’s still more common for women to quit work or downsize their careers in order to raise children. With mom the primary caregiver, kids are more closely bonded to their moms.
High versus low expectations
Stereotypes say that women are desperate to marry and that marriage traps men. Maybe men’s low expectations make marriage seem pretty good.
And maybe the high expectations that women are taught leave them more disappointed.
Few men leave marriage without someone lined up
Sian Blore, a divorce lawyer, says that 90% of the men she sees have someone else waiting in the wings.
There’s always someone else around somewhere. I know we don’t believe it but it’s true. Very few men leave a marriage without someone else being there for them.
Men are also quicker to remarry after death or divorce.
Put it altogether and this seems to be why women are much more likely than men to file for divorce.