Why Are Women Filing For Divorce?
The longstanding trope of the “first wives club,” the sad older ladies left by their husbands in pursuit of a younger woman, may not be entirely accurate. It turns out most divorces in the United States are initiated by women. Studies have found that about two-thirds of divorce cases are filed by the wife. Among college-educated women, the number is even higher.
Interestingly, women are also significantly happier in the years after divorce, a phenomenon not reported by men. Researchers in the United Kingdom found that the unhappily married women in their study felt much more liberated and content after divorce than the men they studied. Despite the negative financial consequences of divorce, and the challenges of single parenthood, women seem to prefer life after divorce to remaining in an unhappy marriage.
Three Reasons Why Women File for Divorce First
When a marriage turns sour, it is usually the wife who files for divorce first. In fact, many husbands report being completely blindsided when they learned their marriage was over. So why are women seemingly more eager to leave marriage than their partners? No one really knows for sure, but many reasons have been offered to explain this phenomenon.
- Infidelity. A man’s adultery is the number one reason cited by women for seeking a divorce. Researchers estimate about 50% of married people (both women and men) will cheat on their spouses at least once. Although women have affairs at almost the same rate as men, they will often tell you they were only unfaithful once the marriage was already too far gone.
- Men are less willing to work on the marriage. Husbands are more likely to resist marriage counseling and other efforts to fix their marriage than their female counterparts. When a husband refuses to take steps to work on the marriage, it is usually because he believes everything is fine. For the wife, however, this is often the sign that their marriage is over.
- Marriage fatigue. A recent study determined working mothers worked an average of 98 hours a week when you include domestic responsibilities. In households where both spouses work full-time, the wife still performs 90% of the house and child centered work. This exhausting and inequitable arrangement leads many women to report feeling resentful towards their spouses.
While it may seem like the cultural trend towards female equality and empowerment is contributing to the breakdown of the American family, that is not the case. Divorce is currently at a 40-year low in the United States, with fewer young couples turning to divorce as the solution to marital problems. Experts predict as cultural shifts bring more gender equality to the domestic sphere, women will continue to become happier in their marriages.
Considering a Divorce? Call a Loudoun County Divorce Lawyer.
If you are considering a divorce, or have recently been served with divorce papers, it is important to consult with a family law attorney right away. The experienced attorneys at Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC are both aggressive and compassionate. Contact our office in Leesburg VA to get the legal help you need in this difficult time.