Who Is More Likely to Initiate a Divorce?
When it comes to divorce filings within a marriage, a study has shown that women are more likely to initiate the process than men. In fact, around 70% of women initiate divorces in the U.S.This pattern is further analyzed in a BBC article to explore the potential factors behind this disparity. While the topic remains complex, understanding this statistic can provide valuable insight into marriage dynamics.
4 Reasons Women Initiate Divorce
1. Financial Independence
In the article, Heidi Kar, a psychologist and expert on domestic violence at the Education Development Center in the U.S., sheds light on a pivotal connection between the increase in divorce rates and women's liberation. As Kar describes, with entry into the workforce, women have gained new economic freedoms, enabling them to leave unhappy marriages. Many women are no longer financially restrained to stay in abusive relationships. Instead, women have more opportunities to initiate divorces on a greater scale.
The increase in divorce rates thus marked a turning point for women's empowerment, proving the invaluable importance of economic independence in personal autonomy.
2. Unmet Emotional Needs
Entering marriage often comes with expectations that may not always match up to reality, especially for women. According to Gilza Fort-Martinez, a licensed couples' therapist in Florida, men are often socialized to have lower emotional intelligence than women. This can make female partners feel unsupported and take on much of the emotional labor in the relationship.
Furthermore, Fort-Martinez notes that women are also more attuned to relationship problems and "red flags" due to their emotional intelligence. They tend to be the primary communicators and empathizers, which can mean they are the first to notice issues that, if left unresolved, may lead to separation or divorce.
3. Excessive Housework & Childcare
Women who work outside of the home face an additional burden when it comes to household and child-rearing tasks. Fort-Martinez states that this burden can lead to working women feeling “overwhelmed and stressed.”
In a recent study from the Pew Research Center, it was discovered that even in marriages where women out-earn their husbands, they still take on a majority of the unpaid labor such as childcare and housework. This leaves women with less time for paid work and leisure activities. In marriages where both spouses earn the same, women still spend a significant amount of time on caregiving and household chores while their husbands enjoy more leisure time.
The Pew study found the following facts about unpaid labor:
- In marriages where spouses earned the same amount, men spent about 3.5 more hours a week on leisure activities, while women in those marriages spent 4.5 more hours on caregiving and housework.
- In marriages where women earned more, wives spent almost 3.5 more hours a week on caregiving and household chores in comparison to their husbands.
As women take on more unpaid labor in their marriages, this is another one of the reasons that could lead to divorce.
4. Outside Support
Studies show that women tend to have bigger support systems and close friendships compared to men. Research conducted in the U.S. indicates that 15% of men disclose having no close friendships. This becomes relevant when discussing topics like marriage and divorce. Women have more people to turn to and confide in when facing marital challenges and transitioning back to a single life.
Moreover, women seem to make more friends at work. Friendships overall could also influence people's decisions about divorce. Research proposes that the probability of a person getting divorced increases by 75% if they have a close friend who has already gone through a divorce.
After Effects of Divorce
Divorce can have significant short and long-term effects on both men and women. According to Kar, men tend to experience a more immediate decrease in overall well-being and higher levels of loneliness following a divorce. However, over time, these effects tend to level out.
Women, on the other hand, often face more chronic and long-term effects, including a loss of home ownership, reduced financial means, and increased stress as a single parent. Despite these hardships, research shows that only 27% of women regret getting a divorce, compared to 39% of men, demonstrating that the difficulties associated with divorce are preferable to remaining in an unhappy marriage for most women.
Have Legal Guidance in Your Divorce
Divorce is a delicate issue that requires a personalized approach. Every couple has unique circumstances leading to their decision to separate, and it's important to understand that there's no one-size-fits-all solution.
If you're facing a divorce, you must have a legal advocate who can guide you through this turbulent time while ensuring that your rights are protected. At the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano Jr., LLC, our divorce attorneys understand the complexities you are facing and have the experience to represent you in court effectively.
Our team can provide you with compassionate legal support, making sure you have the knowledge and resources you need to make informed decisions.
Call us today to schedule a consultation. Dial (845) 605-4330 or reach out to us online to learn more.