Why more women initiate divorce than men.
Nov 01, 2022
Ending a marriage is not a decision that most people take lightly. There can be a lot of soul searching involved and many months, or even years, trying to work at the marriage and hoping things will get better.
From the clients I work with, although one spouse may have been thinking about ending the marriage for some time, there is often a ‘final straw’ that cements the decision.
Statistics from the ONS in the UK for 2019, show that of the total number of divorces petitioned, 62% of them were raised by women. In the US it’s believed the number is closer to 70%.
Here are 6 possible reasons that more women are filing for divorce:
- They are more financially independent – More women now have their own successful careers rather being housewives dependent on their husbands for financial support. Once they have financial independence it means they can take care of themselves and are not reliant on anyone else to do so. This gives them the freedom to leave an unhappy marriage that they may not have had 50 years ago. The statistics also show that women who have a university education are more likely to leave a marriage.
- Marriage doesn’t meet their expectations – Instead of it being a partnership as they expected, women often feel that they don’t have enough hands-on support from their husband and that they carry the bulk of the emotional workload. Things like organising the kids, the social calendar and the household chores often fall on the woman’s shoulders, despite also holding down a full-time job.
- Their husband doesn’t meet their emotional needs - Studies have shown that women gain fewer emotional benefits from marriage, whilst men gain multiple benefits such as living longer and earning more money. Many women gain their emotional support from close friends and family. The demands of everyday life mean that they lose the connection they may have once had with their partner, and they no longer spend any quality time together.
- Women are more likely to get primary custody of the children – In the majority of cases, the children remain living with the women for most of the time, so they feel they have less to lose in that respect. Men may choose to stay in an unhappy marriage for the sake of their kids so they can see them full time rather than every other weekend.
- Women have a wider support network – and are more likely to ask for help. They know if they leave their marriage, they will have the practical and emotional help from close friends and family. And leaving the marriage means they have one less person to think about and take care of. Having a better support system can make the transition back into single life seem easier, especially if they have single friends.
- They decide they want more – More women have successful careers and are the main breadwinner today. They realise they want more in life and want to grow and develop but feel their husband is holding them back, happy to maintain the status quo. Eventually they realise they no longer have the same hopes and dreams and want different things out of life.
Studies have shown that 27% of women say that they regret their divorce, compared to 30% of men. Divorce is a life changing decision for you, your partner and family so it’s not one you want to regret.
Divorce is the second most traumatic life event that you can go through, second only to the loss of a loved one. If you are considering divorce, then I would urge you to make sure you’ve tried everything possible to make your marriage work before you make that final decision. If you end your marriage you want to do so knowing you have no regrets and that you did everything within your control to try and make it work.
If you need some support to make this decision, then 1:1 coaching can provide a safe, objective, and non-judgemental space to work through it. Send me an email at [email protected] to book your free 20-minute call to chat about how coaching could support you.