3 Theories on Why Women Initiate the Majority of Divorces

by | Jan 18, 2024 | Celebrity News | 0 comments

The majority—70%—of divorces are filed by women. But why is this happening? Here are my three ideas as a divorce attorney. 

#1 There’s No Reason to Stay Married 

It wasn’t until about 60 years ago that being a single woman became really feasible. Not only was the birth control pill less accessible, other more readily available methods of contraception were still considered to be taboo. There was a huge stigma surrounding pre-marital relations of any kind and getting pregnant outside of marriage was considered to be socially unacceptable. Furthermore, 60 years ago banks and credit lenders were well within their rights to deny women credit, loans, and even refuse to open checking accounts for women unless they had a husband’s signature. In 2024, women are outpacing men—and they have been for the past ten years—when it comes to graduating with a bachelor’s degree. Many women not only have their own career, but they’ve been encourage to have their own career from their infancy. Lastly, birth control has become more accessible, and there’s less stigma surrounding premarital relations, pregnancy outside of marriage, and divorce. With women having more control over their bodies and finances, they aren’t as dependent upon marriage anymore. 

Potential Solution 

Since women no longer need to be married, men need to take initiative in becoming desirable husbands—assuming they want to get married or stay married, that is. There are many men out there who are wonderful partners and enjoy very successful marriages. However, being a desirable partner requires emotional intimacy, vulnerability, and communication skills—regardless of what your gender is. With the invention of technology, we’re more technologically connected than ever, but many people feel as though they’re disconnected from each other in reality. Working on interpersonal skill necessary to maintain a marriage should be a priority for any man or woman who’s looking to get married or stay married. 

#2 Uneven Mental Load 

It’s easy to divide up the chores to ensure that one party does 50% and the other party does the other 50%. The mental load refers to the planning, organizing, coordinating, and orchestrating the chores, vacations, events, activities, and more. Historically, this has all fallen on the woman—and women have gladly taken care of this. After all, what else are housewives going to do with their mental energy? The problem is that today’s women aren’t always housewives—in fact, most households need to have two incomes in order to stay afloat as the average rent in America is over $1,000 and the average car payment is over $700. There are many men who have never approached their wives and said, “hey, we need to go grocery shopping.” Or, “What are the kids going to wear for the Christmas card photos?” In fact, there are many men who have never even mentioned Christmas card photos to their wives, let alone what the children will wear in said photos. 

Potential Solution 

When it comes to mental load, it isn’t about being the one to go grocery shopping, it’s about remembering to do the grocery shopping in the first place. Many men (and surely some women) make the mistake of thinking that sharing the mental load means sharing the to-do list: “Hey, honey! I’m going grocery shopping! What do I need to get? Sounds great. I’ll probably call you while I’m at the store just to be sure.” The bolded part is the mental load. It’s not about you going to the grocery store, it’s about you knowing that grocery shopping needs to be done, and knowing what needs to be put on the list. That’s the mental load. While the mental load generally falls upon women, it can fall upon men too.  Just showing initiative is a great start: “Hey honey, I’ve noticed that we’re short on food in the house so I made a list of things we’re gonna need. Is there anything you want to add to this list?” It’s probably not just grocery shopping, but your spouse would be the one who would know what their mental load looks like. 

#3 Uneven Distribution of Responsibilities 

Being a stay-at-home mom is a full time job, and if you don’t think it is, then it’s probably because you’ve never been a stay-at-home mom. However, many of today’s women cannot afford to stay at home mothers and some of them don’t want to be. The problem? Many of these women work a full-time job but are still expected to cook, clean, tend to the children, and do other things that have traditionally been labeled as “woman’s work.” It’s not uncommon that wives begin to resent their husbands for expecting them to work eight hours and then come home and work more without pay nor recognition. And it’s not uncommon for husbands to resent their wives for not taking on such chores, especially in cases where the woman could stay at home with the children but chose to work instead. But remember, it’s not fair that one party gets to build a fulfilling and successful career while the other party is has to stay at home just because they’re a woman. 

Potential Solution 

Both parties need to contribute to the chores and household responsibilities. A popular blog post took the internet by storm a few years ago. It was titled “Why I Don’t “Help” My Wife. The gist was that this man didn’t help his wife cook, clean, care for the children, or otherwise manage the household because it wasn’t her job to do those things. As a couple, they were a team, so the cooking, cleaning, child rearing, and other household duties were equally his responsibility. So we he did a chore, he wasn’t “helping” her, he was simply doing something that benefits the entire household of which he was a member.