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Why the Wife is More Likely to File for Divorce

It’s a question that’s been debated for as long as divorce has been an option: who pulls the divorce trigger? Turns out, there are actually a number of reports – scientific ones at that – seeking the answer to that very question. The most recent study, courtesy of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers, reveals why women are more likely to throw in the towel when it comes to their marriages.

“Marital annoyances do pile up”. This is one of the biggest reasons two-thirds of all American divorces are initiated by women. It’s that there are more annoyances these days, it’s more likely because women and their views have shifted in recent decades. Thirty years ago, a woman was far more likely to stay married for economic or religious reasons, or simply because they were taught marriage was forever “no matter what”. Even women in their forties go into divorce understanding they may never remarry. The news is that is they also don’t care if they remarry.

Kids are Raised

For women, they spend a majority of their lives seeing to everyone they love and care for. Their husbands, children and for some, their aging parents. Many have had bosses they had to answer to and once they reach their forties, they realize there are things they’ve put on the back burner that they feel is time to come full circle. Many return to school, vacation alone or with other friends or even buying a car that they chose, negotiated and also allowed the presence of the new car to serve as the announcement to the rest of the family that they’d spent the day car shopping.

In other words, the proverbial empty nest is no longer an overwhelming and dreaded point in time; indeed, for some women, it’s simply a new chapter. Women are far more interested in finding the souls in their lives; they’re looking for spiritual redemption, something that reminds them they’re still alive. In fact, women in their forties who were divorced were found to feel “liberated, relieved, and happy” after their divorce. They were also looking forward to the fresh start that comes courtesy of that divorce, according to a British study from the Yorkshire Building Society.


The newest catchphrase – LAT is a new form of a relationship, Living Apart Together. Many couples, even those married for many years and who are still contemplating whether or not a divorce is something they want to pursue, will fall into this comfortable new status. Women can be girlfriends instead of wives. They can cook dinner once a week instead of the predictable Tuesday night takeout or Friday meatloaf.

But it also describes another dynamic. A divorced mother of young children will sometimes prefer this. They’re better able to juggle time with a new romance without it affecting their time with their children. It’s also one reason why younger women are opting not to remarry in the first few years after a divorce. Taking it a step further, we know that second marriages are even more likely to end in divorce. The number one reason? Not being able to successfully blend the stepfamily aspects.

In short, women are not only initiating divorce in their first marriages, but they’re also more likely to delay a second marriage. Make no mistake – in those divorces, they’re ensuring their bases are covered in terms of how the assets are distributed, too. Most say they have no interest in taking it all, but they do have expectations on what they’ve worked for and what that means in a divorce settlement.


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