When we think about divorce, we often think about the cheating husband. Indeed, if one only got their divorce information from movies and TV, they would be under the impression that men are the primary drivers of divorce. However, in 2009, researchers sought out to answer the question of which spouse is actually more likely to initiate a divorce.
The study by the American Sociological Association was conducted between 2009 and 2015. Researchers studied 2,262 adults in heterosexual relationships. These included both married and unmarried couples. By the end of the study in 2015, 371 couples split, and of those, 92 were divorces. Surprisingly, 69% of those divorces were initiated by the female spouse.
Behind the numbers
At the beginning of the study, researches surveyed the couples to get a baseline of happiness. They found that almost 70% of husbands and 60% of wives were extremely happy with their relationship. Conversely, they found that 6% of husband and 11% of wives were unhappy with their marriages. This means that, by far, men were happier with their marriages than women. After their divorces, about 32% of men and 33% of women said they should have done things differently and worked more on their marriages.
What do these numbers mean?
For our Manhattan Beach, California, readers, the key takeaway is that just because a relationship is working for one spouse, does not mean that it is working for both spouses. This is especially true for husbands. Check in on wives and make sure both spouses are happy. If not, figure out a way forward that may include counseling. One does not want to fall into that nearly a third of divorcees who may have been able to avoid divorce, if they had worked to save their marriages.