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Expectations may be behind why many women seek divorces

For decades, research has shown that women are more likely to initiate divorce than men are. One might think that this imbalance would have started in recent years as women have become more independent -- financially and in just about every other way. However, one sociologist found that as early as the 1940s, women initiated two-thirds of marital break-ups.

Interestingly, a recent study by one sociologist who looked at both marital and non-marital heterosexual relationships within the past decade found that, while divorces were more commonly initiated by women, break-ups of non-marital relationships were just as likely to be the man's idea. This was true whether the couple was living together or not.

Why is that? The sociologist behind this recent study postulates that there are still more expectations of women in marriage than there are of men. Therefore, men are more likely to be contented with the way things are than their wives are.

He notes, "There's a certain degree of male privilege and expectation that comes with marriage." He adds, "Some of those historical aspects of male domination get reinvented and recreated even now…." Even though these expectations aren't as much a part of societal norms as they once were, they still exist, nonetheless.

Another theory put forward by other researchers may be related to the burden of those expectations. That is that that women are more sensitive to problems in the marriage than men. Women generally report lower levels of satisfaction in their marriages than men do.

Even today, overall, women fare worse financially after divorce than men do. Too many actually end up in poverty. That's why it's essential to have experienced legal guidance to help you plan ahead for your future and that of your children even before you make the move to end a marriage. A fair divorce settlement can make all the difference in your financial future.

Source: New York Times, "Why women are more likely than men to initiate a divorce," Alice Robb, accessed Aug. 23, 2016

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