Why Most Divorces Are Initiated By Women

Uncertain About The New Wife
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Women File For Divorce Because Husbands Aren't Paying Attention

Women initiate two-thirds of divorces and far more of the separations, according to a nationally representative study by the American Association of Retired People. This study is based on surveys of more than 1,000 divorced men and women, aged 40 to 79.

The most common reason the women gave for divorce was verbal abuse and emotional neglect. At the time of divorce, many husbands say they had no idea their wives were unhappy and considering divorce. 

According to AARP, men are "caught off guard" when a wife requests a divorce. Being a woman and, knowing women the way I do, we talk about our marital concerns. We are problems solvers, communicators and when it comes to our marriages we tend to be more concerned about the state of the relationship than men.

Women are communicators who discuss their dissatisfaction with the marriage with their husbands. Men are dismissers who compartmentalize their wife's unhappiness and hope ignoring the problem will cause it to go away. It's no wonder that most men say they were "blinded sided" by their wive's desire for a divorce. 

Women usually are the first to suggest marital therapy. We buy self-help books on marriage and relationships to try and improve things. We have a tendency to not only express our concerns about the marriage to a spouse but to also talk to friends. In other words, before us women give up on a marriage, we leave no stone unturned when it comes to attempting to solve the problems in the marriage.

The reason more divorces are filed by women is because women can't solve marital problems alone. Eventually, a time comes when a woman has to make a decision. Remain in a bad marriage with a husband who dismisses her concerns or, extracts herself via divorce and moves on to, hopefully, more equal future relationships. 

Below are examples of why women file for divorce from a few women I've coached over the years:

1. "I was only important when he wanted sex. He had no interest in me as a person, no interest in my career, no interest in me as a mother. He came home from work daily, complained about his day, expected dinner on the table and after dinner sat on the couch and watched television. I, on the other hand, after working a full work day, bathed the children, put them to bed and cleaned up after dinner. If he ever initiated a conversation with me, it was at the same time he was initiating sex."

2. "He comes home from work, eats, turns on the television and zones out. I clean the kitchen, bathe the kids, fold the laundry and then he gets upset when I'm too tired for sex. Hew watches sports on Saturday while I make plans with the kids. Sunday he plays golf while the kids and I do something together. I wonder why he even married because he makes no effort at all to be part of our family."

3. "I've never heard him say he is sorry. He plays golf every Sunday, watches football on Saturday but when I tell him it hurts that he doesn't want to spend time with the family he tells me I'm too sensitive. My father died two years ago, he had the nerve to ask that we not schedule the funeral on the same day of his golf tournament. When we did, he threw a fit. And he thinks I'm too sensitive! Enough is enough. "

4. "I greet him at the door every evening asking how his day went. I listen, empathize and show concern for what he goes through at work. We've been married for 13 years and have 3 children. I work as a receptionist, take care of all child related needs and housework and he has NEVER, not once asked me how my day went. He has never been to a parent teach conference, a doctor's appointment or an extracurricular activety for the children if it means him taking time off work. Yet, he feels my job is inconsequential and sees no problem with me missing time at work. He loves that paycheck I bring in though. I asked him the other day what our children's teacher's names were, he had no idea."

5. "He has to be stroked. If he cleans up the kitchen he struts around like he has done me some huge favor. If I don't bow down and kiss his feet he becomes defensive, tells me I don't appreciate him. I work, take care of the children, the house, mow the grass on the weekends and if a car gets washed I do it. For some reason though he doesn't feel a need to fawn over me for all I do. If I'm going to have to do it all by myself, why am I carrying around an extra load who behaves like a spoiled child."

6. "He changed the moment we married. We have no friends, we no longer go out to dinner or casually take in a Sunday afternoon movie. He seems to go out of his way not to spend any time with me other than sex. When I talk to him about feeling neglected he is absolutely mystified, just can't understand and tells me I'm expecting too much from a husband and being childish. He even told me once that there were many women out there who would love to be his wife. I've just filed for a divorce so one of those women will get her chance now!"

Why are women divorcing men? The examples above say it all. Women want a husband they can trust, someone who is interested in them and their needs. They want a husband who takes their feelings into consideration. They want to be married to a man who puts as much effort into the marriage and relationship as they do.

They don't want a husband who takes them for granted or tells them their expectations are too high. Especially when all they are asking for a is a husband who is emotionally invested in the relationship.

Maybe fewer men would be "caught off guard" by divorce if they spent more time listening to and hearing their wives instead of viewing her needs and concerns as unreasonable and demanding.