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Study finds which sex, primarily, drives divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2022 | Divorce

Divorces occur for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes, it is infidelity, financial disagreements or even just a communication breakdown. And, we often believe that the chances of either spouse finally reaching their breaking point is a coin flip. However, one recent study sought to figure out whether that idea holds any water.


In 2009, the American Sociological Association sought out to determine which spouse was more likely to initiate a divorce. They decided to focus on heterosexual marriages, and the study’s results were published six years later in 2015.

The study and findings

ASA studied over 2,200 adults in heterosexual couples, both married and unmarried, from 2009 to 2015. By the end of that 6-year study, 371 of those adults ended their relationship, of which, 92 were divorced or in the process of a divorce. When the researches explored who initiated the divorce, they found that nearly 70% of the divorces were initiated by the female spouse.

Why are women pushing for divorces more than men?

Throughout the study, researchers explored the spouses’ happiness levels. At each time interval examined, husbands consistently ranked their marriage happiness higher than their wives. ASA found that men find happiness in marriage differently than their spouses and were more able to find happiness, even when both spouses were not entirely getting what they needed from the relationship. Conversely, women found their breaking point much quicker than their male counterparts.

What about mutual break-up couples?

For non-married couples, break-ups tended to be more equitable. In those relationships, splits were first initiated by men and women nearly evenly, at 56% women and 44% men. ASA believed that this is because non-marital relationships did not have the societal baggage associated with marriages. This gave couples flexibility to help the relationship.

How this information can help?

A key finding from this study was not just that women were the overwhelming drivers of divorce, but also that nearly a third of the divorcees, both men and women, admitted that they did not work hard enough for their marriage. This means that our Montgomery, Alabama, readers should take stalk of their marriage periodically to see if both spouses are happy, and then work on improvements.



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