Why Do Women Initiate Divorce More Than Men?

While men initiate more breakups in non-marital heterosexual relationships, in marriages women initiate divorce about 69% of the time, according to a recent study quoted in the Washington Post. Although people divorce for countless reasons, one of the main drivers of women initiating divorce at this point in the culture can be summed up in a single word:


Women have much higher expectations for their lives and for marriage than the women who came before them. In the past, many young women’s best hope for a prosperous future relied on landing a “good man” to marry. As time passed and women began to gain more personal agency, and made gains in the workplace and in the social order, many women focused on having a rewarding career rather than finding a man who has one. Women want it all, and when wanting it all includes a man, she often wants that man to be her equal – in ambition, in earning, and even in sharing the tasks required to make a home run efficiently.

When that does not happen, women are now much more willing to file for divorce when they are feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied with their marriage. For some women, being the ones who decide to make the first move is also empowering. By initiating the divorce process, they can retain some control over their futures.

Unequal division of labor at home leads to lower marital satisfaction for women

While women’s roles are expanding in the world, back at home, some of the old expectations that the woman will manage household responsibilities and child care continue to prevail. It is the expectation that a woman can pursue an advanced education, take on demanding work outside of the home, and then be expected to have children, care for and nurture them, manage a household and take care of a spouse that pushes some women towards divorce.

Food for thought: a study published in the American Psychological Association journal APA PsycNET found in marriages where the household chores were split more equitably, both partners reported higher sexual satisfaction. So, maybe if your marriage is in a rocky place, you might revisit how the household chores are divided.

Regardless of who initiates the divorce, it is going to be a challenging process that could benefit from the services of an experienced, Annapolis divorce attorney who will protect your interests and support you in achieving an outcome that works for you.

If you believe that your marriage is over and that it is time to start planning for divorce, an experienced Maryland divorce lawyer from Cynthia H. Clark & Associates, LLC can help. Please call us at 410.921.2422 to schedule a consultation, or complete our contact form.