Gay Rights Women Pride Feminism

New study: the majority (69%) of divorces are initiated by women

This new report from Live Science gives us some numbers about who initiates divorces most frequently.

It says:

Women are more likely than men to initiate divorce in the United States, but they are no more likely than men to initiate breakups in a dating relationship, a new study finds.

“The breakups of nonmarital heterosexual relationships in the U.S. are quite gender-neutral and fairly egalitarian,” study author Michael Rosenfeld, an associate professor of sociology at Stanford University, said in a statement. “This was a surprise because the only prior research that had been done on who wanted the breakup was research on marital divorces.”

Previous research had found that women are more likely to initiate divorce, at least in the United States, Europe and Australia. In the new study, Rosenfeld compared divorces to nonmarital breakups, in an effort to understand the driving forces behind each type of breakup.

To investigate, he looked at data from the 2009 to 2015 waves of How Couples Meet and Stay Together, a nationally representative survey spearheaded by Rosenfeld and his colleagues. The new study includes 2,262 adults, ages 19 to 64, who reported having opposite-sex partners in 2009. By 2015, 371 of the participants had broken up or gotten divorced.

Women initiated 69 percent of the 92 divorces, Rosenfeld found. But there was no statistically significant difference between women and men when it came to nonmarital breakups, regardless of whether they were living together, he said.

The Ruth Institute reports on a few studies:

Female unions seem to have the highest divorce rates, followed by male unions, followed by opposite sex unions.

“For Sweden, the divorce risk for partnerships of men is 50% higher than the risk for heterosexual marriages, and that the divorce risk for female partnerships is nearly double that for men.”

“For Norway, divorce risks are 77% higher in lesbian partnerships than in those of gay men.”  (The Norwegian data did not include a comparison with opposite sex couples.)

In California, the data is collected a little differently. The study looks at couples who describe themselves as partners, whether same sex or opposite sex. The study asks the question, how likely is it that these couples live in the same household five years later. Male couples were only 30% as likely, while female couples were less that 25% as likely, as heterosexual married couples, to be residing in the same household for five years.

It really seems as if there is something about women in particular that causes them to be unable to keep to commitments in their actions, despite what they might say with their words.

So I am seeing a couple of problems in young, unmarried women that might explain this.

Feminism is bad

First, there is the feminism. Feminism was the driving force behind no-fault divorce. Today, young unmarried women are being taught to view marriage as stifling to their freedom. So if they do get married, they are often resolved that marriage should not affect their freedom in any way. That is just not the way marriage works, though – both spouses need to be equally ready to have their freedom infringed upon by things that HAVE TO GET DONE. Lots of things that have to get done will not be fun, thrilling or amusing – and that’s why it’s good to be prepared to do them before you marry.

My friend Dina says that she only knows one happily married couple from among her friends. The most frequent case she sees is wife is working in order to pay for big house, two cars, etc. and wife is denying husband sex, which makes him disengage from the marriage. A working wife tends to not be as responsive to the needs of husband and kids as a non-working wife, probably in part due to work stress. There is an epidemic of sex-withholding by women, and it causes men to disengage from marriage because they feel unloved. Although women tend to rebel against the idea that the man’s bad behavior is their fault, and that there is a “contractual” nature to marriage, that is how marriage works. You cannot stay married, women, by just doing whatever you feel like, and NOT doing whatever you DON’T feel like. Men will disengage when their needs are not supplied, and that’s no fault of theirs. It’s your fault. Denying relationship obligations causes men to underperform.

Feminism is often linked closely to “independence”. There is a lot of confusion over what the word independence means among young, unmarried women. A man uses that word to mean “lack of financial dependence on parents, the state, etc. because of good decisions in education, career and finances”. But a woman means “not having to care about the needs of a man and the leadership of a man, or the needs of children while still getting what I want from men and children”. That attitude is not compatible with life-long married love.

Emotions are bad

Second, emotions. In my experience, young, unmarried women are less likely to have reasoned out their own life plan in a practical step-by-step manner. Instead, they tend to do whatever makes them feel good moment-by-moment without any realistic plan. One Christian woman was recently telling me how attracted she was to an atheist moral relativist who had been promiscuous from the age of 15. She explained that her emotions were kindled by his GQ looks, 6-pack abs, mysterious European accent, seductive manner and witty conversations. Although she is apparently a Christian, she doesn’t take Christianity seriously in her decisions about relationships and marriage.

Peer-approval and culture play a large part in determining what women think is attractive in a man, as well as their life goals, and women are driven by these cultural standards more than men who focus on honoring their commitments regardless of their emotions. In my experience, women struggle to make their day-to-day actions match their socially-acceptable goal of getting married “some day”. Marriage is for “some day” for today’s busy women, but fun and thrills is for today. “Live in the moment”, they often tell me. If you try to talk to them about roles and responsibilities in a marriage, they will withdraw and rebel. But marriage is about each spouse doing his or her job, and feeling content about what the couple is building together. You can’t make life-long married love from emotional craziness and pursuing fun and thrills with seductive promiscuous moral relativist atheists.

How to pick a woman who won’t divorce you

Young men, I advise you to choose wives who have had to do things that they did not feel like doing. That can involve things like getting a STEM degree, getting a job in STEM, moving out of her parents’ house, getting a “boring” job that helps her pay off her debts, keeping commitments when she doesn’t feel like it, and caring for other people and even animals.

Basically, the more the woman has ground down any narcissism and hedonism she may have, by having to do nasty calculus and horrid lab work, the better. The more accustomed she is to constraints, responsibilities, expectations and obligations, the less likely it is that she’ll divorce you for unhappiness. And all of this goes for men, as well. STEM degree, STEM job, save money, serve others, give to charity.

Marriage is not the time for people to be carried away by their emotions. It’s an enterprise, and it works when both people are rational, practical, hard-working and self-controlled.

24 thoughts on “New study: the majority (69%) of divorces are initiated by women”

  1. Unfortunately, society encourages women to do exactly these things; to just do whatever they want whenever they want to do it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell them the price for living entirely for oneself and the later years regret it brings.

    Matthew 10:39 carries a lot of wisdom: “Who saves his life for himself shall lose it, but who loses his life for My sake shall find it.” It isn’t just talking about salvation, it’s also talking about service and evangelism to hurting people. And how, at the end of the day, just living for yourself leaves you literally with nothing.

    Caring only about yourself is no path to tread in life. Think about what happens when the show is over.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent point. I think that anyone, male or female, thinking of getting divorced, needs to look for a history of demonstrated selflessness from their candidate mate. Don’t look at youth and beauty, men. Don’t look at height and displayed wealth, women. Self-sacrificial character is the main criterion for choosing a mate.

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  2. That’s fuuny, lezbo hookups are much more unstable than anything else. What a glaring example of what it looks like to have matriarchal society. Yet, the church says we need their voice on stage and in committees to have a fuller view of God (as long as they aren’t pastors, one careful carve out that my church maintains).

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    1. The perception among many conservatives is that men are the ones who struggle with making commitment and honoring vows.

      I think the root cause is that women are being taught to follow their hearts when they choose men, instead of planning out what a man does in a marriage and them choosing a man who can do the work. If a man can’t do the work, he shouldn’t be chosen for superficial qualities.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s funny to see women coming into the comments (I am not approving them) and blaming men for the divorces that women initiate, when the rate of divorce is highest for lesbians. Can anyone tell me which heterosexual man is responsible for the high divorce rate among lesbian couples? I know that society has made it normal to cast blame on men for the decisions of non-men, and I am just wondering which man we can blame for the high divorce rate of lesbians?

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I heard it from some people in the LGBTQ community that:

      1) Male-male permanent relationships are actually rare or at least rarer than opposite-sex and female-female permanent relationships, partly because parties would actually prefer to be an open relationship, at least in their 20’s and even early 30’s.

      2) Female-female relationships tend to be idealized and romanticized but are not long lasting. (The Goodridges who were among the 7 couples who fought for Gender Neutral Marriage in Massachusetts in 2004 were divorced in 2009.)

      3) They generally agreed with Wikipedia, that while it’s not a scholarly source, it points to some interesting data:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divorce_of_same-sex_couples

      Belgium: Lesbian divorce rates double that of gay men
      Netherlands: 30% Lesbian divorce rate vs. 18% heterosexual couples vs. 15% gay men couples
      Norway/Sweden: 40% lesbian separation rate vs. 30% non-lesbian
      UK: lesbian couples 2.5x more likely compared to male couples
      etc.

      Regarding marriage, since you covered a lot of angles but I think this one is worth mentioning:

      Quora’s “Matthew Bates” (whom I believe is a pseudonym, he’s a teacher) has some tremendous writing, and one of the things he touched on was “Where have the good men gone?” — a certain battle cry of many women.

      Sure, WK and others have addressed: “And where are the good women?” We men can learn discernment — this was a key skill my mother instilled in me even in my teens, to look carefully at a person’s actions and character and not to be wowed by someone’s external beauty/body/face/hair/clothes/etc.

      The thing that Matthew Bates brought up to wives:

      Say you’ve got a husband, man, who is engaged with his children, at least trying to be; he tries to go to their concerts and sports games and practices, and he’s doing some of the chores. He’s faithful, he tries to be a bit romantic, etc. He doesn’t beat you, berate you, yell at you, cheat on you or put you down. He’s proud to be your husband. He may not be perfect, but he’s trying.

      In other words: you got one of the good ones.

      Are you grateful? Do you express it from time to time?

      If not, why not? Surely your husband would love to hear this even if it’s infrequently?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. For awhile now, I’ve been working on compiling a list of things that men should consider when evaluating women as potential marriage partners. It’s still a work in progress, but right now, these have risen to the top as key indicators:

    1. What kind of man is her father and what kind of relationship does she have with her father?

    In all my research, this has risen to the top as the most important factor when considering a woman as a marriage partner. Keep in mind that a woman’s opinion of male authority and headship is very heavily influenced by what she witnessed of her father as a child (i.e. female children of alcoholics tend to marry alcoholics). If her father wasn’t a competent leader, or worse yet, wasn’t involved in her life at all, this is a HUGE red flag.

    2. Who are her closest friends, and what do they spend their time doing together?

    It’s been appropriately said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. How she chooses to spend her time and who she chooses to spend her time with will give you considerable insight into what she truly values.

    3. Is she willing to sign a prenuptial agreement that removes/softens the incentives that many women have to divorce?

    This is something I’ve changed my opinion on over time. Originally, I used to say that if you asked for a prenup, you were planning for the marriage to fail, and thus increasing the likelihood that it would fail. However, what I’ve realized is that in the modern world we live in, the law has made it impossible to form a truly binding marriage covenant as is described in scripture. Regardless of a woman’s words or actions, if you marry her, you have just given her the power to someday drag you over the coals, stealing your children, wealth, and reputation in divorce court. Does she understand the risk she is asking you to take, and is she willing to voluntarily sign it away so that both of you bare risk for trying to end the marriage?

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  4. And unfortunately, men who “disengage” because of withheld sex turn to internet porn, and then the downward cycle accelerates and the man create a real problem for himself and the relationship. Meanwhile the wife realizes he is less interested in her as he found an alternative to her withheld sex, albeit crummy one, and she turns to romance movies and maybe books and creates the ideal man in her mind. Both of these are done in secret and marriage is in disaster zone at this point.

    I’ve been married 42 years and seen this cycle in relational counseling as a church elder. It almost always starts with the woman accepting so many lies of our feminist culture, and the man not understanding his God-given role.

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    1. I agree with you. Let me explain what I think is going on.

      Feminism tells women that they are missing out on the fun that hot bad boys are having. In order to be equal to these hot bad boys, they need to have as much alcohol as the hot bad boys are having. They need to delay marriage like the hot bad boys are doing. They need to be promiscuous like the hot bad boys are being. They need to focus on career and money like the hot bad boys do. They need focus on appearance and use sex for validating themselves, like the hot bad boys do. This actually works for women influenced by feminism until around their late 20s, early 30s. At that point, they realize that the hot bad boys they’ve been chasing with hook-up sex are not going to commit. Those hot bad boys are scum. Absolute filth. No morality. No religion. And then suddenly these women realize how important morality and religion are to choosing a good man – a man who wants to get married, and stay married. Unfortunately, most of those good men have already been scooped up by the NON-feminist women. And the ones who haven’t (like me) are not going to commit to marriage (and the exposure to divorce courts) to a woman who has a LIFETIME of being attracted to men based on looks and height alone. A woman who is in her late 20s does not suddenly change the type of man she is attracted to – the hot bad boy. She may try to trick men like me into marriage, but we won’t go for that. We can tell when a woman has a demonstrated record during her 20s of valuing and choosing moral character, effective apologetics and accurate theology. We aren’t going to bail out anyone who is still pining away for the bad boys who gave her all those exciting one-night stands. I worked for my million dollars. I’ll take early retirement over a divorce, thank you very much.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Early retirement is not explicitly said as something our Father hates, divorce is, so you are on good ground there, even if you are wrongly only thinking of what is best for you. I said if because that’s a heart issue.
        Likewise, in a perverse way, you are saving a woman from the terrible sin of initiating a divorce. 70% of the 40% of marriages that end in divorce means you are blessing 28% of women interested in marriage with you.
        Alyse, a prenup isn’t a get out of jail free card, it forces a woman to have skin in the game. Giving up a career you like isn’t a sacrifice. If you see it so, then too bad for you and your husband, I hope you see it differently in the future.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I find the tone of this article and the replies concerning. There is no mention anywhere that perhaps men in heterosexual relationships contribute in any way to the divorce even if the women initiate it.

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    1. Janis,

      Let’s grant that the behavior of men in heterosexual marriages contributes to the desire of women to initiate divorce. I’m certain that this is the case since all decisions, at least to some extant, are influenced by the decisions of others. What conclusions should we draw?

      First, consider that women are the selectors of our species. Although arranged marriages in which a woman had no say in who she was wed to have historically occurred, this is virtually non-existent in the modern world. When I say that women are the selectors of our species, what I mean is that in general, men compete for female affection and women reward their affections to the man they believe to be most worthy among their suitors. In other words, when a woman says yes to a marriage proposal, she’s effectively saying that she believes this is the best she can do among all those who were available to her. The question then is, why did she believe this to be the case?

      Seeing as the woman voluntarily entered her marriage and chose her husband among a number of possible candidates, one of two things must be true regarding every woman who initiated divorce against her husband:

      1. She chose to marry a bad man, and later divorced him because he was a bad man.

      2. She chose to marry a good man, but none the less chose to divorce him anyways.

      If the former is true, then it follows necessarily that the woman chose this bad man for reasons other than his demonstrated ability to be a good husband and a good father. It’s kind of like blaming the mugger who robs you after you walk down a dark alley at 2 AM with a hundred dollar bill hanging around your neck. Yes, stealing is still wrong regardless of how stupid the victim is, but it would be utterly foolish not to point out that the victim’s stupid behavior directly placed them in a situation where it was all but certain that they would be robbed. In the same way, while women are not responsible for the bad actions of their husbands, they are directly responsible for who they choose as husbands and the criteria that they evaluate potential candidates on.

      In the second case, if the man was a good man, but the woman none the less divorced him, she therefore has problems with authority and keeping her word. She is effectively stating that her own happiness is more important than having good moral character.

      When it comes down to it, the marriage vows are “for better, for worse, for rich or for poor, in sickness and in health, til death do us part.” No matter which way you cut it, the party that breaks this vow is the party that is responsible for the divorce. If you didn’t really mean these words, you never should have gotten married in the first place.

      If the man initiates the divorce, regardless of the reason, then he is responsible for the divorce and for breaking his vows. If the woman initiates the divorce, regardless of the reason, then she is responsible for the divorce and for breaking her vows.

      Bottom line, you don’t get a free pass for pointing to your ex-spouses behavior or lack thereof. It was you who chose to enter the marriage for whatever reasons you did, and subsequently you who chose to break your vows.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is a third option which applies in divorces initiated by either gender. “3–you think you are marrying a ‘good’ person and they end up being ‘bad’. This is more common than you may realize due to the Fall and the existence of evil in the world. Sometimes even if you try everything good, bad and indifferent to effect change in the situation there is only so much one person can do if the other is unwilling to make any changes at all. Continuing to enable very destructive patterns of sin is a sin in and of itself. Love is wanting the best for someone and sometimes that means leaving them to the consequences of their own sinful choices in the hopes that they come to repentance. And as for the seriousness of vow breaking, which is extremely serious, most of the time in the particular situations I am talking about the vows have been broken repeatedly by the other party often for many years and it is THEY who have broken the covenant.

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        1. jhmdvm,

          I anticipated that someone might make this response. However, let’s just say that while I’m not ruling out this possibility in principle, I’m EXTREMELY skeptical of the vast majority of divorcees who make this claim. Especially women.

          Allow me to explain.

          Your claim is essentially that although the divorcee put their prospective marriage partner through an extensive vetting process, choosing to value moral character and demonstrated ability in their spouse’s respective gender role above superficial things like physical beauty and wealth, which the candidate passed with flying colors; post wedding day, the spouse did a complete 180 and became so fundamentally toxic, abusive, and unrepentantly sinful over a course of years that the only option left to them was divorce for their own safety and/or spiritual wellbeing.

          I’m not going to say that in principle this can never happen. What I am saying is that the best indicator of a person’s future behavior is past behavior. Some people are very good liars with words, but what will always give them away is their actions in both their personal and professional lives. A person who will make a good husband or wife will always have demonstrated as such by their actions and the company they choose to keep. In the vast majority of cases where a woman claims of her abusive husband, “there were no warning signs!” a detailed analysis of their previous partner and their relationship will reveal that there were indeed glaring warning signs. The woman simply chose to ignore them because she valued attributes OTHER than the man’s demonstrated ability to be a husband and a father such as his physical appearance, wealth, status or some other such factor. Worse yet, in many cases, the reason there were no warning signs is that there was no detailed vetting process by the wife at all!

          Finally, this claim that “They broke the marriage vow first, so I didn’t really break it when I initiated divorce,” is blatantly disingenuous and yet another effort to blame someone else for your own choices. If the other person desired to stay in the marriage, but you chose to end it, then you are the one who broke your vows. This is why, “for better, for worse, for rich or for poor, in sickness and in health, til death do us part,” is in the vows. If there was some, “unless my partner does x, y, and z” clause in the vows, then the entire phrase would be left meaningless.

          I have much more respect for someone who has the guts to say, “I chose my partner unwisely, and as a result, chose to divorce them. This was my choice and its what I felt I needed to do,” than the hordes of people (mostly women) who try and say, “he forced me to divorce him because of his bad behavior.”

          No one forces you to do anything (and if they did they’d be in jail). Your partner is responsible for his behaviors. You are responsible for your choice to divorce and in doing so breaking your vows.

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          1. I once got an e-mail from a woman who left a pro-divorce comment on this blog. She was saying that it was impossible for her to determine if a man would be a good husband. Rather than avoid marriage (because she didn’t think it was possible to evaluate men) she went ahead and got married and got a divorce. She did this because she knew that if she was wrong about her husband, she would be able to clean him out financially. And she did. When I asked her what questions she asked before knowing if a person was good to marry, she was very proud of telling me her two-question interview: 1) where do you attend church? and 2) who did you vote for in the last election?. Those are good questions, but they aren’t a serious way of doing what you said:

            What I am saying is that the best indicator of a person’s future behavior is past behavior. Some people are very good liars with words, but what will always give them away is their actions in both their personal and professional lives. A person who will make a good husband or wife will always have demonstrated as such by their actions and the company they choose to keep.

            People who support divorce do so because they don’t want to do that work. And they want the system to reward them for NOT doing that work.

            Liked by 1 person

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