Why women tend to initiate divorce proceedings

Getting married is a big step that requires a significant commitment from both parties. For some women, the reality of marriage can be overwhelming, and this is reflected in startling new statistics that show that in heterosexual marriages, women are the instigators of nearly 70 percent of divorces in the US[1].

There are many reasons for this, and understanding them can help women to better prepare for marriage. It can also help men avoid falling into the pitfalls that are most likely to trigger a woman to want a divorce. This understanding can enable both parties to have open and honest discussions about their needs and expectations prior to tying the knot.

Here are some of the top reasons women initiate divorce proceedings.

Too many expectations

Women make up over half the US workforce, [2] yet they are traditionally also the primary caregivers for children. There is also often an expectation that they will also be responsible for the majority, if not all, of the domestic duties associated with running a home. 

This is a huge expectation and one that many women feel unable to handle. Indeed, the expectations that society places upon women is overwhelming and often impossible, so it is not surprising that many women feel stifled by the burden of being a working mother.

Women might reasonably expect that their partner will assume half of the domestic and childcare duties after marriage, in addition to meeting their emotional needs. When this fails to materialize, it can leave them feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied. 

Changing attitudes toward marriage and behavior

As it becomes more common for women to pursue a career and contribute financially to the family funds, they are exposed to a wider variety of people and develop stronger support networks than what has previously been the norm.

With progressing societal norms, laws and education, women tend not to be as financially reliant on their husbands in current times as they had been in the past and are therefore more inclined to stand up for themselves when exposed to abusive, aggressive or negligent behavior. There is a greater awareness of what is and is not acceptable and how they can seek support and help when these behavior patterns are identified.

Because of this growing awareness and a greater ability to access the services of lawyers who practice divorce law in Albuquerque and other cities, modern women are less likely to tolerate infidelity, abuse or other poor treatment and can easily initiate divorce proceedings to free themselves from the shackles of an unhappy marriage.

Difficulties communicating with one another in a healthy manner

Many married couples find it hard to communicate, particularly if they are tired, stressed or overwhelmed by the realities of family life, work, caring responsibilities and domestic duties. When couples do not communicate openly and honestly with each other, frustrations can quickly build as neither is able to address the behaviors that exasperate their partner because they are unaware that they exist.

Men are less likely than women to address any mental health problems that they are battling [3] , and when their wives are unaware of the depths of their struggle, their wives may assume greater levels of emotional responsibility. This, in turn, leaves them feeling engulfed in feelings that they cannot escape from and creates conflict within the marriage. 

When both parties are unhappy and unable to voice their feelings or implement proactive plans for improving the situation, divorce sometimes feels like the only solution.

Acknowledging the benefits of premarital agreements

Marriage is a huge step for any couple to take, and it is vital to take time to discuss needs and expectations before tying the knot. If a couple has lived together prior to marriage and established a comfortable split of domestic and professional responsibilities, it is helpful to agree that this will continue post-marriage and post-children or discuss alternative arrangements before entering into marriage.

Couples that have not previously lived together and who have accumulated individual wealth and assets may wish to sign a prenuptial agreement so their interests are protected in the event of a later divorce. 

Seeking help can reduce divorce rates

If, at any point during the marriage, either party feels overwhelmed by the burden of responsibilities they face, they should discuss their feelings with their partner. If they feel unable to do so, they should talk with a friend, trusted confidant or mental health professional to seek the help they need to find a resolution that can potentially avoid divorce.

If a divorce is necessary, the Law Office of Dorene A. Kuffer can help you dissolve your relationship in a lawful manner and reach a position of clarity that allows you to move on with your life in a way that feels more personally fulfilling.


[1] https://www.forbes.com/advisor/legal/divorce/divorce-statistics/
[2] https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2023/labor-force-participation-rate-for-women-highest-in-the-district-of-columbia-in-2022.htm#:~:text=For%20the%20nation%20as%20a,was%2056.8%20percent%20in%202022
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6560805/