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Survey Finds That Women Are More Likely To Initiate Divorce

A recently published article by The Washington Post had some interesting statistics on couples and divorce. The article follows the changes and development of marriage in Western history, and the high expectations that have been placed on spouses in modern day relationships.

Specifically, experts in the article note that, these days, Americans want a spouse who has it all—reliability, reasonability, a best friend, and an amazing lover who is also a lot of fun; expectations that can leave women feeling worse in marriage than most men.

According to this recent research released for the American Sociological Association Meetings, in a survey of heterosexual partnerships, researchers found that women initiate divorce 69 percent of the time and reported less satisfaction in marriage than the surveyed men.

Statistic Higher Only In Marriage

While social scientists have known for a while that women are more likely to initiate divorce, the recent study was unique in that it compared the gender initiation of marriage compared to other relationships where the couple was not married, including short and long-term relationships. Interestingly, women and men initiated breakups at a similar rate in these relationships, indicating that there is something different going on with marriage.


The survey looked at the “why” behind this higher statistic for women initiating divorce and found that those women who were unhappy in their marriage cited controlling husbands and a loss of independence. Researchers also cited a “leftover inequality” from the past; women still expected to cover most of the domestic responsibilities in a more traditional way in spite of the notion of equality in today’s relationships.

Statistical Support

The statistics have generally supported the more narrative picture painted by this study: as of 2013, 15 percent of women in the U.S. were divorced or separated compared with less than one percent in 1920. Those statistics also indicated that people are less likely to remarry than they were in the past and that people over the age of 50 are ending their marriages more frequently today than in the past.

Advice and Representation

The Washington Post article interestingly concluded that, while the institution of marriage still has some aspects of inequality embedded in it, women can afford to be a lot choosier today, having full-time jobs and no practical need for partners who do not make them happy.

The advice resonates with divorce—there is no shame in realizing that you and your partner are no longer happy and it would be better—for the both of you—to move on separately.

Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. can help you make a plan for getting through this time, and guide you through all aspects of the process. If you live in Fort Lauderdale or Boca Raton, contact our office to schedule a consultation and learn more about our services.

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