Men Should Be Concerned That Women Are Initiating Divorce More than 70% of the Time

Tara Blair Ball
Couple fightingPhoto byEric WardonUnsplash

Divorce isn’t something I would wish on anyone. There’s nothing quite like having all of these witnesses to the end of your relationship; lawyers and judges and mediators who are the only ones directly benefiting from your relationship’s demise.

In reality, nobody wins when it comes to divorce.

But let’s explore its particular impact on men now that over 70% of divorces are being initiated by their female partners.

For decades, the rate of women initiating divorce has been on the rise.

While some argue that this is a sign of progress for women's empowerment and independence (as in, they’re leaving abusive or otherwise unfit partners), it still should be a cause for concern. Men may face significant financial and emotional consequences as a result of divorce.

Financial Impact

While it is true that women often face worse economic consequences than men after divorce (according to several studies, women have a higher risk of long-term decreased household income, poverty, and loss of home ownership), men are not immune. They absolutely may face financial hardships that can result from the ending a marriage. In fact, men may be at a disadvantage in some cases, particularly if they are the higher earner or if they have been out of the workforce for a period of time.

When a marriage ends, assets are divided between the two parties, and this can be a complex and contentious process. Who gets the marital assets after a couple splits is often decided by the state laws that the couple resides in.

In some cases, men may be required to pay alimony (which on average in marriages since 2018 happens about 10% of the time) or child support. Alimony and child support are often calculated based on the differences between the two parents’ incomes, ability to work, as well as parenting time. Both alimony and child support may end up being a significant financial burden. In addition, men may face higher legal fees than women during divorce proceedings, which can further strain their finances.

Emotional Impact

As mentioned before, all parties are negatively impacted by a divorce, especially emotionally.

But men are more likely to face significant emotional consequences after a divorce.

Studies have shown that men are more likely to experience loneliness, depression, and anxiety after divorce than women. This may be because men often rely on their spouse for emotional support and companionship, and losing that connection can be devastating.

Women are also much more likely to reach out for help than men, which means that they may have an easier recovery from the negative emotional consequences of divorce than men.

In addition, men may feel a sense of guilt, shame, or failure after divorce, particularly if they believe that they failed to live up to societal expectations of what it means to be a good husband or father.

Impacts on Children

Children of divorced parents may experience a range of negative outcomes, including academic problems, behavioral issues, and emotional difficulties. Children are resilient, and if both of their parents are happy, healthy, and involved, they are much more likely to bounce back, but the immediate consequences of divorce on children isn't good.

While both men and women can be good parents after divorce, men may be particularly concerned about their ability to maintain a close relationship with their children if they are not the primary custodial parent.

So What Can Men Do?

The first step should always be in trying to avoid divorce as much as possible.

In looking at research on why divorces are initiated, the most common reasons are infidelity and inequitable division of labor.

The first step must be in remaining faithful to our partner. While the data on divorce isn’t clear WHO is the one committing the infidelity, according to the General Social Survey, men are 42% more likely to be unfaithful than women.

There are many ways to cheat that aren’t just physical. For example, emotional cheating or cybercheating. Emotional cheating involves telling someone outside of our romantic partner things we SHOULD be telling our partner, or lying, hiding, or being deceptive about the nature of that relationship. Cybercheating is similar, but it may also include subscriptions to lewd sites.

Inequitable division of labor is also one that’s important to address. Since many homes today have to have two working parents, it’s no longer feasible for the female partner to take on the majority of the home and childcare duties anymore. Because their wives are working too, men will need to step in and participate more in the care and caretaking of both the home and children, which can be a shift since they’re having a relationship that likely they didn’t see their parents have.

Books like Fair Play by Eve Rodsky can be helpful in learning just how to do this, so both partners can be happier and more fulfilled in their relationship and home life.

Further, it can help for men to nurture their marriage by prioritizing communication, empathy, and mutual respect. Reaching out for help and working with a couples therapist or coach or reading books like Couple Skills by Matthew McKay or Attached by Amir Levine can help you both learn new skills.

By building a strong foundation of trust and understanding, men and women can work together to overcome the challenges that inevitably arise in any relationship.

If Divorce is Unavoidable

If you happen to be one of the men where your wife initiates divorce OR something so awful has happened in your marriage that can’t possibly be rectified, seek out legal and emotional support to help you navigate the process and to ensure that your rights, interests, and well-being are protected. As far as emotional support, there are several divorce support groups that you can join that would be helpful. You can also seek out the help of a therapist or coach to help you emotionally navigate the process.

The fact that women are initiating divorce more than 70% of the time is cause for concern for men, particularly given the financial, emotional, and psychological consequences of divorce. While women's empowerment and independence are important goals, it is essential to ensure that both men and women are able to navigate the complexities of marriage and divorce in a way that protects their interests and well-being as well as those of their children.

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 431

Published by

Tara Blair Ball is a Certified Relationship Coach and author of Grateful in Love: A Daily Gratitude Journal for Couples, A Couples Goals Journal, and Reclaim & Recover: Heal from Toxic Relationships with a 7-Step Guided Journal. She has a Master's from the University of Memphis and is accredited by CTAA. You can find her on Tiktok, Instagram, or YouTube at @tara.relationshipcoach.

Memphis, TN

More from Tara Blair Ball

Comments / 0