Friday, August 16, 2013

80 Percent of Divorces Are Filed By Women

According to the National Center for Health Statistics 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Of the marriages that end in divorce, 80 percent of the divorces are initiated (filed) by women.


This is an interesting, albeit sad, statistic.

First of all, it is disheartening to think that 50 percent of marriages fail.

Second, it is illuminating that 80 percent of the divorces are filed by the wife.

Husbands, I believe this says something about the problems in marriage and where many of them stem from. I want to be very clear that I do NOT believe that all problems in marriage are caused by men. Both husband and wife bring their own set of issues and concerns and together they should work through them.

What I do believe this statistic demonstrates is that there are more women unsatisfied with their marriages, at least to the point of ending them, than there are men. There are certainly many reasons for the dissatisfaction that exists but I posit that the husband and his actions (or lack of actions) plays a significant role in causing and sustaining the dissatisfaction.

I've reflected on this. I've done some more reading and research on marriage and divorce rates. I've discussed this with my wife. I've prayed about it. I've talked to and observed couples who have been married for a long time. Why?

To help us husbands do a better job keeping our wives happy.

Here's what I've come up:

Photo courtesy of Vial Photography
  1. Tell your wife that you love her. Tell her often. Tell her why you love her. Never let her forget.
  2. Show your wife that you love her. Hold her hand. Kiss her on the cheek. Put your arm around her. Gaze at her lovingly. And don't be afraid to do these things in public as well as in private.
  3. Listen to your wife. She has important things to say. Counsel with her on issues that involve the family. She is an equal partner in your marriage and make sure that she feels that way. Ask her about her day and then pay attention (especially to the little things). This reminds her that you value her.
  4. Talk to your wife. Share with her your struggles, achievements, thoughts, and dreams. Share your opinions and beliefs (in a gentle and kind way; often men can be too forceful about their opinions and beliefs). What you think is who you are and she should know you better than anyone else.
  5. Physically acknowledge her (in a non-sexual way). When you walk by her gently squeeze her arm. Quickly run your hand across her back. Tuck her hair behind her ear. This shows her that you enjoy being near her and that she is important to you; that you're not just two people cohabitating.
  6. Anticipate her needs. What can you do to make her life a little bit easier? Maybe you could load the dishwasher? Wipe off the table? Fill up her car's gas tank? Make her lunch the night before?
  7. Remember that your wife is the most beautiful woman in the world. And make sure that she knows that you know it.
  8. Let her recharge her battery. We all have things that bring us down and wear us out and sometimes in order to overcome them we just have to get away. Let your wife have an evening off to spend with her friends or take a day off of work to go shopping or simply sleep (that's what my wife would love!). Let her get away from it all.
  9. Help her soar. Encourage her in her dreams and throw your full support behind her in her endeavors. Cami's adventures/endeavors over the last few years have included direct selling for Dove Chocolate Discoveries, starting her own Etsy chocolate shop, and writing a few children's books. To show her that I believe in her (and I sincerely do) I paid for her to take a series of courses from the Institute of Children's Literature, helped her make her chocolates for Etsy, and even let her host a few chocolate parties for Dove at our home. I believe in my wife. So do you. Let her know.
  10. Mind the small and simple. Cami loves Crunch bars. The other day I brought her one. A friend offered it to me at work and I saved it so that I could give it to Cami. Never underestimate the effect that one seemingly small act can have on your wife's happiness. In the candy bar example it wasn't the chocolate that made Cami so happy (although that helped) it was the fact that I know that Cami loves Crunch bars and I made the effort to not eat it and give it to her. That's what women are really after.
Keeping our wives happy can be daunting at times but if we remember that we love them and make sure that they hear it, see it, and know it we'll be successful. 

Good luck men!

Let me know what you would add to my list by leaving a comment. I would love to hear from you!

19 comments:

  1. I hate seeing those types of statistics. :( I can't ever imagine life without my husband.

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  2. Ditto Blair. My husband and I made a pact when we got married that divorce would never, ever, EVER be an option. With the help of Jesus, and his love and forgiveness in our lives, we'll stick to that.

    That said, I greatly appreciate your list of suggestions for husbands above-- right on!

    (Maybe one for wives is in order as well? :) )

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    1. Great suggestion Jaimie! I'll have to put that together.

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    2. Really only one needed for the wives and you solve 80% of the problem. Wives, don't choose divorce!

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  3. Chicken and egg. Perhaps the husband is not paying as much attention to his wife because she nags him, or takes a superior know-it-all tone?

    Think Kate Gosselin. She plays the poor, put-upon wife magnificently, while craftily finding subtle ways to undercut her husband at every turn.

    Men don't marry a woman so that they can disengage from her.

    When a man disengages it is usually because his wife is disrespecting him. By the way, putting on a lot of weight is a form of disrespect.

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    1. Jack, I appreciate your honest thoughts. I actually wrote a response to your comment because I felt that it deserved its own post. You can read it here: http://www.uplifting-love.com/2013/10/happy-marriages-show-some-respect.html. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

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  4. It is better for a man to stay single!!!!!

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    1. I agree. That is if he's going to treat his wife with less than the respect that she deserves.

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  5. One reason for the 80 percent is that the man stands to lose so much more, kids,house etc. The courts aren't kind to men in divorce. I think men sometimes feel it's better to stay in a stagnant marriage than lose everything.

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    1. That's an interesting thought. You might be right in some cases. It would be fascinating to see a study of the reasons why people initiate a divorce.

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  6. I appreciate the article. Let us consider incentives for seeking or avoiding divorce. Which gender generally faces higher probability of being reduced to indentured servitude (child support payments, alimony payments, etc) in divorce?

    A strong argument can be made that women aren't generally more "unsatisfied" with marriage than men, but rather the men face higher costs associated with divorce than do women. Thus men are more strongly incentivized to remain in an "unsatisfactory" marriage than women.

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  7. When you put two imperfect people together in an imperfect world, one cannot expect a perfect marriage. I think all men should put your suggestions in their walet and read them every day. On the other hand women need to realize that their husband isnt perfect and she needs to respect him for that. Marriages go through dry stages, and from my experience commitment is the most important think. I suspect that most of those 80% that filed could have had that wonderful marriage if they would have rushed into the big lie that says that divorse will enrich their lives.

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  8. Let me get this straight...

    You acknowledge that 80% of the divorces are filed by women, but then place the onus of change and action on husbands? In your words, "To help us husbands do a better job keeping our wives happy."

    Did it ever occur to you that happiness is a choice? You cannot MAKE someone happy. You are responsible for your own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs... not your wife's. That is up to her. Men are no more likely to be happy in a marriage than women, but the statistics support that they are far more likely to choose to work through the unhappiness toward healing. You're presenting a tortured line of reasoning that suggests Christian women are entitled to pursue divorce based simply on unhappiness (which I believe is currently the trend), and men should have their wife as an idol in order to prevent it.

    Though I believe that you had good intentions in writing this article, it misses the mark and contributes to the real problem in Christian (and nonsecular) marriages. Women don't want to be women anymore, and men have become afraid to be men.

    For further reading...
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/11/24/war-on-men/

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  9. The author of this diatribe is obviously a classic example of the problem; too many American men are manginas.

    Did it ever occur to you that women divorce more because they are living the primary and foundational principle of feminism; freedom from responsibility?

    Maybe you didn't realize that women are favored in family court, make up 97% of those that get alimony, are not as committed and exemplify the modern attitude of throw it away and get another one ?

    Manginas like you encourage and enable these women with your self congratulatory attitude that makes you feel like you are being chivalrous and once again excusing bad behavior because you really do, in spite of your insincere disclaimer, think men are always at fault. Think you don't? Give some examples where you put it to the women as hard as you do men.

    American women see marriage as a business and themselves as the CEO, executives and shareholders and view their husbands as the blue collar worker who makes it go. Marriage revolves around her and HER kids, except when she has to pay for them, and the husband is the obviously disposable component.

    If women are so great in your eyes why is it that when men are ordered to pay child support to a woman fully 4% never pay but when a woman is ordered to pay child support to a man it is fully 46% that NEVER pay a dime. It's men's fault once again, isn't it ?

    Why has the average first marriage age of men gone from 25 to 35 in the last 10 years? That's 1 year every year for 10 years! Men's fault that they don't want to marry princess, self entitlement eekwalitee minded womyn isn't it?

    Terrorists want to kill Americans because they are women of both genders. Maybe look for your genitals or ask your wife to give them back.

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  10. Yeah, So how does 80% of divorces initiated by women translate to it being the man's fault? Read CopsAre Scums comment. He is exactly right. I have noticed, in my experience, that women are taught most of what they know about men by other women which is the worst source for advice on men. The reason, just like men will never fully understand women and their emotions the same is true from the opposite end. So women grow up with this unrealistic view of what a man should be like rather than learning how men really are. Then they get married and all is well for a while but then the man that they married isn't living up to their unrealistic expectations of him so they want out. Guess what women of the Disney era, prince charming doesn't exist. If a man is willing to give you his life and half of all that he owns then you should not take that for granted like so many do. Example, my friend sold his motorcycle, his most prized possession, so he could afford the engagement ring he bought his ex-wife. She filed for divorce after 3 years. I know my friend and he treated his spouse with respect and gave her everything she ever wanted that was within his power to obtain. Like CopsAre Scum said, most women want absolutely NO responsibility in their lives! Take my cousin, for example, mother of two kids basically abandoned her oldest son by sending him to boarding school after the divorce because she found a new sugar daddy to take her on vacations and to expensive restaurants and things of that sort and she had no more time to raise kids. All the while her ex husband is left to pick up the slack. Now I'm not a sexist or a chauvinist, but this article is bull shit. The only reason you should divorce your husband is if he abuses you physically, verbally or both, cheated on you, molested your children, or had an illegitimate child that just showed up unexpectedly. This whole emotional neglect BS is just an excuse for women to get out of a lifetime commitment that they agreed to honor until they died.

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    1. Men and women are both responsible for the relationship. But no one should stay in a relationship where they are the only one fighting for the relationship to work.

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  11. Can you please post a link to the exact page on which you found the 80% statistic? I can't find it anywhere.

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  12. The numbers I've seen are around 66-75% of divorces are initiated by women.

    Tell your wife that you love her.
    I told my ex-wife this every day.

    Show your wife that you love her:
    Tried to. When I'd try to sit with her on the sofa, she would just get up and move to the recliner.

    Listen to your wife / Talk to your wife:
    I'll address these two together. I suggested that we needed one hour a day that was just us, to talk, to connect, to be about one another. Never happened. Not because I didn't want it.
    Ladies, if your husband asks you how you are and you say "fine" when you are not fine, he's not the problem here. Your failure to honestly communicate your state is the issue. If it's not important enough for you to be honest about how you feel/are, then why expect him to figure out something that isn't worth your honest reply?

    Physically acknowledge her (in a non-sexual way):
    Not everyone is into that sort of thing, see above regarding sitting with her on the sofa.

    Anticipate her needs:
    Did many of those things. Made sure never never had to worry about lawn, car, or home maintenance. I was the one doing dishes, taking out the trash, making sure she had the newer car while I drove the old beater.

    Let her recharge her battery:
    Her shopping and "recharging" almost bankrupted us.

    Let her get away from it all:
    Apparently, she never really wanted to get away from it all until she had an affair. Before, she was afraid to drive in the city. Once the affair started, suddenly, she had the courage to get away from it all by taking the scary drive she couldn't be bothered to do when we were married.

    Mind the small and simple:
    Not sure what to say after all the above. Sometimes you do many / most of the right things and your wife still lacks the moral courage to remain faithful to her vows.

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  13. Oh, and on the "most beautiful woman" thing. I did that until she said it wasn't true and that it made her uncomfortable.

    Sometimes, a husband just can't win.

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