Do Women Initiate Divorce More Than Men? 7 Reasons

Sarah Koch

Certified Life Coach 

It's a common perception that women initiate divorce more than men, but the actual statistics on this are complicated and have been debated.

Infidelity - Some studies have found that men's infidelity is one of the top reasons women cite for divorcing. Men appear to be more willing to work through their partner's cheating.

Domestic violence - Women who experience intimate partner violence overwhelmingly file for divorce at higher rates. Their safety is a top priority motivating their decision to leave.

Unhappy in the relationship - Some research suggests women experience lower levels of relationship satisfaction which directly correlates to considering divorce. Small issues may bother women more over time.

Custody impacts - Women may be hesitant to initiate divorce due to concerns over child custody or financial dependence on their spouse. This skews divorce filing statistics.

Timing and new laws - The legal and social ability for women to independently file divorce has changed dramatically in the last 50+ years with new laws granting more equality and rights.

Stigma perceptions - Social stigma regarding gender and divorce may factor into filing tendencies. More progressive legal systems see a reduction in official gender differences in filing.

Every relationship is unique - While these trends exist, each marriage sees a complex interplay of factors leading to divorce. Gender roles, communication issues, finances, s*x and intimacy vary with each couple.