COVID-19 UPDATE: Consultations available by phone or video Click here for updates.

Surprise: Women Seek Divorce More Than Men

Home / Blog / Surprise: Women Seek Divorce More Than Men

In movies and TV shows, men are often shown as initiating divorce. Stereotypical plot lines usually feature a husband giving his wife the shocking news that he is leaving her for his young secretary. As is often true with fiction, real life paints a very different picture. As a recent study in the United States revealed, women are actually far more likely to file for divorce than men.

69% of Divorces are Initiated by Women

A recent study by Michael J. Rosenfeld of Stanford University tracked a group of more than two thousand couples over a six year period. He found that divorce was heavily driven by women. While only 31% of the men in the study initiated divorce, 69% of the women made the decision to end their marriage first.

These numbers are especially surprising when compared with numbers for all other types of relationships in the study. For couples who were dating or living together, the rate of who initiated the breakup was statistically equal for both genders. Unmarried couples were also more likely to describe the breakup as mutual.

Divorce Surprises a lot of Men

This study clearly dispels the narrative that divorce is about men leaving their wives behind for greener pastures. Since women are more than twice as likely to start the divorce, it means that many men may be blindsided by their marriages coming to an end. If you are recently divorced or still going through a divorce initiated by your ex-wife, you are in good company. Many men around the country are facing the same situation.

It has long been assumed that women are more attached to marriage, following the notion that “women seek romance while men seek sex.” The author of the study suggests that the results disprove these beliefs. The study asked participants to rate relationship quality. In marriages where the wife initiated the divorce, she often gave the relationship a much lower ranking than the husband.

It is no surprise than that many men are caught off guard when their wives serve them with divorce papers. As the study showed, men are often happier in marriage and less likely to consider divorce as an option. In fact, it seems that it is wives leaving their husbands behind for greener pastures.

What Men Should Do

If you were blindsided by your wife asking for a divorce, this study should provide some explanations. You may have felt everything was going fine in your marriage and were shocked to discover your spouse was unhappy. You are not alone — 70% of divorced men experienced the same thing.

If you have just recently been served divorce papers by your wife, it is important that you speak with a divorce attorney as soon as possible. Especially since you may be dealing with shock and surprise, it is important that you make decisions based on sound legal advice. Just because your wife started the divorce, doesn’t mean that she gets to control the outcome. Talk to a divorce lawyer today to figure out what to do next.

Real People, Real Results

Divorce Lawyers for Men Reviews

"I never thought my wife would agree to anything. After a few discussions though, we were able to agree on a lot of issues concerning the children. Divorce Lawyers for Men helped me put those agreements in writing and resolve my divorce with less conflict."

"Divorce Lawyers for Men was very helpful with my case. The staff and attorneys are very knowledgeable and provided great advice. They provided me understanding of various courses of action and brought to light specific things I wouldn't have thought of. Most importantly respected my decisions and beliefs in finalizing my case."

"Excellent service with thorough representation. They are really committed to looking out for your interests and protecting your rights. I would recommend them to anyone who is going through a separation."

"I never wanted to get divorced. One day my wife came home and said that she had met someone else. Why do I have to lose my house and my children just because she is done with our marriage? Thankfully, I hired Divorce Lawyers for Men."

Read More Client Stories

One phone call can change your life.

Are you ready to have a legal team on your side?

Washington's Only Statewide Family Law Network

Select an Office near You.