Women still twice as likely to file for divorce, study shows


Earlier this month, we reported on how an increasing number of men are filing for divorce compared to husbands in the early 1990s. But it is still women – around two thirds of which – who predominantly file for divorce.

A new study has taken steps to look at why the odds are so heavily skewed in women’s favour when it comes to pulling the trigger on marriage.

Researchers from the University of Michigan (UM) looked at 355 couples over the course of 16 years to look for possible reasons why women are more likely to file for divorce.

It found that, while men saw higher rates of “increasing tension”, the tension experienced among women is a better indicator that the marriage will end.

The study concluded that, because of this reason, women are twice as likely to file for divorce as men.

Over the course of 16 years, the researchers found that tension grew steadily over time in men, but typically remained lower over a long period of time.

This is compared to women, who experience a spike in tension often enough to lead to divorce

Kira Birditt, of the UM Institute for Social Research, said: “The association with divorce was greater if men reported low levels of tension when women reported a higher accumulation of tension.

“It could reflect a lack of investment in the relationship on the husband’s part – they might believe it’s unnecessary to change or adjust their behaviour.”

According to the study, around 40 per cent of the 355 marriages followed ended in divorce.

Mr Birditt added: “These findings are exciting because it’s important to consider both people in the relationship.

“Previous studies have looked at married individuals, but you’re not getting information from both people in the couple.

“People in the same relationships have different ideas about the quality of their tie.”

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