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Study: Women more likely to initiate divorce than other break-ups

Sociologists have known for more than half a century that women are more likely to initiate a divorce than men. Researchers have speculated that the reason is, as one sociologist put it, that "women are more sensitive to relationship difficulties."

It would stand to reason, then, that women are also more likely to end other romantic relationships. However, a new study shows that in fact, men and women are equally likely to pull the plug on non-marital relationships.

The study looked at 371 heterosexual couples who went through some type of romantic break-up, including divorce, between 2009 and 2015. Of these, 203 had been in dating relationships, 92 were married and 76 were cohabitating. While the majority of divorces (69 percent) were initiated by the woman, only slightly more of the other break-ups were. In fact, the difference in those cases was statistically insignificant.

There was some discrepancy, however, when it came to men's and women's perceptions of whose idea it actually was to divorce. While 78 percent of the divorced women said it was their idea, only 63 percent of men said that their wives were the ones who actually asked for the divorce. This difference in perception occurred with the other types of relationships, but not to the same degree.

The reasons why divorces are more likely to be initiated by women than other break-ups can only be speculated upon. The study's lead researcher said, "The expectation is that marriage has a whole bunch of benefits and positive characteristics for women that it didn't have in the past, but the truth is much trickier than that." He also noted that wives still tend to handle the bulk of the domestic responsibilities, which can create unhappiness.

Regardless of whose idea it is or if it is a mutual decision, it's essential for each person to get his or her own attorney. An experienced Louisiana family law attorney can help look after your interests and advise you on the best course of action before and during the divorce.

Source: Pacific Standard, "Why Do Women Usually File for Divorce?," Nathan Collins, Aug. 26, 2015

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