Some new data about divorce and non-marital breakups contains an unexpected finding, and I think it underscores the fact that we're in the midst of an ongoing evolution in what people want and seek in their romantic relationships. The study, based on a survey of over 2000 heterosexual couples, found that women initiated nearly 70% of all divorces. Yet there was no significant difference between the percentage of breakups initiated by women and men in non-marriage relationships.The difference is that in a marital breakup, a woman gets cash and prizes. In a non-marital breakup, a woman gets nothing.
How to explain? I find that these data are consistent with what I and others have seen clinically. When men and women seek couples therapy and then subsequently divorce; or, when either partner seeks individual therapy about a marriage conflict that ends in divorce, it’s often the woman who expresses more overt conflict and dissatisfaction about the state of the marriage. On the other hand, the man is more likely to report feeling troubled by his wife’s dissatisfaction, but pretty much “OK” with the way things are; he's content to just lope along as time passes.
This indicates that since there are 2.3 marital breakups initiated by women for every marital breakup initiated by a man, the divorce rate could be reduced by 39.4 percent by removing the economic incentive from women.