As Peekskill divorce lawyers, we know that women are more likely than men to file for divorce, according to essentially all of the research on the topic. Is it because women are more sensitive or more troubled by relationship difficulties than men? Apparently not. In relationship settings other than marriage – situations like engagement or cohabitation – men and women are equally likely to end the relationship. That raises the question: Is there something intrinsic about the institution of marriage itself that causes women to seek divorce in such greater numbers?

Since the 1950s, the statistics have told us that women are overwhelmingly more likely than men to seek divorce. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, about eighty percent of the divorces in the U.S. are initiated by women. That’s a stunning figure, but it seems that women have always initiated more divorces – one study conducted in 1974 even demonstrated that women initiated sixty percent of the divorces in the U.S. between 1825 and 1866. But in other kinds of romantic relationships, the ratio is about fifty-fifty, with some studies actually giving men a slight edge when it comes to ending an engagement or a cohabitation arrangement.


Michael Rosenfeld, an associate professor of sociology at Stanford University, examined data from Stanford’s 2009-2015 “How Couples Meet and Stay Together” project, a national study of relationships and breakups. Rosenfeld studied the cases of 2,262 adults in the U.S. who had opposite-sex partners in 2009. Six years later, 371 of these adults had ended their relationship or divorced.

Of that 371 adults, while breakups between unmarried couples were initiated about fifty-fifty by men and women, wives initiated 69 percent of the divorces. Rosenfeld explained to the Huffington Post that, “Women’s tendency to initiate divorce was well known but the gender neutrality I found for non-marital breakups was not, because previous surveys never bothered to ask people who wanted the breakup in non-marital relationships.”

Rosenfeld surmises that the distinction may have something to do with how women perceive marriage generally. According to his research, women are not only more apt to initiate a divorce, they’re also less happy while they’re married. In contrast, unmarried women and men report equal “happiness” levels in their non-marital relationships. Rosenfeld told the Huffington Post that that the findings tend to confirm the feminist doctrine that some women feel oppressed and stifled by the institution of marriage.


Rosenfeld believes the divorce statistics are a result of what sociologists – and now some in the media – are calling the “stalled” gender revolution. Stalled because while society as a whole has accepted that women’s roles are changing, women’s roles within families have changed slowly if at all. Rosenfeld’s findings were presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.


Why are women less happily married? Rosenfeld suggests that “second-wave feminists” were simply right, that marriage “oppresses” women. But is the answer really that simple? Certainly in some marriages, husbands could be considered “oppressive,” but in many successful marriages, women are happy and thriving. The most reasonable conclusion is simply that every marriage is different. According to a Pennsylvania State University study, these are the top ten reasons why women divorce:

  1. infidelity
  2. incompatibility
  3. alcohol and/or drug abuse
  4. growing apart
  5. personality problems
  6. lack of communication
  7. physical or mental abuse
  8. loss of love
  9. not meeting family obligations
  10. employment problems


Of course, infidelity remains a leading reason for divorce, and “empty nest syndrome” – after the kids grow up and move out – can also be a difficult time of adjustment for couples. Men and women are both looking for a partner who loves us unconditionally, asks our opinion on important matters, trusts our decisions, and respects us as a person. We all want to feel appreciated.

Most couples feel this way when they marry, but then life happens. Being different people, each person handles the stresses and pressures of everyday life differently. Arguments begin and communication breaks down. Often, the woman in a heterosexual marriage will try anything to make the marriage work. She may start reading books, losing weight, buying new clothes, and maybe even trying new hobbies. She only opts for divorce as a last resort.

Some wives try for years to resolve problems and differences, but in a declining marriage, the same issues often emerge over and over again. If you’re starting to think that it’s finally time for you to divorce, you’re going to need legal help. If you choose to divorce in New York – or if you decide that divorce is your only choice – a good family law attorney can guide you through a divorce and ensure that you are treated fairly at every stage of the process.


When a marriage is unhappy or unhealthy, and there’s no hope for improvement, trying to force a relationship to work may do more harm than good. If a marriage isn’t working, both spouses deserve to enjoy a better future. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from an experienced family law attorney. In the state of New York, speak with an experienced Westchester County divorce lawyer promptly. When you are divorcing, it’s imperative to have an attorney who understands your emotions, apprehensions, and needs, someone who’s handled scores of similar divorces in the past, and someone who can confidently offer you reassurance.


There are good reasons to have a skilled divorce attorney represent you in the divorce procedure. An experienced divorce lawyer will be able to explain all of your legal rights and options and will fight aggressively to win favorable terms and a fair divorce settlement on your behalf. Your divorce attorney will make certain that any jointly-owned marital property is divided fairly. If you are a parent, your divorce lawyer will ensure that your children’s best interests are a top priority.

If you are a women seeking divorce in the state of New York – or if you are a man and you need to initiate a divorce in New York – arrange at once to meet with and consult an experienced Westchester County divorce lawyer. If you are in an unhappy marriage, every day that you wait only means one more day of unhappiness. Yes, divorce is a last resort, but if that last resort is your only realistic option, make the call to an experienced Westchester County divorce lawyer as quickly as possible.

By: Kimberly Pelesz

Family law and criminal defense attorney Kimberly A. Pelesz received a B.S. degree magna cum laude and an M.P.A. degree summa cum laude from Binghamton University. She earned her J.D. from Pace University School of Law in White Plains, where she was selected for Phi Alpha Delta. Her charitable activities include work with My Sisters’ Place in White Plains and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Humane Education Taskforce.

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