Women initiate two-thirds of divorces and far more of the separations, according to a nationally representative study by the American Association of Retired People. This study is based on surveys of more than 1,000 divorced men and women, aged 40 to 79.
According to AARP men are "caught off guard" when a wife requests a divorce. Being a woman and, knowing women the way I do, we talk about our marital concerns. We are problems solvers, communicators and when it comes to our marriages we tend to be more concerned about the state of the relationship than men.
Women usually are the first to suggest marital therapy. We buy self-help books on marriage and relationships to try and improve things. We have a tendency to not only express our concerns about the marriage to a spouse but to also talk to friends. In other words, before us women give up on a marriage, we leave no stone unturned when it comes to attempting to solve the problems in the marriage.
Below are examples of why women leave from a few women I coached over the years:
1. "I'm only important when he wants sex."
2. "He comes home from work, eats, turns on the television and zones out. I clean the kitchen, bathe the kids, fold the laundry and then he gets upset when I'm too tired for sex."
3. "I've never heard him say he is sorry. He plays golf every Sunday, watches football on Saturday but when I tell him it hurts that he doesn't want to spend time with the family he tells me I'm too sensitive."
4. "I greet him at the door every evening asking how his day went. I listen, empathize and show concern for what he goes through at work. We've been married for 13 years and have 3 children. I work as a receptionist, take care of all child related needs and housework and he has NEVER, not once asked me how my day went."
5. "He has to be stroked. If he cleans up the kitchen he struts around like he has done me some huge favor. If I don't bow down and kiss his feet he becomes defensive, tells me I don't appreciate him. I work, take care of the children, the house, mow the grass on the weekends and if a car gets washed I do it. For some reason though he doesn't feel a need to fawn over me for all I do."
6. "He changed the moment we married. We have no friends, we no longer go out to dinner or casually take in a Sunday afternoon movie. He seems to go out of his way not to spend any time with me other than sex. When I talk to him about feeling neglected he is absolutely mystified, just can't understand and tells me I'm expecting too much from a husband. He even told me once that there were many women out there who would love to be his wife."
Why are women divorcing men? The examples above say it all. Women want a husband they can trust, someone who is interested in them and their needs. They want a husband who takes their feelings into consideration. They don't want a husband who takes them for granted or tells them their expectations are too high. Especially when all they are asking for a is a husband who is emotionally invested in the relationship.
Maybe fewer men would be "caught off guard" by divorce if they spent more time listening to and hearing their wives instead of viewing her needs and concerns as unreasonable and demanding.