When couples in Virginia get a divorce, it is more likely to have been initiated by the woman. Not only are women more likely to file for divorce than men are, but a 2017 study in the United Kingdom found that divorce was much higher among female same-sex couples than male couples. Overall, women appear to both expect more from marriage than men and gain less from it.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, when women and men in a relationship both work, only 20% of men do housework daily compared to almost half of women. Women also may not get support from their husbands when they are successful in their careers. A 2019 study in the “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin” reported than men struggle when their wives make more money than them.
Women also tend to shoulder more emotional labor in marriage than men. For many men, their wives are their only source of emotional support, and this may cause them to remain in a marriage. Women often have multiple sources of emotional support. Women are also less likely to tolerate abuse or infidelity than in the past since they are no longer dependent on marriage to provide them with financial security.
The reasons women file for divorce may affect how the divorce itself unfolds. For example, if a man’s lack of support for his wife’s more successful career is a factor, this could also mean that she will end up paying alimony as the higher-earning spouse. In relationships where there has been abuse, women might be concerned about the safety of their children with the father and try to ensure that he does not have visitation rights. A contested divorce can be costly and stressful, but for some couples, it is not possible to take a more collaborative approach.