The divorce rate has decreased over time. However, it remains at over 40% in general. There are a variety of reasons why people seek a divorce, and some of these reasons are connected to the way societal expectations and opportunities have changed over time. This, in turn, has affected which spouse, in different sex marriages, initiates the divorce process. Due to societal changes, women in West Virginia and around the country, initiate divorce more often.
Reasons why women seek divorce
In the past, women were often dependent on their husbands for support. Couples usually conformed to the traditional roles that dictated that women were caregivers and therefore stayed at home, raising their children while the men were the providers, who went out of the home to work. However, as society has changed, so have women’s roles both in their families and in society in general. Some of the reasons women initiate divorce more often due to these changes include:
- Access to more lifestyle options, such as birth control and family planning
- Higher levels of education and opportunities
- Higher participation in the workforce
- Earning potential equal to or greater than their male spouses
The differences between men and women
Interestingly, men seem to have less inclination than women to initiate the divorce process. This might be due to what women and men get out of marriage and how they fare after they divorce. While women still often carry the heavier weight of childcare and homemaking, the changes in society have impacted them more than men and therefore resulted in women deciding that they do not need to stay in unhappy marriages.
There are many paths that can lead to the end of the marriage. However, divorce is often the result of many factors, not just one. Societal changes are just one reason.