Wives Want Out

A survey of 2000 men and women in Britain reveals that the British divorce rate could be much higher than it is, if wives were assured of future economic security. That’s how 59% of the women surveyed responded to the question “Would you divorce your spouse?”

While statistics are highly manoeuvrable, the consensus among government agencies that track the data is that in Great Britain the divorce rate for first marriages is 40%, while second marriages and third marriages have a 60% and 75% rate of failure.

The United States divorce rates are similar although 50% of first marriages are likely to fail, while 67% of second marriages and 74% of third marriages end in divorce. Canadian statistics fall somewhere between the United Kingdom and the United States.

So, why are the unhappy British wives staying in their marriages? The survey showed the following:

12% stayed to have an “easy life”
30% stayed to avoid a major upheaval in their lives
37% stayed for the children
42% stayed so they would not lose their homes
33% stayed because they feared if they left they would get nothing
25% stayed because of the cost of legal fees in a divorce

Additional data indicated that 30% of men stay in a “loveless” marriage because they fear losing contact with their children. Were the survey participants open to marriage counselling? Yes, 50% would welcome marital therapy while 20% said they wouldn’t bother.

Surprisingly, 60% of the participants were unaware of mediation as an alternative to a court battle to resolve issues arising from marriage breakdown.

I often remind clients who are weighing the pros and cons of divorce to consider that marriage requires hard work and it doesn’t get any easier the second time around. Like author and marriage therapist Lori Gordon PhD says “Love is a feeling, marriage is a contract and relationships are work.”

Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang

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10 thoughts on “Wives Want Out

  1. Ode to Valentines Day
    By Georgialee Lang

    A well-written, article full of sage advice. I will share it with my clients, other lawyers and other professionals and my followers.

    Happy VD Day!
    Marla Gilsig

  2. Among the women I know who have gone through a painful divorce, not one has gained financially. It seems more and more successful men are finding tremendous loopholes to avoid parting with their money….they start a ‘wonderful’ new life and it breaks my heart to see what they leave behind.
    Broken hearts and children who believe there must be something wrong with them otherwise daddy would’ve stayed.

  3. Annette Yes, I have seen the same thing time and time again. I also recently saw a piece of research that suggested that in the long term women do better financially than men, however, I have trouble believing that. Cheers! Georgialee

  4. Seeing as they will often get 50% of their husband’s earned assets, monthly support payments as well as keep the house its not hard to see how women do well out of it. Problem is also many divorced women are out of the work force for years, have young children and don’t make enough to independently support themselves without infusions of cash from the ex. Husband in the meantime has to support two households, his own and his ex-wife’s.

  5. Silly article on a silly, one-sided survey that belongs in a women’s magazine more than a legal article. How many husbands would leave their marriages if they had even a threadbare possibility that they wouldn’t lose their home, vehicle, financial future and future parenting time with their children? Marriage is so attractive to women because it tends to cater to their interests much more than it does that of men, and now days, divorce is just another part of marriage with the chance of it occurring more likely than not. Saying that a little more money might entice women away from marriage is hardly a profound statement. Many of them are already enticed INTO the marriage for financial reasons and file for divorce for the same.

  6. The reasons for divorce are many, but spouses on average are equally responsible for marriage dissolutions. The same goes for violence by parents against their children, as well as sexual abuse. Although it might be expressed a little differently, both men and women are about equal in lying, deception, avarice, and various forms of physical and mental abuse. Of course, there is a segment of the “advocacy” community that assumes wrongly that “family violence” is all about men perpetrators against women and children as victims. There are expressive differences, but the incidence of being a perpetrator is about the same. The bottom line is that the stability of the social order concerning divorce rates, is not a male verses female thing, but a moral and character thing.

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