Why Do Women Ask For a Divorce?

Two thirds of divorces and the majority of separations in the States are initiated by women. This fact came to light after American Association of Retired People conducted a study of more than 1000 divorced women and men between 40 and 79 years old.

Among the many reasons given for wanting a divorce, most women claimed emotional neglect and verbal abuse. Interestingly, most husbands claimed that they had no idea that their wives felt that way when they asked for a divorce.

Slow, steady decline
Only a man can understand that most men are caught by surprise when their wives ask for a divorce. Women know that the marriage is in trouble long before things become unbearable. They talk about it, with the husbands (or to the husbands), with their friends, therapists and family. They try to solve the problem for a long time before giving up and deciding to divorce.

Women do not make the decision to get a divorce lightly. They suggest to their husbands to go to counseling. They try therapy. They buy self-help books. They try talking to their husbands about what is bothering them, for all good it does them. When they finally decide to ask for a divorce, most women are certain that they have tried everything in their power to save the marriage.

Common stories
There are many reasons that drive a woman to decide to end the marriage:

  1. “All he wants from me is sex.”
  2. “He does nothing to help me with all the chores. I clean, cook, wash, vacuum, help with kids’ homework, while he is snoozing in front of the TV. Then he wants sex and is upset when I am too tired for it.”
  3. “He spends Saturdays playing golf with his buddies. On Sunday he watches baseball. When I ask him to spend some time with me, he complains that I nag. If I cry, I am too sensitive. Never, ever he said that he was sorry.”
  4. “Both I and my husband have careers. We both go to work every day and meet at home in the evening. Every day for the ten years of our marriage I hug him when we meet and ask him about his day. Do you think that he ever asked me how my day was?”
  5. “Although both I and my husband work, taking care of the kids and all household chores are my responsibility, including washing the car. If by some miracle my husband decides to wash the dishes or load the washing machine, he expects Nobel Price for it. I am supposed to hug him and thank him endlessly and show how much I appreciate his help. What about his appreciation for all my work?”
  6. “Before we got married we had fun. We went dancing, wine tasting, we hiked on the weekend together. Now, the only thing we do together is sex. I tried talking to him about how much he changed and how I would love it if we would do those things again. He claims that I want too much from him. When I ask him why we do not talk any more, he says that he has nothing new to tell me.”

Sounds familiar? Women find it exasperating that their husbands change so much once they are married. The wonderful, understanding, charming, funny and sensitive man is gone. What they have instead is some stranger who complains that she is asking too much from him. No wonder that women feel that their husbands want different thing from the marriage than they do.

Men would not be so shocked that their wives want to divorce them if they ever listened to them when they expressed their feelings. The marriage takes two and both parties need to invest time and effort in it, or it inevitably dies.

What are your reasons for wanting a divorce or contemplating divorce? Please comment and share your thoughts!


  1. 1

    Shell says

    I feel trapped. My husband shouts and complains whenever he’s at home and awake. All my time is spent working full time, looking after our young child, and then trying to prepare food for myself, which I’m often too tired to do, He has the nerve to complain that OUR home isn’t clean, then goes round it with a hammer smashing things, as though that will help tidy up his mess.
    We don’t sleep in the same room anymore, he can’t even sit with us at the table for meals, as though were not worthy. he screams abuse at our two year old for being happy.
    I’m scared of when he’ll turn the hammer to me. Don’t know what to do. He isn’t happy unless he’s not with us and I’m starting to wish he wasn’t in our lives similarly.

  2. 2

    Suzie says

    Dear Shell,

    He’s threatening you already, with that hammer, honey. It’s only a matter of time before he turns it on you, or God forbid, your child! Get out now! Don’t look back. If you don’t have a place to go, then call any local ER / hospital, ask for womens shelter information.


  3. 4

    A says

    I’m 33 years old and have been married for 4 years. I am planning in separating from my husband because my emotional needs are completely neglected. I have voice this to him many times only to get a vague empty promise that he will try. I don’t think I can live in a loveless, emotionless and sexless marriage for another 4 years. I have asked him to go to therapy with me, but he does not want to go. I am afraid I am at the point of no return which makes me very sad.

  4. 5

    Shannon says

    I just turned 30 in April of this year. My husband and I got married right out of high school, so we’ve been together for 13 years now. Our relationship has had it’s ups and downs during all this time, and I have suggested counseling (but he insists that he’s not the one with the problem)… And I’ve talked to him and even sent him emails to try to get through… But nothing ever seems to change. He’s an active duty Marine, and has been in the service for 10 years. He never wants to help with any of the chores when he’s home, and makes more messes than helps. Also, when we do have sex, he always has to have it pitch black and late at night… I honestly think I’ve let this whole thing go on too far, and have put up with too much for many many years now. Where is the man I fell in love with when I was 16? :(

  5. 6

    MGM says

    Don’t what to do, don’t which way to go, don’t which direction to take…

    Here’s a different perspective — one from a man. My wife and I have been married for 15+ years. I am American and she is Russian. We have one 10 year old daughter. We have had issues in the past, but we have always been able to work them out. Or at least I thought. Now she’s decided that she is tired of being ignored and unloved in our marriage and wants to ‘take a break’ from our marriage with a separation. There cultural issues that have contributed to our discord, but more over I don’t think either of really know how to communicate with each other. She has a difficult time expressing to me what her wants and needs are and tells me that as a man I should know this already. She clearly feels resentment towards me for things I have said and done in the past, but when I ask what those things were she can’t really describe them to me and instead uses vague examples. She says that she wants me to treat here ‘like a woman’ but she can’t really describe to me what that really means. Again, just vague generalities. She says she wants me to ‘act like a man’ but when I ask her what that means and how is that I haven’t acted like a man, again she can’t really tell me. She gives a list of things that she has wanted me to do in the past but I didn’t and when I say ‘okay, I can do that’ she tells me it’s ‘too late’ and that her love has died. She says that she is emotionally ‘dead’. She says she still loves me ‘like a brother’ but not as a husband. She says she feels no physical attraction towards me and really doesn’t have any desire to be intimate with anyone, not just me. I ask her if there is any chance to reconcile in the future she says maybe yes, maybe no. She really doen’t know at this point. We live in the same house but sleep in separate beds. We haven’t had sex in several months and we have not so much as kissed, hugged or even touched other at all. We don’t talk much and she really doesn’t want to spend time with me. She has been going through a lot of emotional stress lately and the life she is living is not the one she wanted. We went to marriage couseling for one session together, but since then she has not gone to any others. Instead I am going by myself. I know there are things that I need to work on myself but it feels as if my wife either doesn’t want to work things out or just doesn’t care. And yet when I ask her if she truly wants to end the marriage she says she doens’t know yet and she needs time to think about it. Whenever I try and figure what she wants from our marriage I feel like she withdraws even farther away and accuses me of pushing her to make a decision. My therapist says the best thing for me to do is to leave her alone and let her figure it out on her own, but I don’t want to enter into a separation agreement with no conditions as to what either us want from the marriage. I’d like the separation to be a cooling off period, but my wife doesn’t want to talk about what each of us needs from the marriage in order for it to work. I’m frustrated and confused because I feel like I’m the only one that cares about saving the marriage. I feel like I’m being held as an emotional hostage.

    Don’t know what to do, don’t know which way to go…

  6. 8

    Emmorie says


    Your wives verbage. I dont love you anymore. And i love you like a brother. Her physical seperation from you. Like no sex, seperate bedrooms. All of th

  7. 9

    Emmorie says

    Sorry but your wifes verbage. I dont love you anymore, your like a brother. Her physical distance no sex etc. All scream Affair! Likely she is having one. Look at her cell phone text messages, facebook, browser history. Im sure you will find a reason behind her actions. Or give her what she wants and divorce. Im sorry!

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