Here is a very eye opening analysis from a US divorce lawyer group:
Who initiates the divorce more often, the wife or the husband?
One might think that 50 percent of the time, a divorce action is filed by the husband, and the other 50 percent of the time it’s the wife who begins the proceedings — or that maybe there’s a small percentage to subtract for the divorces that are somehow filed jointly by spouses who agree that they should part.
It also seems plausible that since the wife’s standard of living often declines after a divorce, women would be less likely to file a divorce action. Conversely, because men more often engage in adultery, it may seem that wives would be more likely to seek a divorce based on their husbands’ conduct.
The reporting of divorce statistics isn’t as complete as, say, the census data collected in the U.S. every ten years. However, several sources have arrived at pretty much the same answer to the question, “who initiates a divorce more often, men or women?”
Two-Thirds of the Time
It’s the wife who files for divorce in about two-thirds of divorce cases, at least among couples who have children. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the proportion has changed slightly over the years; for example, in 1975, approximately 72 percent of the divorces in the U.S. were filed by women, whereas by 1988, only about 65 percent were filed by women.
The Same throughout the 19th Century
A study reported in the American Law and Economics Review in 2000, “These Boots Are Made for Walking: Why Most Divorce Filers are Women” also showed that more recently, women file more than two-thirds of divorce cases in the US. Even though the individual states’ data vary somewhat and the numbers have fluctuated over time, throughout most of the 19th century about 60 percent of divorce filings were by women.
Moreover, in some of the states where no-fault divorce was introduced, over 70 percent of the divorce filings were by women. Among college-educated couples, the percentage of divorces initiated by wives is a whopping 90 percent.
WHY THIS MATTERS TO CHRISTIAN SINGLE WOMEN
Women sometimes feel that men are “afraid of commitment” and they don’t understand why that is. To be sure there are MANY reasons. But some of the biggest reasons that men are increasingly shying away from marriage, even Christian men – is that men are aware of the divorce statistics. Unfortunately, a large number of these divorces are not initiated for biblical reasons (adultery, abandonment by an unbeliever) but by wives who “don’t feel emotionally connected” to their husbands anymore or who feel their husbands “neglect” them.
They are also very aware of what happens during and after divorce to most men – financially and emotionally.
Women are often awarded custody of the children in the vast majority of divorce cases in this country.
So men, even Christian men, are taking note of what is happening to those who have gone before them. Marriage can seem extremely risky to many men today. They know that many marriages are not stable. They know they are called by God to lead their families and love their wives unconditionally. They know they will be accountable to God for how they manage their families. They know that God’s design for marriage in Ephesians 5:22-33 is not being taught in many churches and that many Christian women have not even witnessed a biblical marriage where the wife valued respecting her husband and honoring his leadership and the husband was a selfless, sacrificial, loving, humble leader. They know that many marriages end in divorce. They know that they could marry a woman and then that she could divorce him for any reason and he could not stop that from happening. Then he would be devastated emotionally, financially and spiritually – not to mention, he would also likely lose custody of his children.
MEN’S FEELINGS AND NEEDS ARE IMPORTANT, TOO
*** I am assuming you are only dating men who are completely committed to living for Christ.
For a Christian woman who desires to marry a dedicated, devoted, godly, Spirit-filled Christian man – my suggestion to her is, make sure that you understand the obstacles that men face today as they look at entering into marriage.
What are some things that might encourage a man that YOU are worth “the risk”?
- Be patient and understanding if he takes some time to commit or to propose.
- Don’t try to rush or push him into marriage.
- Learn all you can about God’s design for marriage and for godly femininity and godly masculinity
- Be willing to honor his leadership before marriage. You are not commanded by God to submit to a man you have not married. So you can refuse to cooperate with him if you strongly disagree about something important. But keep in mind that a woman who understands that God gives spiritual authority in marriage to the husband and that the husband is accountable to God for his decisions when this life is over is a woman that a man would be much more likely to trust.
- Listen to his concerns. Care about his feelings. Make sure that he knows that what he thinks is really important to you.
- Learn what it means to respect a man. Learn to not inadvertently be disrespectful.
- Honor your body and live a chaste life now because it is what God asks of you – to live in sexual purity. Even if it is years before you will marry. This will make it much easier for your potential husband to trust you later.
- Don’t complain or argue. Why? First of all, because Scripture commands us not to argue or complain:
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Philippians 2:14-15
But also, because it is a “contentious” woman who argues and complains. And a contentious wife is extremely difficult to live with. Having godly character involves not arguing or complaining. It is fine to state what you would like and what you need. It’s great to say when you have a problem you need help with, but you can do these things respectfully and without being quarrelsome, ill-tempered or difficult to live with.
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. Prov 21:9
Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. Prov. 21:19
- Be flexible.
- Seek God’s will first and His glory in your life, not your own will.
- Don’t make an idol out of marriage, children, dating, a wedding or a particular man.
- Be able to accept “no” and “wait” graciously from God and from other people.
- Do not be controlling and try to take charge and make things go the way you want them to.
- Know your heart and mind. Speak it gently.
- Don’t assume you are “always right.”
- Be willing to see that your man has wisdom, too, and a very different perspective from your own that is valuable and beneficial to you.
- Don’t criticize, ridicule or cut down your man in private or in front of others.
- Speak highly of him to everyone.
- Find your contentment, purpose, identity, peace, joy, acceptance, feeling of being loved in Christ alone!!!!! No matter what the circumstances of your life.
- Live with Christ as LORD. Surrender and submit yourself fully to Him and be willing to obey Him no matter what the cost.
- Give up the idol of Hollywood romance and fantasy – these things can make it impossible to be satisfied with a real life man. Hollywood does not portray men very accurately in most romantic movies. That is a made up worldly kind of love. Not the love Christ calls us to have.
- In fact, it may be wise to prayerfully consider not watching romantic movies, not reading romantic books and not listening to secular love songs. These things promote fantasy instead of gratitude and promote discontentment, jealousy and idolatry of feeling loved in specific ways.
- Be sure you are willing and able to support his career and ministry goals and dreams and come along side him to support him in his calling and mission.
- Question every word of worldly wisdom – you’ll find it even in the church and in Christian families. Seek God’s wisdom alone!
- Do not demand a man’s affection, time, attention and love. Receive what he wants to give to you graciously. Appreciate what he does for you. We are not entitled to a man’s love. It is his gift to give when he is ready to give it and can give it voluntarily, joyfully and willingly.
- Study the history of feminism and see what some of the catastrophic effects have been on masculinity, femininity, marriage and families. I suggest Carolyn McCulley’s “Radical Womanhood.”