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Came to a conclusion...but ladies don't be angry

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SeanFLA posted 9/17/2013 11:33 AM

I was reading some statistics about divorce. Seems that 50% to 60% of all marriages end up in divorce these days. I think most of us can agree to that figure. What I also read is that 90% of all divorces are filed by women. That's a HUGE number to me. So on the high side, if there is a 60% divorce rate, and 90% of that 60% is being filed by women, it means there are a lot of unhappy women out there. Now I think about the other 40% to 50% of women who are still married. Let's say half of those stay married for the sake of the children or for financial reasons, etc and won't pull the trigger to divorce. Here is what it says to me. At least 75% of women out there are very unhappy in their marriages, plain and simple. But they stay in it regardless.

This means one or two things to me. Men are either really bad at marriage OR (and I believe this one more) women just expect way too much from men. I think many might be watching too many Hollywood movies at what they believe marriage should be like. Now I'm not talking about the men who cheat. To me that's a totally different ballgame. Those women have every right to leave the marriage based only on that. But for those of you women whom have divorced, I wonder (in even talking to your married girlfriends) if this is a justified conclusion?

I'm friends with a couple whose wife once said..."I think I married a good guy, don't you think?" I told her well it's not up to me to decide that (he is a great guy), but it's came across like women are CONSTANTLY measuring up their husbands throughout the whole marriage. And they are constantly thinking about divorce somehow. Like it's a never ending game of some sort.

I think a lot of times if I will ever get remarried. Then I think about this and tell myself "Why would I ever get married again based in this conclusion? Chances are she's just going to be unhappy in the long run over something." I'm not looking to get divorced a second time if I ever do remarry. It's a sad conclusion, but I think maybe I'm just not good enough to be married to. I will never be able to sustain a woman's expectations of what a husband should be. KWIM?

[This message edited by SeanFLA at 11:35 AM, September 17th (Tuesday)]

Artemisia posted 9/17/2013 11:42 AM

I think, when looking at filing statistics, it's important to keep in mind that the person who ultimately files isn't always the person who "wanted" the divorce, at first or at all. There are financial and emotional reasons to file, even if you want nothing more than to keep the marriage.

Softcentre posted 9/17/2013 11:43 AM

Well, I don't have high expectations...I just expected him to not have an A? I was content, happy a lot of the time, until he started his A behaviour. Then the extreme emotional distancing, gaslighting etc began. That's when I got unhappy...

newlysingle posted 9/17/2013 11:45 AM

In my case, I married a man child that would have no clue how to file for D. Even though he had already run off with OW and said he was done. I had no choice but to once again be the adult and take care of things. I'm so glad to be rid of that third child.

Nature_Girl posted 9/17/2013 11:49 AM

Dude. I'm not angry, but I do want to poke you with a sharp stick.

Want to know why I stayed in my marriage year after year, even though I was unhappy? I did it because I was afraid to leave. I was afraid of being judged. I was afraid of losing custody of my kids. I was afraid of what he'd do to the kids when he had them alone for visitation.

My expectations of my husband weren't too high.

Most married women who have children know that if we pull the trigger on our marriage our economic situation is going to go in the toilet (welfare & food stamps are very common for us), our housing situation is likely to go in the crapper, and we'll have to witness our children be torn apart emotionally. Believe it or not, there is a biological imperative that is physically impossible to remove from our bodies. It's there just like our bones are there. So we stay in our marriages for the sake of our children. Very often we end up filing for divorce for the same reason, when it becomes too unbearable to stay, when we recognize the damage to our children will be greater if we remain married.

I think your conclusion & thoughts in your final paragraph suggest you need to do some serious work on yourself with an IC. There's some serious misogyny in your words.

hangingontohope7 posted 9/17/2013 11:53 AM

I guess I'm in the 10% because I didn't file for the D.

SeanFLA posted 9/17/2013 11:54 AM

it's important to keep in mind that the person who ultimately files isn't always the person who "wanted" the divorce, at first or at all

Well to me there are only TWO reasons to file for divorce; financial or emotional. I would think it's safe to say that every reason probably comes back ultimately to one of those two. If you don't want to divorce, then why are you filing for it? Is it's because it's so easy these days to get divorced. Hell it's advertised everywhere. At least two or three commercials by divorce lawyers on the 5 o'clock local news every night. "Just pick up and call!"

jackfish posted 9/17/2013 11:55 AM

Man or Woman. A big part is one or both of us is having what's dubbed as "mid-life crisis". Also, things like financial survival, parenting (crazy schedules), debt, tiredness, health issues. Many of these situations take away the "Romance", not the REAL Love that's burned in, but the same ol same ol contributes to the F-ing fantasies. It's seems to be an "escape" mentality. One partner may be stronger than the other and see the true-ness of the love in the marriage, and therefore, no infidelity. Whereas, the other is just too weak and gives in. (I'm talking in what we see as "good mariages", not the abusive type ones).

In my sitch, shit, "I" should have been the one running!! But I beared down and wanted it to work and last forever. Her? Just jump ship and be "rescued".

But I don't think it's necessarily a man/woman thing.

SeanFLA posted 9/17/2013 12:03 PM

I think your conclusion & thoughts in your final paragraph suggest you need to do some serious work on yourself with an IC. There's some serious misogyny in your words.

I'm sorry but I disagree with you. I never even thought about divorce until exWW did what she did. Now I guess I see it in a whole different light now. It doesn't mean I need IC and work on myself. I get tired of hearing that after 2.5 years. The fact is that 60% of all second marriages fail. That's almost higher than first marriages. I'm not a woman and I'm just intrigued by the numbers. As a man all I'm doing is trying to understand these numbers. I'm sure there are plenty of great women out there to remarry one day. But for now I'm looking at it from "not so rose colored glasses". I think that's perfectly acceptable right now and it's just something that hit me while I was reading. And frankly IC never really helped me personally all that much. I think SI helped me much more understand what was transpiring with exWW.

[This message edited by SeanFLA at 12:06 PM, September 17th (Tuesday)]

Nature_Girl posted 9/17/2013 12:08 PM

If you don't want to divorce, then why are you filing for it?

Wow. Really?

Softcentre posted 9/17/2013 12:12 PM

So those 2nd marriages...well if they're WS marrying, they're probably going to do it again, and again, ifthey haven't done the work on themselves. Thatwould raise those statistics a lot.

BTW, I'm not filing and don't want to. but what do you do if your WS is openly breaking the vows?

Have you thought that the problem (just playing Devil's advocate here)is men who intentionally manipulate the situation so that they get what they want (the D) without having to appear the bad guy by filing themselves? Or that men are worried that they would be worse off financially and so continue in misery because of the money? You see there are other reasons out there. I don't think you can assume anything about the reasons, just from statistics. But i do think that your assumption says a lot about how you feel right now and is something to discuss in IC

[ETA: I don't hold any of those positions/thoughts about men, myself!]

[This message edited by Softcentre at 12:14 PM, September 17th (Tuesday)]

Darkness Falls posted 9/17/2013 12:14 PM

women just expect way too much from men. I think many might be watching too many Hollywood movies at what they believe marriage should be like.

I can only speak for myself and a few other women I know who fit or used to fit this mindset, but I agree with you.

I do think many women have no clue about realistic expectations for marriage. For these women (not ALL women), "Sex and the City" is their model for what their sex life should look like and "The Real Housewives of [Wherever]" is what modern marriage looks like. Or "Days of Our Lives," or "50 Shades of Grey," or name any one of thousands of media portrayals that give a skewed perception of life today.

Add to that the fact that so many of today's adults have divorced parents and that infidelity runs completely rampant and many folks are receiving the message that "everyone does it" or it's OK to have a "starter marriage," etc....

I was one of these people who didn't choose values and character as a young adult, and I had a completely unrealistic view of what marriage "should" be like. I completely screwed up my life because I bought into the crap portrayed in the media: love and romance look like *this* and if yours doesn't, then it's not "meant to be" and it's wrong. Your man should do X, Y, and Z and if he doesn't, then he's not "The One."

I'm not going to paint a majority of women with this brush, because I don't know a "majority" of women, and obviously the ladies on SI don't fit this mold. But I'll speak from my perspective as one who did, for over a decade, fit this mold, and I'm ashamed to have been a part of it.

Unfortunately, I think the train has jumped the rails, and I doubt that things will ever go back.

circe posted 9/17/2013 12:16 PM

I think there are a lot of ways to view that statistic, if it's correct, and that you're choosing to look at it from the standpoint of women being demanding, or judgmental, or unfair in their expectations.

And yes, because of your experience you're seeing things from that angle. To a certain extent that's normal. You're wearing lenses that are focusing your vision to match your emotions right now. You definitely have the right to spend some time feeling a little bitter. Then you'll get through that process, hopefully, and emerge on the other side. Maybe you can revisit this question then, and your magnification lens will have shifted a bit.

For the record? Most of the women I know who filed for divorce worked very hard on keeping their marriage together, and didn't want the divorce. I didn't want to divorce my first husband, but he was cheating, and he wouldn't work on the marriage, and he wouldn't initiate a divorce. I could have remained married to a man with a girlfriend (I was pregnant at the time, too) but I was having emotional breakdowns each night, and after a few months I couldn't take it anymore. I loved him very much. I couldn't stay married to him under those circumstances, but those were the only circumstances I was given. Neither of us had a dime back then, so there were no financial motivations.

There are many reasons people get divorced when they would dearly love to stay married. I'm sure my experience was only one, but it's a common one. It's actually a common one on SI.

I hope you do heal Sean, and that you find a really healthy relationship that doesn't feel like one in which you have to measure up.

debbysbaby posted 9/17/2013 12:21 PM

Someone used to have the signature on here "I may have filed for divorce, but you, wayward spouse, ended the marriage."

My expectations of marriage weren't that much. Just treat me kind, as in respect me and be my friend and love me. And don't betray me. He broke everyone of those starting in the first year.

I stayed because of hope. I stayed because of a very dysfunctional love. I stay because I never had children to send them off with an emotionally and verbally abusive man for days at a time. And no, I had no idea that's the kind of man he would turn into. Until it was too late.

When he walked out the door for his other woman, half his age. He left me no choice. For most women like me, I think they're left with no choice but filing for divorce or living with a cheater or abuser.

I did a sort of informal poll of men who had no reason to lie to me. I asked what percentage of men they felt were faithful in their marriages. The answer came back at probably 20 to 25%. I think those's stats are pretty telling right there, and given the people who answered the question and their relationship with me, I have little reason to believe they would lie.

SeanFLA posted 9/17/2013 12:32 PM

A lot of great points here. Men generally don't talk to married women about stuff like this usually (except maybe in a lot of our cases here!) but I was just wondering if many of you who talk to their married girlfirends (and we know y'all talk) are generally unhappy based on what I keep reading. Frankly it's just something that startled me. I think my exWW also had unrealistic visions of marriage. She was the type that constantly watched old 40's, 50's and 60's movies. She would comment all the time that she never understood why women don't wear dresses all the time while at home doing choirs (really?). While dating I thought this was cute. I had me an "old fashioned" type of girl. I think she had an unhealthy vision on what reality was. So much she never said anything about being unhappy. I'm not a mind reader and refuse to be in any future relationship. I guess I'm just wondering and trying to teach myself to view red flags down the road for this. I think it's a great step in working on myself. We all talk about identifying red flags in the future as a part of growing from this experience.

HopeImOverIt posted 9/17/2013 12:43 PM

I believe the 90% figure applies only to college educated couples. The general figure is more like 70%.

I appreciate that you used the phrasing "filed by women" as opposed to what some sources phrase as INITIATED by women. I think we all know many MANY cases where one spouse walked away from the marriage, either by cheating or by simple abandonment, and the person who was LEFT ended up filing the divorce. Not because they "wanted" it, but because the left person was the one who was responsible enough to follow through on the legalities.

h0peless posted 9/17/2013 12:43 PM

I think we live in a society where "Eat, Pray, Love" was a best seller. We live in a society where people are disposable and it's OK to be selfish. I do think there is something to your conclusion, although I don't think it is fair to make the assumption that it universally applies to all women.

It would be a mistake to generalize. I think that there are far too many people of both genders who have an unrealistic view of marriage and relationships and they are miserable as a result. I think that there are far too many people who buy into extremely ignorant stereotypes (there are several great examples of that in this thread) which cloud their perceptions.

Helen of Troy posted 9/17/2013 12:46 PM

Cheating men don't file for divorce they'd rather eat cake.
That throws off the statistics.

As far as marital happiness or marital satisfaction (where infidelity is NOT an issue), men and women rank equally in my opinion.

Sad in AZ posted 9/17/2013 12:49 PM

While dating I thought this was cute. I had me an "old fashioned" type of girl.

Your ex sounds a bit immature, but I think you had the unrealistic point of view.

You logic is so skewed that it would take an inordinate amount of time to dissect it. Just your statement alone about women who file for divorce are unhappy with their marriages is so subjective that it's laughable.

Yes; I see a lot of misogny here...

JanaGreen posted 9/17/2013 12:51 PM

Well, I know this is not my board, and anecdotal evidence means crap, but in my marriage it was my H who was constantly evaluating whether or not he wanted to be with me, and he is the one who filed. So yeah, doesn't hold true in every case.

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