The many stereotypes about women’s behavior in marriage can often over shadow the roots of a divorce. When asked to place blame, recent polls point a finger at women as being the driving force in the majority of marriage separations in America. These new polls alongside the frequently cited statistic that women file for divorce more than twice as often as men combine in a picture that can completely distort many forces that can factor in the dissolution of a marriage.
What is being ignored here is the straight talk about how strong social and economic factors can be in sparking a divorce. Many still view modern marriage in an overly romanticized and very Victorian light in which women were meant to radiate moral purity and emotional balance for their men who were off dealing with providing in the hustle of the outside world. This may have been the norm in a time when women were, for the most part, not working and financial dependent in marriage, but the truth is many modern families now rely on both spouses for support.
The burden of expectation is often put on American women today as having the sole power to maintain a relationship’s intimacy, and thus protect the bond of marriage. But when families are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, marriage problems aren’t likely to stem from some kind of deficiency in managing intimacy. And even among the more affluent couples, this blame game for divorce often ignores the realities of modern life.
From Job insecurity and relocation, work/family time management, to the sheer passage of time and changing of personalities and interests, the idea of a cookie-cutter-forever-union is truly unrealistic for many today. In some cases a marathon marriage may end in happily ever after. For many others, the benefit of divorce when a marriage is no longer functioning clearly outweighs the costs of staying together.