Many couples struggle with the decision to end a marriage. Spouses who spent years, even decades, building a life together and raising children often seek third-party professional advice before calling it quits. Sometimes California spouses contemplate relationships alone before making final, unshakeable choices to divorce.
A couple who had been together for 114 years split recently after the “wife” could take no more. She was angry. Biting and snapping became literal. Intervention did nothing to mend the couple’s troubles. However, in this case, the one-time companions were tortoises who shared the same zoo cage for over a century. Zookeepers separated them after domestic quarrels became dangerous.
It might seem unusual for a female to initiate a marital breakup later in life. It is actually more common than most people think, according to a study by the American Association of Retired People.
A survey of both sexes, between 40 and 79 years of age, found that women were twice as likely as men to ask for separation or divorce. Results from over 1,000 divorced people revealed that women instigated marital splits two-thirds of the time.
The results surprised researchers and, according to study participants, shocked men. One in four men reported they “never saw it coming.” Only 14 percent of women were blindsided by a separation or divorce request.
Respondents said neglect was the biggest reason women left marriages. Several women reported feeling that their husbands ignored physical and emotional needs. Couples that separated before divorce admitted marriages were extended to spare children’s feelings.
Statistically, divorced women suffer more money, stress and mental health problems than divorced men. Yet, three-fourths of women agreed divorce was still the right choice. In marital retrospect, less than 60 percent of unmarried, divorced men felt the decision was a good one.
Source: Anchorage Daily News, “Most of the time, wife initiates divorce,” Judith Kleinfeld, June 26, 2012