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Do men or women file for divorce more often?

One rather curious thing about divorce is that initiating the action is not equally represented between the genders. When looking exclusively at opposite-sex marriages, researches have found that women are far more likely to be the ones to initiate a divorce. Women are more often the ones who take the first step to end the relationship.

What this implies is that women either have more initiative than men or that they tend to be less happy in dysfunctional marriages -- or both. One study found that women also tended to be happier after splitting up, which does show that they often felt pressure due to their unhappiness with their relationships.

Interestingly, researchers did not find that women broke off non-marital relationships at the same rate. When dating, they were not always the ones to initiate the breakup with their male partners -- or, at least, not at the same rate that they initiated divorce.

Researchers theorized that this was because women had more freedom and flexibility while dating. After getting married, they found that their marriages were more rigid and controlling, perhaps not giving them the gender equality they wanted. They may not have felt like they needed to break up while they were dating because they felt more in control of their own lives. But changes they experienced after tying the knot showed them that the relationship had to end after all. Men, on the other hand, may be more willing to continue these problematic relationships.

No matter who asks for the divorce, make sure you know your rights when your marriage ends.

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