Why Women Are Filing for Divorce at an Alarming Rate


You may have heard that 50% of marriages end in divorce, but did you know that if one spouse has been diagnosed with an illness, then the chance of divorce jumps to 75%?

Before we get to the effect of illness on marriages, there are 4 other major reasons that wives are filing for divorce that you need to know about.

Reason #1 – Lack of Effort Leads to Divorce

Thomas Edison said, “You only fail when you stop trying.” I think of this often when handling a divorce case and hear this reason for wives filing for divorce.

 1. Not taking care of himself

This is in no way meant to body-shame, because I’m not here to judge, but I often hear the wife say that she is fed up because her husband has stopped taking care of himself. It’s never just weight though. He’s stopped taking care of his hygiene, his health, and his general appearance. This lack of effort toward his own body is usually just a symptom of a larger problem. 

2. Not pulling his share

Divorcing wives are also fed up because their husbands aren’t pulling their share around the house. Disappointment comes from unmet expectations. Here’s the best marriage advice you’ll ever hear: Stop expecting 50/50 effort from your spouse. Instead, treat everything like it is 60/40. You should expect to put in 60% of the effort and only expect 40% in return. If you both put in 60% of the effort, then there won’t be any unmet expectations.

3. Ignoring Wife’s needs

Wives need to feel loved. They need to be told and shown that they’re loved. Wives need to be built up and encouraged. These are basic needs that can’t be ignored. When husbands ignore these basic needs, it begins pulling the marriage apart at the seams.

Reason #2 – Loss of Intimacy Leads to Divorce

I have legitimately lost count of how many times I’ve heard a wife say that she’s simply fallen out of love. She says that he just isn’t the same person she married. This is known as emotional drift. When couples don’t take the time to tend to their marriage, they have a habit of drifting apart over time.

Emotional drift always leads to loss of affection. Although a couple may still have a sexual relationship, the intimacy is gone. Some husbands don’t realize the difference between sex and intimacy. Emotional drift, coupled with loss of intimacy, leads to infidelity and other addictions that will destroy any chance of fixing the marriage.

However, nothing will destroy a marriage like abuse and violence.

Reason #3 – Family Violence Leads to Divorce

I know what you’re thinking: “Duh! Of course family violence leads to divorce!” But what you don’t know is how the law defines family violence because it is a lot more than just black eyes and bloody lips.

1. Family Violence Defined

Sometimes, family violence is easy to spot because the signs of it are staring you in the face. Sometimes though, it isn’t easy to see because the bruises are covered with makeup and clothing.

Other times though, family violence leaves no physical marks because there was no physical contact. That’s right, family violence can occur even without physically touching.

Family Violence also includes a threat that reasonably places someone in fear of imminent physical harm or bodily injury. For example, throwing an object at your spouse is considered family violence even if it didn’t hit them.

 2. Child Abuse

Child abuse is an especially heinous form of family violence. Child abuse doesn’t just appear out nowhere. No loving husband wakes up one day and says, “I think I should start abusing my children today!” No, it is a pattern of escalation.

Husbands who abuse their wives will likely end up abusing their children. Sadly, an abused wife may suffer in silence for years, but when they see that their husband has turned their abuse towards a child, then THAT is the final straw that pushes them to file for divorce.

 3. Controlling Behavior

Just as child abuse is a pattern of escalation, so is family violence. It never starts with a punch or a slap, it starts with controlling behavior. Husbands who control what their wives wear in public, order them around like dogs, and tell them what to think are on the path to family violence.

However, just as child abuse and family violence have a pattern of escalation, it usually begins with emotional abuse.

Reason #4 – Emotional Terrorism Leads to Divorce

Having represented countless wives in divorces, I’ve seen many husbands commit what can only be described as emotional terrorism. Here’s what that looks like.

1. Isolation from Support

In order to maintain control, some husbands will isolate their wives from friends and family. This is how they create a sense of dependency due to their fear of losing power. This isolation is key to keeping the wife from sharing the husband’s treatment with others who may tell her how unacceptable all of his other behaviors are.

2. Financial Abuse

Another way of emotionally abusing a wife is through financial abuse. A wife can’t leave an abusive relationship if she doesn’t have the funds to do so. We’re not talking about setting a monthly budget and then following it. No. We’re talking about husbands who deny their wives access to the bank account, or only give them access to a small “allowance” in a separate account. He does this to make sure that the wife never has enough money to leave him, and is always dependent on him.

3. Manipulation and Gaslighting

Do you know what gaslighting is? Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation where a person seeks to sow seeds of doubt in someone, making them question their own memory, perception, or sanity. When husbands trivialize their wives’ feelings, shift blame, or deny something happened that clearly happened, then those are forms of gaslighting.

Isolation, financial abuse, and gaslighting are just a few ways that weak husbands emotionally abuse their wives. What are some other ways that we haven’t listed?

Reason #5 – Chronic Illness Leads to Divorce

Research shows that 75% of marriages, where one spouse is suffering from a chronic illness, will end in divorce. But that doesn’t tell the full story. In this study, husbands were the ones who were more likely to be sick. However, when the wife was the one who was sick, the marriage was 18 times more likely to result in a divorce.

When the wife is sick, and the husband doesn’t put forward the effort to care for her in her time of need, it only exacerbates the growing rift in the marriage. If she can’t trust him to take care of her when she needs him the most, then the marriage is all but dead.

I know we’ve spent a lot of time discussing the reasons why wives are filing for divorce, but we’re not picking on husbands. If you want to know why more husbands are filing for divorce, you can find that video here, and if you want to know the first steps you need to take before filing divorce, you can learn that here.

–Authored by Matthew L. Harris, Esq.,

Matthew Harris Law, PLLC – Family Law Division

1101 Broadway, Lubbock, Texas, 79401

Tel: (806) 702-4852 | Fax: (800) 985-9479

[email protected]