According to a study published in the American Law and Economics Review, women are responsible for filing approximately 70% of divorce cases in the United States. Statistics are hard to come by for other countries, but it’s safe to guess that the average rate would be somewhere between 60-80%.
70% sounds like a big number for American couples, but it actually gets worse for men who marry college educated women. According to the study, evidence is given that among college-educated couples, the percentage of divorces initiated by women is approximately 90%.¹
Is it possible that the more a woman learns and the more money she earns, the less she wants to be tied down into a traditional role of playing second fiddle to a man? Possibly. However, the rates of divorce are still very high in countries where women cannot earn much or any money of their own, so it wouldn’t be accurate to put it down to those two factors alone.
According to the above-mentioned study, “As a woman’s earning capacity increases relative to her husband’s, it may be in her interest to seek out another spouse more equal in ability and earning power who will simply be a better companion or more comfortable with her high ambitions for herself” (Sweeney, 1997).²
Personally speaking, I know a few married couples where the woman is earning a lot more than the man and their relationship is fine. However, if the relationship is problematic and the woman is earning more, there will definitely be a higher chance of break up or divorce. Women are usually attracted to a man based on his ability to protect her and help her survive, so if that is lacking in addition to a problematic relationship, she will be out the door in no time.
Career Women and Divorce
To quote editor Michael Noer from Forbes.com, “Guys: a word of advice. Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don’t marry a woman with a career.”
According to Mr. Noer (and many social scientists), by marrying a college-educated career woman you run a higher risk of having a shaky marriage. It seems that recent studies have found that professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat on their husbands and less likely to want to have children.
If they do decide to have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it.
By the way…
I am not suggesting that it’s best for women not to be college educated or have a career. If a woman wants to get a college education, she should have that option. It should be up to her, of course. The point of this article is to highlight the fact that, according to statistical data from sites like Wikipedia, college-educated women are more likely to initiate divorce than non-educated women. I am a big fan of smart chicks helping to improve the world, but the statistics do show that brainy women who can earn a good living tend to be trigger happy when it comes to divorce.
I personally know of a few couples where the woman is college educated and they are doing fine, but since one of my jobs here at The Modern Man is to help guys get their ex back, I know a lot of guys who’ve been divorced by college educated women or career-focused women. In most cases, the guy will have given her too much power in the relationship, become needy or insecure and she will then say something like, “I need time to find myself” or “We’re going in different directions in life.”
In many cases, a career woman will be getting so much satisfaction from what she is achieving at work that she will feel emotionally full enough to let a man go. If her guy isn’t rising to his true potential as a man and becoming a bigger and better man all the time, a career woman will often feel as though she is more of a “man” than he is.
She will then want to find a more masculine man that she can look up to and respect, not look down on or feel sorry for all the time. However, such men are hard to find and many career women often end up dating into their 40s and 50s, never being able to find what they refer to as a “real man” because those men are either taken or having sex with younger, prettier women in their 20s. Luckily for them, many guys are starting to develop a taste for cougars.
The dumping and divorcing isn’t all from career women or college educated women though. An educated woman or a woman without a serious career will just as quickly dump or divorce a guy who isn’t enough of a man for her, or who isn’t making her feel what she wants to feel in a relationship. However, the statistics definitely show that college educated women and career focused women tend to dump or divorce men in higher numbers.
So, the question is, “Are college educated women bad wife material?” The answer is that it depends on who she marries. If she marries a real man and their love is true from the beginning, they will be fine, but if she marries an insecure guy or a guy who lets her wear the pants and is always trying to make their fragile relationship work, they will eventually run into serious problems and most likely divorce.
The men I know who are happily married to career women or highly-educated women are men who are rising through the levels of life and reaching for their true potential as a man. When a man approaches his life in that way, it helps to maintain the woman’s respect and attraction, which is an essential ingredient for a relationship to last, especially when a career-focused woman. You’ve got to maintain her respect for you. If she feels like she is carrying you through life, it may eat away at her feelings for you if the relationship is already rocky.
Changing Times, Changing Relationships
The world isn’t the same as it was 100 years ago. Heck, it’s not even the same as it was back in the 1980s. These days, many TV dramas and sitcoms glamorize the idea of cheating and divorce. Celebrities who appear on TV talk shows often proclaim to be so much happier after getting divorced and finding a new man. Back in 1900, it would have been shameful to divorce or break up, but these days, many celebrities and pop idols tend to portray divorce as being a cool thing.
Times have definitely changed and along with it, so have ideas about what a relationship between a man and a woman should be. Here are some insights from a few studies:
- The man as the breadwinner: A study in the research journal Social Forces found that most women – even the self-proclaimed feminists – are happier when their husband is the main breadwinner.³ Many women will try their hand at a career, but will often change their mind later in life and want to be a stay at home mom. A woman’s place is not in the home or being a housewife, it is what she wants it to be. However, in today’s world, a woman grows up being told that she should have dreams like a man and do whatever she wants. For a lot of women, that sounds great until their maternal instinct kicks in and they fall in love with being a mother and supporting their husband or man by cooking, cleaning and being his cheerleader while he takes on the role as the breadwinner for the family.
- Children later in life: 43% of college-educated women from Generation X (born between 1965 and 1978) are not mothers – and are happy about it too.⁴ Studies in the UK, Europe and the United States show that remaining childless is now the choice of significant numbers of educated women. As one college-educated woman put it, “I’ve never felt maternal and can’t think of anything worse than having children. I want to do clever things and reach my full potential. A child would get in my way.” She may never change her mind and suddenly want children and that is okay – each to their own. However, as you would have seen, most of these women then regret it later and use IVF or surrogacy to produce offspring.
- Dedicating herself to work rather than you: According to data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, the more hours a woman works outside the home, the higher the possibility of divorce. Interestingly enough the same statistics did not apply to men, which suggests that a traditional approach to relationships (i.e. the man as the breadwinner and the woman as his cheerleader, lover and mother of his children) may still be the best option if you want your marriage or relationship to stand the test of time. ⁵
According to research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, 81% of college graduates over the age of 26 who got married in the 1980’s, were still married 20 years later. For college graduates under the age of 26 who married in the 1980’s, 65% of them were still married 20 years later. However, when it came to couples who got married at the same time, but who were only high school graduates, only 49% were still married 20 years later. In 2009, 2.9% of adults aged 35–39 without a college degree divorced compared with 1.6% with a college education.⁷ Essentially what this means is that if you are a college-educated guy married to a college-educated gal your chances of staying married are actually higher.
I know, it’s weird!
The statistics from various studies all seem to conflict, so what is the right answer? Should you marry an uneducated woman, a high school drop out or a woman with a masters degree? I think that basing your decision to commit to a woman based on her education level is the wrong approach. The best way to choose a woman is based on her character, values and her compatibility with you. If you pay attention to the random statistics that the media comes out with, you will notice that they usually contradict each other. It’s all a jumbled mess out there, with one study saying that you should avoid college-educated women and the other saying that college-educated women are the perfect type of woman to marry.
Choosing a Good Wife
Although marriage is not high on the agenda of many guys these days, the fact remains that more than 50% of Americans over the age of 18 are married.⁸ Statistics from other countries show higher and lower marriage rates, but the USA is usually a good statistical base to refer to. Whether you’re planning to find a woman to marry very soon or may be interested in marriage later in life, choosing a woman who is “good wife material” could make the difference between celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary together, or losing 50% of your assets in a divorce court.
According to John Molloy, author of Why Men Marry Some Women And Not Others, there are definite types of women that men marry — and, equally definite types of women that men steer clear of. In his quest to determine what makes a woman “good wife material” Molloy interviewed more than 3,500 people and when he asked the guys who were about to get married to describe their ladies, only 20% of them used the words “gorgeous” or “sexy” in their descriptions.
80% of guys focused more on the personality traits of their future wife than her physical attributes. According to many of the guys, marrying “the kind of woman you can take anywhere and be proud of” was of vital importance. Another aspect that makes a woman “good wife material” is being viewed favorably by her future in-laws.
According to psychologist Dr Jane McCartney, an expert in human behavior and relationships, “Men don’t look for very sexy wives, because — at a very basic animal level — they want to be sure the children they are raising are their own. Men are attracted to qualities such as loyalty, discretion and kindness when they look for a wife. Feisty and flirty is fine for a girlfriend. It’s just not what men want in life partners.” I agree with McCartney, but that isn’t what I have done. When I chose my girlfriend, I had been on the look out for the sexiest woman I could find. When I saw her, I turned to my friend and said, “Now THAT is what I’m talking about.” I then interacted with her to see what her personality was like and found that she ticked all the boxes that I was looking for.
Good Wife Material
Most guys would agree that a “good wife” is a woman who:
- Is beautiful.
- Maintains a healthy weight range throughout life.
- Doesn’t smother you or block you from going after your dreams in life.
- Is responsible, but still knows how to let her hair down and have fun.
- Has a sense of humor.
- Knows all your “faults,” but still loves you.
- Is good with money.
- Has goals and ambitions of her own.
- Is kind and generous.
- Inspires you to a better man.
Personally speaking, this is my criterion for choosing a woman. When I met my girlfriend, I knew she was a great match because she ticked all of the right boxes.
|Good wife material||Bad wife material|
|Beautiful||Average or ugly|
|Sexy||Plain Jane / no sex appeal|
|Helpful / generous towards her man||Selfish|
|Good family values||Doesn’t care about family values|
|Against divorce. Believes that a couple can work through problems||Thinks divorce is a good thing. Can’t be bothered working through any problems|
|Honest and truthful||Lies often|
|A great cook||Hopeless cook or unwilling to cook for her man|
|Respectful towards her man to his face and behind his back||Disrespectful towards her man to his face and behind his back|
|Stays in great shape||Overweight or puts on a lot of weight when in a relationship|
|Healthy sex drive||Not interested in sex|
|Great social skills / gets along well with others||Poor social skills|
|Gets along well with your family and friends||Causes problems with your family and friends|
|Has similar or the same long term life goals as you (e.g. have a family or not have a family)||Disagrees with your long term goals|
|Agrees with your desire to have or not have children||Disagrees with your view on starting or not starting a family with her|
|Doesn’t expect you to be perfect, but appreciates any extra effort you make to be an even better man||Gets angry, complains or even wants to break up over small things that can be improved or fixed with a bit of effort|
|Makes you a better man||Brings you down|
Settling For a Crappy Woman
When it comes to choosing a woman, many guys simply accept whatever they can get and then “try to make it work” with her. This happens as a result of a guy not knowing how to attract and pick up women in the first place, as well as thinking that women have all the power in the dating game.
If you want your marriage or relationship to last in today’s world, you have to choose the right woman for you as well as know how to maintain the love, respect and attraction in your relationship. If you don’t do that, you have at least a 50% chance of breaking up any time soon. The couples that you see who are still happily married or madly in love 40 or 50 years into a relationship are those who have met their perfect match and then approached the relationship correctly. They have strengthened their connection and bond over time as well as deepening the love, respect and attraction they feel for each other.
If you can’t deepen the love, respect and attraction in your relationship, most modern women will simply copy their celebrity idols and divorce you to “start a new life.” Worst of all, pretty much everyone in her life will say, “You go girl!” and she will feel “cool” for breaking up with you. Weird, but that’s the world we live in now. Everywhere a woman turns, celebrities are talking about how happy they are after divorcing one man to hook up with another.
Meet “Britain’s Worst Wife”
Kate Thompson is referred to as “Britain’s worst wife” and she is proud of it. In Kate’s own words:
“My husband is the kindest, most considerate man in the world. During the seven years we’ve been married, Ben has done most of the cooking, cleaning and ironing without ever being asked. And yes, he works full-time. And if you think I reward his sterling domestic efforts with treats in the bedroom, I’m afraid I fail in that department, too. Intimacy is reserved only for his birthdays – and then just the ones with a zero.
I am shamefully neglectful of my wifely duties. In fact, I am the anti-wife. The truth is that I’m just too busy and involved in my career as a writer to be a traditional, caring wife. The truth is that I’m in awe of the way he looks after me, our sons and our home. He makes my life easier.
Does that make me a selfish, slovenly, neglectful wife?” Probably – but it also makes me a happier one.” Kate Thompson
I have always said that if you let a woman wear the pants in a relationship, the sex will dry up very quickly. She will then withhold sex and reward you with it if you are on your best behavior. This is a perfect example of that.
The fact is that Kate’s husband would be doing a LOT of masturbating, in addition to cooking, cleaning and being on his best behavior for her. Is that wrong? No, it’s just different. It’s the opposite of what we teach here at The Modern Man, but if he wants to do that he can.
My opinion is that you should do whatever makes you the happiest and most fulfilled in life. I certainly wouldn’t ever accept a woman like Kate Thompson (my girlfriend is the exact opposite of her), but I can see how a woman like that would make some guys happy. After all, he does have his hand and about 1 billion porn videos to jerk off to. Somewhere along the way, they managed to have sex and create two children, so it’s not all bad for him. Not my cup of tea, but it is a way of living.
What we teach here at The Modern Man is how to create and maintain the type of relationship dynamic where the love, respect and attraction that you and your woman feel for each other deepens over time, rather than fading away. You know the couples that you’ve seen who are still madly in love and excited to be around each other, even though they are 40 or 50 years into a relationship? That’s what we teach here.
In the case of Kate and her husband, it sounds like she likes him as a person and loves him as her husband, but she doesn’t feel much or any attraction for him. Rather than being a husband and wife who still have sex and are excited to be around each other, Kate and her husband are more like housemates or friends. It’s not “wrong” to do that, but it sure would be very unfulfilling to be with a woman who doesn’t feel much for you.
Do You Want to Get Married?
According to our online survey here at The Modern Man:
- 37% of men want to marry a woman and stay with her for life.
- 36% of men want to have relationships with many women throughout life.
- 18% of men still aren’t sure what they want.
- 9% of men want to stay with one woman for life, but not get married.
Statistics above are accurate at the time of writing this post (based on 211 votes). Place your vote below to have your say:
To Marry or Not to Marry
I think that marriage is becoming a bit of strange idea to the current generation, because all you have to do is turn on Discovery Channel or the National Geographic Channel and you will see people talking about the latest breakthroughs in life extension. Flick the channel and watch Entertainment Tonight or ENews and you will see celebrities and other public figures going through a messy break up or divorce.
On one hand, it feels like marriage is the “right thing to do” and will help give you a secure life all the way to death. Yet, on the other hand, marriage has a 50% chance of ending in divorce and there is a growing belief among scientists that people may be living to 150-200 years old in the near future. Then, if you reach that age, new technology will be available to extend your life even more.
Here is how I am approaching my relationship with my girlfriend.
I love and treat my girlfriend as though we will be together for life, even though that may not turn out to be accurate. Both her and I always try to become even better at communicating, loving and listening to each other. We do that because we respect and appreciate the other person and want the relationship to continue to get even better than it already is.
Both of us have the mindset that we will work through any problems that arise. If anything happens in the future and we do break up, I know that I will be able to find a replacement girlfriend very easily. I hope it doesn’t ever get to that, but if it does, I will be totally fine about it.
My girlfriend and I have talked about marriage and both of us share the same view, which is, “Let’s talk about that when we reach the 10 year mark.” In my opinion, there’s no need to rush into a marriage in today’s world unless your culture still forces that approach. Even then, you should still consider thinking for yourself. We are both open to the idea of having children one day, but want to make sure that we are truly ready for a lifetime, family commitment.
In 1900, it was much easier for a man to think about marriage. Essentially, a man grew up, got a job, found a wife, married, lost his virginity on the wedding night, had a family, retired and then died. Things aren’t so straightforward anymore. It’s basically a case of “choose your own adventure” and see how it turns out. There are longer any guarantees when it comes to relationships or marriage, but you can increase your chances of being happy with the perfect woman by learning how to pick up women by choice and then learning how to be great at relationships.
If you settle for whatever you can get and then try to make it work, then you may end up wasting half your life with the wrong woman before she divorces you for half your money. I know – it sucks, but having a “pity me” response to the state of modern relationships isn’t the answer. Additionally, using an outdated mindset won’t help either. Here’s a classic example…
Ancient Greek Approach to Marriage: Does it Still Apply?
Socrates (an Ancient Greek philosopher) once said around the year 430 BC, “By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher…”
Does that advice still apply to today’s world? Well, not quite. That was easy for Socrates to say back then because there was no divorce court or forced child support. In today’s world, if you marry the wrong woman, she will take 50% of your assets in divorce court and you will also have to pay child support, even if she cheated on you before divorcing you.
My advice is to:
- Don’t accept second best: Choose a woman who is truly compatible with you.
- Trust your gut instinct: If your gut instinct is telling you that she’s not the girl for you, then she probably isn’t.
- Deepen the love: Instead of making the mistake that divorced couples have made, be the smarter man who deepens the love, respect and attraction between yourself and your woman.
- Maintain mutual respect: Always respect your woman and treat her right. Expect the same in return and if she doesn’t provide it, have a serious discussion and get her to change her ways or lose you.
- Make her proud to be with you: Be the man that she wants to stay with for life by continuing to reach for your true potential as a man.
If You Were to Get Married, What Type of Woman Would You Marry?
If you were to get married, what type of woman would you want the most? Post up a comment below.
¹-² Brinig, M., Douglas, W.A. (2000). “These Boots Are Made for Walking: Why Most Divorce Filers are Women”. American Law and Economics Review 2 (1): 126–129. Retrieved from http://www.unc.edu/courses/2010fall/econ/586/001/Readings/Brinig.pdf
³ Noer, M. (2006, August, 22). Don’t Marry Career Women. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/2006/08/21/careers-marriage-dating_cx_mn_0821women.html
⁴-⁵-⁶ Hoyle, A. (2012, November, 21). The women who think they’re too clever to have babies. Mail Online. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2236467/The-women-think-theyre-clever-babies-Theyre-educated-dynamic-careers–believe-motherhood-beneath-them.html
⁷ Divorce – Statistics, North America. Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divorce#Statistics
⁸ Hallett, S. (2011, December, 14). Marriage Rate In America Drops Drastically. Huff Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/14/marriage-rates-in-america_n_1147290.html
⁹ Childs, F. (2011, November, 21). Too sexy, too laid back, too independent… Why some women just AREN’T wife material. Mail Online. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2063997/Too-sexy-laid-independent–Why-women-just-ARENT-wife-material.html
¹⁰ Thompson, K. (2013, September, 18). Meet Britain’s worst wife – and she’s proud of it: Kate won’t cook, won’t clean and only makes love to her husband (who works AND does all the chores) once a decade. Mail Online. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2424680/Kate-Thompson-Britains-worst-wife–shes-proud-it.html