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 him in a relationship?
However, the rates of divorce are still very high in countries where women don’t attend university in large numbers and can’t 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
That sounds pretty selfish though when you think about it because in most cases, a man earns more than a woman, but he doesn’t end up leaving her because she’s holding him back in life.
Alas, that’s where the difference lies between men and women.
Most men tend to enjoy taking on the role as a woman’s protector and even provider because it can give a man a feeling of confidence, knowing that his woman needs him and relies on him.
On the other hand, most women aren’t naturally wired to enjoy being a protector and provider for a man.
So, if a woman ends up feeling like she is a man’s protector or provider in a relationship, in addition to the relationship having other problems (e.g. the guy being insecure about earning less, lack of sexual attraction, fights and arguments, her being taken for granted), it can cause her to feel unsatisfied with the relationship dynamic and want to leave.
Eventually, she dumps him and tries to find a man who can give her the feeling of being safe and protected (i.e. because he is confident, manly and secure in who he is), even if he happens to be earning less than her.
Now, on one hand, you could say that a woman is selfish for leaving a man who ends up making her feel like she is providing for him financially or protecting him due to being more confident and emotionally strong, while on another hand you could say that it’s just nature playing out.
Naturally, most men are wired to want to protect and provide for women and most women are wired to want to feel protected and provided for by a man.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that a woman can’t earn money, or couldn’t protect herself if she needed to.
It also doesn’t mean that men should provide everything for women and be servants to women.
Additionally, it doesn’t mean that women shouldn’t earn money and pay for things or buy things for their man in a relationship.
If a woman is earning money, then she should contribute just as much as the man does financially.
So, the fact that men are naturally wired to want to provide and protect, doesn’t mean that a woman should get a free ride and just sit back as her man pays for everything they need as a couple, so she can then go on endless shopping sprees for herself.
Instead, what it means is that men and women are naturally wired to like a certain relationship dynamic (i.e the traditional relationship dynamic where the man is the protector and the woman feels safe about him being able to help provide a better future for both of them) and when that dynamic isn’t in place, breakups and divorces are much more likely to happen.
That’s not my opinion.
That is based on the data.
Update: Interestingly, another study that I featured in a recent video found that feminist women preferred men who treated them and looked at them in a more traditional way (i.e. as wanting and needing the protection of a man and wanting to play a more feminine role in a relationship).
Yet, it’s not what feminist women go around saying.
There’s often a big difference between what some women SAY they want and what they secretly want. Watch the video here.
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 women helping to improve the world, especially in areas like science, 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 girlfriend or wife back after an unnecessary breakup, 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 go of her boyfriend or husband.
If he isn’t rising up to his true potential as a man and making much progress, a career woman will often feel as though she is more of a ‘man’ than he is, in terms of going after goals, making things happen and securing a better future.
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, or at least a man who doesn’t make her feel like she is the protector and provider.
However, such men are hard to find and many career women often end up dating new guys 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.
It’s price that some women end up paying for getting involved in the workforce and becoming successful.
Of course, all the divorcing going on out there isn’t just from career women or college-educated women.
An uneducated woman or a woman without a serious career will also 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.
In other words, the more she learns and the more she earns, the higher the chance that she will stray, or just won’t stay.
So, the question is, “Are college-educated women bad wife material?”
Well, the answer is that a lot of it depends on who she marries.
If she marries a man who knows how to make her be a good woman to him and their love is true from the beginning, then they should be fine.
Yet, if she marries a guy who allows her to get away with treating him badly and isn’t able to make her feel like she’s in love with him, then the relationship is going to have all sorts of problems (e.g. lack of sex, lack of affection, arguing, tantrums, ignoring each other, feeling disconnected) and likely end in a divorce.
So, it could be the exact same woman, but she married a different type of guy and as a result, the outcome was either stay together for life, or end in a divorce.
Of course, sometimes a relationship falls apart because the woman is a horrible woman, or a toxic woman and would divorce pretty much any man she got married to.
Yet, if you’re honest about it, you will realize that those women are the minority.
The majority of women are good women and naturally wired to want to be in a relationship with a man who makes them feel safe and protected (even if she is earning more than him).
If a woman finds that, it’s highly unlikely she will want to divorce him.
It will be very difficult for her to find a man who can accept her level of success, not become insecure about it and, at the same time, make her feel safe and protected with him.
Personally speaking, the men that 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.
The men aren’t all earning more than their women.
Instead, the man is rising up and reaching for his true potential as a man, so he doesn’t feel intimidated by or insecure about his wife’s success with her career.
Instead, he is proud of her and happy that he has a woman who is capable of earning money, succeeding in her career and enjoying her life with him at the same time.
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, 90s or very early 2000s.
Unfortunately, many TV dramas and sitcoms glamorize the idea of cheating and divorce these days.
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. Instead, her place is what she wants it to be. However, in today’s world, a woman grows up being told that she should have big career dreams like a man and do whatever she wants. For a lot of women, that sounds great until their maternal instinct kicks in and work starts to feel like something that is getting in the way of her being happy. If she’s lucky and finds the right man, she might then fall in love with being a mother and supporting her husband, or boyfriend by cooking, cleaning and being his lifelong cheerleader while he takes on the role of 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, or she might suddenly change her mind and want children one day and that is okay – each to their own. However, as you would have seen, most career women regret it later in life and end up going through a lot of stress when trying to make IVF work for them, or ending up having to use a surrogate 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 1980s, were still married 20 years later.
For college graduates under the age of 26 who married in the 1980s, 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 man married to a college-educated woman, your chances of staying married are actually higher.
The statistics from the various studies all seem to conflict each other, so what is the right answer?
Should you marry an uneducated woman, a high school dropout out or a woman with a master’s degree?
Personally, 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 every now and then after a new study is produced, 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.
Are Men Still Interested in Marriage?
According to our international survey here at The Modern Man:
- 51% of men want to marry a woman and stay with her for life.
- 21% of men want to have relationships with many women throughout life.
- 15% of men still aren’t sure what they want.
- 12% of men want to stay with one woman for life, but not get married.
The statistics above are accurate at the time of writing this post. Place your vote below to have your say:
Many men out there do still want to get married, even though it might not seem that way if you talk to certain people or groups who are against it.
Although marriage is not high on the agenda for some 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.
Choosing a Good Wife
Whether you’re planning to find a woman to marry 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 should marry and 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, rather 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 (she was 20 when we met and I was 35), I had been on the lookout 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 she ticked all the boxes that I was looking for, so I let her be my girlfriend.
Yes, I let her.
That’s how it was.
I was a player who was seeing multiple women at once (and enjoying it), so if a girl was going to get to become my girlfriend, it would be a case of me letting her have that privilege.
Of course, as I got to know my girlfriend, who is now my wife, I developed a tremendous amount of respect for her and she has turned out to be a true blessing in my life.
She recently gave birth to our beautiful twin daughters and her and I fall more in love with each other every day.
It’s pretty cool, to say the least.
Also, within 48 hours of meeting her, I got rid of all the 4 other women I was sleeping with at the time.
Somehow, I just knew that I didn’t want to be with any other woman anymore.
I only wanted her and it’s still the same to this very day.
What is 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 and instead supports you.
- 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.
- Is kind and generous.
- Inspires you to be 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 following boxes and more.
|Good wife material
|Bad wife material
|Average or ugly
|Plain Jane / no sex appeal
|Helpful/generous towards her man
|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
|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 understand 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 being another divorce statistic.
The couples that you see who are still happily married or madly in love 40 or 50 years into a relationship, are usually 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, it will become stale and you will end up feeling disconnected, or at best, more like friends.
A relationship like that can remain together, but both of you won’t be happy.
You have to be able to create and maintain a relationship dynamic, which leads to both of you falling more and more in love with each other over time.
Without that, either one of you will eventually want to leave and if you don’t, you will secretly feel miserable.
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.
Kate Thompson is a perfect example of that.
The fact is that Kate’s husband would be doing a LOT of masturbating to porn, in addition to doing a lot of cooking, cleaning and being on his best behavior for her.
Is that wrong?
No, it’s just different.
It’s the exact 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, but I can see how a woman like that would make some guys happy.
After all, he does have about 1 billion porn videos to jerk off to whenever he wants to.
If he’s happy with that, then all the best to him.
Additionally, 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.
As a result, your woman is naturally affectionate, loving, attentive and kind towards you.
She wants to have sex with you, she wants to be good to you and she goes out of her way to make that happen.
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 sexual 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 unfulfilling and possibly even a bit lonely, to spend your life with a woman who would rather work than be around you, let alone ever have sex with you.
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, or was emotionally abusive in the relationship.
My advice is to:
- Don’t accept second best: Choose a woman who is truly compatible with you, rather than accepting whatever you can get and then trying to make it work.
- Trust your gut instinct: If your gut instinct is telling you that she’s not the girl for you, then she probably isn’t. End the relationship and find a new woman.
- Deepen the love: Instead of making the mistake that millions of divorced couples have made, be smart and deepen the love, respect and attraction between yourself and your woman, rather than allowing the relationship to become stale.
- Maintain mutual respect: Respect your woman and treat her right, but expect the same in return. A woman will respect you if you are confident, emotionally strong and true to your word. Lead by example.
- 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.
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
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