AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, recently sponsored a study that looked at midlife divorce and beyond and found out that women more often initiated divorce than men. The male half of the equation was taken by surprise.
According to Xenia Montenegro, research team leader for AARP, changing attitudes about gender roles and greater financial independence among women may help explain the findings.
Montenegro said that of the 556 women and 581 men interviewed for the study, many revealed they stayed married longer than they otherwise would have out of concerns for their children’s welfare. And women nowadays are more able to take care of themselves.
Thirty-seven percent of study respondents who had children said their kids were supportive, while 17% said their children were okay with the divorce. Additionally, 20% also revealed their children were somehow upset and 18% said their children were very upset about the split.
Abuse is the most often cited reason and 66% of the women surveyed said they had initiated their divorce. Abuse could range from verbal and physical abuse to a spouse having been unfaithful.
Montenegro added that for both men and women surveyed, the major motivation for seeking a divorce was the sense of wanting something better with the years they had left.
She said spouses don’t want to stay in a relationship they’re not happy in. Instead of remaining stuck in a rut, they have adapted the outlook that they can turn their lives around and look forward to other things.
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