Archive for August, 2016

Women Initiate Divorce More Than Men

A study in 2015 by Michael Rosenfeld, an associate professor of sociology at Stanford University, found that “…women initiated 69 percent of all divorces, compared to 31 percent for men. In contrast, there was not a statistically significant difference between the percentage of breakups initiated by unmarried women and men, regardless of whether they had been cohabitating with their partners.”

Looking at the research and information on relationships it is noted by Julie Danielson many women view even the most sincere efforts of a spouse to be “…too little too late” when attempts are made after long periods of reluctant or negligible support

But how did they get there?

One key factor is the bid for attention. In marriage each person offers bids for the attention of their mate. This is done with comments about events to solicit a response. It may be a touch on the hand or arm. It can be a look. There are many ways this happens. The problem occurs when either side is oblivious or intentionally ignores those bids.

Before we get too deep here, not all bids get responded to even in good marriages. John Gottman, in their studies of couples, noted that in a rich relationship the response is relatively high at 20 bids responded to versus each bid that is missed. Even in an argument that ratio of positive response to negative is 5 to 1. In troubled relationships that ratio drops to .8 positive to 1 negative. It is almost even but not quite.

In another study researches followed couples in their homes and found that in a normal environment the couple does not necessarily recognize positive bids or comments. As much as half of the positive is missed in normal interactions.

To get past this, couples are first encouraged to recognize that most of the time they are not in sync with each other. Like flipping a coin, at best you get 50-50 for heads and tails. The means, in a relationship, the couple is in sync maybe 25% of the time. But that is highly optimistic. Research seems to indicate that it is more like 33% of the time one side is looking to be in tune with the other. Mathematically that means that a couple is in sync – both seeking to be in tune with the other – about 9% of the time.

This is where awareness comes into play and paying attention to those attention bids can be important. Those are the times when a partner is reaching out and asking for attention. Being responsive can make the difference in a solid relationship versus a problem-filled relationship.


Armand and Robbin D’Alo