From The Dallas Morning News: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/081510dngdmarriage.2abfb00.html
10:45 AM CDT on Sunday, August 15, 2010
By CHRISTINE WICKER / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News
Why are women walking away from marriage? Author and journalist Christine Wicker looks for the reasons behind a surprising trend.
A lot of midlife women in my acquaintance are leaving what appear to be perfectly good and loving husbands. Or thinking about it. Or cheating on them. Or wanting to. Or staying married and faithful but buying their own houses, which they either live in or keep as a bolt hole.
This astonishes me. I grew up believing it was men who had midlife crises that threatened marriage.
I decided one recent morning to list women I knew who fit the profile. In 15 minutes, I came up with 30 names. Some families on my list have more than one walk-away wife.
One Texas friend’s 40-something daughter is divorcing her husband. His son’s wife had an affair and they’re also divorcing. In another family, an uncle and nephew are both being divorced by their wives. These women had once been renowned for their utter, perhaps excessive devotion to family. The men are both handsome, kind, good fathers. Great catches. Both women have new boyfriends, while the men are still too broken-hearted to date again.
You may be thinking I have lowlife friends. Not so. Or if so, irrelevant, because I also have stats.
In a 2004 AARP survey of divorced people 40 and older, 66 percent of wives said they had requested the divorce, and 26 percent had surprised their husbands, often after planning for years. Women were especially likely to have no regrets, and 43 percent did not want to remarry. In another national study that year, ex-wives were three times more likely to say that they wanted the divorce, rather than their husbands wanting it. Fewer than 40 percent of marriages of more than 15 years were rated as successful by respondents.