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Gender trends regarding breakups differ between marriages and non-marital relationships

In heterosexual relationships, is one gender more likely than the other to initiate a breakup? A recent study indicates that the answer to this question may depend on whether or not the couple is married.

The study looked at a survey regarding relationships. The survey data the study focused on regarded 2,262 surveyed U.S. adults who said that, in 2009, they had an opposite-sex partner. Some of the individuals were married to their partner, while others were in a non-marital relationship with their partner. The study's researchers looked at the survey data to see which of the individuals had broken up with their partner by 2015. Reportedly, 371 had experienced such a breakup.

From the data regarding these breakups, the study found that, in heterosexual marital relationships, women have a higher likelihood of initiating a breakup and divorce than men. According to the study, women were the divorce-initiating party in 69 percent of the divorces looked at in the study.

The study did not, however, find the same trend to be present among heterosexual non-marital relationships. Rather, in the non-marital relationships looked at in the study, the study found there to not be any meaningful difference between men and women when it came to likelihood of being the initiating party in a breakup. This was the case both for non-marital relationships in which the couple lived together and for non-marital relationships in which the couple lived separately.

What do you think is responsible for this difference between married couples and non-married couples? Why do you think women having a higher likelihood of initiating a breakup is unique to marital relationships? What do you think this says about how marriages and non-marital relationships differ? What do you think it says about how divorces and non-marital breakups differ?

There are many ways in which divorces are different from breakups of non-marital relationships. For one, they generally differ considerably from non-marital relationship breakups in the legal mechanisms/issues they trigger upon initiation. Thus, whether a person is a man or a woman, when they are initiating a divorce, it can be very important for them to understand what legal issues their divorce is likely to raise, what the divorce process is likely to be like and what preparations it is important for them to make in relation to the upcoming divorce proceedings. Divorce attorneys can provide individuals with assistance on this front.

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