Survey Says: Most Happily Married Women Will Frequently Contemplate Divorce (Do You?)

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The Secret Lives of Wives bookI recently read Iris Krasnow’s Huffington Post article The Fine Line Between Marriage and Divorce in which she reflects on “coming off 200 interviews and two years of listening to mature wives reflect on — or moan about — how they are managing to stick it out in long marriages.” Interesting intro, no? She’s got a book coming out called The Secret Lives of Wives: Women Share What it Really Takes to Stay Married (out in early October). Krasnow is quick to tell you that in her many years of researching marriages, both happy and unhappy, she’s not easily surprised. That said, she found a few things worth noting this time around. Her words:

“The biggest shocker is the number of wives in stable unions who frequently contemplate fleeing their marriages. These are not abused wives; they are women with nice husbands who give them orgasms and jewelry and stability.”

Why do so many wives who admit to being content in their marriages still have one foot out the door? Krasnow can’t say for sure, but she has a hunch that it’s because they’re, well, just bored. She argues that sometimes it’s what’s not wrong, but rather what’s just too ordinary that is what makes a happy wife start to slowly unravel. After years of happy marriage, Krasnow says the mundane can create thoughts like, “Is this all there is? I want more. I want adventure. I want change.” She says that with more and more women living to be in their 80s and 90s, “us wives could easily hit our 50th wedding anniversaries and beyond. That’s a hell of a long time to sustain one love affair, particularly when empty nest hits and it’s only you and the husband with no cushion of kids as a buffer.”

I must admit this isn’t quite the kind of results and conclusions I hoped would come from such an in depth study on marriage, but the truth is the truth, right? I can’t lie, Krasnow’s thoughts on how and why we wives can feel the sudden and frequent desire for divorce doesn’t seem farfetched. When you feel like you’ve made a mistake, it’s instinctual to want a do-over. It does, however, seem like quitting – no matter how many wedding anniversary toasts a wife has made.

Admittedly, I’ve only been married 11 months, so I’m still visiting newlywed lala land right now. I’d like to think I bought a one-way ticket there, but I couldn’t possibly say for sure what it will be like for me, or Man, 30 years from now. Nothing is ordinary about the love we share, or our life together, and I pray that never changes. If it were to, I pray I’ll have the strength and endurance to fight the need to give up, and instead work hard toward relighting the sparks in my marriage. I say, if you find yourself daydreaming about the d-word you better stop what you’re doing, hop online and book the first vacation for two you can afford. Go clear your head, remember why you picked each other and what you vowed to be to one another, and then rethink how you’re living your lives.

Krasnow’s article is well worth the read, so go check it out. Clearly, it got me to thinking…

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15 Responses to Survey Says: Most Happily Married Women Will Frequently Contemplate Divorce (Do You?)

  1. Just over four years in, I have no thoughts of leaving. I agree with you that if you start to think of the d-word then it's time to start putting in some work. Boredom shouldn't be a reason for divorce. Boredom can be fixed.
    My recent post While I Wasn’t Looking…

  2. I have never thought of divorce. It is not an option to us. We have been married going on 5 yrs and we are determined to make it work no matter what. Marriage is making it work. I am not married just because it works.
    I think people or women these days see marriage as temporary. Something to do for now…maybe to give them a boost in life. I know of too many women who were divorced by the time they were 28-30.
    My recent post Rough and Tough?

  3. nylse says:

    well great minds think alike…check out my blog post on this article.

  4. I've already thought of divorce, I'm afraid to admit. And it's for the very reason listed here: Boredom. Friends that live in Vegas never call to go out and do anything and when I call they're always wrapped up in their own lives (yet strangely have time for other friends). For me, it's a daily routine of staying home and never going anywhere. Never enjoying or experiencing life. It's a horrible feeling of being trapped and suffocated. I have a wonderful husband but I'm just simply stuck. And some days, I just feel my husband deservesso much better.
    My recent post Photographic Fun and Mediocrity

  5. How can I say this without contradicting myself? I've thought about divorce but haven't considered it; does that make sense? I've thought "how awful would it be to get divorced so young?" But I'm confident we won't have to deal with that. Will it be hard? Hell yes. Heck, it's hard enough now and we're only 4 months in, but we're both in it for the long haul. I know there's plenty of reasons why people get divorced but I'm hoping/praying we avoid them all. I'm definitely interested to read the book though!
    My recent post Finance Friday: It’s Time for FINCON11!

  6. Michael Mulligan says:

    I am a 46 year old man and I found this blog very interesting. I have been married to the same woman for almost 25 years (Nov. 22). I know this sounds cliché, but I love her more today that the day we first met. I believe if you can not say that about your spouse then you started out with false hopes. Think about when you first met. You barely knew each other. You didn't know if he was going to leave dirty underwear lying everywhere or if he would pee on the floor because for some reason men can't seem to hit the pot, but yet you were in love. Once the "I Do's" are over, that is when the work begins and trust me it is work, every single day. I grew out of infatuation with my wife and fell madly in love with her. This is no trial, no dry run, and certainly not something to throw away if she doesn't make me dinner every night. It is marital bliss with new things around every blind corner and if you think that only good things are around those corners then you are setting yourself up for failure. Some one commented that boredom is fixable was right. The pursuit of happiness is your responsibility. Take hold of it and make the most of what you have been blessed with..

    • Patricia Smith says:

      Wow…that is awesome! I guess true love does exists. It's refreshing to hear a man say he is still in love with his wife of 25 yrs. I use to think that's what I had with my husband but these past couple of years have been difficult. I've been married 25 yrs and the first fifteen to sixteen years were wonderful but things have changed. I never thought I would even think about divorce but I've been thinking about it a lot lately.

  7. Anna says:

    You are so right on rethinking life, relationship and even thinking back to times when everything was just perfect and that was the reason why you got together. Thanks for sharing this, I just can't wait to read the book!
    My recent post When the apple bites back

  8. Angela says:

    I think that you and the spouse need to have clear and realistic expectations going into the marriage. Too many times we don't imagine our lives 20, 30, 40 years into the future. Three years in and I love the ride that my husband and I are both on. I just don't have false or unrealistic expectations of what we want out of life as individuals or as a unit.
    My recent post Women Love Sports Too: The Wisconsin Sports are AWESOME edition!!!

  9. kennedy505 says:

    Great post thanks
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  10. I think it's natural that people would question their level of happiness in marriage…in any relationship. we change and grow as the time passes so i would hope people would expect their marriages and relationships to change too. nothing stays stagnant not even marriage. i think divorce comes into the equation too quickly sometimes..but then i also a newlywed only 5months in who plans to be married for a lifetime! interesting read though!
    My recent post Secret Newlywed Behaviors: The List

  11. Skye says:

    I think its a little unfair to assume partners will leave each other although there are very good arguments against also. I would never consider it myself.
    Good article non the less, so thanks. :)
    My recent post Click one of the post titles above to include it at the end of your comment

  12. I'm sure there is some point of married life a woman would say to herself, i wish i was free, not married to someone else, but FREE. life for married women with kids can be rather hard sometimes and partners (usually men) can be quite selfish sometimes. been there myself…. but when you think at what's at stake if you decide to go that road, having kids that love their father and all…. it is just not worth it. Divorce is hurtful to children…. best to try and take some family counseling or something and try to patch things up.

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  14. Anthony says:

    I am not surprised to read that happy people will still contemplate divorce. We are humans after all. Very interesting survey results I must say. Thanks for sharing!
    My recent post Coping with Divorce

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