Did you know that the lesbian divorce rate is twice as high as it is for gay guys?
Why are lesbians getting divorced at twice the rate of gay men?
This is a serious problem because divorces are devastating. They can be like tornadoes that rip apart your life. And if our community is divorcing at twice the rate of gay men, it’s really important for us to understand what’s going on and how we can avoid it in our own lives…
That’s why I decided to do some research into the issue.
What I learned when I started digging around is that this isn’t actually a lesbian thing at all.
This is a woman thing.
Multiple studies going back to the 1940’s have shown that it’s women who initiate approximately two thirds of all divorces in the US and Great Britain. (Not just LGBT divorces – I’m talking about all divorces).
It turns out that women are twice as likely to initiate a divorce, compared to men.
There are lots of different theories as to why women initiate divorce twice as frequently as men – and most of those theories are totally irrelevant in the context of queer female marriages, so they’re not worth mentioning.
But I did come across one very compelling line of thinking that I want to share.
The basic idea goes as follows: Women are said to be, on average, more empathic than men. This means we’re better able to sense how our partner feels and what our partner wants. It’s also said that women are socialized to be people-pleasers, while men are not.
And this tendency for people-pleasing means women in partnerships are more likely to over-extend ourselves when our partner wants something, but we feel uncomfortable and burdensome asking our partner for what we want.
To be fair, if we don’t know how to ask for what we need, it’s not our partner’s fault that they can’t read our minds.
But the result of us not asking for what we want is that we feel deprived, which starts to feel more and more unfair as we continue to give our partner all the things we intuitively know they want…
And the harder time we have expressing ourselves, the more the frustration we feel can come out in unhealthy ways, like with passive aggressiveness or defensiveness, which only makes things worse.
And since women are so emotionally intelligent, we are more in touch with how bad things are, when things get bad.
So when this leads to a downward spiral, women are more likely to want to divorce.
Obviously every woman’s story is unique, and this one theory can’t explain every failed marriage.
But the argument is still compelling.
I can relate to it, and I think most of the women I’m friends with can also relate to at least some degree of people-pleasing and over-giving, and I think most of us also find it harder to ask for what we want or confront someone when there’s a problem…
And if this pattern builds resentment and undermines relationships, it’s something we are going to want to catch and be aware of and work on in ourselves. Because the truth is – breaking up or getting a divorce won’t make the problem go away.
For any of us who has a pattern of over-giving, or who has trouble asking for what we want – divorcing our partner won’t change the fact that this is our pattern, and the same pattern will show up in all other subsequent relationships, because it’s a part of who we are.
Patterns like these can be changed if we bring awareness and intention to changing them. For all of us who have this pattern, it’s our responsibility to practice getting comfortable expressing our needs and frustrations when they arise.
This doesn’t mean our partner is going to fulfill every desire we express. Nobody can do that for anyone else. But we have to give our partner the chance to step up, instead of us keeping silent and getting upset when they don’t read our minds.
Relationships are hard.
And the responsibility is on both people to learn to communicate better, to resolve conflicts better, to understand each other better, and to have better and better sex together.
The more we do this in our own relationships the happier we will be with our partners, long term.
And that’s how we avoid divorce.
So whether you’re single or whether you’re in a relationship, take a good look at where you’re people pleasing and the ways in which you have a hard time asking for what you want…
And until next time keep remembering: That hot lesbians are everywhere, that love is real, and that if you’re not already with the woman of your dreams, she’ll be showing up in your life in absolutely perfect timing.
If you want lesbian dating advice from me more often, follow me on Instagram @jordana.michelle.
If you enjoyed this blog, then be sure to check out my other popular video: The Games Women Play In Lesbian Dating.