Close this search box.
 Logo9 - Selleck Legal, PLLC

Study: Divorce risk higher when wives feel more marital tension

Study: Divorce risk higher when wives feel more marital tension

A study recently published in the journal Developmental Psychology found that when wives experience more tension than their husbands do, the risk of divorce increases.

The study was done by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, and data from the Early Years of Marriage Project was used. That research project began back in 1986. A total of 355 couples were followed for 16 years. The couples were about half white and half black. Interviews took place when the couples had been married between four and nine months, and then again when the couples were married for two, three, four, seven and 16 years.

The study found that the husbands’ tensions increased faster than the wives’ did, but the wives’ increase in marital tension that was the predictor of divorce.

The risk of divorce was higher when the husbands reported that they had a low level of tension and the wives reported that their marital tension was higher. According to the study’s lead author, “It could reflect a lack of investment in the relationship on the husband’s part — they might believe it’s unnecessary to change or adjust their behavior.”

The couples were asked how often they were tense from disagreeing, arguing or fighting with their spouse. While the husbands initially reported having lower tension levels at the beginning of their marriages, it increased more as the marriages continued. Women reported having higher tension levels initially. The lead author believes that this could be because women have a “more realistic expectation of marriage, while husbands had a more idealistic expectations of wives.”

Marital tension is probably something with which you are familiar if you are considering divorce. An experienced attorney can help you understand the process and your legal options, helping to make your divorce easier to handle.

Source:, “Divorce risk rises when wives feel more tension,” Morgan Sherburne-Michigan, accessed Dec. 29, 2017

Free Consultation