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Who is less happy in marriage, women or men?

When looking at heterosexual marriages, many people buy into the prevailing myth that women are nearly desperate to get married, while men don't really want to tie the knot and reluctantly go along with it.

While that certainly may be true in some individual cases, the danger is in applying this stereotype to all marriages. To do so assumes that women would be happier than men with their relationships, while men would want out. The statistics shows that things are exactly opposite of that suggestion.

One study found that average women who were married were:

  • More likely to ask their husbands for divorce, rather than the husband filing the papers.
  • Less happy than average men who were also married.
  • Less happy than other women who had not yet tied the knot, like their single friends.
  • Not as convinced as men that people who are married enjoy a higher level of overall happiness than those who are single.

In short, men are more likely to be happy and feel like marriage is the reason for that happiness, while women tend to question it and feel a bit let down by their marriages. This is part of the reason why modern married women are typically the ones who file those divorce papers -- sometimes to the complete surprise of their happily married spouses, who just assumed the happiness went both ways.

No matter which side of this equation you're on, it's important to make sure you know your legal rights. A divorce is nothing to take lightly, and the ramifications can last for the rest of your life.

Source: Time, "The Modern Marriage Trap — and What to Do About It," Lisa Wade, accessed Jan. 30, 2018

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