Divorces in Oregon and around the country are far more likely to be initiated by women than men according to several studies. After studying more than 300 married couples over a period of 16 years, researchers from the University of Michigan found that women initiate the process twice as often as men do. Other studies have put the figure even higher and suggest that women initiate eight out of 10 divorces. Education also appears to play a role. The American Sociological Association found that women who have graduated college take the first step to end a marriage 90% of the time.

Women sometimes seek a divorce because of money problems and financial insecurity, but they are more likely to take action because they are unhappy. Women tend to rely more on the intimacy and emotional fulfillment that marriage provides, and this can fade over time as couples fall into a routine and communicate less. The figures suggest that men are more willing than women to accept this state of affairs.

The data also suggests that women are less likely than men to forgive infidelity. This may be because women and men tend to cheat on their partners for different reasons. Men who stray are often only interested in a physical relationship. Women who are unfaithful are more likely to be looking for the nurturing and comfort that their marriages no longer provide. Other common reasons why women end marriages include alcoholism and drug problems, domestic violence and emotional abuse.

Divorces can be especially contentious when one of the spouses involved has been unfaithful. Experienced family law attorneys may seek to prevent negotiations from becoming too acrimonious by taking a businesslike approach, and they could recommend exploring alternative options like mediation when property division and spousal support talks seem unlikely to lead to an amicable settlement.