Nick, perhaps this is what you were thinking of — that women are more likely than men to initiate divorce, but that’s not the only aspect of “keeping your vows.” Men still cheat more often than women.

“Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Stanford University analyzed data from 2009–2015 from a nationally representative survey consisting of over 2000 adults, ages 19–94 who were in a heterosexual marriage. Rosenfeld found that nearly 70% of women initiated a divorce, but this figure did not translate to break-ups in dating relationships. The author explains the difference in results between breakups in dating relationships as due to the baggage that comes with marriage, particularly for women. Non-marital relationships tend to be more flexible and adaptable. Rosenfeld argues that for women, marriage itself is burdened by outdated expectations and hasn’t evolved to fit current expectations for gender equality. For instance, the women who reported more dissatisfaction in this study also reported that loss of independence and controlling husbands were the primary cause of their unhappiness (American Sociological Association, 2016).” (Emphasis mine)

As I said in the initial article, it’s one of the beauties of polyamory that you have to learn to let go of trying to control each other or have co-dependant tendencies. You have to have good boundaries but also good communication. It just promotes a lot of healthy interpersonal habits that tend to be largely absent in patriarchal style relationships. Both men and women enter into these, largely because it’s the only model they’ve ever had and they don’t know anything else is possible, but it doesn’t mean they lead to good relationships.

And I’m not saying that all monogamous relationships are patriarchal style, but as someone who was in a generally happy monogomous relationship for 20 years, I speak from experience when I say, getting away from nearly all vestiges of that way of relating to each other as husband/wife has been very beneficial to us both. There’s too much historical baggage and expectations with those terms and we do much better as partners.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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