Recently, we investigated common reasons why women initiate divorces in North Carolina. We found that women often choose to leave a marriage because of economic concerns, archaic gender role disputes and emotional issues.

Men, too, cite specific reasons for a failing marriage. Interestingly, the root of many of these problems may be unresolved emotional matters.

Lack of communication

One of the key issues causing difficulty for married men may be feelings of unhappiness, inadequacy or insecurity in their relationships, feelings which they may not know how to communicate. Many men think (or someone taught them to think) that a “real” man does not express feelings like these. Unspoken issues can then manifest in a number of unhealthy actions like cheating, attempts at emotional control and destructive behaviors.

Spending disagreements

Men sometimes cite their wife’s spending habits as a reason for divorce, especially if he brings in more money. A study published in 2016 on the National Institutes of Health website found that women are statistically more likely to exhibit behaviors associated with compulsive buying disorder. However, the reasoning behind the disagreement usually points more toward unfairness and underappreciation than an actual overspending issue.

Underappreciation

Men who feel their wives undervalue their contribution to the marriage may start to feel frustrated. And while a 2018 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey indicates that women still typically take on more household duties, 69% of men reported spending time daily on cooking, chores and work around the house or yard. Instead of seeking more acknowledgment, many of these frustrated men turn to divorce.