Contrary to all the celebrity divorce headlines you've been reading, love isn't dead. But is marriage?

By Kylie Gilbert

On the heels of a summer rife with celebrity divorces (Miranda and Blake too?!), a new study sheds light on who might be causing all the breakups in the U.S.

And ladies, we hate to break it to you, but we can't blame men for this one: Women are (a lot) more likely to initiate divorce than guys are, according to research presented to the American Sociological Association. In fact, the research from Stanford found that wives asked for the split in 69 percent of about 2,500 cases studied. Yep, 69. (Luckily, science shows you'll also recover from that breakup faster than your ex.)

Surprised? Well, study author Michael Rosenfeld, Ph.D., points out in the paper that, contrary to popular belief, it's usually the wives who file for divorce. Why? It could be because wives tend to report lower relationship quality than husbands. And while there are plenty of reasons for that, one could be because of the plain ol' institution of marriage. "I think that marriage as an institution has been a little bit slow to catch up with expectations for gender equality," Rosenfeld explained in a statement. "Wives still take their husbands' surnames, and are sometimes pressured to do so. Husbands still expect their wives to do the bulk of the housework and the bulk of the childcare." And once stuck in these "roles," women might be consumed by unhappiness more than their partners.

But here's the catch: Females overwhelmingly initiating breakups held true only for marriages. Men and women in non-marital relationships in the U.S. are equally as likely to want to call it quits-even those already living together. (More on that here: Shacking Up Before Marriage Won't Doom Your Relationship After All.) And both sexes in non-marital relationships reported equal relationship quality too, the study reports. "Non-marital relationships lack the historical baggage and expectations of marriage, which makes the non-marital relationships more flexible and therefore more adaptable to modern expectations, including women's expectations for more gender equality," Rosenfeld's statement continued.

Our advice: No matter your relationship status, don't let gender roles get in the way. Love is blind, right?



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