How Powerful Women Deal With Divorce

The BBC reports that in the United States, approximately 70% of all divorces are estimated to be initiated by women, and when women are college-educated, that estimate rises to almost 90%. 

Why Are More Women Filing For Divorce?

While there are many factors at play, perhaps the greatest impact on the lives of women has been the overall increase in financial independence and the evolution of gender roles.

While societal pressures still exist, women are no longer unequivocally expected to be married by a certain age or to sacrifice their careers to be mothers or housewives. Over the decades, women have become increasingly more independent—both financially and romantically. It’s hard not to notice that societal attitudes have shifted drastically when it comes to marriage, gender, motherhood, and divorce. It’s a discussion that has echoed through our culture. And now, this discussion is louder than ever before. 

Free Woman in Black Long Sleeve Shirt Had a Job Interview Stock Photo

Women are not only encouraged to work, but empowered to work by movements led by industry executives. Co-written by Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, the book “Lean In” became widely successful for advocating for women to assert themselves at work and at home. It was a pivotal moment in publishing: a book released by one of the most powerful women in the world, who was responsible for running one of the most powerful corporations in the world. 

When Leaning In Doesn’t Work

Shortly following the success of “Lean In”, the book became criticized for its oversimplification and lack of nuance about the realities of being a working mother. 

Sandberg herself shared that the passing of her husband prompted her to rethink the concept of “leaning in”. She realized that her emphasis on supportive relationships as a key contributor to professional success did not account for women who had unsupportive partners—or no partner at all.

In Lean In, I emphasized how critical a loving and supportive partner can be for women both professionally and personally—and how important Dave was to my career and to our children’s development. I still believe this. Some people felt that I did not spend enough time writing about the difficulties women face when they have an unsupportive partner or no partner at all. They were right.

How the death of Sheryl Sandberg’s husband made her rethink Lean In

How Women Can Walk Away Empowered

Despite the prevalence of women being more likely on average than men to initiate divorce, the decision to separate is not one that comes without pain.

The very issue of unsupportive or unhealthy relationships—mentioned in critiques of Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” movement—is why many women find themselves asking themselves the difficult question of whether or not they should proceed with a divorce.

With less taboo and more conversation about divorce, women are also becoming more educated about the drawbacks of divorce litigation and discovering better alternatives. More and more couples are skipping expensive and draining divorce court proceedings and instead opting for mediation.

Colleen McNamee facilitates Newport Beach divorce mediation services in a private space so that couples can legally separate on mutually agreed-upon terms.

With the many responsibilities that modern women juggle, mediation is a great option for those who wish to save time and money in the process of divorcing their spouse.