Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

In general, who do you think is most to blame when a relationship fails, the man or the woman?

Asked by Dutchess_III (36375points) December 27th, 2012

In your opinion.

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56 Answers

blueiiznh's avatar

Most times it is the secret lover that is at fault.

Otherwise I vote for the following in no particular order:
Picking Faults
Emotional Attachment

ETpro's avatar

In my experience, it’s always been the woman’s fault. Of course, if you’re female, YMMV.

BosM's avatar

Most to blame? All relationships have different challenges.

Young people in relationships can struggle with maturity. More mature individuals have relationships fail because of a variety of challenges including money, compatibility, selfishness, etc. Emptynesters find that once the kids leave they have forgotten how to be a couple and wonder what they have in common. Work-aholics relationships fail because they lack work life balance. Other relationships fail because people stray….

My guess is that it is 50% men, 50% women when it comes to who is ultimately responsible.

janbb's avatar

I can’t imagine generalizing about this. Of course in my case…....

zenvelo's avatar

I don’t think that blame can be that easily assigned. And I think you’d get a different answer depending on who you ask.

As a gross generalization, she will say, “he wouldn’t change”, while he will say, “she always wanted me to change”.

ucme's avatar

I must concede that humping her sister lays the blamely squarely at my door…actually it was at her house, but you catch my drift.

burntbonez's avatar

Is this a joke question?

First of all, I find that assigning blame is pretty much a useless thing to do. I believe in problem solving, not assigning blame. Second, since there is no blame, neither man nor woman has more of it when a relationship fails.

Of course, I’m not in a relationship of that sort, so make of that what you will.

CWOTUS's avatar

It’s always easy to say “it’s the man’s fault” or “it’s the woman’s fault” and be perfectly accurate in the assertion with homosexual couples. That is, if they each self-identify as “man” or “woman”.

If you had a nominally heterosexual couple where the “woman” self-identified as male and the “man” self-identified as female, then I suppose you could make the assertion, stand back and see how things fall out – and still be more or less right.

Otherwise, it’s almost always “the fault of the other”. Except in @ucme‘s case, where it will always be his fault.

Dsg's avatar

@burntbonez I like your answer! Blaming doesn’t really matter. I don’t believe any one person is ever more at fault. If you want the relationship to work, both parties have to make the time and effort. Both people have to listen and communicate. Both have to be willing to work at it. Like everything, you have to keep trying to get it right.

Coloma's avatar

Millions of reasons relationships fail, from mutual growing apart to only one person taking an axe to the relational house via cheating, lying, abuse, etc.
It may take two to make a relationship work, but it only takes one to destroy it.
I dumped an ex female friend because she was abusive to her husband, and all she cared about was his money and supporting her lavish lifestyle of horses and Hummers. He was sick in bed one day with an attack of Diverticulitis and she actually SAID to me that ” Bob better get his ass of of bed and go make money.” !!!!!!!


In my case, my marriage failed because my ex was a narcissistic liar and a cheat. I didn’t deserve that, and I divorced his ass pronto, much to his disbelief! Haha, the little blonde Cocker Spaniel surprised everyone with her big dog bite. lol

No second chances for weak willed idiots, regardless of gender.

jca's avatar

How could this question be answered with a sweeping generalization? It’s a case by case thing, and each case is different, plus it usually takes two to tango.

Shippy's avatar

Just to humor you Ill choose.

Women. Lot of the women I know value men on what they can supply them. Financially. Then not only that, if their best friend has a bigger one they want it too. Then of course their kids have to go to a better school than so and so’s kids. So husband works harder and wife complains he’s never at home. Plus women are generally passive aggressive, which really is probably more soul destroying than anything.

Men are easy lots of sex, food and adoration and hes yours for life. Maybe not sure.

Judi's avatar

I went to a marriage seminar where they said that every relationship has a built in marriage manual that will provide the solution to every marriage problem. It’s called “a wife.”

tinyfaery's avatar

Uh…this is a very hetero-normative question. When things go bad in relationships it’s usually a combination of things. No one person is to blame.

marinelife's avatar

I think it totally depends on the two people involved.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I knew you guys would get your back up over it but….everyone that I’ve known who got a divorce, it was because the husband was abusive, or unfaithful or whatever. It seems to me that, in general, most women are willing to work harder at a marriage than most men are.

tinyfaery's avatar

Lesbians break up, too. Just sayin’.

wundayatta's avatar

Women are always to blame. Ever since God made the world 6000 years ago (or was it 8000?), and Eve did that snake thing and had to take a taste of the apple, women have been the problem. Really, I have no idea what God was thinking. I mean, if He’d given us some kind of reproduction artificial womb or something, we could have ejaculated into it and nine months later, gotten a baby, handed it over to the child care machine, and ten years later, gotten a grown boy that would be ready to take responsibility in the world.

Imagine that! No worrying about who you’re gonna conk on the head so you can fuck her. No worrying about child bearing and child care, which basically are the only things women are good for, and we’d have no problems in the world. We’d still be running around naked. No worries about evil or whatnot.

Yep. Women are to blame. 100 percent. Maybe 150 percent. But you know what? Really, I blame God, because He was the one what set it all up in the first place. I mean, what kind of crack-brained scheme was that? Women!!!!???? With men? How stupid can you get?

Dutchess_III's avatar

LOLL! @wundayatta!

And I thought about gay couples, @tinyfaery, but I felt it would have been too much explaining to include it in the details.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Depends on the relationship, of course. And who says it was anyone’s fault? Some people just can’t be together.

Coloma's avatar

@wundayatta Haha…well….only the ridiculous male of the species would walk around with the continents tattooed on his ass. I mean really…why wouldn’t you just ink in some eyes, maybe the face of a great horney owl. At least you would have a double draw when “moonlighting.” You could catch the attention coming and going. haha
I mean males? Seriously, just look at the mating rituals of Bower Birds….really lame. lol ;-D

Bellatrix's avatar

It depends on the couple and their circumstances. I don’t think you can blame one party either. Relationships are about two people and they both contribute to its success or failure. I certainly wouldn’t say it is mostly men who cause things to go pear shaped. Some women cheat, are selfish, spend too much money, give up, run away, are abusive and make the same mistakes some men do and are not prepared to work to improve their relationship.

creative1's avatar

@tinyfaery then it would definately be her fault and if it were a gay relationship then it would be his (lol)

Why always look for blame because a relationship ended some just were never meant to be there for the long haul. Why look for a particular sex to lay blame on when it could be either or both that weren’t willing to work on making the relationship work. Or maybe the love just wasn’t there even though you both worked on it. There are many things that go wrong in a relationship that doesn’t work out to just ask which sex made it happen.

woodcutter's avatar

Some people are just never meant to be together, and its easier to blame the other party for the falling out to save face. If a woman has been divorced 5 times I would tend to lean toward her just being slightly impossible. She is looking for something that doesn’t exist. Same if it was the other way around.

josie's avatar

If the guy leaves, it means he is an asshole.
If the girl leaves, it can only mean that the guy is an asshole.
There ya go.

woodcutter's avatar

I’m an asshole and my wife sticks around which is cool she’s kinda an asshole too

Blackberry's avatar

The children. Haha.

hearkat's avatar

BOTH partners – regardless of gender (the question disregards same-sex relationships). Relationships generally start with both parties having the best intentions. When a relationship fails, somewhere along the line, communication broke down and things spiraled out from there. In my failed relationships, I can build a strong case against my exes, but in hindsight I can recognize that I made mistakes that contributed to the degradation of the relationship.

woodcutter's avatar

@woodcutter LOL! ungrateful little bleaters!

Berserker's avatar

Unfortunately, unless there are studies about who’s fault it actually is…and unless the partner rapes the family dog, drowns the neighbor in paint or keeps a secret mosquito farm…the only ’‘certitude’’ by which to go on are coin sides. Which, inevitably, renders both parties guilty, as heard by each. In the same vein then it follows as such; what is the worse Zodiac sign that exists? Whatever sign my ex was, of course.
Therefore, in such a case, unless your partner was Adolf Hitler or Elizabeth Bathory, I say personal opinion, and aye, even experience, be damned.

In this way, we can never know, unless, of course, some studies exist out there which show actual, unbiased accounts and proof that are made of nothing but pure, cold hard logic. Although I’m guessing generalization on this subject wouldn’t exist if said subject was as simple as the idea of traffic lights. Of course, I’m much happier living with this kind of stuff where I don’t have to be a slave, or ordered to marry some old hairy bastard when I was 12.

JLeslie's avatar

I think usually there is some “fault” that can be applied to both people in the relationship when it goes south. And, relationships break up for many reasons.

However, I do think men are more likely to not communicate well when things are going poorly. I think they are more likely to “suffer” in silence, and not necessarily focus their energy on improving the relationship when it is going south. And, men are more ego driven, and if another women tells them they are sexy and like a king in all they have accomplished they are more likely to stray, especially if their wife has stopped doing that. So, then does the wife have fault for not appreciating all that her husband does do? Or, maybe she very well does appreciate him, but just fails to tell him? But, women do this too, it is impossible to make a huge sweeping generalization. And, I kind of said probably the man is to blame more often than the woman, but I would bet women are more likely to ask for divorces? I wonder what that stat is?

I never assume whose fault it is when a relationship breaks up. I think relationships can be very complex and only the two people in the relationship really know what happened, and eve they have their own perspectives.

ucme's avatar

Wow, @CWOTUS really does seem to have a hard-on for dissing me, so long as it keeps him happy.

bookish1's avatar

The gay guys in the locker room are to blame.

Judi's avatar

@bookish1 , only partly right. It’s gay marriage! that’s the ticket! All white heterosexual marriages would be perfect if those gays weren’t allowed to marry!~

Dutchess_III's avatar

So, say a guy has been married 5 times, and all his ex-wives were able to re-establish successful marriages after him….?

hearkat's avatar

@Dutchess_III – That is a case-study, not a sociological norm. Someone I know recently mentioned a female relation of theirs who is getting divorced for the third time. It is not something that happens more to men or women.

In the case of the individual who has many failed relationships, they are likely to have unrealistic expectations for their partners and relationships as a whole. They often are not completely genuine during the courtship stage, and then behave differently once there is a commitment made… some will then claim that their partner “never really knew me”, which usually means that they did not open up and allow the other to get to know the real “them”.

Coloma's avatar

One spin on the marriage wheel was enough for me in this lifetime anyway. haha
I can see marrying twice, but seriously, anything over that I think the person is a damn fool.
Jeez….give it up and get a cat or a dog or a goose. lol

Paradox25's avatar

Both. Here is one typical scenerios here: A guy treats his woman real good, woman gets bored and either cheats or leaves him. The new guy screws her over, then these women are calling all men pigs. The same scenerio can be true vice versa. I could add many more contradictions, but I’m done here. Personally I blame the gender role expectations as they’re applied to dating rather than males or females as a whole. Most of the problems mentioned above have their root causes created from gender role expectations in my opinion.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Paradox25 Do you think it’s gender role expectations that cause men to “wander” more than women?

Paradox25's avatar

@Dutchess_III Relevant, and this is one of the best sites on the Internet since it is based off of actual scientific research, but uses layman terms.

Dutchess_III's avatar

In Wiki I saw that ⅔ of divorces are initiated by women. I wonder why?

hearkat's avatar

@Dutchess_IIIThat was discussed before My understanding of “divorce initiated by women” means that it is more often the woman who files for the divorce in court, not that she was the cause of the failure of the marriage.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Interesting. The thread you linked to clearly came down on the side of the women as usually being the initiators of divorce because of mistreatment or neglect by their husbands. Yet, word the question differently and you get a whole different answer from the same people!

Paradox25's avatar

@hearkat Relevant, and may surprise you.
@Dutchess_III The link I’d provided in my latter post actually addresses these issues from a different perspective. I think that too many American feminists are more concerned with political and legal issues vs cultural issues, despite the fact that most of these feminist’s concerns have their root causes in the culteral end of things.

I think that liberal masculists have it right over American feminists and moderate/conservative masculists. By eliminating the high masculine expectations of males, which it seems that many American feminists and conservative masculists do not address, most men’s and women’s concerns would disappear.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What high masculine expectations do we have? And how are those expectations any higher than the ones placed on women?

hearkat's avatar

@Paradox25 – It does not surprise me. You can’t simplify the reasons for divorce in one sentence or less, though. And I still want to point out that people usually file for divorce long after the relationship has failed.

This post here is asking of one gender bears more responsibility for the failure of a relationship than the other in heterosexual relationships, not who files for divorce the most often. There is considerable difference between the two.

I filed for divorce 16 years ago. My ex chose alcohol over his wife and son. We’d had violent arguments, but I wouldn’t say that I was abused (yet, might’ve gone there if I hadn’t kicked him out). He didn’t cheat on me during the marriage (that I am aware of). At the time we separated, he was earning more than I did (he lost his job through his own fault during the separation, and never held another job after that). So the first three items on the list would not explain my reasons for divorcing him.

Let’s consider the last three: Had I ‘outgrown’ him? Yes (He was 38 years old and still partying like he was 18. I was a licensed medical professional). Did I need him? No (never did). Would I win? Absolutely (ultimately, he even lost visitation rights because he got a DUI and demonstrated erratic behavior, including attempted suicide)—Do any of those really explain the reason the relationship ended? Hell no.

ETpro's avatar

@hearkat Let me at least try to simplify the reasons for divorce in less than one sentence.

同 病 相 憐.

hearkat's avatar

@ETpro – I disagree (if my translation app is correct)... if misery loves company, I would have stayed married! My goal was to remove myself and my son from a miserable situation.

Dutchess_III's avatar

同 病 相 憐. I think we can make our own translations. “Leave your girlfriend and get your ass home to your wife and kids and quit trying to micro-control your wife!” (One of the many reasons I filed for divorce with my ex husband.)

ETpro's avatar

@hearkat & @Dutchess_III Actually, that’s what various Chinese philosophers have written to expound on the law of reciprocity that Confucius expounded. That is basically the Golden Rule. What goes around comes around.

hearkat's avatar

@ETpro – So much for web translations. But “what goes around, comes around” is karma; the Golden Rule is to “do unto others as you would have them do to you”, no?

ETpro's avatar

@hearkat Both arise from the same truth. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” because “What goes around comes around.” If you do evil to others, they in turn will do evil to you. Capiche?

hearkat's avatar

@ETpro – I see your point; it’s a chicken/egg thing, I suppose.

Coloma's avatar

Women do initiate and file for divorce about 90% of the time.
My ex marriage therapist told me that men want you, they don’t want you, they stray, but they almost always come back, but when a woman is done, she is really done.’
I do agree with this, especially in relationships of my my generation. I know this was true for me. I bent over backwards, literally and figuratively to bring healthy change to my marriage, wasn’t going to happen.

Yes, the stats show that women initiate divorce the vast majority of the time.

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