Hugo Schwyzer, in a column at "The Good Men Project", notes that women initiate divorce more often than men (about 2/3 of the time) and looks for what's wrong with men. He concludes that
Too many of us think that a “real man” keeps his promises—even when those promises are making him miserable.OK, um, that's kind of what differentiates a promise from a tentative statement. Or, say, a lie, a fraud, false pretenses. I don't think it's exactly a "real man" thing in the sense that a "real woman" doesn't likewise keep her promises. Or a real small furry creature from Alpha Centauri, for that matter. It's a promise, like a person might make, not a MAN-promise.
Schwyzer identifies himself as feminist, but I can't see that it's really in women's best interests that more men initiate divorces. The first one to initiate takes the choice away. I can't see why one would look at "Group A keeps promises longer than Group B" and say "Therefore Group A should be more like Group B", except if one says, "Group A and B are different and where they are, Group B are inevitably better."
He goes on in the concluding paragraph,
Good marriages need more than a grim resolve not to leave no matter how bad things get. Men are more likely to forget that than women.Based on what? The rest of the article gives no reason to suspect men don't try as hard or harder than women to make the marriage work. Still he comes up with this implication that men are doing nothing but sitting there not initiating divorces. The promises in most wedding vows include language about trying to make the marriage work, and in my experience there's no reason to suspect that the same people who stick with the marriage for a long time because of the promise don't try harder to make it work because of the promise.
I don't want to imply that initiating a divorce is always bad; some people were actually married to someone who really was just sitting there not initiating, or in one case I know the guy who didn't initiate had actually moved in with another woman. Sometimes initiating is definitely the right thing to do.
In general though, maybe if men initiate fewer divorces because they want to keep their promises, that's actually a good thing. We can't always be the villains. I'm really not inclined to advice from "The Good Men Project" after this; it's rather a condescending name to begin with. I think I'll stick with my Bible.