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While one long-held stereotype in America about divorce is a scenario in which the middle-aged husband leaves his wife for a much younger woman, statistics show otherwise. According to a AARP The Magazine survey launched a couple of years ago, "66 percent of women claimed to have initiated their split." The survey was conducted, according to the Anchorage Daily News, over more than a thousand divorced men and women, ages 40 to 79.

The age of the participants in the survey could definitely have something do with it. Attitudes and expectations of marriage and gender roles have continued to change in America, especially in the decades since their marriages. Marriage counselor Willard Harley told the Anchorage Daily News that husbands "often feel that the expectations of women in general, and their wives in particular, have grown completely out of reach."

While the stereotype that men were seeking a split may not be true, the age-old stereotype that women are more perceptive and attune to small emotional shifts may hold water. The specific finding that women are more likely to initiate divorce comes ion the heels of a larger AARP finding that "women seemed more in tune with the danger signs of a problem marriage." Men were far more likely to be caught off-guard by an ending marriage.

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