Gay Divorce: Why Is the Divorce Rate for Lesbians Higher than for Gay Men and Heterosexuals?


Apparently, when it comes to divorce, lesbians are a little bit trigger happy. The divorce rate for lesbians is rather high. Why? Well, they don’t take shit in their marriages.  As soon as they become just a teensy bit unhappy, they bolt out of the marriage. Some estimates put their likelihood of divorcing each other up to 160% greater than heterosexual couples and about 50 percent more likely than queer couples.

What is up with that? In a way it makes sense because even in heterosexual marriages it is the woman who is most likely to initiate divorce proceedings. Men are usually mellower in the relationship and think everything is just peachy and then they get hit with a divorce petition and they are like WTF? Meanwhile, the wife has been seething for years and the clueless guy just didn’t have a clue.

So now when you put two women together, and they both have a clue that they are not happy, of course, they are going to be totally trigger happy and pull the plug on the marriage a lot faster than homosexual male spouses or heterosexual spouses.

But are lesbians unhappier than other groups of spouses? On a whole? Are they just simply unhappier than their straight and gay counterparts? And if so, what is it that perturbs lesbians? Why DO they have such a high rate of divorce?

There are many theories including the “newness” of lesbian marriage as a legally recognized and defensible institution. The theory is that lesbians just don’t know how to be married yet. They are still toddlers in this marriage universe and it will take time for their psyches to mature to the point that they can sustain a committed relationship over the long haul.

Another theory is that lesbian couples don’t have the right amount of societal support and so they are feeling judged and uncomfortable in their own skins and in their relationship and so they crumble up just for that reason alone.


Another theory is that lesbians are too demanding. As women, and like heterosexual women, they want the best relationship and they want it right now. They want a so-called “quality” marriage and are less inclined than gay men or even heterosexual women to put up with a substandard love affair at home.


Still another theory is that women are just very bitchy and when lesbians fight they really go there and say things with their tongues that just inflicts indelible harm to the relationship and so the theory is that things get very toxic very quickly when you have two saber-tongued women lancing each other without mercy on a regular basis.


It is hard to pin down a reason why. In heterosexual marriages, one of the biggest problems is money. That I can tell you. The less money a couple has, the more likely it will end in divorce. Typically, marriage is an economic partnership for heterosexual couples but the husband is usually the one who wins a lion’s share of the bread. For straight women, this dynamic is hardwired in the DNA. Women really dig a man who can provide economic stability for her and her children. It is almost biological. It is a basic instinct.

With a lesbian couple, this seems distorted because neither of the spouses can look to the other for this basic provision.  They have to fend for themselves. And this is not very sexy. And it is not that they cannot and don’t have perfectly good jobs most of them. But its almost like they would have to share the burden equally in certain areas of their marriage that one or both of them simply cannot adjust to. Meaning, neither is a man. So who do they look to to say “you are the provider, please provide for me and the kids.” And even in divorce, what about the alimony? Usually it is the husband who pays that and it is the woman’s birth right. In a lesbian couple, who gets to claim this “feminine” right?

Also, there is the “protection” instinct that lesbians may yearn for in their mate that just is not there. Women are hardwired to expect a man to protect them in tough situations – sort of the way the lion guards the den. No feminist would admit that she still holds this espoir. But close to 100 percent of women hold it. This is biology. In a heterosexual marriage, it is clear who will protect whom. And perhaps in a gay relationship between men as well. Or maybe gay men, by virtue of their biology, don’t even have that gene where they are looking to be “protected.”

In the lesbian relationship, who does the protecting?

Now. This article could be politically incorrect and I could be making some very inappropriate and stereotypical assertions. And in advance, I apologize. But I have to say it as I see it. I think the reason that lesbian women have a higher divorce rate than gay men and heterosexual couples has to do with their biological need to feel protected by their spouse and also the need to feel like their spouse will “provide” for her and her children.

There could be other variables that de-stabilizes this union. But those two are very powerful, indelible ones.

It can only change when ALL women and men eliminate any distinctions in the roles men and women play in society and in our interactions as a species. And I am not sure that, even with the best of intentions, that this is possible.

So there you have it. And I don’t make the rules so don’t shoot the messenger.