Originally Posted by Pladio
It is when divorce can make you a pariah in the society where no one would want to marry you again, because you've been used up. In many ultra-religious places, this is the case and sometimes women who get beaten do not even want to divorce because of all the consequences there would be for her.
In Western countries divorce has been made easier because women are treated unfairly otherwise. I have friends from Nigeria who say their parents used to tell them these things all the time on how the white people divorce a lot, but now that they came to the UK they realize the differences in why and how. A friend of someone I know, his father stabbed his mother, which almost killed her and that was the last straw which made her separate from her husband, not even divorce!
If a woman asked for divorce in some societies, she needs the husband's permission for it too unless there is something very bad going on.
You take one data point and create lots of assumptions, but you do not look at every side of the argument and just one which is presented to you.
Divorce, abortion and all the other social issues that you see as very politically relevant in the US are in fact thing that people have always wanted to do, but if they did it before they would get shunned, exiled,…
A very extreme example would be the Amish people who would exile you from using any modern technology. You would say that's stupid, why shouldn't you be able to use modern tech? Well, because modern technology is what has lead the world to become this pit of sin.
Again, that's a false supposition. You first have to show that people didn't sin before and so on.
Same with divorce, people who wanted to divorce before couldn't out of fear of being shunned, beaten harder and in many cases, the court wouldn't allow for it so easily.
My mom knows someone in India who was arranged to marry someone 30 years older than her. She wasn't happy at all, but couldn't get a divorce. It's not done in those societies. So you say it's because there is no dominant male that people divorce, instead look at why people do NOT divorce. You'll see that it's not only because they're all so happy. There are many forces involved.
You even have to add to this that in Western countries the person (usually the woman) who gets to take charge of the kids gets a lot of help and the other person has to pay alimony. In countries like Nigeria, if you're a woman who wants to divorce and take the children away that's possible, but you don't get half the assets, the house, the car, alimony and so on, you have to go and take care of you and your kids on your own now. Your husband will easily remarry someone else who he can cheat on or beat and you will have to fend for yourself.
Nigeria is a very religious country by the way with about half the population being Muslim and the other half Christian. A massive percentage are churchgoers, unlike Western countries. Just to show the difference in way of life.
So basically, there is no protection in many of those countries for divorcees and their kids, which is yet another reason why people in Europe do divorce more.
You can say that there not being a dominant person contributes to all of these factors and you might even be able to show it in some places, but saying that THAT IS the reason for why people divorce more is really not the way to go.
You also have to consider that you would also find marriages which end up in divorce in Europe because someone is taking charge too, so it's a very difficult thing to say.
EDIT: sorry for the long post.
I think you're putting the cart before the horse here. It's not that the divorce rate is low because men boss around with their wives, it's that men boss around with their wives because the divorce rate is so low. Or, rather, the explanation for why men get to boss around with their wives is also the explanation for why divorce rate is so low.
Another factor of those conservative, partriarchal cultures is that women don't work. Which means they need to rely on men for food and housing. What do you think that does to the power balance between the man and the wife in the marriage? Well, what happens is that the wife stands a lot more to lose on the man being unhappy than the man stand to lose on the wife being unhappy. Which means that when the man bosses around with his wife, all that's going to lead to is that the wife suffers in silence.
In a more equal society where women work, however, that just doesn't fly. Treat your spouse poorly here and it's just a question of time before she figures she's better off on her own. Because here the wife has an income, which means she can stay single and still have food and housing.
(Which, I believe, is why, in the west, the more equal the marriage, the more stable they are.)
In other words, in the divorce-free countries the men call the shots because the women have no option but to accept the situation as it is. The marriages doesn't lead to divorce for the same reason.
(Well, among other things, anyway.)