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London - Fewer women are seeking divorce as husbands are more willing to share domestic duties, experts say.

Wives wanting to end their marriage within five years has reached the lowest level in four decades, statistics show – almost halving from its peak in 1986.

Marriage experts say the change has been led by a cultural shift with men more willing to share childcare and domestic responsibilities, making women “less cross”.

Figures from the office for National Statistics, analysed for the Marriage Foundation, showed 7.9 percent of women who had married in 1986 asked for a divorce within five years.

But just over four percent of women who married in 2008 had asked for divorce by 2013.

As women are most likely to instigate divorce, this contributed to an decline in the divorce rate over the past two decades.

Sir Paul Coleridge, Marriage Foundation founder, told the Sunday Times the findings suggested “that ‘men doing better’ must be a significant factor”.

Susanna Abse, of the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, said: “There are more men who expect to be involved with childcare and the whole domestic setup, and that leads to more satisfaction. There is an expectation that men will be more engaged, so women are less cross.”