For most of the history of the United States, divorce required individuals to show fault in the marriage, which typically meant that one of the spouses was either mentally ill or an adulterer. However, there were many conditions on these divorces, and it was more common for a divorce to be denied rather than approved. Often, judges would find details in the case and deny the divorce. Even forgiving your spouse for adultery was considered a reason to reject a divorce.
These days, you can find local affordable divorce lawyer by just looking online, but for years it was incredibly difficult to get divorced. In 1937, the only reason you could get divorced, outside of adultery, was due to drunkenness, insanity, or desertion. It wasn’t until 1969 that the law was reformed to allow couples to divorce if they had suffered irreconcilable differences, even if neither party was at fault.
These days, divorce still favors a man, although women have a better chance at being treated fairly than ever before. The greatest shift was the move to divorces that required no fault. This meant that a household that was unhappy, but in which no party had committed adultery or abuse, could still finalize a divorce.