I'm not sure that is a woman thing... my H also has that expectation. I think anyone who cuts and runs from a marriage and a family without first talking to their spouse and trying to fix it, is made of the same cloth. The expectation is that a relationship should be effortless and easy otherwise it is not right. My H seems to have been raised with that idea. I was raised with "nothing worth having is easy"...very different mindset and approach to life.
A few years ago I was approached by an ex-gf. She was having marital problems, and I (wrongly probably) confided in her that I was in a SSM.
She suggested we have an affair. I told her no. I said: "I truly believe that if people put the energy they have to put into cheating (the sneaking around, lying, etc) into their marriage, then their marriage would be better and the problems in it could be fixed."
She wanted to take the perceived easy way out. I was advocating putting in the hard work necessary to fix a marriage. I agree with you Deja, anything worth having take hard work.
Found a few years later that she did have an affair. She is still with her husband but found out the hard way that As are not what they seem to be when they are first embarked on.
M(51), W(52),D(16) M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017 Ring and Piecing since March 2018