Divorce was not a common thing. Why? Societal pressure for many reason. You were supposed to get married and stay married, regardless of how miserable you were. Divorce carried a HUGE stigma.
Besides the fact, that women who want to get divorced carried a stigma, they had no where to go. Women couldn't get a decent job to take care of themselves ( and children). A woman's best chance at employment would probably be a secretary, teacher, or nurse. So, there was an economic incentive to stay married.
Here's a scenario, the affairs that the husband carried. The wives would expect it, but will never confront because there only reason was to stay together, happy.
However, the statistics have changed. From not being common thing to now which is divorce is acceptable. I am not a fan of divorce, but no one should be against their will to stay together.