That first trip down the aisle may be a person’s best chance at marital happiness. The more times a person is married, the greater the chances are that the next marriage (and subsequent marriages) will end in divorce. Census Bureau data suggests that second, third and subsequent marriages fail at greater rates than first marriages. Statistics show that 40 percent to 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce, 67 percent of second marriages, and an eye-popping 73 percent of third marriages are unsuccessful.
Many people rebound quickly into the arms of another mate instead of healing after a divorce. Grieving the demise of a marriage is an important stage in dealing with a divorce and this means making a friend of the man or woman in the mirror. Sometimes people find hidden talents, explore different hobbies and create new friendships; sometimes not. But when people skip grief and sadness, the second marriage often turns into a dismal reiteration of the first.
The idea of going through life without a partner alarms most people, particularly after they have been married. Traditional gender roles can now be a trap. Women who did domestic duties for many years now bring stale work skills to an indifferent job market; competent men stumble and fumble with everything that needs to be taken care of at home. Sometimes people remarry someone who replaces lost partners. Remarriage for the wrong reasons gets the new marriage off to a bad start.
The first divorce seems like a tragedy; the second time around seems like a manageable life problem. Divorce has lost its stigma, so people don’t work as hard to avoid it. After a person has been through one divorce and has made it through, he or she knows it can be done again. Divorced people have already learned that they know how to be self-sufficient without a partner.
The Brady Bunch is television, but blended families are real life. Some second marriages crash when children don’t take to a new spouse. Mistreatment, favoritism, and animosity among the children generates woes and worries for the spouses.
A step-couple should discuss parenting methods to be sure each approves of how each other handles and disciplines the children.
Childless marriages make a clean break much easier; the partners sever ties. Having children involved means the former spouses must communicate. It can be challenging for a new spouse to forge the necessary relationship with the children’s other parent. Additionally, when a childless spouse marries someone with children, it can be hard for the nonparent to understand the priorities of a family with kids.
And finally history – formerly married people sometimes have too much of it. A crazed former husband or wild former wife, multiple children and stepchildren, or stretched finances – all can come together and help load the dice against the a couple making that second try. Emotional baggage keeps couples from happiness the second time around because people compare the new man or woman with the old. After being married, a divorce leaves former spouses with plenty of baggage that makes new marriages more complex.