Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How to avoid a second divorce

S. and her widower boyfriend fell in love and planned their retirement together two weeks after they started dating; in less than a year, he cruelly dumped her. The only consolation for the heartbroken S is that she discovered who he really was before tying the knot for the second time. Hers is a cautionary tale that explains why the divorce rate for second marriages is so high. Here are the stats:

* Divorce rate in America after first marriage is from 41% to 50%.
* US divorce rate after second marriage is from 60% to 67%
* After 3 marriages the US divorce rate is from 73% to 74%

Why do subsequent marriages fail? Research shows that the second marriage divorce rate greatly increases if you’ve been in a relationship with a person for less than a year.

It has also been proven that both men and women want to be married and connected regardless of the misery they suffered in their last marriage. Loneliness can drive anyone to seek relief in their second marriage and few people are thinking straight when they remarry too quickly.

The burning desire to “not be lonely” creates such a hunger that people fall in love with the idea of being in love, rather than with their partner as he or she really is. They are "blinded by love."

And romance is a powerful drug. It can keep you in a trance right up until the moment you say "I do" for the second time.

But once you’re married, that romance gradually gets replaced with the predictability of married life, and either the problems you thought you left behind by getting your first divorce, or the previously unseen flaws and shortcomings of your new spouse, eventually undermine the second marriage.

The central message of our book is that divorced women must take the time to rebuild their lives and get comfortable with themselves before they can have a successful new relationship. Two more caveats: don't rush into any relationship, and resist the temptation to fantasize about the future with your new love. It's easy for partners to feel warm and lovey-dovey for awhile, but after about a year, they reveal whether they or not they REALLY want to be in a relationship.

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