Second Marriages - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Second Marriages

Something I read on-line last night has been eating at me ever since. I don't remember the exact figures but as I understand it about 40-50% of first marriages end in divorce.

We knew that.

What I didn't know was that something around 60-70% of SECOND marriages fail as well.

The reasons seem to be, excess baggage from the prior marriage, difficulty in integrating children, financial difficulties caused by the first marriage, and on and on.

All of which raises a question: should we be telling folks contemplating divorce to go ahead and do it because a wonderful second spouse is out there somewhere? Is the data just crappy? Or do we need to rethink our advice?

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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 03:10 PM
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Re: Second Marriages

A couple of things come to mind. Perhaps that wonderful second spouse isn't out there (I do think there are many good/better prospects, though), but you know the first spouse was a mistake - that's why you dump them. You can HOPE to do better the next time, whether or not you do so. Besides, even if second marriages fail at a higher rate does not mean they aren't GREAT for a number of years.

I think the real reason second marriages end more often, is that people won't put up with their spouse's crap anymore, and having divorced once, realize it isn't so bad as you once thought, is survivable, and maybe even 'thrivable.' I think more first marriages would end in divorce if people realized they could do better, even if they end up without another marriage. Fear keeps them stuck in bad marriages.

And of course, there are those many people who have wonderful, lasting second marriages, like me. Despite the various challenges, it's still far, far better and happier than either of our first marriages.

Love is an ideal thing; marriage is a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 03:11 PM
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Re: Second Marriages

I've read that about 38 to 40 % of 1st marriages fail. The rate of failure for 2nd marriages is over 60% and it shoots past 70% for 3rd marriage.

Once you're willing to blow up a marriage once, the inhibition goes down dramatically after that. of course there are exceptions but the numbers don't lie.
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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 03:19 PM
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Re: Second Marriages

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Originally Posted by sidney2718 View Post
All of which raises a question: should we be telling folks contemplating divorce to go ahead and do it because a wonderful second spouse is out there somewhere? Is the data just crappy? Or do we need to rethink our advice?
Most people who post here are in marriages with little chance of saving, which is why the majority of advice to newcomers is to cut their losses and divorce, and it's usually spot on. But here we have a particular subset of the married population where the marriages are in a really bad place.

To the population in general, we need to be spreading the word that marriage is a failed concept and if anything, we should be telling folks contemplating marriage not to do it because the odds are it will end in a divorce, especially if it's a subsequent marriage.

But it doesn't matter what we tell them because lets face it, they aren't going to listen to us anyway.
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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 03:33 PM
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Re: Second Marriages

I think the reason second marriages fail so much is that there is little to no introspection. No lesson learnt from the recent failed relationship. Only bitterness and a more jaded view of life carried over. If someone does some deep soul-searching — and I mean deep — then I think the second marriage will have a higher success rate than even the first. But, alas, how many are willing to look at their naked self? It is a terrible sight. To see that you are not this shiny angel/snowflake you always imagined yourself to be. It makes one uncomfortable. I have done it. I know what it feels like.

This introspection, if it is thorough, I think can make one come out better. Make one realise that you do not wait for the feelings to love or display love but be intentional. Let your feelings fall in line with your will and not the other way around. Let love grow out of the tumultuous whirlwind of emotion and sentiment that characterises adolescent infatuation. Let it be about choices more than emotions. Unfortunately, we are, like Fitzgerald said, "boats against the current, borne back ceasely into the past". We are struggling to regain some youthful euphoria, some remembered past, fonder in memory than it was in reality. I think a few will learn this. I think many won't.

Godspeed, OP.

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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 03:39 PM
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Re: Second Marriages

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I think the reason second marriages fail so much is that there is little to no introspection. No lesson learnt from the recent failed relationship. Only bitterness and a more jaded view of life carried over. If someone does some deep soul-searching — and I mean deep — then I think the second marriage will have a higher success rate than even the first.
Nah. Your logic is flawed and the points you make in your post fly in the face of the reasons commonly given for failure rates of subsequent marriages. Introspection might help but it won't be enough to offset the problems inherent in second marriages including but not limited to children from the prior marriage and all the conflict that brings, the two parties are older, more fixed and stubborn and set in their ways, and possibly more importantly the first marriage is an indicator that one or both partners don't have what it takes to stay in a long, exclusive committed relationship due to personality conflicts, mental problems, spending problems, lack of trustworthiness, extreme selfishness, and just plain bad moral character. In other words, a dog that's run away before is that much more likely to do it again, even if you build a higher fence.
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 03:54 PM
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Re: Second Marriages

My friends that have second/third marriages have all tended to pick the same type of partner as the first one that didn't work out. People do need to improve themselves and take time to gain perspective not only on what went wrong but what they want in a new relationship. Too often I think people start dating too quick, jump too deep into a new relationship and overlook flaws/issues in both themselves and a new potential partner.

Blended families in future marriages also add stresses onto a marriage that no one plans on. I know in my brothers second marriage this is a large part of the stresses in the marriage.

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday
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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 04:05 PM
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Re: Second Marriages

My first was a mama's baby, my second was a father figure, and my third was my soul mate. So sometimes third time really is a charm.
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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 04:27 PM
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Re: Second Marriages

I tend to agree with the sentiment that if you didn't learn from your mistakes during the first round, you're going to be doomed to repeat them during the second (or third) round.
I knew that I had made many mistakes in choosing my first husband. There were some qualities in him that I valued and appreciated, qualities that I knew were upstanding and wanted to have in a man again. I also knew of some qualities that I had grown to dislike (primarily because I had grown up and my preferences for certain attitudes/outlooks had changed).

If I hadn't taken a long time to really figure out where I went wrong and what I was hoping to get out of life, then I may have made another poor choice in partner.
Although it is technically still early days for Odo and I, there is a confidence in me, even if premature, that we are going to endure.

"If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life."

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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 04:32 PM
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Re: Second Marriages

Prenup!!!

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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 04:38 PM
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Re: Second Marriages

In my case, I just got tired of being some man's emotional and physical punching bag.

So I'm not worried about statistics of a second marriage. As long as I improve my hair trigger man picker, which I intend to do.

I strongly suspect that long-term relationships that don't include marriage (a second marriage) would have similar statistics. The same types of pressures would likely still be present. So this isn't really another reason to rag on marriage in general.
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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 04:40 PM
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Re: Second Marriages

My first fiancé (no marriage) and my first wife were quite similar in behaviors, second wife was completely different with a different set of attractions, and third (and current) wife still different yet were all very different in personalities.

I would say the difference was more me and the different directions I had grown, or failed to grow.

I think introspection is a wonderful self-discovery if pride can be set aside.

Unfortunately, ego and hurt partner up too often to allow this as people come into our lives as both blessings and lessons.

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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 04:41 PM
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Re: Second Marriages

Oh, to answer your initial question about whether this should change our advice. It would depend on the particular situation, but in general I would say no because usually the advice is being given to someone who is being screwed over in the marriage (cheated on, etc). So that person could certainly stand to do better the second time around.
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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 04:52 PM
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Re: Second Marriages

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Nah. Your logic is flawed and the points you make in your post fly in the face of the reasons commonly given for failure rates of subsequent marriages. Introspection might help but it won't be enough to offset the problems inherent in second marriages including but not limited to children from the prior marriage and all the conflict that brings, the two parties are older, more fixed and stubborn and set in their ways, and possibly more importantly the first marriage is an indicator that one or both partners don't have what it takes to stay in a long, exclusive committed relationship due to personality conflicts, mental problems, spending problems, lack of trustworthiness, extreme selfishness, and just plain bad moral character. In other words, a dog that's run away before is that much more likely to do it again, even if you build a higher fence.
Tsk! People who cannot even assess the challenges of raising kids have done no introspection. They are immature, like teenagers. They let their feelings get them into the relationship and don't think practically, "oh, I have little children and you always work nights? I like you but this isn't going to work." But that doesn't happen. I feel in love so despite the obvious obstacles they get into the relationship anyway and surprise surprise, it fails.

More fixed and stubborn in their ways? What do you think the deep introspection is for? For change. If you admit you don't want to change then stay by yourself until you find someone compatible with the way you already are.

You sound like you have a defeatist attitude so I will let you wallow and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. For those who want it bad enough change is possible. But, like I said you have to be intentional. Stop the provisional life.

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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 05:02 PM
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Re: Second Marriages

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All of which raises a question: should we be telling folks contemplating divorce to go ahead and do it because a wonderful second spouse is out there somewhere? Is the data just crappy? Or do we need to rethink our advice?

I tend to believe the percentages, though I've read they are 10 - 20% higher for first and second marriages. So, it varies, as all of those statistics do depending on how the questions were worded and who is reading and interpreting them? Maybe.


For certain couples, yes, I believe there is a chance and they should be told there is. For others, I do believe divorce is the best option.

Most of those left out there are damaged, including me, after the first marriage. Some have healed fairly well. Others, not so much, but it depends on their denial and ability to get help, as well as their personal issues. Let's face it. There are many factors that can make a person ineligible for marriage. There are few who meet our own personal requirements for a spouse.

When a marriage is harming one of the spouses, or both, I think it is best to get away from the pain and harm. Get into counseling and look for someone else. At the same time, it is a time of self-discovery and growth. It can be a wonderful opportunity. It's up to the individual.

I have seen very few troubled marriages that come here which are a good prospect for a group of folks like us to help reconcile. We can help them with encouragement and examples of recovery from the pain and harm of infidelity.

Those who come here are usually long past the stage where it is possible to reconcile without one partner becoming beaten down and destroyed by humility toward the persecutor, controller, or torturer. It's looked upon negatively when the WS is made to feel the depth of pain they have inflicted. I see no other way of them understanding what they are asking their BS to do for them.

Since the WS, in my mind, usually is the one who bears no empathy and little responsibility or suffering during and after an affair, I see their actions as intentionally causing harm. I don't think it is possible for them to feel anything except superior in reconciliation.

I think a good marriage does not include one spouse feeling superior or self-righteous. The trouble with that is, it negates my idea that the WS needs to feel the depth of pain they inflicted. It can actually never happen.

It is likely better to offer a divorce, break up the marriage and property accumulated, and part ways forever, while having contact only for the children's sake.

This allows the WS to follow their passion, while the BS can find a healing process that works for them and a new life which would likely be considerably happier, single or married.

"I'm significant!! Screamed the dust speck." - Bill Watterson

"And this, too, shall pass away."
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