Second And Third Marriages Can Be Even Trickier Than The First

Second (and third) marriages can be even trickier than the first

It is no secret that the United States has a high rate of divorce. In spite of this, Americans still eagerly enter into marriage, and some just as eagerly enter into second and third marriages. It would be tempting to assume that second and third marriages have a higher success rate simply because the spouses come in with more experience.

Unfortunately, statistics contradict this idea. In fact, second and third marriages are often more likely to end in divorce than first ones. Why is this, and what can be done about it?

Some relationship and therapy professionals believe that a second or third marriage is likely to fail unless each spouse closely examines their role in the dissolution of their first marriage. If you and your first spouse had serious communication or trust issues, for instance, you will likely run into these with all future spouses unless you actively work on addressing them and learning from past mistakes.

The other challenges facing second and third marriages are the snags that often arise from trying to blend families; especially when it comes to children. For instance, kids might resent a new step-father out of loyalty to their own biological one. Similarly, kids might get angry at being disciplined by a new step-parent whom they don’t yet trust.

Indeed, new couples might actually butt heads when it comes to issues regarding each others’ children; because each spouse tends to come in with a different set of expectations.

Remarriage can certainly work, and there are plenty of examples of blended families that are more functional and happy than they would have been alone. But in order to find success with a second or third marriage, it is often necessary to enter the relationship with the right attitude, appropriate expectations and a lot of patience.

Source: TIME, “Why Second Marriages Are More Perilous,” Maggie Scarf, Oct. 4, 2013


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