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Is there hope after divorce or death of a spouse?

Let’s talk about marriage. There are crippling statistics about the failure rate of marriage. In the United States alone it is at a 50% divorce rate. And an even more staggering result is the divorce rate in Belgium is 70%. Heartbreak and disagreements plaque our relationships that end it all once the ink is dry. And that is just for first marriages. 67% of second, and 74% of third marriages end in divorce. Marriage is not a game, but these statistics sure make it look like one. Of those individuals that remarry how many are men and how many are women? Is there a gender differential or is it all the same regardless? Let’s take a look at a few scenarios to unwrap the reasoning behind second marriages.

Women and Second Marriages

Depending on the length of your first marriage, women come out with a bit of baggage both physical and emotional. Some couples have children together, they buy properties together, or even have pets. All of these “baggage items” add to the stress of remarrying. Here are four reasons why women DO NOT want to get married for a second time:

  1. The divorce is not complete. With financial stress in our economic climate many couples cannot afford to get legally divorced. Separation is free but you remain legally married. Lawyers are expensive and so is getting married. Most women decide it is easier just to pocket the money or other things that are more important.
  2. As archaic as this may sound, women do not want to remarry because they feel a freedom of being single. They can come and go as they please without answering to anyone and a weight is lifted that they do not want to strap back on. This isn’t to say they are not in serious relationships but they just do not want legal commitment anymore. Options remain open for them on all sides.
  3. Alimony is a large proponent in the decision to not remarry. If a woman is receiving alimony she cannot get remarried because then the checks will stop coming. Women that are divorced with alimony checks coming every month have a hard time looking past the fact that their heartbreak is worth something and they should not have to give that up just to be legally married to someone. Again, they can still be in serious relationships and commit to another man but they just legally cannot remarry if they still want their money.
  4. Getting your name changed is annoying. Although this reason may seem silly, getting all the paperwork and documents redone after a divorce to change your name back to your maiden name is a pain in the rear. Why would she want to do it a THIRD time just to appease her gentleman caller. The fourth and final reason most women do not want to remarry is because of the DMV.

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Men and Second Marriages

Overall, 70% of men are for a second marriage. Interesting that men are more likely to be interested in remarrying than women. I wonder why? Rather than looking into the reasons not to get married again we are going to check out a few reasons why men WANT to get remarried.

  1. Men want a caregiver back in their lives. Gender stereotypes be damned, marriage is divided with different jobs that you and your spouse do. Men see that as a comfort and once it is gone they want to regain that partnership to help out. Men remarry or want to remarry to fill the gap of single life. Whereas, women want the freedom of not being tied to chores and supporting others.
  2. Men are more afraid of dying alone than women are. Typically speaking when a couple that has kids gets divorced the woman gets main or full custody of the children. With that being said, the woman has her kids to take care of and grow old with so there is no pulling need to get remarried to find someone to share your life with. As opposed to men that may feel a bit empty and lonely and believe that a second marriage will fill that void.
  3. Just because marriage didn’t work out with their first wife, men are more optimistic of finding another woman that it will work with. These poor divorced women are scorned by their exes and the men come off the marriage scot-free and are led to believe it was just the person that wasn’t the right fit not the marriage.

Does Age Play A Factor In Second Marriages?

Regardless of gender, age seems to play a role in whether or not someone is prone to getting remarried. Adults over the age of 50 are more likely to remarry. Why though? Is it because they are coming off a marriage of 30 years and they do not know anything else? Is it fear of dying alone and not finding a companion for the second half of your life? Well, according to some research it is a large mix of all of that.

People care about whether or not they are living in sin. That is reason enough for individuals over 50 to get married for a second time. It is strictly protocol. Not many women feel the NEED to get married for security reasons, they do it out of tradition, for love. Another solid argument to get married for a second time is to be able to visit your partner in the hospital. Something that may not cross everyone’s mind is how little girlfriend or boyfriend status will get you in a hospital setting.

Tina Tessina, Ph.D., author and psychotherapist, says being married is not only the easiest way to be allowed to visit your partner in a hospital, but it also gives you the right to make health decisions should your partner be unable to.

Marriage is not for everyone but a lot of people seem to find comfort in the routine of a marriage. I believe that is why so many people regardless of gender or age continue to remarrying generation after generation because deep within ourselves there is a craving for love and belonging.

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