Quite a few first marriages end in divorce. But what has been even more surprising to me is this: Second marriages have a higher divorce rate. And third marriages? Even higher.
It’s a sobering fact for someone who is on her second marriage. I never thought I’d say that by the way. For starters, I really didn’t think I’d ever get married. Not that I didn’t want to or anything. No, it was more that I didn’t think anyone would want to marry me. I wasn’t one of those girls who dreamt about the white dress, the big wedding. None of that.
It seemed impossible that I’d ever find someone who wanted to spend that much time with me. I was convinced I was a “small doses person,” a quality that made marriage seem unrealistic. Something that seemed nice but would be out of reach for me.
So I was shocked when I did finally get married. And as a person who generally takes my commitments very seriously, I was even more shocked when I ended up filing for divorce 11 years after that relationship began.
It wasn’t how I’d wanted things to go. But when the time came, it was the only action that made sense.
And of course — I never expected to remarry. But I did. And this time, I didn’t just marry someone who could tolerate me in large doses. I married someone who actually liked me — and who I was nuts about. It was so easy with him. We made sense. We still do.
I feel like I was able to take a lot of lessons from my first marriage into my second one. And I feel like I have a better handle on things this time around. (We’ve been together for nine years now, and it’s going well.)
But the statistics worry me. They suggest that people do not get better at partner selection, don’t they?
I suppose there are other explanations: Once you’ve been through one divorce, you know they are difficult but survivable. Perhaps that’s why it becomes more likely in later marriages.
I don’t know. Whatever the reason, I find it very sobering.