In the 50s and 60s, divorce was almost unheard of, much less getting remarried. People were starting families as young at fifteen and sixteen years old, and the phrase “second marriage” wasn’t even a part of one’s vocabulary. If you fast forward to the present, people often assume their first marriage will fail, and they will end up getting married multiple times after. Is this just due to the change in generations, or are there factors that contribute to the rise of divorce rate and the commonality of multiple marriages?
According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, 75% of women and 80% of men who have had failed marriages will remarry within 5 years of their divorce. Experts say there are multiple key factors that cause issues in second marriages.
Psychologist Patricia Papernow suggests there are five factors that cause issues in a second marriage:
1.) People have unrealistic expectations of what a “real” family is and cannot let go of that.
2.) If there are children from a first marriage, issues can arise when choosing how to discipline the children. Experts say when it comes to step parents disciplining, they should treat it as a nanny or extended family member would: enforce the household rules, but do not take matters into your own hands.
3.) Children’s loyalty can be hard to gain.
4.) The breakdown of parenting tasks- when a new parent comes into the equation, there is difficulty determining who will take on what tasks.
5.) Uniting of disparate culture is the final issue. Adapting one’s family to new found traditions, culture, beliefs, etc., can be difficult.
No one is saying that second marriages are doomed to fail, but they are more difficult. As long as couples are knowledgeable about the obstacles they face, any marriage can be successful!