What does it mean when Your Date had a Quick Marriage before?

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What does it mean when Your Date had a Quick Marriage before?

Quickie marriages in celebritydom have become as cliché as the damsel in distress being saved by valiant heroes. But what about in real life? What does it mean when your date has had a quick marriage before? The truth is that most divorces occur after the first two years of marriage. And the social trend is being married over less time. So it may not mean much. Just like everything else, it’s far more complicated than just that. What you really want to do is find out the reason why the marriage ended, and the particulars before you toss this person into the discard pile.

There are many factors to consider. First, who was the one who broke it off, or was it a mutual thing? 75% of divorces happen when one person wants out of the marriage. And more often than not it’s the woman asking for a divorce. Many times people enter into marriage without knowing the responsibility, time and effort it takes to keep a marriage fresh and alive. Also, there are those who find it difficult to commit. They think they’re ready but once the marriage is in full swing it turns out that they aren’t.

Were they young when they got married? If you want to address this question a little more genteelly, ask if age was a factor. Young people are impulsive. They fall deliriously in love and rush off to get hitched, only to realize it isn’t built to last a short time later. But you shouldn’t hold someone’s youth against them, as long as they’ve tempered that impulsive passion with reason. Passion certainly isn’t a bad thing in a date. And impulsivity’s mature stage is spontaneity, another plus. It’s important that you ask your date for information over a period of time, and in a light or direct way. But make sure it doesn’t feel like an interrogation. Or else you may be pushing away a potential partner. Know that divorce is painful for most people. It may be hard to talk about, whether the person admits it or not. Get them comfortable with you. Ask them to share their story. If they don’t feel comfortable sharing the whole thing, or just want to sum it up for now, tell them that’s okay. Really listen. Don’t judge, at least not right away. Thank them for sharing it.

So it’s important that you keep an open mind, don’t jump to conclusions, really think about what the person said, and try to find what they may not be saying, but what they mean. They may not say nice things about their ex, depending upon the situation, but it just may be a defense to cover up the hurt. Be patient and figure out who this person really is, and what’s really going on before going to the next level with them, just as you should do with anyone. For more advice read, Dating the Divorced Man: Sort Through the Baggage to Decide if He’s Right for You by Christie Hartman.

Divorce Rate Lowest in Northeast, Highest in the South

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Divorce Rate Lowest in Northeast, Highest in the South

According to the latest U.S. Census information as recent as 2009, the divorce rate is the lowest in the Northeast and the highest in the South. This all comes out of the new report the bureau is now generating, Marital Events of Americans. 2009 was the first year data was collected for this report. This document surveyed Americans 15 and older about marriage, widowhood and divorce.

Divorce rates are lower in the Northeast because people put off first marriages longer and there are less marriages occurring in that region. In the South, more marriages occur so the divorce rate is therefore higher.  The Southern states with the highest divorce rates for men were Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Texas. The Northeastern states with the lowest rates of divorce for men were New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Southern states with the highest divorce rates for women were Kentucky, West Virginia, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Northeastern states with the lowest divorce rates for women were New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The report uncovered some other interesting findings. Children of divorced parents were 75% more likely to live with their mother than their father. 28% of Children whose parents divorced in 2009 were more likely to live below the poverty level. 23% of Women were more likely to need public assistance after divorce. 15% of men had a greater chance of needing public assistance. 22% of women who divorced in the last year were more likely to be in poverty, compared to 11% of men.

Previous to this report, information on marriages and divorces was collected at the state level through collecting marriage and divorce certificates. These certificates were passed on to the vital statistics system of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Then in 1996 the NCHS and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ceased collection of these records. This latest report taken up by the Census Bureau is meant to fill the gap. If you’re going through a divorce and want advice, read the book, The Divorce Survival Guide: The Roadmap for Everything from Divorce Finance to Child Custody by Calistoga Press.

Why First Marriages Often End in Divorce

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Why First Marriages Often End in Divorce

With such longer lifespans nowadays, “Until death do you part” may mean 80 years altogether for the average couple, rather than the 30 it used to mean in the past. Today, young people are staving off marriage to get more education and develop their careers. What’s more, many wonder with so much time in their life whether it’s possible nowadays to stay with one person for the rest of their lives. This is true, too, given the fact that so many young people today grew up in households that endured contentious divorces in the 1970’s and 80’s, and so are more wary of the institution in general. Americans today it now seems are becoming serial monogamists. For late baby boomers and below, two or even three marriages in a lifetime is not uncommon. Long-term partnership through cohabitation without getting married is becoming much more common today than it was in the past. So the days of marrying your high school sweetheart, though nostalgic, are probably gone. It’s probably for the best, too since those relationships certainly were not the most solid. Though this is a good time to form the basis for what it means to be in an adult relationship, the criteria adolescence use for choosing their partner is quite a bit different than adults use when selecting a life partner.

The problem is some have carried these immature patterns into adult relationships. Being whiny, condescending, passive aggressive or outright aggressive is certainly adolescent relationship behavior. Of course we are all human and take part in such interactions from time to time. But many marriages are consumed by these. There are many other reasons why first marriages often end in divorce, too. Another issue is unrealistic expectations. Lots of people enter into that first year of marriage thinking that everything will fall into place all by itself. They think that “Happily ever after” is how life really is. But anyone who has ever been in a real marriage realizes that there is a lot of energy, time and effort that has to be put into a marriage to keep it alive and to make it grow and thrive. Otherwise it can get stale, old and your connection can fall apart. There are those who enter into marriage seeing it as a way to edify themselves, but they don’t realize that it’s important to hold up and support their spouse and at times, step out of the lime light to let their spouse be the star of the show. Each person in the relationship should be important. It should be a union of equals. What’s more, each person should hold up and support their partner for that person’s own unique set of talents, help them to thrive and celebrate their growth. Today, we seek partners who help us grow. If our partner inhibits that growth, it’s sayonara, and this does happen in a lot of first marriages. This shaping one another into their ideal selves is called the Michelangelo phenomenon by psychological researcher Carol Rusbult, and has been called “a defining characteristic of mature love,” by Associate Professor of Psychology at California State University Kelly Campbell, Ph.D. in an article in Psychology Today.

While immature love grasps for one’s self, mature love holds the beloved up so that they can fly. Though we live in an individualistic society where we often put our own needs and desires ahead of others, counterintuitively it’s when we put our partner’s needs first that we ourselves thrive. For they, if they are worth your time, will invest the same amount of energy in making sure that we succeed and develop and grow accordingly. If you are in a first marriage or any marriage and want your relationship to last, support your spouse. Show them how much gratitude and affection you have for them. Don’t react with being defensive if your partner needs a change, or asks you to change. Listen deeply. Internalize their concerns. See where they are coming from. Talk it out without any shame or blame but just what is happening and what all the moving parts are. Once you’ve got a good handle on the situation you both can come up with novel solutions that can satisfy both of you, or at least compromise on something you can both live with. Always edify and hold them up and they should do the same for you. For more, pick up a copy of Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last by John Gottman, Ph.D.