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


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.

Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage


Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage

When you see a disaster is eminent, the best plan is to get out before it’s too late. After that, it’s all triage. Nowhere else is this truer than when entering into a bad marriage—the consequences of which can follow you for years. Sometimes we’re blinded by love. At other times, something arises that cannot be reconciled. Either way, when the divorce is final, we often look for easy things to blame. We feel confused, overwhelmed, hurt and angry. But usually there are many things that lead to the decline and dissolution of such a relationship. Enjoy love but keep on the lookout for important warning signs. You may be able to duck a bad situation or likely recognize when your relationship is heading south. Do you remember your first fight? Few couples do. Well, maybe some women do. In any case, lots of couples fight about the same things, money being the topmost issue, confirmed in several studies. But if you start fighting about money early on, say as you’re boarding the plane on the way to your honeymoon, the marriage could be in trouble. That’s according to research out of Kansas State University. That’s because arguments about money early on affected the marriage even years later. Fighting about money was the “top predictor for divorce” regardless of socio-economic status or income level.

If you got married by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas at the spur of the moment, surprise–you might not make it. But if you dated for three years before deciding to get married, you have a 39% less likelihood of seeing the inside of a divorce court, according to researchers out of Emory University. Couples who dated for three years had far better odds than those who dated for less than a year. Are you both teetotalers? Or perhaps you both like to party until the wee hours. If you’re drinking habits diverge sharply, your relationship might soon too, so say University of Buffalo researchers. If one spouse drank heavily, the couple was more likely to get divorced. But the same results weren’t true when both partners tipped the glass often. Apparently, it’s the mismatch rather than the habit that causes strife.

Did you two talk about a prenup before marriage? If so, you are more than likely to keep your money when you two go your separate ways. That’s because the longevity of the marriage isn’t the utmost concern to both parties. Couples that don’t share a bank account are 145% more likely to divorce, says the National Center for Family and Marriage Research. The reason is financial generosity and sharing is conducive to marriage. It makes you a unit. Keeping things for yourself and separate is not, though of course we all need some individuality. Still, complete separateness denotes something. How much did you blow on the wedding? Some events seem to cost more than a mortgage nowadays. But one Emory University study found that the more you spend on the wedding, the less likely you will have staying power. That’s because spending more gave each elevated expectations for the marriage. When you aren’t ready for problems when they inevitably strike, there are no coping strategies set aside to deal with them. Those who coughed up $20,000 or more were 3.5 times more likely to divorce than those who spent $5,000-$10,000. Social networking sites have us all interconnected. They influence us more than we think. In fact, one study published in “Social Forces” Journal found that if a friend or neighbor got divorced, that person was 75% more likely to get divorced themselves. For ways to make you marriage strong whether entering into or already in the thick of it read, The Marriage Guide Book: How to Make Your Marriage Thrive by Vanessa Pagan.

Science Confirms the Honeymoon Effect


Science Confirms the Honeymoon Effect

You know how a relationship seems spectacular, whimsical and perfect in a relationship or marriage just at the beginning but as time wears on more and more problems, issues and things that drive you and your lover crazy start popping up? This is called the “honeymoon effect” and it’s not just what people say, science has confirmed its existence. Researchers at New York University, led by Dr. Michael Lorber, studied 396 newlyweds in their initial two and a half years together as husband and wife. Researchers found that 14% of the husbands experienced the honeymoon effect. Though elated at the beginning, these men were highly unsatisfied by the end of the study.

10% of the wives in this study also encountered the honeymoon effect. But researchers found something interesting here. These women were not as satisfied at the beginning of the relationship as women who did not experience the effect. According to Lorber, “Men who were more depressed or aggressive, or whose fiancées were more depressed or less satisfied with the relationship, were more likely to exhibit the honeymoon effect. Things worked out pretty similarly for the women as well … The more depressed or aggressive women were, or the more depressed, aggressive, or dissatisfied their fiancés were, the more likely they were to have fairly high initial satisfaction that dropped sharply.”

According to Lorber, if you can see this idealization at the beginning of a relationship it could tip you off to steer clear of this person, saving you grief and time. As things move on there could also be interventions to help couples navigate the harsh waters of marriage and get their relationship back on track again. But this forecasting method of course isn’t foolproof. According to Lorber, “We can make some predictions about which highly satisfied newlyweds or soon-to-be newlyweds may not stay that way, and then try to help those people … it might be easier to do some relatively ‘light touch’ interventions early on than to do intensive marital therapy after things have already soured.”

Anyone entering into a relationship and especially a marriage should not just dive in with their gut feeling without evaluating the relationship. Are both partners being practical about its ministrations? Are they practical in their outlook of their relationship and their evaluation of one another? It’s important that you do recognize your soon-to-be spouse’s shortcomings and have come to terms with them. Accepting who we are, who our lover is and what our relationship is like, and how it should be in a practical sense is important. Realize that no one is perfect. If you feel like you are marrying someone who is perfect, or they think you are perfect, be wary. Perfection does not exist in the world. Find someone who is instead perfect for you. For more advice read, Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow: From Habit to Harmony in Sexual Relationships by Marnia Robinson and Douglas Wile, Ph.D.

U.S. Divorce Rate not 50%


U.S. Divorce Rate not 50%

Staunch believers in marriage cringe when they hear it. Others let it seep into their psyche only to give them anxiety. Hopefully, no one has second-guessed their wedding plans or even obstructed their own happiness, resting their anxieties on a misquoted statistic. That’s right, the often quoted 50% divorce rate for first marriages is a fallacy, as is the 60% for second marriages. There are stats closer to the truth. They paint a complex picture of marriage in America today. The 50% divorce rate was a misquoted stat from the 1970’s that has endured perniciously ever since, popping up in the media hither and thither and making would-be brides and grooms bite their fingernails (if they weren’t doing so already). Per 1,000 people in the U.S., the divorce rate hit its high mark around 1980 at 40%. It’s been declining ever since. Throughout the 2,000’s it’s been dropping steadily. Today the divorce rate for first time marriages is about 30%. But things get more complex when you look closer. All the research on divorce focuses on women. So there are actually two divorce rates. The first is for women who are college educated and get married sometime past their 25th birthday. For this subgroup the divorce rate is about 20%. For those who marry before age 25 and do not earn a higher degree, the rate is far higher; 40%. Those women who marry by age 18 however have the highest divorce rate, 48%. This last group are mostly poor, minority women.

Unfortunately, the oft misquoted 50% divorce rate has infected our outlook on marriage. After all, who wouldn’t be more confident walking down the aisle with a 70% chance of success, rather than a 50% likelihood of failure? When women began flooding colleges and the work sphere en masse beginning around the late 1970’s the marital landscape changed. This was when the divorce rate diverged into two distinct patterns, one route for college educated women, the other for those who never earned a degree. But the picture becomes even more intricate. Women with a degree who marry younger have poorer marital outcomes than those who marry after age 25. They also accumulate less wealth. The older a woman and her partner are when they get married and the wealthier they are, the more likely they are to stick together. But earning a college degree is the most significant factor as to whether the couple will stay married or split up. So for career women who have earned a college degree and are over 25, the divorce rate is very low.

Divorce stats are cumulative. Think of it as a continuum rather than a snapshot. Looking at things over a period of time gives us a better view of what’s going on. 10% of first time marriages end in divorce within the first five years. The next 10% end at the tenth year. This is of course blending the two subgroups mentioned earlier. But looking at it in this way, it takes until the 18th marriage year before the divorce rate hits 30%. It would take to the 50th year to reach 40%. About half of all divorces happen within the first five years. After that, the chances of getting divorced become far lower. There is very limited data associated with second marriages. But it looks as though the outcomes are very similar to first marriages. So if you are in a marriage or entering into one, don’t let the stats skew your view. If you are planning out your life at this moment, including marriage, perhaps wait until you have a degree and are old enough to give it the best chance of success. To make sure you and your spouse don’t end up on the wrong side of the pie chart read, The 8 Acts of Love That Make Your Marriage Last: A Marriage Therapist’s No-Nonsense Guide on how to Prevent Divorce, Build Love, Increase Sex, and Make Your Marriage Last by Abe Kass.

Starter Marriages Lead To Divorce Due To Unrealistic Expectations

starter marriage

A “starter marriage” describes a childless first marriage that lasts less than five years.  Starter marriages are very common in the U.S. today, and typically occur among couples between the ages of 25 and 29.  In fact, the highest divorce rate is among this particular age group.  These marriages are said to fail due to various factors, a primary one being that these couples have unrealistic ideas about what married life will be or should be like.  This could be due to a lack of relationship experience or overall immaturity, among other factors.  There are various steps a person can take to avoid entering into what is termed a “starter marriage”:

  1. Develop self-awareness prior to getting married.
  2. Acquire realistic insights about married life.
  3. Date someone for at least 2 years before getting married (get to know each other!).
  4. Try waiting until after 30 to get married (chances of divorce decrease for those married after age 30).
  5. Be okay with being alone so that you don’t settle for the wrong partner.
  6. Look for a partner who shares similar values as your own.
  7. Make good communication a priority in your relationship.
  8. Be financially secure BEFORE getting married.
  9. Select someone you’re willing to commit to for life, as if divorce didn’t exist.

If you’re feeling pressured to get married before hitting the dreaded age of 30, keep in mind that those who rush into marriage have been proven to have higher rates of divorce.  It isn’t worth getting married “on time” or while the alleged “clock is still ticking” if the marriage has no foundation and will end in divorce anyway.  A divorce carries with it the emotional stress of a break up with legal, financial, social, and economic stressors added onto it.  It’s wiser and has been proven more effective for couples to date for at least two years prior to marriage, to get to know one another and themselves as individuals better, so that both parties move into a marriage with confidence that they’re making the right decision for the long term.