Atlanta, GA– The prevailing wisdom has long been that second and third marriages are more likely to end in divorce than a first marriage, but that may be shifting, according to a new study out of the U.K.
The think tank analyzed data from the U.K.’s Office of National Statistics to determine which marriages were more likely to last and discovered that on average, 45 percent of first marriages in the U.K. end in divorce—the statistics for the U.S. is equivalent. But second marriages have a better success rate and only 31 percent of second-timers are destined for divorce, according to the Daily Mail.
A number of factors are necessary for a solid marriage and the researchers believe that age, financial stability and
“Overall, second marriages do better because couples who get married for the second time are invariably older than those marrying for the first time,” Harry Benson of the Marriage Foundation told the Daily Mail.
The researchers believe that with age comes more financial stability; financial strains or instability contribute to a large majority of divorces. Benson explained, “Higher income acts as a buffer against some of the everyday difficulties faced by most couples.”
However, finances can be tight in a second marriage because of previous divorce and child support settlements.
Researchers concluded that second marriages are actually happier for men since they don’t face the same “societal” and family pressures they do that first time down the aisle.
Relationship counselor Paula Hall told the Daily Mail, “People in second marriages seem to have more insight and self-awareness. Having gone through divorce and separation, there can be more motivation to work through problems and save the marriage.”
This is promising news since couples have often been told that their second nuptials are doomed to failure.
Think tanks and legislators in the U.S. are continuously searching for ways to reduce what is considered to be an inordinately high rate of divorce. It was previously though that almost 50 percent of all marriages ended in divorce, but recent data from the Centers for Disease Control showed that the divorce rate has been steadily declining since the 80s; in 2011 only 44 percent of marriages ended in divorce.
In spite of this stable decline in divorce rates, legislators and family advocacy groups still see the statistics as alarming and are taking steps in individual states to make it just a little harder to get a divorce.
Many believe the high divorce rate can be directly attributed to how easy it is to dissolve a marriage. The large majority of states have a six-month or less period of time separating couples must wait before they can divorce. Lawmakers in some states believe this is too short a time, and there has been a recent push in states such as Washington and North Carolina to increase the waiting period to one to two years, during which time a couple must relationship counseling courses.
Divorce for some couples is just inevitable, regardless of whether it’s their first, second or third, and when a marriage just isn’t working these couples should move on with the help of a divorce lawyer.