When is A Marriage One Too Many?

The causes and consequences of serial marriage.

The likelihood of a divorce rises with each subsequent marriage. Chances of a first marriage success is better than 50%. By the fourth marriage, the success rate drops to less than 10%. For some reason, people do not get better at being married, but they do seem to get better at getting divorced with practice.

Many people enter into their first marriage for reasons other than compatibility. Often the worst of the first marriages last less than a year. These marriages were probably mistakes that should never have occurred. Their origins often come from an unexpected pregnancy, too much to drink, or another situation that exerts pressure on people to get married. This type of first marriage would certainly qualify for being one marriage too many.

However, to deny someone who made a bad choice as a teen from pursuing another shot at a happy marriage is not realistic. These teen marriages were not made from logical mature choices but from coercion and childhood romantic ideas. As an adult, a large percent of these people are in a position to make a better choice in a mate.

For those folks who waited until they were mature and in their twenties to marry, a divorce may signal some systemic problem with the way they select a marriage partner. Maybe not enough investigation was made during the courtship. Love is blind.

Many people choose to follow their heart instead of their head. These people need to stay single until they have reached a point where they are willing to override their heart when circumstances indicate that marriage would be a mistake. For people of this ilk, the next marriage is one too many if they have not matured.

Examining why you want to marry is important. Some people do not like being alone, cooking their own meals, or doing their own housework. They marry to get these services without worrying about whether the marriage is right or wrong. The man or woman marrying one of these individuals is in for a rude awakening about three days into the marriage and maybe sooner. The people who follow this pattern for marriage are usually men.

On the other side of the coin are those people who do not want to be celebrate. Sex is a high priority for them. The thought of having sex with many partners or with one partner without marriage is morally unacceptable. So, they marry to salve their consciences. They tend to marry the person that they are having the most sex with because that is the one causing them to feel the most guilty about their lifestyle. This person is usually a woman, but can be a man just as easily.

The two previous people need to seriously consider abstaining from marriage until they can move past their needs. A marriage is a partnership. The above patterns are somewhat codependent and unhealthy.

Serial marriages are not really a good idea. Entering into a marriage with the thought that if it does not work, I will just find someone else is just bad. Society is built on stable long-term marriage relationships. This is the best format for raising children and establishing an estate.

Once this pattern is broken, it is hard to repair or replace. Unlucky at marriage either means that you are hard to satisfy, or you do not know how to pick an appropriate partner. Once is unlucky. Twice is a pattern. How many marriages are too many? The one that happens without proper thought and decision making beforehand, and the one that happens next after a bad marriage without good counseling.

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Published in: Family


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