Divorce doesn’t knock us all down. But research reveals a growing gender gap in remarriage rates for the wealthy divorced.
However, they’re not as romantic as you might think. The research uncovered other powerful motives such as money, beauty, and independence:
The bottom line is that this new research has confirmed the pile that has come before it.
It’s a fact. Men don’t do so well alone.. and they know it. But the social anthropology is even crueler than that.
This research also suggests a growing social trend for wealthy divorced women: They are finding men optional. Divorced female millionaires were at an opposite end of the spectrum:
More and more wealthy women are asking their partners to sign prenuptial agreements, even for first unions. Research by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers revealed the fact that 46% more women are hiring law firms to draft prenups. Women also demonstrate a resilient reluctance to marry down financially.
The math tells us that in the United States, 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second, and 73% of third marriages unravel into divorce. By the time you get into “Larry King Land,” fourth and fifth marriages are with very few exceptions, practically DOA.
Many studies have attempted to unpack why we have such a progressively increasing divorce rate. Folk wisdom tells us that many lonely people enter a second or third marriage rebounding from an earlier failure. A failure that they often have neither healed from nor reflected upon.
They join their new partner with mixed motives, devoid of insight or reflection. They are not only likely to repeat their earlier mistakes, but they will also often do so in a freewheeling “Groundhog Day” style, recreating similar, if not identical conflicts with their new spouse.
Marriages may not repeat themselves… but they rhyme like poetry.
Some social critics have stated that it is the growing independence between genders contributes heavily to the significant increase first-marriage divorce in first marriages during the last 30 years. They point to the fact that women have become more financially free, and men have become increasingly more content with married life, which is why women are typically the prime movers in divorce filings. But I don’t see it as an increase in independence; poverty is not known for building strong marriages. I see it as a serious breakdown of interdependence. Intimate interdependence the sincerest friend of marital and family happiness.
Age brings greater domestic and financial independence. And this abiding sense of self-sufficiency operates like a can of WD-40. Wealthy divorcees have options. It loosens the bonds of the second and third marriage, even more than it does to first marriages.
But Developmental issues also contribute. Overwhelmingly, most children are born under the aegis of first marriages, while parents are at or below the age of 35. The math tells us that the population of children born into second marriages is comparatively much smaller. Fewer children in common mean fewer emotional perspectives to consider. The lack of children in common is like another can of WD-40, particularly with wealthy divorcees, marriage loses its social utility.
The lack of common children in second and third marriages is a poverty of ties that bind.
Problems become more escapable, and survival programming kicks in. Without common children, It becomes much easier to bail at the first sign of trouble.
Daniel is a Marriage and Family Therapist. He currently sees couples at Couples Therapy Inc. in Boston, Massachusetts, three seasons in Cummington (at the foothills of the Berkshires...) and in Miami during joint retreats with his wife, Dr. Kathy McMahon. He uses EFT, Gottman Method, Solution-focused and the Developmental Model in his approaches.
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