According to new analysis of federal data by Bowling Green State University, the remarriage rate in the United States has dropped 40% over the past 20 years. The information, published in a recent USA Today article, showed that 29 of every 1,000 divorced or widowed Americans remarried in 2011. This rate is down from the 1990 rate of 50 out of every 1,000.
Why are the rates for remarriage so low? According to experts, the main reason is the increase in cohabitation. Now, more than ever, couples are choosing to live together without tying the knot. There are currently an estimated 7.8 million couples living together in 2012, up from 2.9 million in 1996.
Why is divorce so destructive to society?
But this discussion seems to avoid the major issue in our society and it is the prevalence of divorce and the impact of divorce on the family. What does divorce do to families?
- Divorce increases personal isolation.
- Divorce generally offers mothers and wives a significant decline in their standard of living.
- Divorce may force the mother to become the primary caregiver for the children while only providing an estimated 77% of men’s income. If the man fails to pay child support the income disparity may be even greater.
- Divorce can be a painful experience.
- Many children effectively lose their fathers after divorce.
- Divorce may not improve destructive parenting or family relationships.
- Children from divorced families are more likely to have difficulty in school and adjustment problems.
- Boys are frequently more negatively affected by the divorce than girls.
With this information it should be clear that before you consider divorce you should make sure it is the last option for your family. So what if divorce seems like your only option? Should you remarry again after divorce?
Remarriage after divorce?
If you have children, there are many experts who would suggest remarriage may not be the best option for you. Before you remarry, it’s important to understand that the divorce rate for the second marriage is even higher than the first. It is estimated 60% of remarried couples divorce, and generally sooner than they divorced the first time. For instance, second marriages generally last an estimated five years, compared to seven years for first marriages.
The second consideration of remarriage is what it may do to your children. Although there are cases where bringing in a step mother or father may be a great improvement, experts warn that remarriages with children will have a higher level of stress and more disagreements about how to rear the children. Other issues that you can expect to combat include boundary disputes, conflicting loyalties, power issues, and an increased willingness to bail when problems cannot be easily resolved.
So is there a benefit to not remarrying and simply cohabitating? Although couples may feel like they are getting the benefits of marriages without the legal hassle, this is not necessarily true. Marriage can bring stability, calm, and safety to children. If a couple can commit to a marriage and work through the common difficulties with the understanding that a second divorce is not an option, it tells the children that they are in each other’s lives to stay- something not offered by cohabitation, and kids know it.
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