Remarriage Reality– What percentage of Americans have been married 3 times?

If you used celebrities as your guide to marriage and divorce, you would think that everyone is constantly marrying, divorcing and remarrying again.  So what is the reality.

In 2009, the Census Bureau reported that among all current marriages, here were the percentages of husbands and wives and their marital histories. [See Table 10, page 19 for more details.]

  • Husband, 1st marriage, Wife, 1st marriage       71.5%
  • Wife, 1st marriage, Husband, 2nd marriage       7.8%
  • Wife, 2nd marriage, Husband, 2nd marriage     7.5%
  • Wife, 2nd marriage, Husband, 1st marriage       6.3%
  • Wife, 2nd marriage, Husband, 3rd marriage      2.0%
  • Wife 3rd marriage, Husband, 2nd marriage       1.7%
  • Wife 1st marriage, Husband, 3rd marriage        1.2%
  • Wife 3rd marriage, Husband, 3rd marriage       1.2%
  • Wife 3rd marriage, Husband 1st marriage         0.9%

The results show that most Americans who are married are in their first marriage for both husbands and wives.  Only 7% of all marriages include one spouse who has been married 3 times.


Balancing Adult and Child Concerns in Repartnering

Anderson and Greene in a 2011 study published in the Journal of Family Psychology provide an interesting glimpse into mothers’ perspectives on repartnering.  See my HuffPost summary.)  They develop a new scale that assesses the degree to which mother’s have a more child- or adult-oriented view of repartnering.  In short, the degree to which mothers are more oriented towards their own needs for intimacy versus their child’s needs for their attention and affection.  There is more work needed in this area by both scientists and practitioners.

For scientists, is this a good theoretical construct?  Is this a bi-polar concept or in fact, two dimensions?  Is it possible to meet both of these needs?  How would this measure work across a wide range of couples with children– married, cohabitating, divorced, remarried, etc?

For practitioners, what programs and practice information is available to assist parents in decisions about dating, becoming engaged, cohabitating, and/or remarriage?