Do second marriages last longer?

You get married just after college. It doesn’t work. Five years later, you get divorced. Another five years go by, and you get married for a second time.

As you approach the wedding day, you have friends and family members tell you things like “The second time’s a charm.” They tell you that you clearly learned from the mistakes of your first marriage, so this one is bound to last. You’re not going to make those same mistakes again. You’re older and wiser, and that’s only going to help you.

While this can sound logical and convincing, it’s actually one of the most common divorce myths. The reality is that the divorce rate when you are in a second marriage is even higher than the divorce rate when you’re in a first marriage. The odds that you’ll split up again at some point in the future are certainly not in your favor.

Why is this? A lot of factors come into play. You’re older now, and you may be more set into what you want out of life. You could have a complicated relationship with your ex and children from your first marriage. Plus, since you know that divorce works to end a marriage that isn’t going well, that could mean you’ll be faster to turn to divorce if this second marriage starts down the same tracks. You’ve seen these red flags already.

Don’t buy into the myths. Make sure that you understand not only the sheer odds that you’ll get divorced but also what legal steps you should take this time around.