The Second and Third Time Around

Leo Averbach, the author of a powerful book on the pain and suffering of divorce, believes that the reason second and third marriages fail, is “there is less glue holding the marriage together.”

Averbach, the author of Break Up, was married for twenty years and the father of three children when his marriage failed. The emotional trauma of the experience gave him the material for his widely praised book about his experience.

“I think that the major factor affecting the break up of second and third marriages is that there is less glue holding the marriage together. Marriage, as an institution, is primarily intended as framework for raising children, for building a family. The great majority of children born to married couples are born during their first marriage, when the parents are up to about thirty-five years old.” Averback suggests that most couples in second marriage do not have common children to bind them together in a positive sense and, in a negative sense, to force them to stay together if the marriage goes down hill. Because the children are not there, the element of family is not as central, so the desire to preserve the family – and make the necessary compromises – is not there. Overall, therefore, there is less commitment.

Statistics suggest that in the United States, about 50 percent of first marriages, 67 percent of second and 74 percent of third marriages end on the rocks.

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