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Serial Divorces: What Can Repeat Divorcees Do to Break the Pattern?

DiPietro Law Group, PLLC

Many of today’s couples avoid marriage altogether, but on the other end of the spectrum, several marry—and divorce—multiple times. United States Census data from 2013 indicates that over nine million Americans have tied the knot at least three times. Frequency of divorce varies significantly from one region to the next, with a whopping eleven percent of Arkansas residents having married three times or more.

Serial divorcees face all of the usual complications of dissolution, plus the additional headache of multiple settlements, custody arrangements and more. They also struggle under the burden of heavy stigma, with each additional marriage presenting a new opportunity for condescension from loved ones, or even outright ridicule.

Past divorce significantly increases the risk of future dissolution, but as a serial divorcee, you’re certainly not doomed to marital failure. Keep the following considerations in mind as you strive to break an established pattern of divorce:

Learn From Past Marriages

Upon looking back at their many relationships, repeat divorcees often note distinctive patterns that, caught up in the strong emotions of a new union, they failed to recognize earlier. For example, some fall prey to toxic jealousy, which leads to controlling behavior. Others fail to address issues such as depression or addiction, which place significant burdens on spouses.

Opt For Long-Term Relationships Instead

Some individuals simply are not meant for marriage. That does not make them bad people; they are simply better suited to relationships outside of the bounds of a traditional union. If you strongly suspect that you’ll continue to marry and divorce, save yourself the cost and hassle by instead pursuing long-term relationships, free from contractual obligations. Although these relationships lack some of the legal protections of marriage, they offer numerous advantages, especially in today’s more open-minded society.

Minimize Drama With Past Spouses

Issues with your ex can quickly spill over into your current relationship. Unfortunately, child custody and visitation arrangements may render regular contact with your ex necessary. Don’t jeopardize your new marriage by squabbling with a former partner.

Attend Pre-Marriage Counseling

Ready to take the plunge a third, fourth or fifth time? Resolve lingering issues in your current relationship (or baggage from past marriages) through pre-marital counseling. During couples-oriented sessions, you’ll learn healthier techniques for communicating with one another. Consider also attending counseling sessions on your own; these will help you deal with personal issues that may have contributed to the demise of your past marriages.

Whether this is your first divorce or your fourth, you can depend on DiPietro Family Law Group for respectful and compassionate counsel in Washington, D.C.

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