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Buzz Aldrin has been promoting his new book, Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration, which details his plan to have space travel and a permanent presence on the Red Planet by the 2030s. As controversial as that may be for some, he made just as many headlines when the former astronaut started dating a woman just months after his divorce from his wife of 23 years, Lois Driggs Cannon — his third wife.

For some, the question was, what is he doing with someone 30 years his junior? Girlfriend Michelle Sucillon was 51 and Aldrin was 81 at the time. As a society we tend to be skeptical whenever a couple’s ages are so far apart, but I’m not sure why; there are certainly enough relationships in which the couples are about the same age that don’t last, either. If you’re wondering what they could possibly have in common, you might also want to question if that’s the only “proper” reason for a couple to be together (something Susan Pease Gadoua and I address in The New I Do, which will be out in the fall).  Man marry sooner than women

The bigger question, however, is why do people rush into a relationship so soon after leaving one? And while both men and women are guilty of that, more men say “I do” again after divorce, and they’re quicker to say it, too. Perhaps not as quickly as actor and now new daddy Mark-Paul Gosselaar — he proposed to Catriona McGinn just three months after his divorce from Lisa Ann Russell was finalized — but certainly fast enough for people to wonder, why in the world do you want to get into something you just got out of?

For Emily V. Gordon, a therapist and Huffington Post blogger, it may because men don’t have the sort of support women do post-divorce:

“In my experience as a therapist and as a friend, it seems that the majority of the breakup resources available are for women and not men. Women, who tend to be more vocal about their emotional struggles, are the squeaky wheel that gets the grease from friends, from online communities, from books, and from therapeutic approaches. Women are encouraged to go on an emotional journey of self-care after a divorce, while men are expected to need help learning how to cook and parent on their own. When you Google “how men handle divorce,” many of the links advise women on what to do if their husbands become violent during the divorce process. Why is there so little focus on how men can heal after a divorce?”

It’s a valid question, considering that divorced men have twice the risk of suicide than married men.

I’m not sure how many women “go on an emotional journey of self-care after a divorce,” but a period of introspection and yes, self-care is a natural reaction to something as tumultuous as a divorce. For women, typically the caregivers and the one in charge of emotional caretaking as well, it makes sense that many women are often a lot happier after divorce; all that care-taking takes its toll, emotionally and physically. Since more middle-aged women seek divorce then men, why would they be eager to get back into the same situation? That may explain why of those age 45 or older, a third of men remarry and just a quarter of women do.

But even the women who would happily marry again have a harder time; while having kids makes remarriage challenging for men and women, it’s worse for women. More men aren’t too keen on marrying a woman with kids and creating an instant family. Since more divorced moms have custody of their children, it can put them out of the dating loop — but not divorced dads.

But some men, obviously, are OK with blending families or even starting new families, which is surprising considering how many men complain — rightfully so — about paying alimony (often for life) and child support, often for children they can barely see. So why are so many men eager to get hitched again — especially when second marriages have a 67 percent chance of divorce?

U.K. columnist Lucy Cavendish wonders if men aren’t incurable romantics. Otherwise, she says, how can you explain why a man who has been badly burned in a divorce — think Paul McCartney, who married wife No. 3, Nancy Shevell in 2011 — would want to risk it all again?

Maybe it’s because marriage has its share of benefits for men — married men tend to be healthier and better off financially than unmarried men. Or maybe some men just don’t want to be alone while many midlife divorced women want to have an Eat, Pray, Love experience and rediscover and reinvent themselves, without having to take care of anyone other than themselves. And let’s face it; men typically find it a lot easier to attract a wider age range of women — just like Buzz Aldrin did.

But maybe, as Cavendish notes, men just like to be married.

  • Why do divorced men marry faster than divorced women?
  • Do men like marriage more than women do?

Photo © Marina Ilchenko/Fotolia.com

8 Responses to “Why divorced men are quick to marry again”

  1. Pjay says:

    This article is so full of distortions and incorrect statements that it boggles the mind.

  2. Terence Manuel says:

    Honestly, it depends on a number of factors.

    I think men of Buzz Aldrin’s generation really cannot function without a woman (read wife). I have seen this even in my own family. They are emotionally and physically dependent on women for their happiness.

    I am of the Boomer generation. I would dare say Boomer men (or women) for that matter even want to re-marry. I know I damn well do not! I do not even want to “fall in love.”

    People today, for whatever reason(s), have just become sour on other people. I think this is due to our totally whacked notion of love, marriage, sex, perfection, needs, unrealistic expectations, etc.

    I practice the KISS principle. I am jovial and joyful everyday. I talk to anyone or everyone with warmth and a warm smile. Some people look at me strangely. But, I simply feel sorry for them. Life is at its BEST when humans engage in conversation with one another, face to face. We have lost that art today.

    Hence, I do not think Gen Y, Gen X men will have even a desire for marriage lest alone to remarry.

    Just My Opinion

    • OMGchronicles
      Twitter: OMGchronicles
      says:

      Well, my friend, Millennials still value marriage and, yes, many still want to marry even though more than ever before are opting out. An, that’s great — marriage isn’t for everyone, and those who don’t want it shouldn’t be seen as strange. That’s where I believe we’re heading, a greater acceptance and embracing of the many ways to be, no stigma attached. Until the financial perks of tying the knot are removed (and despite the few who openly talk about it, it’s unlikely to happen), people will still marry — that’s what the whole push for marriage equality by gays and lesbians is all about. Marriage still matters, just not in the way it used to.

  3. Insidious_Sid says:

    Men seem to “panic” and remarry – some even get involved with other women during separation, and others get involved even before then! For myself, the idea of bringing a woman on-board, likely with 2 or 3 kids of her own, is inconceivable. I really don’t see myself with *that* many children to help care for, and I don’t see her bringing home enough bacon to justify the expenses her and her kids will bring to the table. It seems women these days have a distorted view of what a dual income can provide. It’s as if when “both people are working” it’s a license to spend in a wanton fashion and disregard the need for frugality or saving money. How much debt some couples are going into every single month has me shaking my head, and when I see exactly *what* they are spending it all *on*, I am not sure whether to be horrified or just amused. Clearly, working class people who are going into tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars of consumer debt for luxury items and luxury living are in some sort of denial.

    The best thing about being divorced is that I am finally able to SAVE money every month and begin paying down consumer debt as a single dad with partial/joint custody (that last part is key). Although I have 33% less income, yet about 85% of the basic living expenses I had when married, I am somehow saying money every month and paying off credit card debt. Bottom line: she was spending far more than she was bringing in.

    When I see what the North American Princess wants to spend versus what she brings to the table, no, I will never marry or even live with another woman (read: common law) again.

    • OMGchronicles
      Twitter: OMGchronicles
      says:

      Thanks for commenting, Insidious_Sid, although not every woman is a North American Princess. I was not and I remain that way, nor were many of my female friends who were the sole breadwinners. It’s sad when people, men and women, cast a net of “all men/women” are a certain way based on their experiences and maybe the experiences of their small circle (and I understand that in my small circle, the women were overwhelmingly the breadwinners). Still, if an honest discussion about finances, purchases, savings, debt etc. was not part of the discussion you had before marrying — and one you continually had throughout the marriage — to make sure you were on the same page, wouldn’t you also be in part responsible? Were you fully aware of your former wife’s spending patterns and debt before tying the knot? And, if not, why?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I can only speak for myself. My first marriage was simply out of low, completely devastated self-esteem. I thought the whore I married was my last and only chance at a family so I married WAY WAY below my caliber. After she left me for dead in a hospital bed for another man and took my kids, I chose to live because living is the best revenge.

    I went about 3 years as a total hermit. I rarely left the house but when I did I only went to work, the grocery store or the mall. I met my current wife online. The main reason I married again was because I thought the problem with my first marriage was the person I was married to. The simple fact is that the problem is me. I am incompatible with the feminazi version of marriage that has been erected by our society and , as I have read in plenty of other threads of men who are miserable in their marriages, I am not alone in that. The best way to describe marriage in America is this: A dead clock is right twice a day and that’s still 2 times more then anything that has a male appendage.

    If you’re a man, DO NOT MARRY. IT IS NOT WORTH IT. You gain nothing and lose everything when she decides to get out. DO NOT DO IT.

  5. OMGchronicles
    Twitter: OMGchronicles
    says:

    Anonymous — thanks for commenting.
    You clearly and honestly admit you married a woman you didn’t have much respect for and only because you had low self-esteem. I think you might have to own that one. Not every woman is a “feminazi” — there are many women who are kind, loving, generous and thus beautiful and sexy, just as there are many men like that.
    Marriage alone won’t guarantee you happiness — picking a good partner will go far. Coming into a marriage as the best person you can be, and continually choosing to be the best person you can be, will help you get even farther. Wishing you the best.

  6. RedLightGreen says:

    When my maternal grandmother died, my grandfather remarried in less than a year. When my paternal great grandfather died, my great grandmother never remarried. When asked why, she said she didn’t have it in her to take care of someone else again. Only now do I completely understand. I’ve been married 22 years. I love my husband, he’s not a bad person and unless something drastic happens, divorce is off the table as we have 2 small children. That being said, should I ever find myself divorced or widowed, I will never remarry. EVER. I do not have it in me to care for someone again. I am the financial breadwinner, the ego stroker, the maid, the emotional breadwinner and the chef. When I couldn’t do it all any longer and divided the duties, he did such a piss poor job that it wasn’t worth it. It took a while for me to let go of the responsibility without feeling guilty but my sanity was worth it. As a result, the house is never clean, laundry is never done and we always get lawn notices from the HOA, but I have a smidgen of sanity.

    Men remarry not for love but because they can barely dress themselves and wouldn’t know how to work dishwasher if it had tits on it.

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