When you hear the word 'Puma', you may think of an athletic shoe or a cougar’s little sister. But in the U.K., however, it is taking on a new meaning. A 'Puma' is a previously married and attractive man that women who want to get married seek to find. These women are choosing experience over youth, and they believe that divorced men make better husbands. In the U.K., where the initial survey was done, they found more than half a million women would rather date a mature man than someone younger than them. The women were particularly interested when the guy was divorced, citing reasons that men who were once married are more sensitive, understanding and know the “rules“ of marriage more than their never married counterparts.
The marital research in the U.S. does not support the U.K.’s puma-thinking philosophy. Marital research in the U.S. gives second marriages a more doomed future than first marriages. Psychology Today stated that 60% of second marriages fail. They fail more quickly than first time marriages. After ten years, 37% of second marriages have dissolved compared to 30% of first marriages.
Marital research suggests that couples that wait at least three years after a divorce to begin dating seriously, and perhaps eventually getting re-married, have a better chance of staying together and being content. Below are several suggestions that can help you secure your marriage a second time if re-marriage is in your future:
1. Know and accept responsibility for what happened in your first marriage leading to divorce. People who marry still believing it was their ex’s fault that they divorced are not good spouse material.
2. Have clear rules and boundaries with the ex, and understand your parenting role if there are children. Re-marriages cannot support weight of baggage from your first marriage.
3. Money is the main issue that causes breakup from a second marriage, so make sure your finances are talked about and handled responsibly.
4. People who are in second and third marriages are less likely to be forgiving and believe in the commitment of marriage. Therefore, they walk away sooner. This makes sense if you put yourself in their position. They can no longer honestly say, “Divorce is not an option.” It was an option in the past, and it can be again. If you want total commitment, you have to work harder to protect it than you may have in a first marriage.
Just as pre-marital counseling helps secure first time marriages, it can also help secure re-marriages. Counseling helps the couple define the areas of struggle and provides healthier options to deal with them. Being divorced one time can happen, but if there is a second or a third time, the problem may not be your ex. Look in the mirror and be honest prior to remarriage.