If you’ve been through a divorce and can’t help wondering how many divorced couples get back together, you’re not alone. Thousands of women and men make that same query in Google month after month for different reasons. Perhaps even your ex is among them.
Now pause for a moment to reflect on why you even care about how common it is for divorced couples to give their love a second chance. Are you still thinking about your ex? Do your kids miss the family time you shared together? Whatever your reason, it’s important to be honest with yourself.
HOW COMMON IS IT FOR DIVORCED COUPLES TO GET BACK TOGETHER?
We all know someone who got back with their old flame. There’s a saying in Spanish that goes, “Where there was fire, ashes remain.” It suggests that there will always be a special connection between two people who were in love and that you never know when the fire may be rekindled.
Researchers from Kansas State University found that about 50 per cent of couples reunite after a breakup. But what happens with those who not only dated but got married and later divorced? How many divorced couples get back together?
Studies reveal that between 10 and 15 percent of married couples who separate eventually reconcile. But the number of those who go on to obtain a divorce and later get back together is much lower.
In a research project on rekindled romances, Dr. Nancy Kalish surveyed 1,001 women and men who had reunited with an ex-partner. Only 6 percent of the participants said they married, divorced and got back with the same person.
CAN REMARRYING THE SAME PERSON WORK OUT?
The statistics show that 60 to 67 percent of second marriages and about 73 percent of third marriages in the US end in divorce. Even though there is no official data about divorce rate for people who remarried the same person, Mort Fertel, a relationship coach, estimates that it’s also around 70 percent.
However, Dr. Kalish’s data suggest that those who get back with their ex-spouse may stand much better chances. Rekindled romances usually differ from other relationships in important ways.
Dr. Kalish notes, “when participants compared their Lost and Found Loves to all of their other relationships, 71 percent indicated that this was their most emotional romance.”
Out of all the reunited couples that her study involved, as much as 72 percent checked “We are still together” to describe their current relationship.
STORIES OF COUPLES WHO DIVORCED AND REMARRIED
It doesn’t matter if ex-spouses are young or old, if they have kids or not, if they’ve been apart for months or decades and if they married someone else in the meantime or not. The testimonies of divorced couples show that remarrying the same person can occur in a range of different scenarios.
One of the women who participated in Dr. Kalish’s study said: “We have four children, and throughout our separation, they remained a thread which tied us together. We didn’t divorce because we stopped loving each other, but because we were both very unhappy and after three years of marriage counseling, didn’t see the situation changing for the better.”
“While we were separated, each of us married the first available person who came by. Of course, these second marriages didn’t work. They both fell apart at about the same time. Both of us needed a place to stay, so we landed at our daughter’s home. We filed for divorce and married each other the day the divorces became final. It’s been a year now, and we are very happy,” she concluded.
Lori and Jeff from Ohio were married for 25 years. They had 8 children together but “the stress of having to raise eight kids and everything else” took a toll on their marriage and they eventually split up.
Lori explains, “we were divorced for three years, and during that time, each of us started looking at ourselves.” “I came around to understanding that the solution wasn’t anyone or anything. It was me,” Jeff adds. “I called Lori and asked her if we could meet. I found that she was always my best friend and that kinda reignited that, I guess.”
At Christmas, they had a family get together. Jeff sat his ex-wife in front of the group and he proposed again. “I just screamed and fell into his arms and it was the happiest moment of my entire life,” Lori said.
Sometimes life-changing events, such as serious health issues, help people realize that their ex-spouse was the only person they fully trusted and wanted to be around.
A British couple, Julie and Martin, dated for only 6 months before they decided to get married the first time. However, life got in the way. They were both very busy with their careers and rarely spent time together. As years went by, they grew apart and decided to file for divorce.
Even though they had no children, they always stayed in touch. “When we had other partners, we were always ringing each other to moan about them,” Martin said. “Julie even came around and decorated my house for me.”
While they got along well, they were still determined to make their new lives work. Julie moved to the US and got engaged to a rancher in Houston. So what happened to make her change her mind?
“I had some health issues in Houston and I realized the only person I wanted in the world was Martin. He knew how to handle things in crisis and I thought, if I’ve only got 6 to 12 months of my life left, then who do I really want to spend that time with? It was Martin,” she said with a smile, holding her ex- and new husband’s hand.
Martin received her call and within three days he was flying out to Texas. “I had no doubts in my mind whatsoever.”
Ten years after their first marriage, the couple remarried. Julie revealed that she had actually visualized this outcome for years,”I always knew, when we got divorced, that we’d grow old together. I always saw an image of us old. I had that vision.”
IS REUNITING WITH YOUR EX-SPOUSE BETTER THAN MEETING SOMEONE NEW?
Studies show that half of divorces in the US come from marriages with low rather than high amount of conflict. In about 10 percent of couples, both partners held hope that their marriage could still be saved even at a late stage in the divorce process. This suggests that many more divorces than is usually assumed could be prevented.
What is the logical conclusion, then? At some point, both partners in many divorced couples will question or even regret the decision to go separate ways. And the most disturbing aspect of all this is the fact that in many of these cases both ex-spouses will suffer in silence and never share their true feelings with the other side.
Every couple has their own story and their own circumstances. You know your story better than anyone else. How did it end? Why did it end? So, rather than asking how many divorced couples get back together, it is more interesting to think about whether and, if so, why you think reuniting with your ex would be better than meeting someone new.
No matter if you and your ex were married or not, reuniting with an old flame definitely may have its advantages.
Based on her clients’ experiences, Dr. Randi Gunther concludes that: “Rekindled relationships are no more likely to be magically successful, but they do have a few things going for them. The first is that they don’t have to start over. The second is that they come back together with more experience, hope, and determination to make it work. The third, and perhaps the most important, is that they’ve now compared what they had to other relationships, and appreciate another chance to do it right.”