Confessions of Women Who've Been Divorced More Than Once

Wendy Robinson | Oct 28, 2016 Love & Sex

The photos on Facebook were lovely -- a beaming bride in a white satin gown. The wedding gown was lovely, and was almost as pretty as the dresses she wore to her first, and then second, weddings. 

Yes, my former high school friend was getting married again -- for the third time -- which puts her in pretty rare company. Less than five percent of Americans get married more than twice.

I have to say that I'm kind of fascinated by the idea. I can't decide if getting married after multiple divorces is a sign of real optimism (third times a charm!) or a reflection of someone making the same mistake again and again. 

Because I am nothing if not nosy, I reached out to 12 women who've been divorced two times or more to find out what they've learned about love and marriage after multiple trips down the aisle. Even if you are happily married, you might be surprised at what you learn from their experiences. 


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  • Headstrong

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    "Here is what I learned from my divorces: I am very headstrong in my thinking of what a man should be, and when the men do not live up to my expectations, I have very little tolerance.

    I was raised by my widowed father; my expectations of the male's role is very different from the reality of men I've chosen as my spouses who were in raised in homes led primarily by women.

    In all transparency, I initiated both divorces. I divorced when I could no longer deal with men who refused to lead and who became comfortable with taking a back seat in our relationship while allowing me to lead and handle everything as if I was alone. In both relationships, it was almost a parent/child situation. I was married for 14 years after dating for six years in the first relationship.

    In the second relationship, I was married for four years after dating for nine years. Also, there was some infidelities on his part in that relationship." 

  • Judged

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    "When I got divorced for the third time, we ended up in court and I felt like the judge was, well, judging us! It was my third and my ex-husband's fourth. At the end of our hearing, the judge told us to stick to dating and not get married again.

    I think that was rude, but I kind of get it. I like being married but I don't know if anyone would want to marry a thrice-divorced woman."

  • Red Flags

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    "I've actually been divorced three times; I'm 41. What I learned about marriage is that it takes two and you have to want to stay married in order for it to work. I've also learned that no one should get married right out of high school.

    I definitely still believe in marriage. Marriage is a beautiful thing -- if both parties involved want to be faithful, open, honest, and definitely not selfish. I think I've been married more than once because the first marriage I was in my senior year in high school and became pregnant.

    By the second marriage, I thought I knew how marriage works, but I was still young and immature. By the third marriage, I was older, independent, and felt I was making the right decision at the time.

    Unfortunately, I married a very abusive man the last time. I think I would get married again, but I definitely will take the time to really get to know the man -- and look for red flags."

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  • Happily Alone

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    "I am twice divorced and have lived alone for the last six years.  I am happily single and have no intention of changing my situation. 

    I have learned that I do not suffer fools well. I do not tolerate lies, arrogance, egomaniacs, and those who are prone to laziness. My first husband was far more gregarious than I, and I felt that contributed to our demise.

    So my second husband was an introvert, and I'm not kidding when I say that I got more emotional support from the wall. I decided there will never be someone who meets my requirements as I have grown old, picky, and impatient.  
    Statistics show single women live longer, presumably because they spend more time caring for others than themselves, and I am not willing to sacrifice my life span for another who would probably not be willing to do the same for me. 
    My grandmother raised me and she was always single and I believe that contributes to my understanding that one does not need to be in a relationship to be fulfilled."
  • Finally Figured It Out

    Image via Faba Ortega

    "I recently got married for the fourth (yes, fourth!) time. This time I know it will last because I made a major change -- I married a woman!

    It took me a long time, way too long, to finally accept myself as being gay. I think I got married the other times hoping that marriage would make me not gay. But it just made me and my ex-husbands sad. I'm finally free to be me and I've never been happier!" 

  • Never Again

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    "My first divorce was because of from my own insecurities; then I went for help and realized why I did the things I did to my first husband which I completely regret.

    My second divorce was because my husband has his own insecurities which he will NEVER admit, own, or understand. I do still believe in marriage because all my siblings have wonderful marriages but I'll never get married again."
  • Pregnant Problems

    Image via Tatiana Gladskikh

    "I've been married and divorced twice. Both times I got married because I was pregnant. I think I was just hopeful that having a baby would make a marriage work and I didn't want to be a single mom. 

    And, yeah, now I'm a single mom of three kids!" 

  • Mistake

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    "The first time I got married, I was only 17. I was just way too young for that to work. We got divorced when I was 21. At 24, I met a nice man at church and he really wanted to get married. I felt like he was a safe choice and I wanted to be settled down. 

    I knew on our wedding day that it was a mistake. I just felt sick in my stomach. I went through with it, but we only lasted a few years. At 30, I'm single again. I don't know if I'll marry again. I would love to meet the right person, for sure." 

    More from CafeMom: 11 Women Share the Costly Money Mistakes They Made During Divorce

  • Third Time's for Love

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    "I've been married three times and have thought a lot about why my marriages didn't work out.
    I know the first time, we were both so very young, in our teens; that the marriage lasted 15 years was beating the odds.
    My second time, I was still trying to please my parents, create that family unit that involved family gatherings, outings, just like the Brady Bunch. I was trying to make everyone happy. My three daughters were my first concern so I married someone who seemed to understand that, but really, I needed more attention. I was aware that he had infidelity issues in his past relationships, which he was honest about with me.
    My first failed marriage was understandable, we were so young, and then he took a job that kept him from home for two to three weeks at a time. The second time, I felt embarrassed, like a fool, a complete failure.
    I was so emotionally distraught over this, that I left a secure teaching job, my home, my friends, my children who were then in college, and took a job out of the States. I felt like there was no hope for me to have any kind of relationship, ever.
    It took my those three years out of the States, just taking care of me, to feel stronger in my own choices. The person to whom I am married now was someone that I had briefly dated in between the first and second marriage.
    It is ironic to think that we reunited, and the timing; our needs were so in tune that we married even though I had said never again. He had never been married, and I am still awed that he was enough of a risk taker to want a 'two time' loser. I will soon celebrate 28 years with my third-time charm."
  • Baby Love

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    "First marriage? I was 18. It should be illegal to get married that young. I was a baby.

    Second marriage? I was 25 and in love. He cheated, I dumped his ass.

    Third marriage? I was 31 and wanted to be a mom. We made it 10 years and then I found out he cheated too. 

    Fourth marriage? I was 49 and we are still growing strong. I think age gave me wisdom and I've done so much couples counseling that I'm basically an expert now. LOL!" 

  • The One?

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    "I don't know how common my situation is. I've been married and divorced three times -- but all to the same person!

    I think we are done for good this time, but I can admit I might be wrong. We have off-the-charts chemistry and when it is good, it is SO SO SO good. When it is bad? SO BAD. 

    I just love him -- when I don't want to kill him." 

  • Maybe Again?

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    "I have been divorced three times. What I have learned to love about myself in the process is my ability to reinvent myself and not compromise.

    Many of my friends have been married to the same person to whom they got engaged as embryos, i.e., married their high school sweethearts, and stayed for the sake of the 'institution,' no matter how miserable they made each other.

    I don't feel like a failure. I feel like a success; I lived through tough times (left my second husband when our son was 5 -- so it was not easy) but have been true to myself. To borrow a line from a song, 'either way it's okay, you wake up with yourself.'

    Would I marry again? At this stage, since my son is grown, I might be in another committed relationship, but I don't need that contract. However, if my significant other insists upon it –- why not?"

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