Why I’m Getting Married for the Third Time

Are we brave, crazy, or both?

Denise Vitola

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Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

I have every reason to be done with marriage. Divorced the first time, widowed the second, I was left with a shattered heart it took years to put back together. And I’m not the only one. There are millions of us walking wounded, broken by broken marriages. Most of the married couples I’ve known over the years eventually divorced, including my own parents (my dad twice).

Same with every last couple in our circle of friends. When my first husband and I were in our twenties, we hung out with three other couples at parties and barbecues while our kids played. One by one, like dominoes, each marriage imploded, every single one. By our mid-thirties we were all divorced.

In my experience, married people fall out of love, or cheat, or just slowly come to hate each other. We vow to love each other forever no matter what, full of hopes and dreams for the future, but then somehow along the way it all falls apart. Little things start to annoy us, then bigger things. Kids come along and resentments accumulate. We get locked into roles and scripts we feel powerless to break out of, and we scream terrible things we can never take back. Or we don’t scream at all, but just silently seethe. We treat strangers better than we treat our own spouses, until one day somebody calls it quits.

Let’s face it, the odds for success are dismal. By now we all know that almost half of marriages will end in divorce, but for every subsequent marriage the divorce rate is even higher. More than 60% of second marriages and more than 70% of third marriages won’t make it.

So knowing all this, why on earth am I planning to tie the knot yet again? It will be the third marriage not just for me, but for my fiance as well, which clearly means we’re doomed, right? Even his parents (married more than 50 years) think we’re crazy. His dad said to us, “Why get married? Why not just keep living together?”

It’s not that we’re hopeless romantics. We’re both in our fifties; we’ve lived through too much to believe in happily-ever-after. Since we moved in together more than four years ago we’ve dealt with cancer and chronic illness, a sudden death, sick parents, a move, job changes, teenager drama, becoming grandparents, and of…

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Denise Vitola

Writer, reader, lifelong rebel. Learning things the hard way since 1963.