Pam Evans lives in the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California. She has worked in the marketing and sales support sectors of global Fortune 500 high technology companies in Silicon Valley for the past 20+ years. Pam is also recognized for her authentic and dynamic public speakingability.
Raised outside a small town in Western North Carolina, Pam spent her adolescence in Long Island, New York, and her early adulthood in upstate New York. She received her Bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Psychology from The University at Albany-SUNY, State University of New York.
Pam refers to herself as a “hybrid individual,” since a wide variety of people and places have influenced her world view and her “ storytelling” style. Ring EXchange – Adventures of a Multiple Marrier is her first book.
About Multiple Marriage – A Brief Overview
Pam Evans’ Perspective – May 2012
Three percent of the American population today have been married three or more times. Although these multiple marriers and/or multiple divorcee’s may be standing on the periphery, listening silently while open discussions about marriage and divorce are taking place, they are there nonetheless.
Why would anyone marry and divorce several times? I find it isn’t easy to provide a simple, understandable answer to that question. It is important to consider many factors and circumstances that contribute to the reason a man or a woman becomes a multiple marrier.
As I began my own self-examination about why I became a multiple marrier statistic, I searched for concrete answers. The most helpful research I came across was a book that appeared to be more of a university thesis, The Marriage-Go-Round: an exploratory study of multiple marriagewritten by Elaine Fox in 1983 (coincidentally, Elaine is my middle name). I found her research exploring multiple marriage intriguing. But, although this study was thorough, it lacked a definitive answer to the problem of why people become multiple marriers.
Interestingly enough, as Elaine was publishing her findings, I was involved in my second unhappy marriage and was once again contemplating how to take my leave. Marriage can be considered a process, and so can divorce. Since I had learned the how to’s of a nearly painless marital exit strategy during my first marriage, I believed I would be more efficient the second time around.
Thus, my own serial marriage syndrome was “subconsciously” beginning just when Elaine Fox claimed that little was known about the subject. The purpose of her book was to raise awareness. Today, some 29 years later, raising awareness about multiple marriers and reviving the discussion is my intent as well.
Although there is a very small sampling of willing men and women multiple marrier interviewees, including myself, for my book, I’m hoping our experiences can stimulate conversations about the topic. Just acknowledging that we multiple marriers are a “band,” a “circle,” a “club,” so to speak, may give us comfort as we realize that we are not alone. By sharing our stories, perhaps we can also enlighten others who may have curiosity about who we are and why we kept starting our marital lives over and over. I also believe that multiple marriers who have broken the cycle can support those who are trying to break out of the syndrome. My ultimate goal in writing this book is to help former multiple marriers break their destructive patterns and discover the joys of oneness with one’s self and being truly independent.
Today, information from the Pew Research Center indicates that one-half of the adult American population is married. However, marriage as an institution in which the majority of the population participated at one time or another, is on the decline. In 2010, 39 percent of the younger generations said they were either not sure about marriage or didn’t want to tie the knot. Sixty-one percent of singles of other ages, however, indicated “they would like” to be married. So that’s encouraging, to see some balance in those statistics.
I would like to share a fascinating and current Pew Research Center article on the decline of marriage Barely Half of U.S. Adults Are Married – A Record Low – New Marriages Down 5% from 2009 to 2010 by D’Vera Cohn, Jeffrey Passel, Wendy Wang and Gretchen Livingston. As I read this article, one fact stood out that I believe may contribute to the decline of “multiple marriages” in the future; that is, if individuals wait longer to get married, perhaps they will stay married. The report concludes that many singles are waiting until later in life to get married:
- 1960: 60 percent of adults between ages 20-24 were married. Median age for men: 22.8 years, women: 20.3 years.
- 2010: 14 percent of adults between ages 20-24 were married. Median age for both men and women – late 20s.
Here’s an observation on my part:
For the 39 percent of singles who either aren’t sure or don’t wish to be married, some may choose to enter into relationships, co-habit and even bear children – but without choosing the legal route of matrimony. This would, most certainly, affect “multiple marrier” statistics in a positive way — with a down arrow on the chart, because there would be fewer of us multiple marriers in the future. Marriage as a lifestyle is certainly not going to become extinct, but I do hope that someday the phenomenon of multiple marriage will go the way of the dinosaurs!
As I mentioned earlier, there are no easy answers to describe who a multiple marrier is, how they got into that category and why they often repeat their patterns. The complexity involved in multiple marriage needs further exploration, and those findings should be broadly disseminated, so that more intelligent conversations can take place. Multiple marriage and divorce seems to be a dynamic process; it certainly has been in my own case. I believe it is important to study the critical interconnected factors — socioeconomic, age, family pressure — involved in the lives of multiple marriers. Those elements can and do come together to create that “perfect storm” effect that is repeated over and over again in the multiple marrier’s sphere.
In addition to dissecting the reasons for the multiple marriage process, I think is imperative also to approach multiple marriers wholistically. Perhaps some day, through more precise and detailed research, advanced analytics and knowledge about the human psyche and condition, conclusive evidence will surface that will enable people to truly understand a multiple marrier’s “road less traveled.” That information could propel all of us who desire relationship and/or marital success onto a well-paved super-highway that leads directly to discovering the joys of happiness and contentment.
I welcome scientific, philosophical and hypothetical discussions about multiple marriers. Please weigh in with your ideas by connecting with Pam at: