Tahlequah Daily Press

Get the scoop!

October 10, 2012

Slate's Explainer: If Maria Shriver takes Arnold back

Arnold Schwarzenegger still hopes to win back Maria Shriver, who filed for divorce from him last year after learning that Schwarzenegger had fathered a son with the family's housekeeper. When divorced couples remarry each other, how often does it work out?

Probably less than one-half the time. Anecdotes about divorced couples who remarry each other abound, especially among politicians and celebrities, but there's little in the way of systematic research. A 2004 survey of 1,147 divorcees by the AARP suggested that around 6 percent give their marriage another try, while 4 percent continue to have sex with each other after they divorce.

The most detailed study of the success of second-chance marriages comes from 1938, when pioneering marriage counselor Paul Popenoe compiled 200 stories of couples who married each other two or more times. (His sample, drawn from his patients, acquaintances of his students, and newspapers clippings, wasn't exactly random.) Popenoe reported that 48 percent of the remarried couples were happy together at the time of the study. It's not clear whether that estimate remains accurate today, when the overall divorce rate is nearly double that of the 1930s. The second-chance divorce rate may have risen with the overall divorce rate. On the other hand, some modern couples may divorce too hastily, then find themselves compatible on the second try.

Popenoe's 1938 study suggests that, even if Shriver decides to give Schwarzenegger another chance, the ex-governor might have to wait a while. Couples that have long first marriages — Schwarzenegger and Shriver were together for 25 years before separating in 2011 — tend to wait longer to get back together, for unknown reasons. Second-timers are, however, quick to pull the plug on the do-over. Popenoe found that, among repeat divorcees, the second marriage typically lasts less than a year.

Popenoe's qualitative analysis is no longer useful, largely because he was a man of his time (a condition also made evident by his fervent support of the eugenics movement). He blamed many second marriages on wives who longed for " 'freedom,' self-expression, or an independent career," only to learn that "the world did not yearn for her talents in art or business." Popenoe would describe the Schwarzenegger-Shriver separation as the result of a "righteously indignant" wife upset that her husband had a "middle age infatuation" with an "adventuress."

Certain societies have, at times, taken a dim view of second-chance marriages. Romanian divorcees were forbidden to remarry their exes during the 19th century, for example. In India, the law that applies to Muslim marriages prohibits remarriage to the same person, unless the wife has first married and divorced another man, in a practice known as "Halala."

---

Got a question about today's news? ask-the-explainer@yahoo.com.

1
Text Only
Get the scoop!
  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • Trials of the Cherokee reflected in their skulls, researchers say

    Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee have found that environmental stressors – from the Trail of Tears to the Civil War – led to significant changes in the shape of skulls in the eastern and western bands of the Cherokee people. The findings highlight the role of environmental factors in shaping our physical characteristics.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014

  • Do White Castle prices tell us anything about the minimum wage?

    The paper looked at how many delicious steamed sliders the minimum wage has been able to purchase over time. The point is that as it notes, in 1981, the $3.35 minimum could buy a whole dozen. Today, at $7.25, it could purchase just 10.

    April 21, 2014

  • Can Hillary Clinton rock the cradle and the world?

    What's most interesting to contemplate is the effect becoming a grandmother will have on Hillary's ambition. It's one of life's unfairnesses that a woman's peak career years often coincide with her peak childbearing years.

    April 21, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 18, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Golf turns into snooze-fest without celebrities like Tiger and Phil

    The Masters lumbered on last week without two of pro golf's biggest names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and fans changed the channel. The PGA needs someone with star power if it's going to lure people back to the game.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 18, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Warren's populist pitch on student loans is off key

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren's populist rhetoric pumps up students about their loan burdens, but she conveniently neglects to mention the real problem - the exorbitant cost of college - much less how she's benefitted from those high prices.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Stocks