Later this month (August 14), it’s National...
First Presidential Third Marriage
Donald Trump’s Presidency brings a lot of “firsts” to America – including being the first White House leader to be in a third marriage. How might that impact the American people?
It might not at all. In fact, third marriages are often more successful than second marriages for a variety of reasons.
But the instability of being married three times might give some Americans pause.
People often get married too quickly after a divorce. I’ve helped many clients facilitate second divorces, but not many thirds.
In second marriages, people often rush for the wrong reasons – either they think they’re in love or they think they’ve found everything they were missing, and as they grow, they realize it’s not the right person. That’s how they end up in their third relationship.
Is it true that the third time is a charm?
Maybe people get smarter by the third. There are, of course, complications with multiple marriages. Couples must be up front about assets and children – prenuptial agreements are more common in second and third marriages than firsts.
It’s possible that third marriages don’t end as often because by the time they go south, both partners are up in years and don’t have the energy for yet another split.
It’s important that we consider how we, as Americans, look at the First Family – are they our role models? Our moral compass? Our inspiration? Or do they not impact our views on, and success in, relationships at all?
In this current political climate, perhaps White House marriages are just as much a performance as everything else.
Certainly, we loved the romanticism of the Kennedys, and we know JFK was wildly unfaithful.
Still, we revered that time as our very own fairy tale. Maybe the testament of a White House marriage is a message for us to stay the course, even when things get rocky, rather than jumping ship.
While six presidents remarried, only two did so while in office, after their wives died – John Tyler and Woodrow Wilson. Ronald Reagan was the only President before now who had been divorced – an early “starter marriage” long before he took office.
And while many Presidents were known for, or accused of, infidelity, many First Ladies – like Hillary Clinton and Jackie Kennedy – stood by their men to maintain their political power.
A divorce could easily send a Presidency down the tubes, says Michael Nelson, author of The American Presidency: Origins and Development.
Indeed, according to Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages that Shaped Our History, by Kati Marton, Presidential couples are the ultimate power couples, with First Ladies wielding incredible influence over their ruling husbands.