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Second, Third Marriages: Divorce Rates Explained (VIDEO)

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First Posted: 03/ 6/2012 4:26 pm Updated: 03/ 6/2012 4:27 pm

Psychiatrist Gail Saltz stopped by the "Today" show Tuesday to talk about why so many second and third marriages end in divorce.

The failure rate is indeed high; in 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau found that 60 percent of second marriages and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce. And according to family law attorney and Huffington Post blogger Lisa Helfend Meyer, roughly half of her divorce clients have been married or divorced once before.

So what's the reason for the high divorce rates in later marriages? Saltz said divorcees all too often rush into a rebound marriage after their first split.

"They don't want to be alone. They feel scared by what's happened to them -- it's disturbing," she said. "Instead of resolving the issues that caused the first break-up, they move into the second one and bring all of that with them."

And while children are often "the glue that binds" couples in their first marriage, that's not necessarily the case for second and third unions, which generally take place in the post-child rearing years.

Saltz added that the sense of determinism most people develop after recovering from their first divorce often sets them up for failure when they hit rough patches in their second and third marriages.

"You become desensitized to the idea of divorce," she said. "You run into some trouble and go, 'Well, I have been down this road before and I survived, so what the heck.'"

Watch the video above for tips on how to avoid second and third divorces.

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Filed by Brittany Wong  |