Oklahoma women are the marrying kind

September 30, 2009 - 0:0

Oklahoma has the second-highest percentage of people who have been married three or more times, recently released survey data show. More than 7.25 percent of Oklahomans have taken the wedding plunge at least three times. Only Arkansas' 7.36 percent ranked higher, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“It's not until death do us part, it's until stress do us part,” said Mel Whittington, an associate pastor and licensed professional counselor in Tulsa. About 6.6 percent of Oklahoma's men have been married three or more times, census data show. More than 7.9 percent of the state's women have that history — the highest percentage from all states for either gender.
Whittington, who's served as a pastor and counselor for more than 20 years, said numerous issues could cause marriage problems. They include addictions, financial troubles and the maturity and devotion levels of couples, especially younger ones.
Michael Patton, executive director of Tulsa's Metropolitan Environmental Trust, jokes about his beginning marriage troubles and his ultimate success. The 51-year-old Tulsa native has been married three times, including to his current wife of 12 years.
“Marriage is like making waffles,” he said. “You gotta throw the first couple out.”
Patton first married when he was 22. He said he felt pressured to marry young and remembered how his friends were getting married at that time and how his grandmother once told him that people marry young in his family. The marriage lasted three months.
His second marriage, which began when he was 32, ended three years later, after a career change and concerns about finances.
“I think money breaks up a lot of couples,” Patton said. “I think I'm a better husband because I was married before.”
During his 40-plus years as a licensed marriage and family therapist, Stuart Jacobson has seen almost everything, including one couple in which the husband had been married five times and the wife had been married six.
Jacobson said he asked the two to focus on how they themselves were causing difficulties for the marriage and what they could do to change.
He never saw them again.
Jacobson said that it's common for people to blame their partner for a failing relationship.
And that trait is eventually passed on to children. Jacobson said many of his patients who are divorced have parents who were divorced, as well. “The kids really don't learn how to create a good relationship and solve problems,” he said. “They learn how to create a bad relationship and create problems.”
That's exacerbated when people marry at a younger age, as they tend to do more in the Midwest than the on the East Coast.
(Source: tulsaworld.com)