'Women may go into marriage with a very strong idea of what a good wife should be and look like, but she often cant live up to her own expectations, because of the pressures of a professional and home life.'

London - Love really is lovelier the second time around. Couples on their second marriage are happier and less likely to get divorced, a report claims.

According to the Marriage Foundation, 45 percent of marriages between first-timers are destined for the divorce courts.

But just 31 percent of second weddings will end in failure. And husbands who are tying the knot for the second time are more likely to find happiness.

The relationships think-tank used figures from the Office for National Statistics to find out which marriages stand the test of time.

It found those on their second union benefit from age and experience, and are more ready to commit. Rather than sliding into a marriage without much thought they will have carefully weighed the pros and cons.

Harry Benson, who wrote the report for the Marriage Foundation, said: “Overall, second marriages do better because couples who get married for the second time are invariably older than those marrying for the first time.

“One possibility is that higher age is a proxy for higher income. Higher income acts as a buffer against some of the everyday difficulties faced by most couples.

“Another possibility is that higher age means there are fewer young children from prior relationships.

“And fewer second marriages for men are subject to the social and family pressures that lead into some first marriages. Hence men tend to do better second time round.”

He added: “The good news is that couples wishing to marry second time round no longer need to be put off by doom-laden statistics. Second marriages generally do okay.”

However relationship expert Dr Pam Spurr said: “All the statistics show second marriages fare far less well.” She claimed second marriages can be particularly problematic when there are children from previous marriages.

And Relate counsellor Paula Hall pointed out that money can be tighter in a second marriage due to divorce settlements.

But she added: “People in second marriages seem to have more insight and self-awareness. Having gone through divorce and separation, there can be more motivation to work through problems and save the marriage.”

TV presenters Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, who have been married for 26 years, are an example of successful second-timers.

Madeley had a brief marriage in his 20s but has told how he and his first wife were never well suited. - Daily Mail