Learning to love again after a divorce can be hard for some people, especially when their marriage was so stressful that they swore to themselves, “I’m never going to get married again!” Interestingly though, a lot of these same people who made such promises and swore off marriage forever, end up walking down the aisle all over again.
Love has a way of blindsiding us, and catching some of us completely off-guard – and by surprise. We’ve seen it firsthand. Many of our clients have gone on to finally marry Mr. or Mrs. Right, even though they thought they’d never get married again.
How can newly divorced people find the right person, and when they do, how can they avoid falling into the same destructive patterns that tore apart their first marriage? Suppose you’re the one asking these questions. The first step is to do a better job selecting a life partner, one whose personality is similar to yours, and who has common interests and even views on life.
There is one thing that is good about going through a divorce – you learn all about what you do and don’t want in a spouse. For example, you may want someone who shares the same religious views as you. Or, you may want a spouse who loves dogs and the outdoors.
Perhaps you want a spouse who is adventurous or a homebody. Regardless of the personality traits you’re looking for, it’s as important to know what you want as it is to know what you don’t want.
It helps tremendously to find someone who shares common interests with you. When you’re cohabiting with someone who you can’t even have a conversation with, it gets old fast. It sounds cliché, but you want someone who you can laugh with and stay up talking to until the sun rises.
What if I’m Disillusioned About Marriage?
If you’ve been through a divorce, it’s normal to feel disillusioned about remarriage, especially if the divorce hit you hard emotionally or financially, or both. According to the latest data from the American Psychological Association, up to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. “The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher,” says the APA.
In spite of the divorce statistics, it is possible to have a happy and healthy second marriage, especially if you haven’t given up on finding ever-lasting love. However, the key to not making the same mistake twice is to reflect on what went wrong in your first marriage and to create an image in your mind of what a successful one would look like.
Second Marriages Take Work
Let’s face it, all marriages take work. Essentially, if you fail to create your second marriage, it will to an extent, cease to exist (as does any relationship). While people often feel very connected to their second spouse at the beginning of the marriage, they need to keep working on their relationship to enhance that connection.
If you take a look around in your circle, you’ll probably realize that you have friends and family who have remarried and enjoyed long-lasting second marriages. Some second marriages have even outlasted the first, and that’s encouraging.
However, successful second marriages don’t just happen; they take work, especially when ex-spouses, stepchildren, and even new children complicate matters. If you have children from your first marriage, you want to hope for the best and mentally prepare for challenges because it’s not always easy dealing with blended families.
When couples are tenacious, understanding, empathetic, and compassionate, they can usually weather any storm a blended family throws at them. Sprinkle in a healthy dose of patience and the chances of having a successful second marriage rise exponentially.
If you decide to remarry one day, you want to go into it thinking that your second marriage will be built on a foundation of respect, tolerance, and dedication to making the marriage and the family work. After all, these are the key ingredients to any successful marriage.
When couples have mutual respect for each other and they know they’re there for each other during their ups and downs, their union is rock solid.
Leaving the Baggage Behind
The first step to a healthy second marriage is to leave the baggage behind. Remember, you’re dealing with a completely different person now, not your ex. If your husband was a cheater, that does not mean that your new husband will be unfaithful. Or, if your ex-wife would be irresponsible with credit cards and hid thousands of expenditures from you, that has nothing to do with your new wife.
With the second marriage, you’re starting out fresh. You have a second chance to get it right, to avoid all the mistakes you made the first time around. Second marriages give a silver lining to divorce because people know themselves better and they have a much better idea of what they want out of marriage.
Being older and wiser, you’re in a much better position to create a marriage that fits your definition of a happy marriage. No marriage is perfect, but if you allow yourself to take risks, you can create the marriage you always dreamed about.
If you’re considering a second marriage, you’ve probably realized that you’re a whole lot smarter about love. Not only that, but you’ve probably arrived at the conclusion that you can’t change your future spouse. Instead of trying to fix your partner, have realistic expectations and focus on improving that which you can control – yourself.
Instead of trying to change someone who has a different upbringing than you and different life experiences, put your energy into fixing your own character flaws – we all have some sort of flaws that we could improve.
Going into your second marriage, practice the art of patience, love, and understanding. If you can both be committed to seeing each other through thick and thin, it will improve your chances of having a happy, healthy second marriage.