You had high hopes for your first marriage. You loved each other and you thought your relationship would last forever.
Sadly, that was not the case. You went through a contentious divorce and are glad it is over. But now you have found love again. Things are serious. Maybe you are engaged or thinking about it.
You love your partner and are excited about a fresh start, a new beginning. But you might have concerns about a second marriage. You do not want the same thing to happen this time around. After all, the leading cause of divorce is getting married. And the risk of divorce is even higher for second marriages — more than 60%.
Most people who divorce get remarried within six years. Yet many of these remarriages also end in divorce. But why?
Why Do Second Marriages Fail?
After a first marriage, you may have thought that you have learned your lesson. You think you know what to do and what to avoid to ensure you will stay together forever. However, you also need to keep in mind that with a second marriage comes a lot more baggage. There are previous relationships involved. You or your partner may have kids. This can create drama. Here are some things you need to consider before jumping into another marriage:
- Blended families. If you and your partner both have kids, you need to expect some degree of drama. You cannot expect your kids to act like the Brady Bunch. There is likely to be rivalry between your sets of kids. Plus, there may be expectations that you are aware of or comfortable with, such as your spouse expecting you to be like a parent to their kids.
- Expectations. Speaking of expectations, second marriages can be messy with all the baggage involved. Your spouse may expect you to handle some portions that you have not had to in the past, such as child care or finances. Be sure to communicate expectations before you get married so there are not any surprises once you walk down the aisle.
- Baggage from previous relationships. Some people marry again knowing that they have unresolved issues from their previous marriage. They may have trust issues. They may have insecurities about their weight or looks. You will need to communicate about these issues, as this negativity can affect your second marriage.
- Communication. Communication issues are a common cause of divorce. If this was a factor in your divorce, hopefully, you can learn from this mistake so you can communicate with your new spouse better and avoid misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and resentment.
The risk of a second divorce is high. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent it, such as the following:
- Understand what happened. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. If you got divorced, then you and your ex-spouse both played a role, to some degree. You cannot just keep blaming your ex-spouse. You have to know what went wrong and what you have done to resolve the matter so you do not repeat the same mistakes.
- Consider premarital counseling. Having the advice of a professional can help you feel more comfortable about going into a second marriage. The invaluable advice they can give you is well worth the cost.
- Communicate often. Make an effort to communicate openly and honestly with your spouse. They likely do not know everything about you, so open yourself up to them. Take the time to get to know each other. You should especially focus on sharing your feelings. This will help prevent misunderstandings and solidify your commitment to each other.
- Do not ignore the minor things. In a marriage, you do need to sweat the small stuff because minor issues can quickly turn into much bigger ones. If something is bothering you or your spouse, deal with it right away. Don’t just sweep it under the rug and hope it will go away. It will not.
- Show appreciation. One of the biggest issues married people have is that their spouses fail to show appreciation for their hard work. Whether your spouse is a hard worker, the breadwinner, or the main caretaker of your children, show them how much they mean to you. Be sure to tell them “thank you” or “I love you” for a job well done. Little acts of kindness help keep the love alive and ensure your spouse doesn’t feel like they are being taken for granted.
- Deal with the rough patches. A second marriage comes with issues that you may not have experienced with your first one. If there are kids involved, there will undoubtedly be more tension around holidays, birthdays, and special events. Instead of avoiding these events or acting negatively, be positive. Show empathy and understanding instead of trying to start a fight.
- Do not give up. Marriage is about commitment. When the going gets tough, try to work things out. The amount of effort you put into your marriage is equal to the amount of success you will have. When you and your spouse are having problems, work together to find a solution. And divorce should not be offered as a solution unless things have become intolerable — and you should not let your marriage get to that point.
Seek Legal Help
Getting divorced once can be bad enough. Going through multiple divorces can be heartbreaking. You can avoid this if you are willing to make the effort.
However, sometimes things aren’t meant to be. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher. Get legal help from Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler. We have more than 30 years of experience in this area of expertise. Get started by scheduling a consultation. Fill out the online form or call our office at (954) 398-5712.