Marriage is not for the faint at heart. It is something that requires a lot of work from both spouses. It takes time and effort to keep the spark alive.
In many cases, marriages just do not work out. Roughly half of them lead to divorce.
A divorce can be brutal. The process is long and expensive. Going from married to single is a huge step. Because of all the drama involved, many people don’t get married again. They are one and done.
But many people do. They want to remarry and try their hand at love once again. They think they have learned from their mistakes and have the maturity to make a second marriage work.
Are the odds better with a second marriage? Statistics say no. Census data shows that the divorce rate for second marriages is more than 60%. This is compared to 50% for first marriages.
So, despite the popular saying, practice does not make perfect. But why not? There are many things that happen in a first marriage that can affect a second marriage. Having experience from being married before is not enough. Second and subsequent marriages have challenges of their own. Here’s what you need to be aware of if you decide to walk down the aisle a second (or third or fourth) time.
There are More Elements Involved
When you got married the first time, you and your spouse were younger and had less baggage. There may not have been children involved. You may not have owned much of anything, so there were fewer financial issues to sort through.
Indeed, second marriages bring about issues with finances and families. Some spouses do not want to contribute financially to the marriage, or they think they do not have to because they are already paying for child support and alimony from their first marriage. It is also common for people to not want anything to do with their new spouse’s children from the previous marriage. Dealing with blended families and stepchildren can be extremely difficult. In fact, women who brought children into their second marriages were more likely to see them fail within 10 years.
There are Unresolved Issues
Some people fail to resolve the issues that caused their first divorce. They still lack self-awareness and interpersonal skills. They do not know how to resolve conflict. They look for someone who is mature and meets all their criteria, but things still do not work out. Even if you marry the “perfect” person, a marriage can still go terribly wrong.
People often fail to take responsibility for their part in the first divorce. They tend to blame the other spouse for everything, but the truth is that it takes two. Both parties must share the blame to some degree.
People Marry for the Wrong Reasons
Why do you want to get married again? Is it for companionship? Are you scared to be lonely? You should not remarry simply because you do not want to be single anymore. That is not fair to both of you. You should marry someone because you truly love them and want to build a future with them. You should know the person very well and understand their flaws. You should be able to trust them and communicate well with them. If you cannot get past certain issues, then think twice about marriage.
The Parties are Not Putting in Enough Work
Between your divorce and a second marriage, there is work that needs to be done. You need to identify what caused the divorce. You may need therapy to work through unresolved issues. You need to work on yourself and figure out what you want in a partner before you get into another relationship. Do not rush into another marriage.
How to Make a Second Marriage Work
Want to make your next marriage work? Here is what you can do to avoid a second divorce:
- Ditch unrealistic expectations. Do not anticipate perfection the second time around because it will not happen. Marriage is a lot of work, and with a second marriage, you can expect even more responsibilities this time as you deal with families and finances. Do not go into a second marriage with a naive view of what a marriage should be. You will not be happy all the time. There will be struggles. This means that you are in a real relationship, for better or worse.
- Consider therapy. Therapy can be good after a divorce to help you understand what went wrong in your first marriage. It can also be helpful if you are considering marriage again. Couples therapy can offer communication tools and conflict resolution techniques to help prevent issues from escalating.
- Own your past mistakes. Know that you played a part in your first divorce. Work on developing this self-awareness so you can focus on fixing the mistakes you made. This will help you avoid the same mistakes in the future.
- Take it slow. Do not rush into a second marriage. Ideally, you should give yourself at least a year to process what happened in your first marriage. Give yourself time to think about what you really want in the future.
Seek Legal Help
You may think you know how to make a marriage last the second time around, but the truth is that subsequent marriages get harder. There are many more elements involved.
Marriages require a lot of effort. If you cannot make things work a second time around, seek legal help from Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (954) 346-646