While remarriage can be a wonderful blessing in some cases, there will always be emotions and issues to deal with. In her book, Improving the Odds (HarperCollins, 1994), Averill Richardson discusses the impact a second or subsequent marriage can have upon a woman’s emotions and her ability to adapt and cope.
Dealing With the Loss of a First Husband
A husband is generally lost in one of two ways; death or divorce. The after-effects of the loss vary according to circumstances. Here are some of the factors that can influence emotion:
- The death of a partner involves the funeral and processing of shock, grief, sorrow and loneliness. It is one of the most stressful events a person can live through. If the death was unexpected and there are several young children to care for, the pressure can be overwhelming
- Divorce often brings a sense of failure even if it was a mutual decision. Arrangements have to made about property, custody of children, and finances and this can be very stressful.
- The woman has to adjust to being single once again. She will need to create new support networks and a new social identity.
- The grieving process for an ended marriage typically takes 18 months to two years to work through.
Remarriage and a New Husband
A woman may be cautious when considering remarriage especially if her first marriage ended in divorce. Along with the process of getting to know each other, there are the possible extra pressures of children, extended family members and financial commitments. Here are some points to consider when a woman looks at entering into a new marriage:
- How long is it since the first marriage ended and have hurts and issues been worked through in a satisfactory manner?
- Has she discussed finances, custody arrangements, homes and wills with her new partner? In some cases it may be better to move into a new home or area where they can make a fresh start together.
- Is there genuine love and an emotional connection to her new partner?
Resources for Women Considering Remarriage
If a woman is unsure of whether she should remarry, some counselling might help her to clarify her thoughts and feelings. Support groups can also be useful, especially during the grieving period. It is never a good idea to rush into remarriage as there are so many factors to consider.
A woman will find there are many emotional and practical issues to deal with when a first marriage ends due to divorce or death. It is important to work through feelings before making a new commitment. Children, extended family members, wills and finances are some considerations when remarrying.