“I do!” Many individuals who intend to marry only plan to say this phrase one time in their lives. However, in today’s society, some people say this two, three, or even more times. The idea of getting married is intimidating to some. The idea of getting remarried can be positively scary. This article focuses on remarriage after divorce and some of the initial considerations to remember when taking the plunge. Again. For the purposes of this article, remarriage with children is mentioned, but not emphasized.
No one goes into a marriage thinking that they will inevitably get divorced. Nevertheless, many people find themselves going through this painful process. Moving beyond a failed relationship is difficult enough; the loss of a marriage can sometimes be devastating. After experiencing this, individuals may feel beaten and broken, and the idea of dating may be the last thing on their minds. Once people who have been through a divorce get to the other side of it, they can be open to receiving love and life again. According to Barbara LeBey in her book Remarried with Children (2004), 85 percent of people who divorce will marry again.
When considering marrying again, it is important for the individual to start fresh. People who are considering remarriage typically have the benefit of knowing what they want or don’t want. According to Kelley and Burg in The Second Time Around (2000), those considering remarriage have gotten to a place where they know what they hold dear to them and the beauty of what marriage involves.
Here a few tips on what to keep in mind when embarking on a new life with a new spouse:
An individual’s history comes to a new relationship when a person has been married before. When a couple lives together as husband and wife, they typically see each other every day and therefore experiences exist and build every day. It can be hard to forget these feelings and differing levels of intimacy. Focus should be placed on being aware of the demons that past marriages can bring to the new relationship to prevent it from being ruined.
Letting go involves spending time with oneself as a person again. It is easy to try and breathe easy because there is no more fighting or nagging. But who is that person now? Where is their identity without being a “husband” or “wife”? It is a time to make individual choices without another’s involvement; time to spend on focusing on individual qualities, and enjoying one’s own pursuits. Kelley and Burg believe that this is essential if there is an expectation of a happy second marriage.
Some couples find it beneficial to seek counseling with their partner, beyond pre-marital counseling, to focus on the dynamics of another marriage, especially if children are involved. According to a psychologist in Kelley and Burg’s book, individuals who seek outside professional help are likely to have a successful second marriage. This is because they explore past familial and/or marital relationships, and focus on who they are as individuals.
Take the Necessary Time
It is important for a couple considering remarriage to take their time learning about their new love, focus on dealing with problems and talk about how communication will occur during difficult situations. It is important to make sure that people don’t move on to a new relationship or marriage as a rebound or get back at an ex. Many individuals do not take the necessary time to wait to put a previous marriage behind them before investing in a new relationship.
Often, people try to choose someone that is completely different from the ex-spouse. It’s easy to see a new life with a new person that promises to be different and therefore get lost in the romanticism of this freshness. However, many times the necessary work to maintain the relationship is not considered and can result in devastation and a loss of the entire relationship.
The Ex Files
Individuals should make sure that they have emotionally separated from an ex-spouse before moving into a new relationship or marriage, especially when there are children. The role of these individuals is crucial in validating the new marriage with the ex. It is not up to the ex to receive the information happily, but it is vital that the individual who is getting remarried emphasize the role of the new spouse in their life. Marriages are difficult enough without the added pressure of unresolved feelings for an ex-spouse.
LeBey states that a previous marriage is not going to disappear; not the ex, nor the children, if any should exist. Open communication, honesty, a willingness to listen and understand, and awareness can assist in moving past the “couple” part of a former marriage.
Remarriages can be extremely successful and happy. They require compromise to offer a variety of solutions. Discussions should occur privately and should not escalate into an argument. Both parties in a remarriage will need to be flexible and become very sensitive to the changes that will come to the family unit that they may not see during dating. It is important to be aware of these alterations so that they may be adequately managed. With these few tips in which to start, individuals considering remarriage can contemplate issues that they may never have considered to lead toward a positive new beginning, marriage, and love.
- Susan, Kelley and Dale, Burg, The Second Time Around: Everything You Need to Know to Make Your Remarriage Happy, HarperCollins Publishers, 2000.
- Barbara, LeBey, Remarried with Children: Ten Secrets for Successfully Blending and Extending Your Family, Bantam Books, 2004