Your first marriage started off exciting, passionate, and full of hope. When routines and reality set in, it was clear that this person isn't the one you're meant to spend your life with. Your second marriage will be different- better, even. Check out our tips for making your second marriage your last.
Grieve your first marriage
Before you can turn to your new relationship, it's important to address the marriage that you last left. Moving on isn't truly possible until you've come to terms with the end of your first marriage. Take time to find yourself again: surround yourself with people who energize you, take a creative course or fitness class, and create a new routine. Finding independence and processing your divorce are essential before opening yourself to someone new. This advice is especially pertinent to any divorcee with children, as several quick changes can be tumultuous for the whole family.
Don't rush into it
It's common that following the end of a first marriage, ex-spouses are eager to get into another serious relationship. After all, you have likely spent many years in a committed relationship, and have become adjusted to a certain level of dependency. Ending the first marriage also leaves many people feeling lonely, and more likely to seek companionship. Don't succumb to these temptations: your second marriage will only be successful if you are genuinely in love with your partner. Take your time to get to really get to know them, discussing things from favourite ice cream flavours, to parenting opinions before committing yourself and your family to someone new.
Make note of lessons learned from your last marriage
As part of moving on from your last marriage, you should have formed an understanding of why the marriage deteriorated. Although many reasons may be beyond your control, take note of anything you should be conscious of in a new relationship. Did you stop valuing your partner? Did you stop communicating as much as you had while you were dating? Did intimacy become less of a priority? Being self-aware and addressing these potential points of conflict will ensure you're prepared to get married again- this time, for the long haul.
Be vulnerable, in small steps
To build trust and transparency in your new marriage, it's important to be open with your new spouse, as you were in your first marriage. Divorcees specifically have a harder time with this, as they have recently felt the sting of divorce. This shouldn't deter you from ever finding "a forever love" again, but it should remind you to be conservative about how quickly you share all facets of life with your new spouse. Throughout your new relationship, you should share and discuss aspects of one another's life in increasing significance. By the time you decide to remarry, you should have a trusting relationship with your new spouse, have open and honest communication about everything, and you should be confident in your decision to share one another's lives.
Practise endurance, patience and compromise
Now that you've met Mr. or Mrs. Right, you're probably anxious to embark on happily ever after. But don't be blinded by the honeymoon phase; your second marriage will come with it's own set of challenges, too. As all marriages do, you may face disagreements, stress or conflict, but these don't necessarily have to be the be-all and the end-all of your marriage. From the begging of your new relationship, be patient with your partner, and put your relationship above any disagreement you may have. "Compromise is key" may be cliché, but it stands the test of time. Even soulmates have occasional conflicts, remember to chose your battles and acknowledge your spouse's interests and concerns.
Nothing can be taboo
Finances. Parenting Styles. Religion. Politics. Not exactly first date topics, but these conversations need to be had before you decide to get married. To fairly approach and begin your new marriage, you must know and make known every aspect of one another's lives. Parenting decisions must be established long before families meet and/or move in together, financial situations and expectations should be outlined and discussed, as should major decisions regarding life choices, even farther down the line. Beginning your new marriage with all major topics out on the table will give you every chance at a successful relationship, and will make the transition easier for family and friends who are implicated in this major life event.
Be open to pre-marital counselling
Although this won't be essential for every couple, experts suggest that seeing a marriage counsellor before actually getting married can improve your chances of staying together. Pre-marital counselling may help you discern which roadblocks or communication issues your marriage is likely to face, techniques to handle these challenges, and an emotional and physical space where you and your new spouse are comfortable bringing any conversation to the table, instead of suppressing frustrations. If you do not attend pre-marital counselling, you might consider indicating to your new spouse that this option is one you would consider, should complications arise in your marriage. Hopefully your spouse will return your eagerness to actively pursue any solution necessary to keep your marriage healthy.
We've covered major concerns and how to avoid conflict in your second marriage, however this marriage is sure to be full of happiness and joy for you and your new spouse. Second marriages end in divorce 13% less often than first marriages, and second-time spouses are proven to have higher understandings of themselves, more realistic expectations for married life, and a renewed dedication to commitment.
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