MsDora is a Certified Christian Counselor. Her views on singleness, premarital and marital issues are influenced by her Christian beliefs.
Traveling the same road the second time, couples want to experience the joys that evaded them the first time. By now, they have moved beyond the naïvety of “We love each other, and that’s all that matters.” Experience tells them that some preparation is necessary.
New mates are unable to really love each other unless the emotional debris from the last relationship has been cleared away. If both are second-timers, it takes double effort to get ready.
The statistics on remarriage puts the divorce rate for second marriages at 60%. This is reason enough to get counseling on family-blending techniques from an experienced, reputable professional. Among other things, each individual can benefit from the following counsel.
(1) Establish the New You
No succumbing to the first person who winks at you, because you are desperate for companionship, or you are anxious to prove that you are still attractive. Take time to understand the whys and hows of the previous marriage breakdown. Take time to forgive and accept forgiveness. Learn lessons in adjustment and start applying them to help you improve in new attitudes and interpersonal skills.
Don't marry for the new spouse to help you heal. It is not fair to the new mate; and until you are healed, you cannot truly evaluate your readiness. You want to be strong and confident (though scars might remain), when you begin again. One whole new you plus a whole new partner equals one whole new marriage.
Boost Your Confidence
- Embrace your purpose.
- Practice self-confident rituals like affirmations or pep-talks.
- Enjoy spending time alone.
- Ask empowering questions.
- Share your talents with others.
excerpt from Things Highly Confident Women Do Differently by Julia Kitlinski-Hong
(2) Be Civil to the Exes
It is wise for exes to reconcile to the point where they could be civil to each other This is not a recommendation for dinners and joint shopping sprees. However, it makes sense for you, the new spouse-to-be, to be civil to the former partner. If there are children, divorced parents will have to communicate about their welfare, and step-parents also want to be involved in their lives. Everyone will benefit in an atmosphere that is void of resentment and hostility.
At weddings, graduations, or even in sickrooms life would be easier if there is teamwork instead of tension, and courtesy instead of crossness. It would be wise for the new spouse-to-be to assure the divorced parent before the marriage, that the children’s interests will always be considered.
(3) Make Space for the Children
Children from the previous marriage deserve personal time with, and support from the parent you want to marry. Don’t make the spouse choose between you and the child.If you come between them you could damage your new relationship with both of them. Good parent-child relationships facilitate good husband-wife relationships and vice versa.
Be sensitive to the child’s feelings when you openly demonstrate love to your new mate. The child may resent the new partner for enjoying the affection that they never saw the other divorced parent receive. Also make an effort to make the children feel loved and cared for. Find out what expressions of love are appropriate depending on the age and sex of the child.
(4) Settle Disputes
If the divorced parents are still bound together in legal disputes over the sale of the house, the custody of the children, the rights to half of the pension and so on, it would be better to wait until those issues are resolved. If you begin the marriage under stresses imposed by hostile exes, there may be no way to counter the damage they can inflict on the new relationship.
Some exes drag out disputes in hope that by some uncanny stroke of luck, the dispute can end in reconciliation. Be sure that you are not caught up in a threesome.
A wise father called an ex-wife and said, "Your ex is interested in my daughter, but before I give them the green light, I want to hear from you that you are not planning to get back with him." That man scored an A in common sense and an A+ in world peace.
(5) Learn to Accommodate Grief
You probably think that if the ex were dead, you’d have less to worry about. Don’t be too sure. Some grieving spouses still allow the wishes of the deceased to influence their decisions. It is better to wait until the grieving spouse is in control of the emotional tie with the late partner. Grief can last longer that you expect, especially if the two-in-one parted on good terms. Learn to accommodate the lapses into grief and to comfort the grieving back to the living.
You may also have to wait until inheritance issues with relatives of the deceased are settled. If they think that you intend to cut short their share, they may try to do more damage with the hard ball. You will feel the blow every time they hit your partner.
(6) Talk About the Money
Some second-time newlyweds are surprised to discover that there are more previous debts and financial obligations than they discussed. Make sure to talk about the liabilities as well as the assets. It shouldn’t be a problem to see the bank statements and the bills if you intend to build a marriage on honesty and integrity.
(7) Marry for the Right Reason
That should be love. “This should have been the first tip,” someone may say. However, it is mentioned last because no matter how much you think you are in love, you should tread slowly and softly until you are sure about the other matters.
Be sure that you do not want to pursue the new relationship just because the children are cute and they need to live with two parents; or because you think marriage will cure the widow or widower's grief; or because you must be in a marriage relationship because you have so much love to give.
Let wisdom guide your heart. Practice patience and self-control. When you have considered every thing you could think of, and feel satisfied that what is not perfect is manageable, give your heart permission to love completely and unconditionally. If life offers you a second chance, pray that you make the best of it.
How To Make It In A Second Marriage
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Dora Weithers
Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 10, 2017:
I agree with you that your son might be afraid of losing his attachment to you, or of having your wife replace his spot in your heart. It's a plus for you that he likes your wife-to-be. Without having all the facts, I think that if both of you leave the door open for him, he may walk in when he needs you. Till then, I'd like to see you carry on with your plans to marry. Include him and if he refuses to be involved, respect his decision; don't turn your back on him. If the lady gets an opportunity, she can assure him that she will always consider his interest. Love usually wins out.
JR on April 10, 2017:
I'm planning to get married for a second time. My some who is his early 30's is totally against it... he likes my fiancé but doesn't want me to get married... he thinks us living together is all we need. He claims it's for finacial reasons I shouldn't marry. I have no money so it's hardly a factor, I think he just doesn't want that change in our lives.. afraid of losing me, although he's a grown man... He claims he will not speak again to me if I get married... it sickens me... any advice?
Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 19, 2015:
Flourish, thanks for reading and commenting. Praises to God and happy for you that you are enjoying your marriage. Best wishes for lasting happiness to you and your spouse going forward.
FlourishAnyway from USA on January 19, 2015:
Great hub, MsDora. Thankfully, I hope to stay on my first marriage until death do us part, but I know so many people who are on second or third marriages, and this is good advice. Marriage is hard enough then add the extra issues from past relationships. Voted up and more.
Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 08, 2015:
Thanks, Doris. The second marriage is not as easy as it looks, but with adequate preparation and God's guidance, it can be successful.
Doris H. Dancy from Yorktown, Virginia on January 08, 2015:
MsDora ~ …such great advice. For those who are willing to take another chance on love, and if they follow your words there can't be anything but success. I hope this hub is read far and wide. You have hit the mark again! Voted up.
Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 21, 2014:
Hi Cynthia. This was one of my first articles. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on September 20, 2014:
Seems like rock-solid good advice for those contemplating a second marriage. The video was also very cute and clearly addressed issues innate in second relationships. Good work (as always!) ~Cynthia
Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 09, 2014:
Travel Man, I had no idea that there is no legal divorce in the Philippines; but either way number 2 is a sensible approach. Thanks for your input.
Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on August 09, 2014:
I'll memorize #2 advice (LOL!).
Although, divorce is not approved yet in the Philippines, I still believe that a couple or partner can separate amicably without ill-feelings for the sake of their children.
Or if they haven't got an offspring, it's still an option to be friendly with each other since they can still bump to each other because they still have same circle of friends.
Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 01, 2014:
Jo, thank you for sharing. I think you did it the right way. Concentrate on your children; they're your primary relationship. Then think about remarriage. So glad it worked out for you. All the best going forward!
Jo Miller from Tennessee on April 01, 2014:
I waited twenty years to remarry. I had thought marriage was very difficult and was never sure I wanted another. I could not understand the other divorcees I knew rushing into another marriage.
I was very involved raising my two daughters. When they were out of the home I unexpectedly met someone who changed my mind.
This marriage has been so easy, though there were issues we had to work out at first.
Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 19, 2012:
Brinafr3sh, I appreciate your input. Your last sentence is very good advice before the first marriage. However, I am saddened at the thought that some people enter into marriage as a test trial. Why mess up someone's life to see how it feels? Then consider that the divorce rate for second marriages is higher than for first marriages; and it's because divorcees tend to repeat divorce.
Brinafr3sh from West Coast, United States on May 18, 2012:
The first marriage for some people is a test trial, and unfortunately their marriage dies. "Until death do us part" when the marriage dies even CPR can't revive it; only a miracle from God in heaven can resurrect a dead marriage.
"The second time around marriage" seems to be a chance to flourish from all the first mistakes in the first marriage. Being friends first before being lovers is very important, listen to your spouse's heart.
Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 14, 2012:
Best wishes to you, too whatever decision you make about remarriage. Thanks for reading and commenting.
JSParker from Detroit, Michigan on May 14, 2012:
MsDora, I'm amazed, too, at the 60% divorce rate for second marriages! I would have thought people had it more figured out or were more committed the second time around. I was married once in my 20s, never remarried and am in my 60s now. However, I live with my (male) partner and we share a house we remodelled together in 2004. He was also married once many decades ago. If we see enough reason to get married again, we might.
Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on July 01, 2011:
Thanks break up books. I am also inclined to believe as your books seem to suggest that the effort could be spent in reconciliation with the ex.
break up books on June 30, 2011:
Very wise and helpful hub. You would think that marriage a second time around would put divorcees off, but evidently not. The 60% divorce rate for second time marriages is alarming. It begs the question 'are there just some people that do not know how to make a marriage work?' I don't think that failed marriages means that you are at fault. I believe that we should be taught more about it at school, colleges by the government and we should learn more about relationships as a whole. We are unlikely to be great at something that we do not know anything about, if we go in blind and uneducated, will it not inevitably end in sorrow?
Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 28, 2011:
Dora, thanks for stopping by. That comment coming from you means very much to me.
Dora on June 27, 2011:
This topic was thoroughly addressed.
Saboni on June 27, 2011:
Never thought of the dead being as much an issue as the living. Wise thinking! Thanks.