We help remarried mid-life couples beat the 65% divorce rate, create beautiful marriages and live happily ever after together.
Second marriages have some unique challenges that first marriages don’t experience.
In your first marriage you generally have a much cleaner slate and less experience on how relationships are maintained.
If you’re like a lot of couples entering into their second marriage you may have a common misconception that you have learned from all your mistakes in your first marriage and it will be easy to have a successful and happy second marriage.
However, the 65% divorce rate of second marriages tell a different story.
Even couples who participate in pre-marital counselling often find that their second marriage is more complex than they anticipated. There’s simply no way to know how things will turn out until you’re hip deep in the mud trying to figure things out.
Still Emotionally Involved in Your Previous Relationship
Marrying someone new means letting go of your emotional ties to your previous spouse. While you may still share children and relatives, you need to redirect your focus and attention to your new spouse and feel fully committed. Even if you are having disputes with your ex, you can handle them with dispassion.
Watch for triggers that set you off in your new marriage leaving your new spouse feeling needy, neglected and insecure.
When a spouse passes away or a relationship ends, there is naturally a period of grief to mourn the loss. If you jumped into another marriage before your grief healed, you may find that it’s difficult to give yourself 100% to your new spouse.
Watch for feelings of anger, depression, and resentment.
Regardless of why your previous marriage ended, you need to come to terms with your part in the demise of your relationship. Even if you feel that you were the cause of the breakup, you need to work through your guilt, perhaps with a spiritual leader or therapist, so that you are free to love unrestrained in your new marriage.
Watch for feelings of regret, self-blame and remorse.
Who’s Number One?
Your new spouse needs to be the most important person in your life. More important than your children or grandchildren. A strong and stable marriage is a blessing to your whole family and your new spouse needs to know that together you are a team. Children, even adult children can sabotage your relationship if you are not united with your spouse.
Watch for feelings of jealousy, favoritism or secret resentment.
No one likes to be compared to someone else, especially spouses! Likewise, in your new marriage, avoid comparing how it was in your old relationship to how it is now. Your new marriage is your chance to start anew and create a beautiful live with your new love.
Watch for statements like, “we used to always… or “this is how we used to do it…,” etc.
Retaining Bad Habits
Somewhere along the line in your previous marriage you may have developed some bad relationship habits. A close self-examination of your part in the breakdown of your marriage can help you identify things you’d like to change in your new marriage. Also, how you handled conflict before might not work well with your new spouse. Like the old saying goes, “Wherever you go, there you are.” You can rest assured that problems from your past that are showing up again in your new relationship came with you and need to be resolved.
Watch for thoughts of “you are just like my ex” or “here we go again.”
Some divorces take many years to resolve all the outstanding legal issues. While it’s important to protect your rights and entitlements, these issues need to be managed in a non-hostile way that doesn’t leave your new spouse feeling threatened and anxious.
Watch for feelings of revenge and anger.
Money is such a sensitive topic that often couples in a second marriage find it exceptionally difficult to deal with, especially if funds are going back to the original family or one spouse makes less money than the other. Difficulties can also arise when adult children want to borrow money or the value of gifts to children is different between families. Don’t let finances ruin your new marriage.
Watch for feelings of resentment, of feeling like it’s my money, or I don’t have any money.
A second marriage is more vulnerable to serious relationship problems. While it’s important to proactively nip things in the bud before they get of control, if you don’t, things will fester and you may find your relationship deteriorating.
Watch for signs of anger, bickering, stonewalling and depression.
Problems rearing their ugly heads in your second marriage are not a sign to throw in the towel and run for the hills. Rather they are an opportunity to identify old wounds and begin healing together as a united couple.
Sadly, some problems left to fester long enough may require professional help and it’s important to seek it sooner rather than later. There is great power in seeking help and resolving damaging issues.
However, being fully aware of the signs to watch for gives you the opportunity to proactively deal with issues before they implode your relationship and cost you thousands in therapy fees or worse, divorce costs.
We believe that second (or third) marriages can be filled with love and happiness!
You can learn the skills and tools to make your marriage your forever marriage!
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Barry and J'Anne ♥
Transformational Marriage Mentors