We help remarried mid-life couples beat the 65% divorce rate, create beautiful marriages and live happily ever after together.
With the divorce rates for second marriages tipping the scales at 65%, is there any hope for couples remarrying later in life?
Especially with the explosion of silver divorce amongst the baby boomer generation, it seems that there are more and more single older adults looking for new relationships.
The amazing fact is that over 50% of divorced women and men tie the knot again, sometimes two or three times. It’s obvious that our great desire for love and marriage overrides the dismal statistics.
Everyone hopes and believes that they will beat the odds and be the couple that lives happily ever after.
So, what can you do to ensure that your second marriage lives up to the promise of happiness and joy that you so deeply desire?
Terry Gaspard, writing for the Gottman Institute suggests 10 Rules for a Successful Second Marriage.
In her article she includes the following advice:
When people get remarried, they often bring unhealthy relationship patterns and trust issues from their first marriage that can sabotage the new relationship. Sometimes this baggage can cause couples to rush into tying the knot without truly getting to know each other.
For instance, if you were betrayed by your former spouse, you may be overly suspicious and lack confidence in your new partner.
Here’s how Kayla put it: “We’ve only been married for a few years,” she paused, “But I’m already questioning Jake when he’s late from work – full of mistrust and accusations.” It became clear that Kayla was having difficulty trusting Jake due to her ex-husband’s affair.
It makes sense that a fear of vulnerability can be a real dilemma in a second marriage, yet not expressing our innermost feelings, thoughts, and wishes can actually put a relationship more at risk because we lose out on the trust and intimacy that vulnerability offers.
Being vulnerable with your partner can make you feel exposed, but it is the most important ingredient of a trusting, intimate relationship. In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brené Brown defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” Given this definition, the act of loving someone and allowing them to love you may be the ultimate risk. Dr. John Gottman writes in What Makes Love Last? that “life tends to go better for those who have the courage to trust others.”
Accept that there are inevitable ups and downs in remarried life. New love is a wonderful feeling, but it doesn’t make up for the pain of divorce, nor does it automatically restore the family to its former status. According to stepfamily expert Maggie Scarf, “On the contrary, remarriage will present [couples] with a number of unanticipated design issues such as loyalty binds, the breakdown of parenting tasks, and the uniting of disparate family cultures.”
A key issue for remarried couples to address is interpersonal communication. This is especially true when it comes to finances, how to discipline children and stepchildren, personality conflicts in the newly created family, and rivalries between family members.
Second marriages bring some unique challenges to your relationship that can catch you by surprise if you’re not prepared. However, you can certainly increase your odds of success by simply being aware that your second marriage brings different trials to the table.
Examining what went wrong in your previous relationship and resolving to change in your new marriage is one of your first steps.
When Barry and I were talking about getting married he revealed to me that in his first marriage he yelled a lot. I was a bit taken aback, because in my first marriage we never yelled: we did the silent treatment like pros.
Knowing each other’s style of (mis)communication lets you quickly identify when a bad habit rears its ugly head and solve the problem before things get out of hand.
I’ll never forget the first (and only time) Barry yelled at me. We’d been married about two years and as he started blasting me, I raised my hand with the halt signal and calmly said, “Stop yelling at me.”
Barry was in full blown temper and he yelled back, “I can yell if I want to, I’m Italian, and we yell!”
“Well,” I said, “if you’re going to be all Italian then you need to kiss me like a true Italian stallion.”
I still chuckle at the memory of the look on his face. I could see the indecision on his face as he took in my words. He strode across the room and dipped me with a full blown “Italian” kiss, and the argument was done.
Equally, when I go into silent treatment mode, he will have nothing to do with that. Sometimes he’ll just hold my hand to let me know that everything is okay, and it gives me the signal that he’s there and ready to talk when I am.
As Transformational Marriage Mentors, these are some of the things we help couples with as they create their vision of their ideal married life.
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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127 Reasons I Love You
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Barry and J'Anne ♥
Transformational Marriage Mentors