A second chance at love sounds great, doesn’t it? Maybe so but getting married again after divorce comes with its fair share of challenges. The divorce rate for second marriages is even higher than that of first marriages- a whopping 60 percent! Another surprising statistic is that nearly 80 percent of divorcees will get married again. If you or someone you know is contemplating remarriage after divorce, here’s what you need to know.
Seeing that so many divorcees decide to get married again, it’s important that they take a more thoughtful approach to finding love. Doing so might help drop that divorce rate for second marriages a bit. Knowing the reasons behind the demise of so many second marriages is the first step in reversing this statistic:
If finances are one of the top reasons first marriages end in divorce, it comes as no surprise that it’s also one of the top reasons second marriages end, too. Child support and alimony can only compound this issue.
Even if you have the most supportive former spouse imaginable, an ex being in the picture still can bring up feelings of jealousy and resentment for them and for your new partner. In the worst-case scenario, your ex may even try to sabotage your new marriage.
Your children may have been what kept your first marriage together for longer than it should have, but they can bring many complications to a second marriage (albeit, not always intentionally). The relationship between step/bonus parents and step/bonus children is a delicate one, and if it’s not nurtured, it can definitely have an impact on the survival of a second marriage.
If you and your new partner are both divorced with children from your first marriage, you may be dealing with not one or two sets of in-laws, but potentially three, four, or more (if you count your former spouse’s parents). You can imagine that this might make for some tense discussions around many different topics, especially holidays, birthdays, graduations, and other celebrations.
The loneliness after a divorce can make you do crazy things, maybe even fall in love quickly and remarry! When you rush into a relationship quickly, before you are fully healed from your divorce, you can bring a lot of emotional baggage with you. That emotional baggage can weigh pretty heavily on a second marriage that already has the odds stacked against it.
In reference to the emotional baggage we mentioned above, many divorcees are fearful of letting someone get too close again, only to have the rug ripped out from under them. That fear can make emotional and even physical intimacy in a marriage very difficult to achieve.
When you’ve survived the worst of a divorce, it can be hard to fully commit to anything but yourself again. Oftentimes, second marriages end because there simply isn’t a good enough reason to continue it. If there are no children involved and you’ve done your due diligence in protecting yourself financially prior to signing a marriage license, walking away is much easier the second time around- at least legally.
With so many odds stacked against divorcees who want to marry again, what can partners do to increase the chances that a second marriage will last? The number one thing is communication. Here are a few conversations we suggest you have before walking down the aisle a second time:
What can you absolutely not live without in a marriage, and what can your partner not live without? Finding out your partner’s love language is a good way to approach this subject.
Combining two families is no easy task, but having open and honest discussions with your partner and children can make it more successful. Discuss things like rules, discipline, and co-parenting schedules so that everyone is on the same page.
As we mentioned previously, money is a big factor in the demise of both first and second marriages. This is not a conversation you want to shy away from if you want your relationship to be successful. Even if you and your partner have separate bank accounts, it’s still important to have an overall household budget and regular discussions about assets and debts.
Recognizing the role you played in why you got divorced, along with acknowledging the role your former spouse played, can go a long way in ensuring the same issues don’t get repeated in your new marriage. If you have trouble with discussing this on your own because it’s too painful, consider doing couples counseling with your new partner before you get married.
Future goals and plans
It can be both scary and exciting to consider a future with someone after the hopes and dreams you had for your first marriage never came to fruition, but if you already have one foot out the door, your second marriage doesn’t stand a chance. You can be both open and vulnerable while still maintaining boundaries to protect yourself. Remember that love comes with a risk, but it can also come with a great reward.
Exploring the possibility of a future with someone new is a wonderful thing. You deserve to be happy, however that looks for you. Just make sure you’re going into it with both your heart and eyes wide open.