Traveling down the same road a second time, couples want to experience the joys that escaped them the first time around.
So far, they’ve gone beyond the naivety of “We love each other, and that’s all that matters.”
Experience tells them that some preparation is needed.
New spouses are incapable of truly loving each other unless the emotional remnants of the last relationship have been removed.
If both are the second time around, it will take a double effort to get ready.
Statistics on new marriages indicate that the divorce rate for second marriages is 60%.
This is reason enough to get advice on family integration techniques from an experienced and reputable professional.
Among other things, each person can benefit from the following advice.
1. Establish The New You
Don’t give in to the first person who winks at you because you’re desperate for company, or because you’re eager to prove that you’re still attractive.
Take time to understand the whys and hows of the previous marriage’s breakdown.
Take time to forgive and accept forgiveness.
Learn adaptation lessons and start applying them to help you improve in new attitudes and interpersonal skills.
Don’t marry to help her heal.
It’s not fair to the new mate; and until you are healed, you cannot truly assess your readiness.
You want to be strong and confident (although the scars may remain) when you start over.
A new you plus a new partner equals a new marriage.
Increase Your Confidence
- Embrace your purpose.
- Practice self-confidence rituals such as affirmations or pep talks.
- Enjoy spending time alone.
- Ask empowering questions.
- Share your talents with others.
2. Be Civilized With Exes
It is wise for exes to reconcile to the point where they can be courteous to each other.
This is not a recommendation for dining and shopping together.
However, it makes sense for you to be civil with your ex-partner.
If there are children, divorced parents will have to communicate about their well-being and stepparents also want to be involved in their lives.
Everyone will benefit in an atmosphere without resentment and hostility.
At weddings, graduations, or even sick rooms, life would be easier if there were teamwork instead of tension and courtesy instead of irritation.
It would be wise for the new spouse to assure the divorced parent before marriage that the children’s interests will always be considered.
3. Create Space For Children
Children from a previous marriage deserve personal time and support from the parent they wish to marry.
Don’t make your 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 your child’s feelings as you openly show love to your new spouse.
The child may resent the new partner for enjoying the affection he never saw the other divorced parent receive.
Also, strive to make children feel loved and cared for.
Find out which expressions of love are appropriate depending on the age and gender of the child.
4. Resolve Disputes
If the divorced parents are still united in legal disputes over the sale of the house, custody of the children, half-child support entitlements, and so on, it would be best to wait until those issues are resolved.
If you start your marriage under strains imposed by hostile ex-boyfriends, there may be no way to neutralize the damage they can inflict on your new relationship.
Some exes drag out disputes in the hope that, by some strange stroke of luck, the dispute might end in reconciliation.
Make sure you’re not involved 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’re not planning to get back together with him.”
This man scored an A for common sense and an A+ for world peace.
5. Learn To Accommodate Grief
You probably think that if your ex were dead, you would have less to worry about.
Don’t be so sure.
Some grieving spouses still allow the deceased’s wishes to influence their decisions.
It is best to wait until the bereaved spouse is in control of the emotional bond with the deceased partner.
Grief can last longer than you expect, especially if the two in one have parted on good terms.
Learn to accommodate lapses in grief and comfort grief back to the living.
You may also have to wait until inheritance issues with relatives of the deceased are resolved.
If they think you intend to shorten their part, they may try to do more damage.
You will feel the blow every time they hit your partner.
6. Talk About Money
Some newlyweds are surprised to find that there is more debt and past financial obligations than they discussed.
Be sure to talk about the liabilities as well as the assets.
It shouldn’t be a problem to look at bank statements and bills if you intend to build a marriage based on honesty and integrity.
7. Getting Married For The Right Reason
This should be love.
“That should have been the first tip,” someone might say.
However, it is mentioned last because no matter how much you think you are in love, you should walk slowly and smoothly until you are sure about other matters.
Rest assured that you don’t want to start a new relationship just because the kids are cute and need to live with their parents; or because you think marriage will cure the widow’s or widower’s grief; or because you must be in a marital relationship because you have so much love to give.
Let wisdom guide your heart.
Practice patience and self-control.
After you’ve considered everything you could possibly think of and are satisfied that what isn’t perfect is controllable, give your heart permission to love completely and unconditionally.
If life offers you a second chance, pray that you make the best of it.