With nearly 50% of all marriages (and 41% of all first-time marriages) ending in divorce, it is no secret that rekindling love with someone else can feel intimidating. After all, when people get married the first time, they likely hope to be with that same person for the rest of their days. But let’s face it, life is not picture-perfect and divorce is an exceptionally common factor that may have shifted your life, usually for the better on both sides.
But here’s the contingency: understanding how to prevent history from repeating itself.
All in all, getting divorced and remarried into a now successful marriage was certainly a journey nothing shy of scary yet exciting. Yes, I may be a relationship coach who studies this topic daily, but the truth is that everyone has what it takes to ensure their second marriage thrives. And to help you along with that, below is a list of second marriage tips that will not only strengthen your relationship as a collective but can also help you become a better person and life partner along the way.
- Attune To Your Partner
First and foremost, attune to your partner and remember that their needs and wants within a relationship will likely not be the exact same as the person you were with before. Even more, use the lessons learned from the past to avoid making the same mistakes twice when addressing this element of the relationship. In short, be aware of how you posture yourself and authentically demonstrate your intentions to both compromise and listen. Though emotional attunement can take some practice, the best rule of thumb to make it successful is turn inward, show empathy, and leverage the concepts of transparency, trust, respect, forgiveness, and of course, express love.
- Don’t Be Afraid Of Conflict
When stepping into a second marriage, the very thought of conflict can quickly form a negative spiral in your head. But the cornerstone thing to remember is that conflict does not equate to divorce, and there is such a thing as healthy resolutions when you both combat it on the same page. That said, conflict is a very normal part of any relationship and addressing them as they come (i.e., don’t let it fester) and being honest about how you feel while being open to receiving the feedback is how you can come to a mutual understanding and clear path forward. As a final note here, keep the 5:1 ratio in the back of your mind that nearly all healthy marriages follow, which is the notion that for every negative interaction you have with your partner, couple it with five positive ones.
- Own Your Side Of The Relationship (Accountability)
Admitting your mistakes, taking accountability, and addressing the flaws in your first marriage can be a tough pill to swallow. However, it is necessary to ensure that you don’t repeat that same approach as you both navigate and establish this new marriage. For me, one of my largest lessons learned was to avoid playing the blame game and pointing fingers. Instead, focus on the value of self-discovery and recognize the power accountability holds for both sides of the relationship.
In short, if you constantly try to fault the other side without taking accountability for your own, it will only cause discourse that can be fatal to a marriage regardless of whether you have been married one year or ten. The takeaway? Own yourself, own/rectify your mistakes, and form a healthy dynamic where both of you feel comfortable with addressing accountability without the presence of ego or defense.
- Don’t Compare Your Marriages
Comparison can quickly become the death of a second marriage if you are not careful. Comparing first and second marriages, whether it be good or bad, can do several things to both you and the person you’re with. For you, it can cause you to second guess yourself, your choices, and your actions. For them, it can quickly make them feel like they are either not good enough or feel constantly under the microscope. In turn, you both are walking on eggshells and living in the past rather than embracing the new, unique love you have right in front of you.
Due to the undeniably negative impacts, avoid comparing marriages and relationships altogether because the reality is that every relationship is different and has its own set of pros and cons. That said, the only time you should ever compare anything is the person you were yesterday and the “from then to now” journey you have experienced with your partner to help you both grow together.
- Couples Who Play Together, Stay Together
“The more you invest in fun/friendship, the happier the relationship will get over time.” – Howard Markman, Psychologist in Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver.
Believe it or not, couples who play together are said to have stronger emotional and physical intimacy. In addition, those who spend time having fun with each other with no strings attached is what helps form tighter bonds and influences positive feelings due to fulfilling that fun-void that tends to form when relationships are taken too seriously day to day. Now, I know that being divorced and remarried can cause some push and pull towards seriousness and overanalyzing, and rightfully so to some degree. But don’t forget to add that level of fun and adventure in there. Try out a new hobby together, go on a road trip, and/or scope out new restaurants to try; Because sometimes there is nothing quite as refreshing and connecting as some old-fashioned, wholesome fun.
- Above All, Master The Art Of Self-Awareness
Things like transparent communication, compatibility, and trust all are significant pieces that will keep your second marriage in good standing, but never forget that they are all glued together by one key thing – self-awareness. As a second-time wife, mastering self-awareness and owning my side of the relationship is what led my relationship to success and kept us there. The reason for this is because no matter how you address conflict or desires within a relationship, it all stems from your self-awareness of how you act towards both yourself and your partner. And once you learn how to accentuate that, it is a powerful mindset that will help you steer every other element in your marriage towards a much healthier, happier, and balanced direction.
Summary – Make Your Second Marriage The Successful One
As a relationship coach who has also divorced and remarried, I know it is not easy. I know it is not easy to overcome the ghosts of past relationships and focus your energy on the flame you have in front of you today. And I know it is not organically easy to remember that what happened before will not necessarily occur again. We all have baggage here. But the good news is that your first marriage is NOT your second marriage, and the lessons you learned, the healing you did, and the ownership you have since taken are all core foundations that will help keep this marriage strong.
Overall, getting divorced and remarried is not just about starting a new journey with someone else; it is about discovering who you are at the core, what you desire, and healing internal wounds to allow your relationship to thrive exactly how it should – organically. Once you understand that mutuality, know your self-worth, and open yourself to receive the love you deserve, then there is a good chance that your second marriage will be your last.