Getting married for the second time could be a big decision for many people. The chances of this relationship turning out like the first one may keep you sleepless at night.
It is understandable why you are afraid and skeptical about the new relationship. In fact, even studies have proven that remarriages may take a toll on people’s mental health. According to the Census data, the divorce rate for second marriages in the United States of America is more than 60% compared to 50% of the first marriages.
One reason behind this is the blended families. This can cause loyalty issues between the stepchildren and problems between the co-parents. Finding love again can be a beautiful moment in your life. But, it will not mend your previous family. The stepfamily expert Maggie Scarf says:
“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.”
Creating a solid foundation of trust and intimacy is essential when you have decided to move into a second marriage. If you are stuck at the crossroads and looking for knowledge about the perks and drawbacks waiting at the doorstep, you have scrolled to the right page.
Below, we have rounded up an extensive list of benefits and challenges of second marriages. Let’s dive in!
Benefits of Second Marriages
When you marry for the first time, you are unaware of the issues you will encounter. Most of us have this perfect picture of our parents or friends who tied the knot a few years ago and seem like happy couples. However, marriage isn’t about rainbows and unicorns. You realize it over time when you live with the same person for a few months.
In case the first marriage doesn’t work in your favor, you may be willing to try out for the second time. The following are a few benefits that tag along:
You choose differently
One of the biggest benefits is knowing what you want in a partner. You learn your lesson from the previous marriage and understand your vision in life. You know what you don’t want in a life partner, and you put your guard against those traits. Typically, people go for second marriage after a deep evaluation and logical breakdown. Even though they have robust feelings for a person, they leave no stones unturned when it comes to comparing the facts.
You share the same vision
Decisions like where you have to live and how much you have to travel are ready-made as you move into the second marriage. This is because you tend to discuss all your aspirations with your partner. You tell them about your travel and professional goals. They share the same with you, and you are on the same page.
What becomes a priority is that each of you helps others achieve their targets. Therefore, your spouse-to-be must know about your vision. Clarify all about your take on life and ask them if they would be beside you every step of the way.
You know yourself
Going through a failed relationship often helps people to understand themselves better. They know their values, their weaknesses, and what matters to them. This understanding enables people to have insightful conversations with their prospective partners. They can discuss all their problems and get to know each other better. If the compatibility sounds good, they may proceed with the relationship.
You set realistic expectations
First marriages usually fail because people have these idealized benchmarks that are nowhere close to reality. When you move into a second marriage, you know that there will be inevitable ups and downs in the relationship. There will be moments when your spouse will feel grumpy and messed up due to external factors. Accepting them wholeheartedly is the way to make this relationship work.
With the second chance at marriage, you understand that your spouse is a human. They will make mistakes. The key to making this relationship work is to accept their flaws. With these realistic perspectives, people tend to have fewer fights in their second relationship.
Related Article: Top 10 Unrealistic Expectations That Can Destroy Your Marriage
You know the communication fundamentals
The biggest lesson people learn from a failed marriage is the importance of communication. They accept the responsibility of their role in a disagreement. It is your chance to understand that talking is the best method to resolve all issues. When people do not communicate their problems in their first marriage, they eventually fail.
A second-timer, Johanna Murtha of Langhorne, PA, makes the following statement, and we agree:
Marriage isn’t just fun; it takes strong communication skills, which can be hard to work on.
One of the main communication elements is understanding the role of your eye and body movements. These convey to your partner how much you are willing to listen and understand their stance. Dr. John Gottman calls this “the emotional attunement.”
The second marriage is your second chance to make your spouse understand that they matter. Make sure that you don’t leave any cues that relay something otherwise.
Challenges of Second Marriages
People are extremely cautious when they decide to marry the second time. Besides memories of the past haunting them, it is the anxiety of what awaits at the other corner.
Addressing the potential challenges of a second marriage will allow you to acknowledge issues before they occur. A few hurdles you are likely to face are:
Bringing children into the second relationship
A familiar challenge people face when they land into a new relationship is related to their children from the first marriage. The differences between children from your second spouse and those from your first spouse may have conflicting interests. This may deteriorate your relationship with your current partner.
It is essential to understand all possibilities before you go for a second marriage. Keep in mind that it takes some time for children to accept the new branch of their families. A few studies have shown that it can take around five years for the families to blend well.
Before signing the marriage papers, you should have a vivid conversation with your spouse-to-be. Confide in your partner about how they expect them to parent the kids and how you can create a sustainable family environment. Being on the same page regarding parenting styles is vital to ensure that the lives of your little ones aren’t ruined.
Disturbance from the ex-spouses
Second marriages usually mean dealing with one or two ex-spouses. It may differ in each case, but the partners from the previous marriage typically don’t like the idea of their last partner bonding with someone else.
Also, if you have children from the last marriage, remember that your ex-spouse is allowed to meet their kids. You have to arrange for pickups, meetings, and other related matters. Ensuring that your current partner knows about your situation is essential.
Finances are one of the biggest problems that married couples have to deal with. In fact, money has a lot to do with trust.
Whether it is your first marriage or your second marriage, you can’t run away from financial problems. The couples have to decide how they will pay the mortgages and bills. They should discuss if they will combine their finances or keep them separate.
Sometimes, the divorce from the previous marriage leaves people in a challenging monetary situation. This makes them financially vulnerable and disabled to deal with the overwhelming expenditures. The rule to deal with this hurdle is to be open. Tell your partner about the challenges of the finances that you are facing and how you expect to handle it. Let them know if you will be unable to make major contributions. This will allow you to plan your expenditures accordingly.
Psychoanalytic theory holds that we are unconsciously attracted to the people we tend to marry. Some traits strike cords with our subconscious mind, and we feel a natural pull toward people. This attraction doesn’t always guarantee a successful marriage unless the people involved know how to deal with the practical issues.
Some studies have shown that the normalization of divorce is one of the reasons why second marriages fail. Although nobody enters a marriage with this in mind, there are chances that the road will get bumpy. A few unconscious dynamics play a decisive role in making us feel the pull towards people. However, if things don’t work well, we tend to toss away the relationship like the last one.
Second marriages are another chance at happiness. It is imperative to learn how you can make this work out well. The best thing to do is to sign up for a counseling series. Let the experts know about your feelings and help you find the solutions.
Entering an exclusive relationship is a huge responsibility. You must understand that your spouse-to-be is also a human with strengths, ambitions, values, and weaknesses. Once you find how you can resolve all the potential problems, you are all set to begin a new, joyful journey in your life!