If you want your 2nd marriage to be successful, you have to un-learn the bad habits you learned in your first marriage. These tips for remarriages will help with the “happily ever after” part.
Before the tips, a quip:
“If you made a list of the reasons why any couple got married, and another list of the reasons for their divorce, you’d have a hell of a lot of overlapping.” ~ Mignon McLaughlin.
Surprised by Remarriage: A Guide to the Happily-Even-After is an excellent book for couples who are serious about starting fresh in a new relationship. “Getting married is an exciting time of anticipation and joy,” writes Ginger Kolbaba. “It is also a time of blending two lives together to make one. Successfully combining lives in a second marriage can be challenging. From unresolved hurts and unshared histories to resentful stepkids and bitter exes, there can be many obstacles to couples in search of happiness the second time around. But you can have a happy and lasting relationship despite divorce in your past.”
The reasons you wanted to get married may be the same reasons you think about leaving your spouse…because what first attracts us can later annoy us to pieces! Remember that when you’re reading these tips for second marriages.
10 Tips for a Happy, Successful Second Marriage
Settle your first marriage
In addition to thinking about the financial, social, and geographical considerations of your second marriage, make sure you’re emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and geographically ready to be in a new relationship. If you’re getting remarried and not sure about your own motives, read about avoiding rebound love.
Understand the mistakes in your prior marriage
Figure out your weaknesses and mistakes in your first marriage, and make sure you don’t repeat them in your second marriage. You’ll improve your chances of a successful second marriage if you know where you — and your new spouse – are coming from. This remarriage tip requires you to face your weakest self…but it’s worth it.
Really get to know your new partner
Take this second marriage as an opportunity to really get to know your spouse on a deeper level. This means talking to your spouse about issues in marriage even if you’re scared or embarrassed. If you want to make your second marriage last, you have to be honest.
Let yourself be known
Be vulnerable, open and honest about your fears and hopes; share yourself without fear of failure or getting hurt. Letting yourself be loved requires coming out from behind your walls. It can be especially difficult to be vulnerable after a painful divorce, but this tip for a successful second marriage works.
Go to premarital counseling to make your second marriage a success
Seek objective counseling sessions to lay a strong foundation for your remarriage. The marriage counselor will help you discuss topics that are relevant to your divorce and remarriage. If step children are involved in your remarriage, ask your counselor for strategies on integrating smoothly.
Engineer a fresh start for your remarriage
Build your second marriage in a new house or neighborhood; if you need to, move away from a small town or community. Don’t let the old ghosts of your divorce haunt your remarriage. Even if you’re comfortable living in the remnants of your first marriage, your partner might not be.
Develop new routines with your spouse
This isn’t just a remarriage tip — it’s a health tip, too! Developing new habits and traditions together will connect you and your new partner – and it’ll help your brain grow new cells and strengthen those rusty old neurons. Many marriage counselors advise setting new routines with new partners.
Be open to new ways of relating
Getting remarried works better if you’re flexible. Let go of your old routines. Be open to change and compromise, and making adjustments in your remarriage. Another tip for a successful second marriage is to consider in-person or online marriage counseling to make sure you’re both ready to get married again. It’s easier to avoid a marriage crisis than to solve one!
Deal with money issues right away
Many remarriages are difficult because of child support payments, alimony, etc. If financial issues could stop you form achieving your relationship goals, get divorce advice. Ask a divorce mediator or a financial consultant to help settle you financial issues fairly.
Leave the negativity behind when you’re getting remarried
Focus on a successful remarriage without being dragged down by fears, failures, and thoughts of another divorce. Your second marriage is more likely to be successful if you focus on the positive aspects of your partner and life together. Learn about the secrets of happy, healthy marriages together.
If you’re worried about getting remarried, read Saving Your Second Marriage Before It Starts.
If your spouse’s first marriage is causing problems, you may find How Do I Deal With My Husband’s Toxic Ex-Wife? helpful.
I welcome your thoughts on second marriages below. Are you living happily ever after?
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.