Are your remarriage wedding vows less meaningful because your first marriage failed? No! When you get remarried, your wedding vows are are more meaningful than ever.
Here’s what Michele (not her real name) asks:
“I am currently divorced with a 3 year old daughter, and am 6 months into a new relationship (he is also divorced with child). He was the product of adultery and we are both struggling to understand how a couple (who likes each other fierce) can go into another marriage and repeat the vows “till death do us part…” Don’t they lose their meaning after the first time around? What are your thoughts?” – on my article about successful second marriages.
On the contrary, I think your wedding vows for a second marriage can be even more meaningful than your original vows.
Why your remarriage wedding vows are more meaningful
I wasn’t young when I got married (I was 35), but I was naïve. I didn’t realize what it meant to love my husband “in sickness and in health” and “for better or for worse.” If I were to marry a second time, I’d have a far better understanding of what my wedding vows really mean.
You know the pain of divorce
If you’re divorced, your remarriage wedding vows are more meaningful because you know the pain of suffering of broken vows, an unhealthy marriage, and splitting up. You know how painful broken vows are, and you don’t want to experience that again.
And, you know how difficult divorce is for the people surrounding you: your family members, children, friends, and even your coworkers and neighbors can be affected by your divorce. This makes your remarriage wedding vows more important to uphold, doesn’t it? It would for me.
You’ve put more thought into getting remarried
If you’ve already been married, you know how difficult it is to separate and divorce. Un-entangling your lives affects so many people, takes so much energy, and is so emotional – which is why many people swear they’ll never get married again.
Committing to a remarriage is a huge step, which you’ve put a lot of thought into (I hope). You’re not saying these wedding vows lightly, because you’ve “been there, done that.” You know what you’re getting into by remarrying someone you love. You’re fully aware of the importance of remarriage and your wedding vows.
Your children are watching
I think your remarriage vows are more meaningful because you’re role modeling a healthy, happy marriage for your kids. They saw your first marriage, and know what it’s like to come from a divorced family. They are watching you re-commit to a second marriage…and they’re learning what it means to love a partner in sickness and in health.
What do you want to teach your children about love, responsibility, and healthy marriage? What do you want them to take into their own love relationships? Your remarriage wedding vows are especially important when your kids are watching and learning.
Are you thinking about remarriage? Read How to Know if You Should Marry the Guy You’re Engaged to.
To make your remarriage wedding vows more meaningful:
- Talk about what your wedding vows actually mean, and how they were broken in your first marriage.
- Be clear on why your first marriage(s) didn’t work. This isn’t about blame. It’s about accepting that both partners were involved in the marriage, and both partners were involved in the breakdown of the marriage.
- Involve your children in this discussion. Ask them what they think the wedding vows mean (this is good preparation for their own future marriages!).
My husband wasn’t married before me, but he lived common-law with a woman for six years. In his eyes, they were more or less married. He said his first “marriage” taught him how to be married – such as what he should never say to his wife, and why he wants to be in a long-term committed relationship (marriage). Our wedding vows weren’t officially for a “remarriage”, but they were more meaningful to him because of his first relationship.
Luckily, my husband’s first “wife” isn’t a problem in our lives. How about you – is your partner’s ex-wife creating problems in your relationship? Read How to Deal With Your Husband’s Toxic Ex-Wife.
What do you think…are wedding vows for remarriages more or less meaningful than wedding vows for first marriages?
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.