Are You Safe From The Curse Of The Second Marriage?
Research cited by the Huffpost claims that second marriages are more likely to fail than first marriages. Pretty alarming right if this isn’t your first rodeo? So what are the reasons why second marriages are more likely to lead to divorce or is it just a load of old scaremongering designed to make us feel even more insecure and stressed out?
7 Common Reasons Why Second Marriages Fail More Often Than First Marriages
- Couples sometimes rush into second marriages
- The financial stress is usually higher than in first marriages
- Couples forgo pre-martial counselling
- Second marriages are easier to leave
- Ideals about marriage and family are challenged
- People enter into second marriages with baggage
- Merging two families can be difficult
1. Couples sometimes rush into second marriages
Apparently a lot of couples enter second marriages before the first one has finished. Hmmmm perhaps wait until your Decree Absolute has come through before waltzing down the aisle again? Seriously though, who does that? Is it really such a common contributing factor?
Rebound relationships are rarely a good idea and I’m a huge advocate of spending time alone and finding yourself before settling back into a new relationship, let alone rushing headlong into a second marriage.
The need for security and companionship shouldn’t be the driving force behind getting married again, it’s actually pretty liberating to spend some time single and to rediscover ‘you’.
Of course a new relationship can provide a lot of comfort following divorce, and when you’re feeling emotionally unsteady, it can be instinctive to reach out and seek comfort in the arms of a new relationship, but it’s just not sensible to rush into making that kind of commitment again.
2. The financial stress is usually higher than in first marriages
Apparently money is a top issue that couples fight about (this has never been an issue in any relationship, marriage or otherwise I’ve had), but apparently as people marrying for a second time are older, they will have more complicated finances which can lead to a divorce.
Finances, just like any other aspect of a relationship should be discussed openly and honestly, so you can easily avoid this pitfall by talking about your finances. Let’s face it, honest and open communication about everything is crucial in maintaining a happy, stable relationship.
If you’ve got secret debt or know you have spending habits that are out of control, or even if you’re just a bit rubbish at budgeting, you need to be open and honest so your partner has chance to help or support you should you need it.
3. Couples forgo pre-martial counselling
Premarital counseling. What even is that?! Jeez, how about just having open lines of communication with each other and talking about important stuff before you decide to tie the knot? Apprently communication is a radical approach and for some reason premarital counseling exists as a thing.
Couples should talk about anything and everything and I’m of the opinion that if your relationship is such a disaster that you already feel the need for counceling, maybe getting married isn’t the right move for either of you just yet?
4. Second marriages are easier to leave
The separation and divorce process is exactly the same second time around, so It’s technically no ‘easier’. Maybe however the thinking is that if you’ve done it once, you won’t be quite as scared to go through the process again, so perhaps it’s psychologically easier to det divorce second time around?
I’m really not convinced by this one though. For me, the emotional upset that getting divorced caused was immense, even though we managed to stay on talking terms. If anything, having been through the process once, it would make me more determined than ever to want to save my second marriage should it ever come to that.
5. Ideals about marriage and family are challenged
OK it’s fair to say after my divorce it changed how I felt about love. For a good few years I no longer believed that love was something that lasts forever.
If anything though, the prospect of getting married for a second time (something I never for one second dreamed i’d want to do) has challenged those beliefs in a hugely positive way.
I suppose this just boils down to how you deal with past experiences. Whether you let them change you for the worse and carry them with you, or whether you take something positive from your past relationships and move forwards without letting it have a negative impact.
6. People enter into second marriages with baggage
As far as I’m concerned this is absolute bollocks. Of course as we get older we also gain life experience, but none of us are set in stone and it only takes a little bit of self awareness to ensure emotional scars aren’t carried with you in a way that’s detrimental either to your healing or your relationship.
When I think of myself and my fiancé, we’re not perfect, no one is, but crucially, we don’t project our personal weaknesses or flaws onto each other. We are aware of them, work on them and support each other. Simple as that.
If you’re the kind of person that projects their insecurities, for example if you’ve been hurt before and you instantly assume you’ll be hurt again, then you may be primed and highly reactive as you’re always thinking the worst or being defensive as a result. So if you are bringing psychological issues into a relationship that could potentially damage it, you’ll need more than ever to be open and honest in seeking support and not letting it spoil things for you.
7. Merging two families can be difficult
I can understand entirely how this can be tough if you’ve both got kids, or if your wider families perhaps object to the relationship and are difficult so this is the point that I feel could be most valid for many people marrying for a second time.
Once again, open communication and reassuring your kids that you love them will help and so will time, but It must be super difficult if you have childern who are acting out and instantly take a dislike to their future step-siblings. Likewise, if your family doesn’t support your choice, again it can lead to a lot of tension.
Parenting styles can and do clash, so it’s crucial that you are well aware of your partners parenting style before you decide to get married and merge your families. Older kids will hopefully see how happy you are, making them less resistent to change and helping them feel more positively towards their future step-siblings.
My own daughter is grown up and my fiancé has no kids, which makes life so much easier for us, but If you are trying to merge two families, take your time and keep on reassuring your kids, especially if they are young. Try to ensure that your parenting style is similar and applied fairly to all the children too.
If your choice of partner however does lead to conflict in your family, particularly if they don’t approve, it might be worth talking openly and trying to get to the bottom of it. Perhaps they feel like it’s too soon, are still struggling to come to terms with the end of your previous marriage or perhaps they just need convincing that your new partner isn’t a total creep, either way, open communication and time should hopefully help.
Whilst I personally feel like I’ve debunked every single one of the above claims in relation to my own forthcoming second marriage, there are some thought provoking potential issues that you should be aware of and if any of them are relevcant to you, then they need to be talked through and resolved before you get married for a second time.