Can the second marriage be more successful than the first marriage?
Testing the hypothesis
It has been said for ages that experience makes the man perfect. In that case, does it also apply to marriage also?
Well most of the answer can come from introspection (if applicable) or by looking around and getting the answers from the lives of the people we know quite well.
Why do people remarry ? – The reasons of second marriage
This is best answered by looking at the circumstances which might have led to the failure or annulment of the first marriage. It could be a divorce (or similar circumstances) or the demise of the partner.
Couples generally end their marriage when they are unhappy in their relationship. However they tend to remarry as they are not interested to be in the society under the label “divorced” or “separated” or “widow / widower”.
Many people also remarry because they do not see themselves capable of carrying the load of family responsibilities alone. For example for men there could be issues of taking care of old parents, bringing up the children in the right way, looking after the other domestic issues. While in some women there may be slightly separate kind of needs such as financial or social security.
In other words, process of remarriage is initiated on a matured decision making platform, where the strengths of one partner compliments the weaknesses of the other and vice versa.
In such cases, there is a combination of emotional, biological, financial and social factors which make a person consider re-marriage.
The timing of re-marriage
The gap between the end of previous marriage and re marriage is varied. This is subject to and dependent upon the external and internal circumstances.
Some individuals tend to marry earlier or faster compared to others depending upon their interest / need to establish a fresh romantic relationship, while on others it could be influence of parents or social factors.
Also it has been observed that more men go for remarriage as compared to women.
Outcomes of remarriage
Remarriages seem to provide all the benefits – biological, emotional and perhaps more of social and financial security as compared to those who choose to remain single after separation.
But, is re-marriage a guarantee that there are gains only for both the individuals and their relatives or there is a darker side also to it?
One needs to objectively explore the pros and cons before getting into the commitment.
Making Your Marriage Work
Better chances of success by avoiding the mistakes done in the past
People marrying for the second time come with the previous experiences. Their learning from the experiences of the reasons and circumstances which led to the failure of the first marriage will make them wiser. They know what exactly works or what does not in a marriage.
They have already faced the battles of life and have gathered at least the basic experience to develop an effective communication system to resolve their problems. From their past experiences they have learnt to set the things right. Definitely, it would take time for the new couple to adjust and the things to fall in place but people deciding to go for second marriage realize better the importance of a peaceful home.
Couples intend to do their best this time
Partners in a second marriage are set to make the relationship best this time. They have already faced the brunt of separation and know how painful it is. But, not this time. Their learning from the past experiences helps them to put their best to take it to the next level. They have already experienced the end of a marriage and know the losses caused by it.
- Development of a sense of gratitude
Along with the drive to bring out the best in the relationship, there is also a good amount of gratitude towards each other in the second marriage. The loss makes the new couple more thankful for what they have got now.
Gratitude turns the denial into acceptance, confusion to clarity and a house to home. Gratitude brings thankfulness to the life and helps in bringing peace to the current life.
- Wrong choice
One of the partners may discover that the compatibility factor is very low or poor and the whole idea of remarrying has gone for a toss.
- Unrealistic expectations
When a person remarries, he hopes that the new partner shall be better than the first one and the personal life and family affairs shall be better managed and as if there was never a divorce / split etc. This is too much to expect or rather it is an unrealistic expectation in the second marriages.
In fact the remarriage will present them with a number of issues such as children’s acceptance, the management of parenting tasks and the uniting of dissimilar family cultures. These are peculiar issues which have no room in the first marriage.
- Effect on the emotional personality of kids
If there are kids from the previous marriage then the new marriage might bring forth challenges relating to the degree of acceptance and adjustment by the kids. It could be from very low to neutral. For children, it would be like living with two separate cultures – which they have no choice but to adapt to. Certainly, for children it would be a challenge and they might find difficulty in doing so. Kids have to let go of a picture of how a real family was and make a new assumption that how it would be now.
- Behavior of the child towards the new parent
Another similar problem lying with the couple is related to their interpersonal communication. While the partners might be respectful and loving towards each other but can the kids be equally respectful and caring to their stepmother or stepfather?
Being a sensitive issue, this can be a major problem area. To add further to the complication, there could be equally negative response by the step parent to the child’s stark unfriendliness.
For example, a step father may complain that he feels left out when his step son comes in and out of the without saying a hello or making an eye contact.
What is a healthy marriage?
What to look for in a right partner
Many a times it is asked, why it is really difficult to go for remarriage. The simple answer is that because it is followed by the divorce, which was devastating. People moving out of their previous marriage through divorce are in a very vulnerable state. They want to be back in a close intimate relationship which failed to work out previously. They know that life is much easy when the burden was shared rather than taking the whole burden alone.
However, the hunger to get a partner might lead them to selecting through a quick decision. This could be dangerous because of long term ramifications on the individual and the family.
Instead the best way to find a good partner is to take time, know the potential partner, understand his / her circumstances, need and family background. You have to look for someone who really cares for you and makes your life happy rather than repeating the same mistake again.
With so much vulnerability and life of so many people involved, it is always better to take advice of family and friends before going for remarriage. You need to have a consensus and should listen to the people whose life might be affected in some or the other way by this remarriage. These people actually know who you are and about the problems that led to the end of your previous marriage. Thus take their advice and then make a move forward.
In the very first place, it is always recommended not go in for a divorce.
While I completely agree that sometimes situations completely move out of your hands despite your best efforts. In that case try to find a partner who really cares for you and respects your individuality for a stable second marriage.
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