Healthy Marriage Tips To Prevent Your Second Divorce
Around 60% of second marriages end in divorce. Knowing this, you might be worried if you’re in your second marriage. After all, only about half of all first marriages in the United States end in divorce, so what is it about second marriages that makes them more likely to fail? Although second marriages may seem pretty risky if you’re just looking at the statistics, a little knowledge and the right habits can go a long way towards preserving your partnership. You don’t want to your second marriage to end in a second divorce, so you need to keep reading to find out why second marriages fail and what you can do to make your relationship the exception.
What Causes Second Marriages To Fail?
Bad Communication With the Ex-Spouse
Due to custody arrangements, alimony agreements, and other factors, someone who has remarried might still have to regularly interact with their ex. This often isn’t a problem if the ex is respectful of boundaries and easy to deal with, but not all ex-spouses are reasonable individuals. For some people, knowing that their spouse’s ex is always going to be a part of their life is just too much to handle. Thus, upon realizing that they can’t make the problem go away, many people file for divorce to get away from the drama.
Toxic Relationship Patterns
Going through a divorce doesn’t magically cure a person of their toxic personality traits or romantic shortcomings. While some couples in healthy relationships mutually agree to separate, many marriages end because one party did not have the necessary skills or traits to sustain a long-term partnership. Hopefully, you and your partner have learned from the mistakes of your past relationships and will not bring old problems into your second marriage. If that’s not the case, then you should see a marriage counselor before these toxic relationship patterns derail your marriage.
Fear of Loneliness
Many people are absolutely terrified of growing old without anyone by their side. Often, people think that they won’t ever find the love of their life if they don’t get married right away. In turn, they end up marrying the wrong person, and these kinds of marriages usually don’t last. If you have yet to tie the knot, then you should self-reflect to make sure that you and your soon-to-be spouse aren’t simply rushing into a second marriage just to avoid the possibility of being alone.
Lack of Novelty
A first marriage is full of new and exciting experiences. In contrast, people often feel like they’re retracing their steps in a second marriage. A lack of novelty can quickly lead to feelings of boredom, which can cause one or both partners to fall out of love. While you’ll never be able to walk down the aisle, go on a honeymoon, or get fitted for wedding attire for the first time again, there are still plenty of new experiences that you can try with your spouse. You should always listen to your spouse’s interests, communicate your own wants and needs, and think of new things to try to keep your marriage interesting. When your marriage is fun and exciting, you’ll both feel more invested in its success.
How Can You Avoid Disaster in Your Second Marriage?
Maintain Open Lines of Communication
Clear, consistent communication is vital to the longevity of any marriage. Neither you nor your spouse should be afraid of broaching difficult subjects with the other party. When you don’t address issues as soon as they become apparent, they can quickly snowball and devastate your marriage. To maintain consistent communication, you and your spouse must be willing and able to be honest with each other. Moreover, you both need to be able to respond maturely to criticism and react respectfully to differing opinions.
Adopt a Cooperative Mindset
Both partners are supposed to act as a team in a marriage to create something greater than the sum of its parts. If you and your partner are constantly butting heads or trying to prove the other person wrong, then your marriage is doomed to fail. You can’t approach disagreements with the mindset that only one of you can be the winner; a marriage isn’t a zero-sum game. You and your spouse can both be winners as long as you have the mutual respect and communication skills necessary to work with each other rather than against each other when problems arise.
Set Clear Expectations
Everybody has boundaries, but everybody’s boundaries are different. You and your partner don’t want to inadvertently offend each other, fall short of each other’s expectations, or make one another uncomfortable. However, without clearly discussing your rules and boundaries for the relationship, you and your partner will inevitably disappoint each other. Therefore, you must make sure to clearly discuss all expectations and boundaries so that you can each participate in your marriage with the same code of conduct.
Go to Therapy
A failed marriage can leave a person with feelings of worthlessness, regret, longing, self-doubt, anxiety, and insecurity. Without healthy ways to manage these negative emotions, your problems will slowly poison the relationship. Therapy will give you the coping skills and perspective necessary to understand your problems and keep your mental wellbeing in check. On top of that, a good therapist will help you develop strategies to communicate with your spouse about your mental health.
Be a Good Stepparent
The circumstances, expectations, and norms of a stepparent’s relationship with their stepchildren can vary greatly between relationships. To determine how to have a healthy relationship with your stepchildren, you need to ask your spouse for their boundaries and opinions on what your role should be. You should also pay attention to how your stepchildren react to your words and actions.
If something is amiss, then you must reassess what you’re doing and adjust your approach accordingly. No matter what, you need to treat all of the children equally if you’re in a mixed family. People can tell when they’re being treated unfairly, and unhappy stepchildren make it very difficult to maintain a healthy marriage.
Respond Kindly to Bids for Attention
How do you react when your spouse points out something mundane or asks a silly hypothetical question? Do you humor them, or do you dismiss what they’re saying because it seems dumb or meaningless to you? When your partner starts these kinds of conversations, they’re not fishing for a specific answer. They’re simply bids for attention.
Your spouse is trying to make small talk about random things because they enjoy interacting with you. They want to hear your voice, and even if the conversation seems insignificant, these little moments with your spouse are incredibly special. It costs you nothing to be kind to your partner, so if you want a healthy marriage, then you should engage positively and respectfully with your spouse whenever they make a bid for your attention.
Do you thank your spouse when they complete a chore or do something nice for you? Do you recognize the effort that they put into your marriage? Nobody likes to feel unappreciated. When one party believes that their spouse doesn’t recognize their efforts, they may just stop trying. This can lead to a vicious cycle of resentment, disappointment, and toxicity. Thankfully, showing appreciation is easy. Next time your spouse does something that you like, make sure to compliment them to show that their gesture has not gone unnoticed. Also, you must remember to repay your soulmate’s kindness and hard work by consistently going the extra mile for them.
Have Quality One-on-One Time
You and your spouse need alone time to enjoy each other’s company. Carpooling to work or chatting briefly before the kids wake up won’t cut it. Without regular opportunities to communicate and have pleasant moments with each other, you’ll forget why you fell in love, and you’ll both grow apathetic about the relationship. With that in mind, even if you both have busy schedules, you still need to make space in your schedule to go on dates and do things without anyone else around several times per month.
A Second Marriage Can Succeed
Two people on the same wavelength can create something beautiful together. All marriages have their ups and downs, but the difficult times will pass as long as you and your partner treat one another with mutual respect. A little positivity can go a long way in a marriage, so remember to keep some of the tips in this article in mind if you want your second marriage to remain as happy and harmonious as possible.