Can a second marriage survive?

True Love Tuesday

Love is in the air, as it always is on True Love Tuesdays.  I am still in progress on the Love Stories for the Bullet Proofing Your Marriage series, so, don’t hate me, I don’t have one to share with you today.

But let’s see what else we can talk about around love and weddings.

Would you like to hear about the project that is coming up after the Bullet Proofing Series?

By now, you know that happy, successful marriages are my passion.  But, sadly, many couples have already experienced the end of a marriage through divorce or through death of one spouse.

Many times the dissolution of a first marriage leads to a second or even a third marriage.  However, the failure rate for second and third marriages is even higher.  My research shows that somewhere between 41% and 50% of first marriages fail, with around 60% of second marriages failing, and the rates are even higher for third marriages.

Free Digital Photos .net By smarnad, published on 22 February 2012

Why do so many second marriages fail, and even more third marriages?  What can couples do to ensure that their marriage at least has a fighting chance of surviving?  Why is the risk of divorce so much higher for a second marriage?  What do you need to do differently before or during a second marriage?

That is a lot of ground to cover, but let’s see if we can make a tiny dent today.

Some of the very basic things that we have been talking about still come into play in a second or third marriage, and maybe even more importantly.

1)  Getting to know one another, in depth, before hand is very important.  You need to understand what motivates each of you, what you want out of a marriage, what you don’t want out of a marriage.  Are there children involved?  This may lead to an entirely different set of issues.  What are your values, what are theirs? What about religion and church, are you on the same page?   However, oftentimes, not wanting to be alone, the divorced person may enter in to a new marriage very quickly, without taking the time to truly get to know the new partner.

2)  Take time to honesty analyze the failure of the first marriage (in cases of divorce).  Logically, you would think that couples are older, wiser, and more mature when they enter a second marriage and that they have learned from their mistakes.  This may not always be the case,  unless you truly evaluate what went wrong the first time around and learn from the experience.  If you don’t, you may be doomed to repeat it.

3)  If you think you were set in your ways when you got married the first time, that is nothing compared to where you might be right now.  How flexible are you each willing to be?  Don’t think that you are going to change this new person.  That never works.

4)  There is a built in lack of sensitivity to the idea of divorce.  If you have already survived one divorce, you may be inclined to think that “if this one doesn’t work out, I will just get a divorce,  I have survived it before, I can survive it again”.  This can lead to a lack of commitment to the relationship.

5)  Children.  The relationship can become very complicated around the issue of children,  Feeling that they would rather see their original parents back together again, children may begin to pit one parent against the other.  The new couple may find themselves ‘overly’ defending the actions of their child causing a rift between themselves and their new partner.

Over the next few months, I will be interviewing couples who are in a second or third marriage and have a blended family.  My hope is that through this process we can identify the ways in which a blended family can be a success.  We will ‘pull back the scabs’, so to speak and look at what the problems are and how to overcome them.  We will see what makes a blended family successful.

I have already identified several couples for this, however, if you, or someone you know has successfully overcome the hurdles involved in a blended family, I would love to interview you for that series.

In the meantime, I have several more love stories to share with you in the Bullet Proofing Your Marriage series.

My question for you today is what one thing has made a huge difference in terms of your marriage being happy and successful?

Or, if you are not married, what one thing do you look forward to in a loving, happy marriage?  What do you think would be a major factor in having a happy marriage?

Thanks for stopping by (and forgiving me for not having a true love story for you today) and sharing your time with me.  You know that, along with your comments, makes my day!

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  1. I totally agree with taking time to analyze the past issues before jumping into a new relationship and definitely marriage. Many spend a long time blaming the other person and don’t look inside to see what they need to improve. Once both parties have accepted their part of the dissolution, then and only then should they be allowed to move on. Regardless of whether children are involved, you owe it to your “next family” to get it right!

    • Thanks for stopping by You are so right. I think there is always plenty of responsibility to go around in terms of the dissolution of a marriage. If we are honest with ourselves, we can see where our responsibility lies in the breakup. Once we do that, we can embark on the road to changing ourselves so that we can have a successful relationship. I totally agree. We do owe it to our children to ‘get it right’. Thanks so much.

  2. This is something that actually really interests me. I have definitely noticed that second marriages aren’t likely to last, which was surprising to me. I assumed they’d be more likely to last, not less. I can’t wait to see what your couples have to say.

    • Hi Miranda. Thanks for stopping by. You would think that folks would have it figured out by the second time around, but that isn’t always the case. I am looking forward to sharing our blended family stories. Thanks

  3. Ah, for us it is God 🙂 We tried going it alone 20 years ago and split in a fiery mess. But we got a second chance and with God at the forefront, we feel as though we can make it through anything. Marriage is like a garden, it needs care, love, nurturing, attention and patience.

    • Hi Steph. I am so glad that you got that second chance. You are right, trying to do it without God is ”going it alone”. I love your garden analogy. That is so true. We need to schedule your interview.

  4. I seem to recall in my youth when divorce became so prevalent. I remember when my friends and I all had both of our parents at home which we took for granted. My grandchildren are accustomed to their friends parents living in different homes. My daughter insist on meeting the parents of her childrens friends. Many times that means meeting 4 adults for one child and getting to know where they all live in different parts of town. This is all common place to the children. It is what they are growing up knowing. I am so very thankful that I had both of my parents as a good example of marriage my whole life. Still enjoying your series, Regina!!

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