If you’re divorced, there is a very high likelihood that you will remarry again. In fact, 75% of divorced people wed again according to Smart Stepfamilies, and most within 3-4 years of divorce. Sadly, 67% of second marriages, and a staggering 73% of third marriages end in divorce!
Those sobering statistics should make anyone want to pause before taking another trip to the altar because who in their right mind would ever want to go through a divorce again?
The reality is that a happy ending is possible for anyone who didn’t get their chance the first, or even second time around. So, what are so many people doing wrong to end up in divorce court more than once?
How can you avoid becoming a failed remarriage?
Live and learn. No doubt about it, all of us are placed on this earth to have many experiences, and we will all make plenty of mistakes! The essential part of making mistakes is the ability to reflect on them and take an honest assessment of what went wrong and what could be done better the next time. Another way to look at this is that if something negative happens, let it not be in vain; instead, find a way to make it a positive learning experience.
The trouble is, not enough divorced people are taking the time to really figure out what happened in their earlier failed relationships before beginning the next. It is easy to blame others for everything that goes wrong in our lives. Sometimes others are clearly more at fault; however, there is usually something we could have done better.
Could you have been a better listener?
Might you have been more flexible or willing to compromise?
Do you have a temper, do you struggle to apologize when you should, did you stop giving your time and attention?
We all have faults. Sometimes they’re not easy to recognize or admit, but they’re there. Find your weaknesses and work on them before you involve yourself with a new partner.
Applying lessons learned about life doesn’t just apply to internal faults, but also those in our partners. Think carefully about your past mates and common traits between them. Are you attracted to a certain personality type? This is not necessarily a bad thing so long as you are not habitually drawn to people who have undesirable traits such as being controlling, liars, unfaithful partners, taking advantage of you, and so on.
If you’ve found yourself in the bad habit of picking the same characteristics wrapped in different packaging, then it’s time to get better at recognizing the red flags of qualities you don’t want re-introduced to your life. Take stock of what qualities you do want versus how past partners failed to meet these needs so that you have a better idea of not only what you want in a partner, but what you deserve!
Don’t be in a rush! As previously mentioned, most re-marriages occur within 3-4 years of divorce. Is that enough time for you to heal from your previous marriage, take the time that you need to assess your own needs and get to know yourself again, and get to know Mr. Right 2.0 well enough to put a ring on it?
Experts theorize that a huge contributing factor to second and third divorces is rebounding. In short, too many people panic at the notion of being alone or get swept up in the first taste of compliments and romance they’ve had in years, and allow themselves to fall deeply in love with one of the first new people they meet, then the next relationship isn’t built on a strong enough foundation to last.
It’s understandable. If you’ve come from a loveless marriage, it can be exhilarating to suddenly be the object of another’s affection and to be free to pursue that interest! Many have even described this euphoria as feeling like a teenager again! There’s nothing wrong with romance or feeling like a kid again so long as you also keep your head about you and don’t get in too deep before you realize what you’re doing!
I am certain that this was the mistake I made coming out of my first marriage. I was terrified, I was lonely, and the next thing I knew I was dating a guy who was telling me he loved me. I was flattered and excited to get a second lease on life, but it all went so fast. Part of me always knew that I didn’t love him like he loved me, but I really thought all the right ingredients were there and it would happen. That was so unfair to both of us because that’s not how a solid marriage is built!
Rebounders and teenagers have one thing in common, which is that they often see the world through rose-colored glasses; therefore, they can easily miss (or dismiss) flaws in a partner. Divorce isn’t any more fun the second time than around than the first, so it still pays highly to take your time, have fun, but also be grounded in reality!
The more you’ve experienced, the more baggage you carry! Experience can make us wise, but it can also weigh us down with a lot of extra issues to deal with. Most first marriages last about eight years, meaning that nearly a decade has passed since the last time the average first time divorcee’ was single. In that amount of time, there is a good chance that children were born, as well as some habits and hang-ups.
I tend to think of marrying a divorced person as the ultimate two for one special. You will not only get a partner for yourself, but also a free ex! If your new partner and their ex did not have a family, then you may count yourself lucky on this one because they may no longer need to associate. If they are co-parents, however, you might have years of extra drama and excitement courtesy of an ex who hasn’t moved on or has a vendetta against your honey.
If one of the parcels your partner brings into your relationship includes children, you will need to be prepared for the extra stress that stepparenting can add to your relationship! The divorce rate for couples with children from previous marriages hovers around 70%, proving the necessity to have boundaries and guidelines set, clear expectations of roles, excellent communication, and lots of patience to deal with exes, crazy schedules, and kids who are, themselves, healing from divorce!
Chances are that you will find love and want to be in a relationship again after divorce. You need not run from the opportunity to find companionship and bliss with the right person for you. Take your time to fully heal from your broken marriage so that you can be sure to bring a whole and even improved version of yourself into your next romance. Remember that solitude is always preferable to being stuck with the wrong person, so don’t feel compelled to jump into the first open heart that comes along! Move forward with your eyes wide open, and be true to yourself!
This article originally appeared on Divorced Moms
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