Love is meant to be forever; marriage is supposed to last a lifetime…unfortunately, it does not always happen that way. At times, love and marriage come to an end way before you imagined it would: you lose your spouse to death or a divorce, and you are back to square one. You find you have to get back in the game of dating and getting married again.
Remarriage, particularly when children are involved, has its unique challenges. It is much more challenging than just dating or getting married for the first time. Perhaps the challenges stem from the fact that we as humans tend to act with our hearts first and minds second, and with remarriage, there is a much higher need for couples to open their eyes and consider every possible factor -financial, emotional, or even circumstantial, before saying “I do”.
Here are some of the factors to consider before planning another marriage:
How long ago was my first marriage?
Time is said to reveal al things and heal all wounds, but some people do not take their time to completely heal from a previous relationship (marriage) before rushing into another one. They fail to take out the time to discuss every relevant detail that may pose a challenge in future – factors such as sex, kids, money, education e.t.c.
Moving into a new relationship can make you feel better and gives you the illusion that you have moved on; however wanting to hurry down the aisle, in reality, is the best indicator of a relationship that is in trouble or heading for the hills. Slow down and take your time and grieve the pain of the previous marriage. Do not run from it or short-circuit the healing process. Ignore any form of pressure from anyone, and wait for at least two to three years following a divorce or the death of your spouse before seriously dating.
What went wrong in my first marriage?
What have I learned? And what has my potential spouse learned from his/her previous marriage?
Every relationship- good or bad- offers us an opportunity to discover more of ourselves and grow. It is important to look back and evaluate your last marriage, putting into considering the reasons it came to an end – especially if it ended in divorce. Examine your own lifestyle and behavior…what are the things you should have done differently? How can you create a better relationship than your last one?
Experiences and lesson from previous relationships play a key role in building a better one in future. Also, how did your partner’s last relationship end? Does he/she take any responsibility for it? How have they changed or wish to change this time around? Asking yourself these tough questions is critical to having a better and more fulfilling marriage next time.
Are you financially compatible?
Are you in debt? Is your potential partner currently paying off any debt? How much do you earn? Who makes more money between the two of you? Do you have savings and how much of it goes to your children or family? Will one of you be able to support the other should one of you lose your job? e.t.c. Make sure you and your potential partner reveal and compare your finances with each other before going forward in marriage.
Financial transparency is crucial considering our current economic climate as it gives the two of you a clear picture of your financial situation and tells you whether or not you are a fit for each other. It cuts down the risk of entering into a legal marriage that will financially bind you both.
Realize that remarriage comes with certain baggage
Remarriage is a lot more difficult than getting married for the first time because of the baggage, unique barriers, and risks attached to it. From “ghost of marriage past” to the insecurities that impact the new marriage, and risk of your child being maltreated by your new partner… you will have to deal with a whole lot more. Your potential spouse may not feel the same about your children as you do, and you may have different opinions or disagree on parenting decisions. Again, you must constantly remind yourself of certain actions to bypass or steps to refrain from taking so as not to interpret the present in light of the past, or even repeat what was in the past.
Getting married again, especially after a divorce, is a great step towards moving on with your life; and educating yourself on the options and challenges that lie ahead of the remarriage could save you much more heartache in the future. Can you think of anything else to consider before saying “I do” again?