Monday, January 21, 2008

Marriage, Divorce, Repeat, Marriage, Divorce, Repeat

On the home page of my website I have a quote saying “Over 60% of re-marriages end in re-divorce.” I frequently get asked, “Why is the divorce rate higher?” People state confusion over this because they believe that since they’ve been divorced once before, they’ll know the danger signs to look for and they are more determined to have what they call a “successful” marriage. All of that sounds good, but let’s look at what the realities are. The following are some of the most common reasons for a higher divorce rate in remarriage.

A remarriage has one of the same partners who were present in your last marriage. Most people don’t take the time to evaluate WHAT went wrong. They just assume the problem was the WHO. Unfortunately that’s not the case. It’s important to look at what happened to cause the marriage to deteriorate. While it’s tempting to assume that your ex-spouse was the problem, they weren’t 100% responsible. Without taking time to look at YOUR part in the marriage’s demise, you are destined to repeat the similar, if not the same, mistakes.

A divorce experience doesn’t suddenly reveal special awareness of relationships danger signs. Unfortunately, people jump into new relationships way too quickly after their divorce. They are not truly prepared to be in a committed relationship in the way that a new marriage requires. Most people are still reeling from the many changes and/or losses they experienced as a result of their divorce. Continuing to be wrapped up in what happened in your last marriage doesn’t build a stable foundation for a new marriage.

Remarriage commitment is less than a first marriage. By virtue of a marriage being a remarriage, it means one member of the couple has been married before. If the previous marriage ended in divorce that means a conscious decision was made to terminate the marriage. That’s a boundary which was crossed over. After that boundary is breached once, it is much easier to come to that conclusion again. Divorce isn’t an unknown entity. You may not have liked it but you endured it. Because of this, it becomes a more viable option than it did in a first marriage when things get rough.

A step family is an unknown in our society. Step families are quickly becoming the most common family unit, but does anyone have a clue how they are supposed work? We still base our ideas of family on the old standard of a nuclear family (mom, dad, and their biological children.) A step family does NOT fit this mold. When new step families see that their family doesn’t come close to resembling what they expected, it’s common for them to start questioning their decision to remarry.

Divorce is painful. There’s no getting around it. You hurt, you ex-spouse hurts, and your children hurt. Rather than running to the altar because you’re “in love”, take time to step back and prepare. Don’t put yourself and your children through the pain of another divorce. Be wiser. Be a better partner rather than just looking for a better one.

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