Many couples are fortunate to have a second opportunity for love and marriage. People look at a second marriage as another chance for happiness, but from a statistical point of view, the divorce rate per second marriages is higher than the divorce rate for first marriages. Many people do not learn how to adjust behavior or to accept that people have baggage when they are moving from one relationship to the next. Sometimes people bring unhealthy baggage, trust issues, and patterns to new relationships. Also, mixed families that have stepchildren and even more relatives can add additional complexity to a second marriage that is not there in the first marriage.
These rules help increase the likelihood that a second marriage will be happy and fulfilling:
Rule 1: Accept Baggage Exists
This is incredibly important. People have other family members, hobbies, and things that they enjoy doing that you might not want to. Having a sense of individuality is important, but many people do not realize this. There are times where the baggage the people have makes them want to move towards tying the knot, getting married sooner than they should. Accept that it takes time to work through baggage and develop a solid relationship with somebody before jumping into marriage. Realize that additional baggage is likely to come up a later point in time. Be open with your communication and be open to the fact that you will be wrong sometimes, and so will your partner.
Rule 2: Allow Yourself To Be Vulnerable
Vulnerability is a part of life and a main reason that people connect. While many people are fearful of vulnerability in relationships, particularly in second marriages, opening up about your innermost feelings, fears, thoughts, and wishes can help build trust in ways that few other things can. While you may feel exposed, the connection people get when they are vulnerable creates for more intense intimacy and relationship longevity.
Rule 3: Live In Reality
People often find themselves falling into relationships where everything is amazing, and they want the spark to continue that way forever. The reality that most people face is that some of the spark might transition into other parts of life. It is okay to let these things happen while still maintaining a focus on things that you would like to see more of in your life. The idea is to be realistic about the expectations that you have. People who have kids may be less likely to have as much time to spend alone, and that is okay. Finding ways to connect with your partner, even when other people are around is essential.
Talk with your partner about the things that are most important to you, but also take the time to consider together how realistic these thoughts and expectations are. By eliminating expectations that are not realistic, the tension and stress/resentment that can come into relationships is less likely to show up.
Rule 4: Respect, Appreciate, Tolerate
Respect and appreciation are important, as is tolerance. Being able to praise your partner, thank them, and show your appreciation for the work they put into the relationship is uplifting. Thanking your partner for the things that they focus on doing and being aware of for you is essential.
Also, keep in mind that people are not able to change their habits easily. You may need to tolerate some of the small things that get on your nerves to enjoy the much bigger things that make you truly happy. Be patient with your partner and learn how to approach things. Communicate things in non-accusatory ways whenever possible.
Rule 5: Small Steps Often Work Better Than Big Leaps
Whether you are working towards having children, purchasing a house, or simply establishing a schedule that works for both of you, taking small steps is often more successful than taking a larger dive. Take the time to communicate what process is best for your relationship and make sure that any expectations are not only clearly communicated, but also talked out enough. Try not to talk about major changes that need to be made from a place of emotion. If emotions are running high, it can be a better choice to set up a time in the next day or two to finish discussing things.
Rule 6: Practice Good Communication
It is up to both people in a relationship to not only accept their role in disagreements but also continue to improve and practice their communication. Many people believe that this is something they will not need to practice someday, but it takes constant awareness to be knowledgeable about the changes you and your partner are going through. Look to use statements that have “I” in them as opposed to “you.”
Also, keep in mind that the people you are dating and interested in being with in a second marriage are not the people you were married to in the first. Old habits and responses towards previous partners need to be unlearned, and that can take some time.
Rule 7: Practice Forgiveness
Learn new ways to express yourself and ask for forgiveness. Also, take the time to practice forgiveness and learn new ways to help yourself forgive people. Find confidants that you can speak to about your emotions and never stop improving your ability to empathize and look at other people’s perspectives. Building trust and intimacy are important, and holding onto grudges and resentments can have a long-lasting effect on healthy relationships.
Rule 8: Revisit These Often
No one is able to always pay attention to every piece of dating advice they have ever been given. Revisit tips for dating and keeping your relationship strong on a regular basis. Revisit the tips here in this blog as well; they are essential to having success in dating and love. The excitement a person has when they find a person to share their life with is priceless. Respect and cherish it by doing the best you can and accepting that each person is a unique individual.