Can Love Be Better the Second Time Around?

Article by Patricia Bubash, M.Ed. in Relationships

Yes it can! This is according to the couples I interviewed for my book, Successful Second Marriages. What prompted a book about second marriages?The failure of my own second marriage, and my admiration for remarrieds who found success in this second chance at love. Success, in spite of the negative numbers for second marriages. Statistics approximate that half of first marriages end in divorce. For second timers, the odds for staying together get even tougher. Two thirds of those taking the plunge-a second time, don't make it. With odds like these, it is surprising that more than half of those first time exes do remarry. But they do! Because we are a nation in love with

So, yes, love can be better the second time around if we do some self-introspection, a little homework. When we meet with failure attempting a new project, a recipe, school, job, etc. we question what we did wrong? We don't want to repeat our mistake, and fail again.This should also be true for a marriage. Whatever happened in our first union, we did make some contribution to the demise of that marriage. Ok, maybe not to the extent of our ex-spouse, but we were half of the doomed duo.

Mary Duparri, a family/marriage therapist has observed a certain pattern with clients who have found love again. Their comments relay their total lack of responsibility for their failed first marriage. They express to her, “Now, I have found the right person. I choose the wrong person before. I shouldn't have married him (her) in the first place, but this time, I have the right one!" The therapist expressed her dismay that her client does not accept any personal liability for the previous marriage, does not look into what went wrong, so mistakes are not repeated. Rather, concludes it was, simply, the wrong person.Now, this new love is the right person –a perfect match. Problem solved.

A pleasant change for Ms. DuParri would have been to have the couples I interviewed as her clients. These nine couples had done their homework before committing to another relationship. As much as they all agreed that after their divorce, they hoped for another relationship, they also, very vehemently, stated, "I never want to go through another divorce!" They were going to do everything in their power to make #two a success. The tagline on my book reads, inspiring, encouraging and hopeful, words descriptive of the couples interviewed. . Every time I left a home, I felt humbled and gratified for our conversations. And, I knew that I needed to be more attentive to my own marriage (yes, I am on a third time is charm marriage- 24 years). I found myself aspiring to have a relationship similar to that of the couples I was talking with.

Their stories were the catalyst, a personal goal to write a book. For my own personal understanding, I needed to know what went wrong with my second marriage. What had I contributed to the failure of it? What was the formula for success the second time around?

1. Know yourself.Before you say, "I do" again, know what you really want in a marriage. Are you looking for companionship only, security, credibility, a family? What are you willing to contribute? Do some introspection. I was impressed with the number of individuals I interviewed who did just this: spent some time alone, getting to know themselves better vs. rushing to become a twosome again.Taking time out for a little constructive self-awareness leads to a better relationship when that true love comes along.

2. Discuss finances. I do know this was a problem in my second marriage. I owned the home we shared, earned more money, and had job security.This is especially important when each person has children. Decide who is responsible for what expenses, have this clearly determined before you become a married couple.

3. Don't expect love and acceptance from his/her kids! Many a troubled, disappointed parent has come to my office to bemoan, "I have found the love of my life, and my children are being horrible” or “I don't know what is the matter with them. I have finally found my soulmate”. Well, you may be in love, but your children are not. They have another parent-so give them time- don’t rush them to acceptance of this “wonderful” new husband or wife.

I learned much more than these three tips from my wonderful second timers.Love can be better the second time around when we don't rush to action (marriage again), do some introspection, clarify financial responsibility, give kids time to adjust to the new person, and read Successful Second Marriages!

Patricia Bubash received her M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Working with students and families has been her true calling for over thirty years. For more than twenty years she has presented workshops at the community college on a variety of topics relating to parenting issues, self-esteem and issues relative to divorce. Patricia is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Missouri and, a Stephen Minister. She submits a variety of articles related to relationships, marriage and divorce to several internet sites, and, frequently, is interviewed on internet radio stations. Volunteerism, writing and family are most significant in her life. Patricia writes for HopeAfterDivorce.org, CupidPulse.com, FamilyShare.com, and LAFamily.com.


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