I believe in marriage. However, bouncing back from a bad marriage and believing in love again wasn’t an easy process.
Throughout my journey from an unhappy marriage to a painful divorce, and then a healthier second marriage, I’ve examined my first marriage from every angle – dissecting every reason why it didn’t work.
I also took my time to decide the kind of second marriage that would work for me.
Over the last decade, I’ve come to the conclusion that my first marriage didn’t fail – it simply ended due to incompatibility and our difficulties resolving ongoing conflicts that were becoming increasingly damaging to our children.
Truth be told, a major theme in my first marriage was my dissatisfaction with my ex’s unwillingness to change to meet my expectations. Whereas, the second time around, I’m not looking to change my partner and feel much more content as a result.
10 Reasons Second Marriages Are Better:
1. You are clear about what you want from a relationship. Divorce has taught you what relationship dynamic promotes your best self. A second marriage is an opportunity to approach commitment with your eyes wide open.
2. You are making a decision based on choice rather than fear of being alone. For instance, you may have felt a nagging doubt about tying the knot with your ex-spouse, but proceeded anyway due to feelings of obligation or fear of being alone.
3. You’ve worked through many of your hang-ups and have a positive view of intimate relationships. Whereas you once viewed your first marriage as a failure, your new perspective is that relationships are teachers. Consequently, you believe that you have it within your ability to make healthier choices.
4. You are smarter about love. Since you’ve learned from the past, and so are less likely to repeat it. You’ve learned to separate the past from the present and have begun to live in the present. Therapy and/or keeping a journal may have helped you achieve these objectives.
5. You can allow yourself to be vulnerable with your partner. Healthy relationships don’t come without risk – but you freely extend trust to your partner by expressing your thoughts, feelings, and wishes. Since you no longer have to walk on eggshells, you feel more relaxed on a day to day basis. However, if you’re in a stuck place, you reach out and accept help from a therapist, family, and/or supportive friends – who are there to help to guide you.
6. You’ve taken ownership of your part in the breakup of your first marriage. You’re not operating out of guilt, but you don’t place all of the blame for the demise of your marriage on your ex-spouse.
7. You have a more realistic perspective on marriage. A good marriage is work, but it’s well worth the effort.You’ve taken the time to examine your beliefs and expectations about relationships and worked through issues that might be obstacles to creating the life-long partnership that you deserve.
8. You’ve learned the practice of forgiveness. As a result, you apologize to your partner when appropriate. This validates his or her feelings and promotes intimacy and trust between you. It also allows you to move forward after a conflict. You’ve learned that love is not enough to sustain a marriage. Practicing a forgiving mindset has taught you that saying you’re sorry can heal a wound, even when you didn’t hurt your partner’s feelings intentionally. Resentment builds over time if couples aren’t able to talk about hurt feelings that arise from unresolved grievances and you won’t allow yourself to hold a grudge.
9. You’ve gained self-confidence and your desire for a life partner comes from a place of strength rather than neediness. You’ve discovered that marriage will never be your sole source of happiness so you pursue your dreams to the best of your ability.
10. You believe in the power to make positive things happen in your life. This awareness helps you to be grateful for a fresh start and to recognize the newness in each day. As a result, you know the value of using positive intentions such as “I am capable of creating loving, trusting relationships.”
Visualizing the type of relationship you want, becoming more self-aware, and discovering ingrained beliefs and expectations are key to rebuilding trust in your partner the second time around. You’ve learned to let go of toxic relationships that breed mistrust and betrayal and build a relationship based on love, trust, and intimacy.
The key ingredients to a successful marriage are selecting a partner who is a good match for you and both partners willingness to work through the inevitable hard times of a marriage. With courage and persistence, you can defy the statistics that say that your romantic relationships are doomed to fail and learn to trust yourself and others again.
Your divorce experience can make you stronger, more realistic, and better prepared for the requirements of love. You have it within your reach to create satisfying relationships and to achieve personal happiness. Keep in mind it’s never too late to restore your faith in love.
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