In my work as a divorce coach, I’ve had a front row seat to all kinds of situations. Situations from easy to navigate divorce, amicable separations to crazy and antagonistic splits between couples. The tips below are based on, not only personal experience but, knowledge that comes from years of working in the divorce industry.
I hope these tips help you before you say “I do” again and keep you from ever saying, “I don’t anymore” again.
1. Talk About Money Early in Your New Relationship
It is important that you and a potential future life partner have similar financial goals and habits. Even if the relationship is new, if you believe there is the possibility of it turning into something serious, how he deals with his finances is something you need to know.
If you find he is less than careful with his money, it could help you decide whether or not he is someone you want to consider becoming more involved with. And, don’t make the mistake that you can change someone who has spent their life running up credit card debt or being less than responsible financially.
2. Make Sure You’ve Had Enough Alone Time
Even if you are confident about the way you feel, rushing into marriage is not a good idea. Sometimes people meet each other, and within three or four months, they say, “Oh this person is the one for me.” In my opinion, if you don’t know a person at least a year, you don’t know them well enough to marry them. How long is long enough between marriages? That answer will be unique to you and your situation but, as a standard, I recommend waiting at least a year before believing you know exactly who your new love is and before jumping into a new marriage.
3. What Impact Will Marriage Have On Your Children?
Nothing torpedoes a second or third marriage like conflicts over the kids. His, hers, and yours together. Be realistic! Seriously realistic! The relationship you have with each other’s children will play a HUGE role in whether or not a marriage will last.
Spend time, spending time with each other in the company of your children. Make sure the children are familiar with each other. Allow yourself time to assess any problem areas and come up with a game plan on how to deal with those before marriage. Children who are happy about a parent’s choice in a new mate before the marriage or, more than likely, going to be happy with the situation after the marriage. Be compassionate if your children struggle with your new love. All that means is, they need more time whether you do or not.
4. Consider What You Want to Do Differently This Time Around
You don’t want to take into a new marriage dysfunctional relationship skills that helped kill your last marriage. Consider things like, how did I communicate? What could I have done differently in my last marriage? How much energy did I put into nurturing our love? Was I more of a giver or taker? What makes me happy in a relationship? These are questions that will help you identify areas you need to work on and what you need to change to make sure the next marriage doesn’t end in divorce also.
I recommend any person considering remarriage take an introspective look into why their first marriage failed and even consider therapy to make sure those old wounds have truly healed and aren’t being taken into a new marriage.
5. Discuss The Tough Questions with Your New Love
Don’t avoid talking about how you will create a successful marriage in the midst of challenges that come along with second and third marriages. Children, ex-spouses, ex in-laws they will all play a role in your new marriage. Ask each other questions like, “What will be the rules for both of our children in our new home? What kind of relationship will each of us have with our exes? Is your spouse going to be spending time alone with his/her ex to discuss the children and how do you feel about that? How will we deal with conflict with our exes if or when it arises?”
No one likes baggage but, if you’ve been married before, like it or not, you will bring baggage into a new marriage. You both need to have a clear understanding of how that baggage will be dealt with.
6. Make Sure You Are Remarrying for The Right Reasons
Women marry for a myriad of reasons. They want financial security, they want a father for their children, they are afraid to be alone, they feel pressure from friends and family. All horrible reasons to remarry, reasons that will only lead to another divorce.
If a marriage doesn’t have a strong foundation or love and respect, it will be an exercise in futility. Hold off marrying again until you’ve fallen in LOVE regardless of how lonely you are, how much pain you are in financially and how much pressure you feel from friends and family.
7. Do You Need to Protect Yourself with a Prenuptial Agreement?
Finally, the most important decision before you remarry is deciding if a prenuptial is right for you. When remarrying you should consider having a prenuptial agreement if you have substantial assets or children to protect and/or want to avoid some of the financial problems that could occur if your marriage ends.
Prenuptial agreements are important and can spell out what assets and liabilities each partner is bringing into the marriage and determine how the assets brought into the marriage, and those acquired during the marriage, will be divided should there be a divorce.