Mature Bride and GroomDivorce and remarriage were once seen as unfavorable, but second and third marriages are now commonplace. While a variety of reasons can fuel the desire to marry again, it’s still not a decision to be made lightly. From blending families to estate planning, tying the knot again results in new issues that you and your future spouse must consider.

Learning From The Past

Whether your own mistakes or those made by others, they can provide valuable guidance in terms of behaviors and patterns to avoid. Huffington Post writer Brittany Wong observes that second and third marriages are more statistically likely to end in divorce. With this in mind, Wong mentions a few contributing factors cited by marriage therapists:

  • Rushing into remarriage
  • Incompatible financial goals and methods
  • High expectations
  • Past emotional baggage
  • Difficulty combining families
  • Lack of incentive to overcome problems
  • Forgoing premarital counseling

While these all logically sound like serious threats, it’s important to unpack exactly how they can cause a subsequent marriage to fail. People may remarry to evade being alone, prove to themselves that they can make it work, secure financial stability, or avoid handling household responsibilities by themselves. Yet without fully understanding why their initial unions failed, they risk dooming their next relationships as well.

These tendencies can be exacerbated if the new couple doesn’t go to counseling or work out how they’ll handle the financial, domestic, and lifestyle shifts that come with marriage. Huffington Post contributor Sharon Naylor emphasizes that premarital counseling can help the couple learn conflict resolution, identify potential problem areas, and develop approaches on important issues such as money, housework, and children.

Figuring Out Your Finances

Your fiduciary approach may differ according to your and your partner’s life stages. Older spouses could be eyeing retirement, medical, and final expenses or even putting kids through college. Meanwhile, younger ones’ worries could include paying off student loans and supporting underage children. For these reasons, suddenly combining both partners’ finances is a bad idea.

Entrepreneur David Ning suggests one possible approach of keeping accounts separate but individually contributing to household expenses. U.S. News contributor Gary Foreman suggests establishing a joint account as well as a plan on how to cover shortfalls. Moreover, AARP briefly discusses prenuptial agreements prior to remarriage. Jean Chatzky referred to hers with her new husband as a “fair division of assets,” stressing that they provide a financial and legal roadmap in case a second marriage doesn’t work out.

Issues With Families and Children

If one or both spouses already have children, they must have a strategy for blending their families. Fortunately, the American Psychological Association offers a few helpful recommendations. For living arrangements, moving into a new home together rather than one of the partner’s current residences can foster a sense of belonging equally among all family members.

It’s also vital to remember that children need the time and space to adjust to their new realities. Not only that, parenting styles and household rules must be consistent and fair. During the initial family blending stages, the APA proposes that noncustodial stepparents relate to children with a “camp counselor” approach while leaving discipline and rule enforcement up to their custodial parents.

Successful Remarriages Take Work

You may not believe that you’ll fall in love again after a first marriage ends. While a new love relationship may not be anticipated, the road to a successful remarriage does begin with a solid plan. You’ll have much to consider when forming your new lives together, including the finances and dynamics of your new family. Neither one will be easy, but such challenges underscore the need to discuss these crucial details before you walk down the aisle.

Category: Marriage

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