Following my previous article about the reasons why failed first marriages spell doom for second or even third marriages; I received several emails asking me for tips to improve one's chances for success.
Based on my experience with clients and divorce specialists, I have come up with seven tips to help you improve your chances for a successful marriage after divorce. If you are hoping to marry again after a divorce I urge you to read these helpful suggestions carefully. Best of luck to you!
1. Time-out. Before you jump into a new marriage it is essential that you take some time to make sure that your previous relationship is completely finished. That means taking some time out to grieve, finish all financial settlements, conversations, including texts in the middle of the night to express your feelings about the situation. A new relationship can only start successfully once you have a clean slate.
2. Self reflect. Take the time to figure out how you really feel and what you really want. Where did your previous relationship go wrong? What was the primary source of conflict? Understanding these issues before you enter another relationship will improve your chances for success. If you understand what characteristics about your ex led to divorce, you can make sure that your new partner does not possess the same traits. Understanding failure sounds easy, but it is, in fact on of the most difficult challenges, that once achieved, becomes a key factor for success in future marriages.
3. Face forward. This ties into the idea of having a clean slate. It is important to start all new relationships facing forward, leaving your past behind you. Many people make the mistake of involving new partners in dramas of the past. Of course you should be able to speak about your ex with your new partner, especially when children are involved. But be careful to stay present in new relationships and not to drag the irritations of the past with you are you build your new future.
4. Share the nest. There is significant evidence that points to children as a primary factoring the breakup of second and third marriages. Children may hold a first marriage together for sometime, but they can create tension in second and third marriages. Sharing the nest and parenting responsibilities with your ex can improve your chances for success in new marriages. With a "nesting arrangement" children can benefit from the stability of both parents at different times, while each individual is given the space to rebuild their lives.
5. Money. Money makes the world go round, but it's also a leading cause of conflict in marriage. If you prefer to keep finances separate it's best to be open about it from the start, though I advise you to keep a joint account for shared expenses. Be honest and open about debts and strive to eliminate any grey areas. Discuss long-term financial plans and accept your differences.
6. Sex. Sex is important. Too many marriages fail because one or both partners neglect their sex life, which leads to cheating and affairs. Everyone gets into a rut from time to time, but making sex a priority in your relationship maintains the intimacy and connection that healthy marriages require. Be sure to prioritize and make time for sex.
7. Realism. Failed first marriages tend to make people increase their demands and expectations in new relationships. There is no such thing as the 'perfect relationship.' By the time you are at your second or third marriage, you will have more experience but also more 'baggage' as result of those experiences. Compromise and flexibility are key to maneuvering through all of this.
Remember that communication is the key to success for every type of relationship. Whether it is your first, second or third marriage be sure to make time for each other. Share your dreams and future expectations. Express yourself! Ask your partner to tell you what's important to him. Create more quality time with your partner, eat at the table, put away your cell phone and switch off the TV. Go on holiday together and ask about your partner's day-to-day experiences. Never forget the communication and listening are the essence of a good relationship; as a matter a fact they make or break one! Apply my tips and your marriage, whatever number it is, will be a huge success!