Every wedded couple dreams of a fairytale marriage where they will live happily ever after. However marriages fail and others end in divorce. Getting a divorce isn’t an eventuality anyone aspires to, but it isn’t the end of the road when it becomes inevitable.
You can find love again, and you can marry a second time. It won’t be easy because the fear of failure will always be at the back of your mind. You can overcome this fear though, and go on to find lasting happiness and fulfillment in your second marriage. Here are some steps to get you there:
Why it failed: You must understand why your first marriage failed. According to psychologist Patrick Musau, this is the first step towards a better chance of relationship success. “Understanding why your marriage failed will offer you insights on what to avoid, how to handle challenges, and where to improve in your second marriage. It will also let you know how to find a good fit in a long-term partner,” he says.
Don’t rush: Granted, you may suffer from intense bouts of loneliness and insecurity, especially if you had been marriage for some time. However, rushing into a second marriage shortly after a divorce will not remedy your loneliness.
Your second marriage will most likely fail if you rush into it, says family therapist Susan Gacheru: “Research indicates that second marriages fail if one partner re-marries within one year following the end of his or her first marriage.” Give yourself time.
Second divorce: Having divorced previously, it is possible that you may not be too afraid of walking out if things don’t turn out right. Considering divorce as an option in your second marriage will only serve to quicken it, says marital researcher and co-author of For Better: Divorce Reconsidered, Mavis Hetherington. You will end up subconsciously looking for a reason to walk out rather than reasons to stay and build your union.
The first wife: According to Dr. Chris Hart, a psychologist based in Nairobi, it should not be lost on you that your partner has an ex-wife. This is especially where there are children involved and the likelihood of their mother being a constant presence in your marriage is real. “It’s only mature that you smile and say hello whenever you meet her. Bear in mind that to her children, she’s still their mother and they’ll want her to be present when they’re marking milestones such as birthdays, graduations or weddings,” says Dr Hart.
Your husband and the ex-wife: Your husband should not be best of friends with his ex-wife. Your husband and his ex-wife should only meet up to talk about matters concerning their children, says Dr Hart. “This shouldn’t be too often either. Your husband’s loyalty should strictly be to you.” Where the ex-wife is lonely and working to sabotage your marriage by being ever-present in your husband’s life, he (not you) should go out of his way to discourage her and put an end to her motives. It’s not for you to fight his battles for him, yours is only to support him.
Your happiness: You are not any less deserving of love and fulfillment than the person who is marrying for the first time. Believe that. In fact, says Mrs. Gacheru, having been married, divorced, dated and now re-marrying, you are at a better position to achieve marital success: “You are now more mature and wiser. You know most of the dos and don’ts that make or destroy a marriage. Go for it and be happy.”