Succeeding at Second Marriages

Remarriages are more complicated and at-risk than first marriages. Here's what you need to know to make it work.
Succeeding at Second Marriages

Couples entering a second marriage are often seen as lugging too much baggage to make a success of their next go-round. This assumes, however, that people can come into any relationship without baggage, or a history that impacts the relationship—an assumption that is, of course, untrue. Childhood, previous relationships, even relationships with siblings and friends over the course of life all impact spouse selection and the relationship that ensues from there onward.

Second marriages are by nature more complicated and more at-risk for divorce than first marriages (over 60 percent divorce rate, compared to around 50 percent for first-time marriages). Yet it's also clear that remarriages need the same strong and consistent nurturing as first marriages. No matter what your stage of life or circumstance, with some extra TLC and effective communication, your second marriage can succeed.

Remarriage with Young Children

Family life with small children is one of the most stressful times in any marriage due to the never-ending physical demands of small children. Consequently, remarriage at this time of life is a challenge.

Sandy* and Bill have four children between them. Bill has two girls, ages ten and six, and Sandy has twin boys, age five. Bill's kids live primarily with their mother, but come for visits every Wednesday and every other weekend. The six-year-old and twins get along pretty well, but the ten-year-old goes between feeling in charge and feeling left out of the group dynamic.

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