7 Tips For Creating A Successful Second Marriage

August 8, 2013 12:43 pm Published by Comments Off on 7 Tips For Creating A Successful Second Marriage

Second marriages fail at an alarmingly high rate. No surprise. Second marriages are generally loaded with conflict triggers. Kids, in-laws, joint and individual finances, and inner-circle loyalties shoot arrows from all directions at the re-married couple. And, once you’ve been divorced – and survived the upheaval – its easier to accept a second break-up. So, what can you do to create a successful second (or third) marriages? Here are my top 7 tips:

1. Marry the right person. Commitment cannot be negotiated so find a partner who is committed and really wants to be married to you. Your spouse should share both your vision for your marriage and your values. Don’t marry someone who is struggling with an active addiction. Instead, seek out a partner who is able to put you first and expresses his/her love with the same love language (acts of service, shared time, gifts and money, physical affection, or words of praise) you use.

2. Clean-out the clutter. Items that hold strong emotional charges to your previous life can be psychically intrusive and draining. Your physical space should be a shared space that you hold together. If one of you feels like a visitor in your home it will take a toll on your relationship.

3. Get comfortable holding difficult conversations. Avoiding tough issues allows them to fester and grow. Instead, designate which one of you will be the speaker (the presenter) and which will be the receiver (the listener). The speaker should speak in the “I” focusing on his/her experience; avoiding blame and fault finding. The listener’s job is just to listen and understand, not to fix the situation. If talking is too difficult start off by writing each other letters.

4. Live within your means and clean-up your credit. You already know which one of you is “the saver” and which is “the spender.” Put “the saver” in charge of all joint funds. Doling out the resources can be challenging, especially in these tough times, so consider maintaining separate accounts in addition to a joint account. Sometimes partners equate money with a sense of value. Be conscious of this when you are negotiating personal allowances and spending priorities.

5. Put each other first – before your kids, parents, friends, or jobs. A spouse who feels that they are in second place will ultimately becomes resentful. And, that resentment eats away at the connection.

6. Work together as a team. Marriage works best when the partners don’t see things in terms of a win-lose balance sheet. A sports team is most successful when everyone pulls together for the common good – so is a marriage. Create a shared vision for your marriage and pull together to make it happen.

7. Keep your expectations in check. Don’t expect it to be easy. Don’t expect your partner to be perfect. And, don’t expect your partner to do/say/be what you want him/her to do/say/be. Forget your expectations and focus on the positive instead.

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