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Is There a Difference in 1st and 2nd Marriages?

By: Jessica Shanahan - Updated: 28 Feb 2011 | comments*Discuss
Is There A Difference In 1st And 2nd Marriages?

If one, or both, of you has been married before, your wedding and marriage are bound to be very different the second time round. You’re no doubt entering into the partnership determined not to make the same mistakes again. But it’s important to remember that second marriages can bring new and different challenges for you to face.

New challenges

Second marriages often bring with them new challenges that you may not have experienced in your first marriage. If either you or your partner have children from a previous marriage or relationship then their thoughts and feelings become very important in influencing any decisions you make. No matter how good your relationship with your ex-husband and wife, their presence could risk being the constant elephant in the room in your second marriage. This is especially true in situations where one or both of you was widowed. The key to overcoming these challenges is communication; talk to your partner about how you're feeling, be honest with them when the presence of their ex-partner becomes overbearing, explain how the experience of remarrying is making you feel. During the engagement period it is likely that your first marriage may occasionally be at the forefront of your mind; when planning a second wedding it’s difficult not to have fleeting thoughts of planning your wedding the first time round. These rare thoughts are healthy and normal, don’t allow them to jeopardise your exciting new relationship.

Been there, done that

In second marriages, it’s easy to talk about divorce - you’ve been there and done that. Divorce doesn’t represent the scary unknown to you anymore, and you know there’s light at the other end of the tunnel. With this in mind, be careful in your new relationship not to say anything you don’t mean in the heat of the moment. Asking for a divorce is easy, taking it back is not.

Money talk

The number one cause of divorce in British marriages is disputes about finances. It’s important that before you marry again you talk to your prospective spouse about your financial situation, and how you’d like to combine your finances (or not) moving forwards. Many second marriages happen later in life, so you may find that, having had years of financial independence, you don’t want to merge finances with someone else. Again communication is key here. Provided you are both on the same page, and you have a plan and a system in place for paying shared bills (a communal account for mortgage payments for example) there is no reason you can’t keep your own bank account and financial freedom.

Maintain awareness

If your first marriage was a happy one, there is no reason that your second marriage has to differ very much from this at all. In fact you may find that your experience from a previous marriage helps you to make your second marriage better and stronger. You are entering into it intelligently with your eyes wide open, and you know what pitfalls and warning signs to look out for if things start to sour. By maintaining your awareness of your relationship and keeping the channel of communication open when things become stale or stagnant, you can nurture your relationship, and ensure your marriage is a long and happy one.

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