Is a Second Time Around Realistic?

Should you remarry someone you divorced?

Couple hugging in park
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It's rare that you hear someone say they wish to remarry their ex-husband or wife.  I guess the grass really wasn't greener or time did heal the wound! Whatever the reason, it does happen on occasion. If you are someone rekindling the romance with an ex-spouse, there are critical things to consider. 

Why would someone want to do this in the first place? Here are some of the possible reasons:

  • Single life was unsatisfying and difficult
  • You realized you made a huge mistake
  • You divorced for stupid reasons or impulsively
  • You never fell out of love
  • You have some personal growth that led you back to this relationship
  • Familiarity 
  • You have forgiven and/or forgotten the things your spouse did wrong
  • Your family still likes and has a relationship with your ex

If you and your ex-spouse are considering getting back together please know these three things:

  • The odds are against you.
  • You must take things slowly.
  • You should see a marriage counselor and take a marriage education course.

Statistics Against Remarrying

Statistics are against couples who remarry one another. More second marriages end in divorce than first marriages. 

Psychology Today states that "... a whopping 60% of remarriages fail. And they do so even more quickly; after an average of 10 years, 37% of remarriages have dissolved versus 30% of first marriages."

Help for Making Your Second Time Around Together Successful

If you are thinking about remarrying your former spouse, here are some suggestions to improve your chances of having a successful second marriage to one another:

  • Getting back together just for the sake of the kids is a bad idea. Get back together because you love (and like) one another and want to be together again. 
  • If you do have children, do not let them know the two of you are dating one another again for a while. They could get their hopes up that the two of you will reconcile and this could put more pressure on you to do so even if things are not going as well between the two of you as you would like.
  • See a marriage counselor. You must learn from your own marital history or the two of you are doomed to repeat it. Unresolved and unfinished business will resurface the second time around.
  • Honestly look at what caused your divorce. If it was an issue with finances, be clear on how you will spend money. If it was about parenting issues, work this conflict out first. If it was due to infidelity, be sure to process this, forgive, and rebuild trust.
  • Admit to your role and responsibility in what went wrong in your first marriage to one another. If you can't readily do this, you will continue to struggle in this or any marriage.
  • Take a marriage workshop or course together.
  • Keep things completely honest between the two of you. No game playing. No mind reading attempts. No unspoken expectations. Share with one another your expectations, hopes, and dreams.
  • It is important to recognize that the first marriage is dead. As hard as this may be, do not let that ghost hurt your new marriage.
  • Do not be afraid to confront past issues that caused conflict between the two of you.
  • Do not dwell on your mistakes. Focus on your future together.
  • Consider a prenuptial agreement
  • Have reasonable expectations. At the core, you will be marrying the same person.
  • Rebuilding a new foundation takes time and effort.
  • Be realistic. If you learn through dating and counseling that things aren't right, trust your gut. 
  • Stay positive and hopeful.

Developing trust and making a marriage work after a divorce requires a strong commitment to the relationship by both of you. Again, do not rush into a second marriage with your ex-spouse. Take time to understand your relationship and one another more fully.

*Article updated by Marni Feuerman

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