As a kid, I loved to ride my bicycle. I liked to ride it as fast as my legs could peddle. But because of my reckless riding, I broke my arm four times when I fell off my bike. With such a bad history of injuries and pain, you would think that I would’ve learned to be more careful. NOPE. Each time the cast came off, I got back on my bike. The only reason I probably did not break my arm more than four times is that when I turned sixteen I got my driver’s license. Since then, I have been a safe driver and have never fallen out of my car.
The same comparison to falling off my bike and getting back on can be made to remarriage. Just because you were married before does not necessarily make you any smarter going into a second marriage. Statistics bear this out as more than seventy percent of persons who didn’t get it right the first time around remarry again. Of this group, however, over sixty percent go their separate ways before death do they part. Even more alarming, the length of the second marriage is usually even shorter than the first.
So, with all the horrible statistics that point to a failed remarriage, why do so many opt to say I do, again? Is it because we believe that true happiness can only be found through marriage? Or do we simply not want to die alone? Perhaps it is because we see ourselves as the baseball pitcher who lost the big game and wants to prove to the world that he can still be a winner. Or it is because people are too anxious to get back on the bike only to suffer the pain of falling off all over again.
So, knowing all of this, should you forget about getting married again and instead open that intimate restaurant you’ve always dreamed about? That’s probably not a good idea as restaurants are known to have the highest rate of failures of all businesses and they fail at an even higher rate that second marriages do. However, you won’t go hungry. But before you hang up your apron for good, understand that a second marriage presents its own unique challenges. Though you think you may know more the second time around, you are in for a rude awakening as you cannot depend solely on your experience in choosing the next person to marry. Don’t be fooled by the outside packaging for one minute. It may look, smell, taste, and feel the same, but there is often a lot more inside that is invisible to the human eye. Along with your new spouse comes a new set of in-laws, perhaps brother and sister-in-laws, and his or her friends who can’t wait to critique you and hand your partner their evaluation cards.
Likewise, unlike the song, one is the loneliest number. Our culture is based on two; double occupancy on a cruise and dinner reservations for two. But before you grab that gold ring, consider whether you are going backwards to a place you do not want to return to; where you were unhappy. Perhaps it is better to remain single until you meet Mr. Right instead of Mr. Right now.
Accordingly, before you say I do again, you must identify all that went wrong the first time around and then learn what to do to prevent those mistakes from happening again. You also have to be ready to say I do, again. A big part of getting ready is to understand what you have been through and what it will take to recover, rehabilitate, and move forward. With that information, you will be able to walk down the aisle and begin the journey of marital bliss.
So what do you need to do before you are ready to consider marrying again? You must be emotionally, legally, and financially ready to say I do again. As for emotionally, ask yourself are you over your ex? Or are you seeking revenge? Is the divorce final? Do you think you have an expiration date stamped on your head like a milk carton that if you don’t remarry by a certain date, it is over!
Legally, you should have a will or trust especially if you have children as there are guardianship issues that must be addressed. And even if you have done estate planning, revisit these documents to see if they need to be updated.
If you are receiving support from an ex, getting married will mean that check will stop. But never remarry for financial reasons. If you are having financial problems, and you are looking at marrying again as your meal ticket out, that is never a good reason to remarry.
So how can you be sure this new person in your life is right for you? Getting married again is not like taking a car for a test drive. And once you sign that contract, you don’t have thirty days to bring it back for a full refund. That is why you need to kick the tires and check under the hood before you say I do again! For example, what is his heath like? Does his smoking and drinking annoy you? Can you tolerate his other habits? What is his credit score? Is he hounded by bill collectors? Does he open his mail? Why did his marriage end? Is he someone else’s trash that you are recycling? Remember, it is buyer’s beware.