Statistics are depressing on the chances that a second marriage will succeed. According to Census data, the odds are stacked even higher against a third. Figures in the United States suggest that between 60 to 67 percent of second marriages fail and about 74 percent of third marriages end in divorce. Marriage experts say your second marriage is not doomed to fail, however, if you learn from your first go-around. Creating a home that’s grounded in appreciation and respect for your spouse is vital. Opening up to vulnerability will build the trust and intimacy you need to make your second marriage last a lifetime.
Two things stand out in successful second marriages, according to the experts. One is your readiness to admit what you did wrong the first time around instead of laying all the blame on your ex. Taking responsibility equips you to succeed in the challenges of a new relationship. Another standout in successful second marriages is the spouses’ willingness to discard older gender stereotypes that may have created problems in their first marriages.
Women became more independent
Interviews with remarried couples show men tend to attribute the success of their second marriage to their learning to be less independent, to become more involved as a father and more egalitarian as a partner. Women typically said they became more independent and changed what they were looking for in a husband. Rather than gravitating to men who tried to impress them, women were attracted to men who listened to them and respected their views.
The best way to beat the odds and make your second marriage succeed is to create a culture of appreciation and respect in your home. It’s also crucial to risk being vulnerable with your partner so that you can build trust and intimacy. Determination, respect, acceptance, positive communication, and a good sense of humor can go a long way in making sure your second marriage works.
Here are strategies that can make a second marriage last a lifetime.
Listen to your partner’s requests in a conflict and accept responsibility for your role in a disagreement. Ask for clarification when issues are unclear.
Show appreciation, tolerance and respect
Catch your partner doing something right and tell them how much you appreciate them.
You’ll avoid misunderstandings if you can deal with hurt feelings without shutting down.
Build trust by being vulnerable
Take small steps toward being more open with your partner and build confidence and trust. Learn to cooperate on small things before tackling big things such as managing finances together.
Conflict is inevitable in all relationships, but it doesn’t mean the end of your marriage. You can manage conflict successfully by taking a short break if you feel overwhelmed, then come back and restore communication. Remember you’re both on the same team. Acknowledge that we all have flaws and forgive them.
Interact assertively but non-aggressively
Be willing to see each other’s side of the issues. Acknowledge your partner’s bids for attention and support and respond with affection.