Learning from Divorce: How to Make Your Next Marriage LastDecember 17, 2012 • Contributed by Jen Wilson, GoodTherapy.org Correspondent
Some divorced individuals believe they will be much happier in their second, third, or fourth marriages than they were in their previous ones. But statistics show that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, the likelihood that someone will divorce rises with each marriage. Typically, this is because people don’t ever figure out what caused their first marriage to fail. Maybe their spouses cheated on them, maybe they were too controlling, maybe money was scarce. Regardless, if someone doesn’t dig deep and address his or her part in the relationship and how he or she contributed to its demise, there is a good chance that mistakes will be repeated.
According to a recent article by Emanuella Grinberg, couples who marry late in life could benefit from prior divorces by learning something from the past. Rather than jumping into that next marriage out of lust, yearning for companionship, or worse yet, financial needs, spend some time getting to know yourself. New York psychotherapist Lisa Brateman says people who know what they need and want will make better decisions than those who do not, regardless of age or number of trips down the aisle. “Relationships are about enhancing your life rather than giving you a life,” she said.
Terri Orbuch, a relationship expert, author and psychologist, gives three tips for divorced individuals who want to take another leap of faith. First, she insists that communication must be a priority, and not just communication about chores, bills, and family issues. She stresses that it’s imperative for couples to talk about the things that matter in order to become emotionally bonded. Second, don’t take your partner for granted. Divorce teaches you that being acknowledged, even for the little things, is important and keeps spouses from getting fed up and turned off. Finally, Orbuch underscores the significance of financial communication. Money matters, and couples who don’t address it early on will end up paying for it, big time, later. Bring up the subject of money and how it relates to your goals and dreams so you both know what to expect and can work together to achieve it. Don’t look at past marriages as failures, either. Look at them as learning experiences and stepping stones to more intimate, mature, and meaningful relationships in the future.
Grinberg, Emanuella. Boomers who remarry learn from failed relationships. (n.d.): n. pag. CNN. 5 Dec. 2012. Web. 6 Dec. 2012. http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/05/living/baby-boomers-second-families/?hpt=hp_bn11
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The preceding article summarizes research or news from periodicals or related source material in the fields of mental health and psychology. GoodTherapy.org did not participate in or condone any studies, or conclucions thereof, that may have been cited. Any views or opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org.
RhondiDecember 17th, 2012 at 3:39 PM
Ok I have to admit that I am no expert on this topic because I am getting ready for marriage #3. But I hope with all my heart that this one has the staying power to last. The last two, let’s just say there was a lot of poor decision making on my part, but I did it and have chosen to try to learn from the mistakes that I have made. I have great kids and so does my fiance but we are trying to take it slow to make sure that the kids are ok with blending families at this age. I know that it will take a lot of hard work but I feel better about this decision now that I have chosen to look at it as a way to learn from another instead of just a way to get past those failed marriages.
STANLEYDecember 18th, 2012 at 10:31 AM
True for anything in life and especially so for marriage – if you take a fall, learn from it. Its not necessary that it failed due to your mistake or something having to do with you.
But its always better to analyze anything that didn’t work in your favor and try to fix it. Practice and analyze before stepping out onto the field, you will not have to practice and fail there!
peterDecember 18th, 2012 at 4:16 PM
I have to say that for a long time after I was divorced I never wanted to look at it as anything that I had done that had caused the divorce. I wanted to be the one to play the blame game and always point the finger at my ex. Everything was her fault and there was nothing that anyone could say that would convince me otherwise. But there came a time when I was ready to be with someone else that I realized that in order to make a life for us, I had to let the past go and be willing to change some things in myself that I ultimately came to realize had caused problems in my first marriage. I think that since I have been able to do that I am much more confident that this marriage will be far more successful than my first one, mainly because i have learned to take some responsibility and discovered that it does take two to tango.
Black SheepJanuary 6th, 2013 at 6:13 AM
I will never marry again. I know they say never say never, but I mean it. It doesn’t have to be about making your next marriage work. No matter what its about a healthy happy relationship, so it should be about making your next relationship work. Both my exes changed showing their true colors once I said I do. My 2nd husband said I was a good wife. He just wasn’t a good husband. No, he just didn’t want responsibilities thinking life is just one big party. Six weeks after marriage he grabbed me by my throat throwing me up against the door. I kicked him in between his legs dropping him to the floor. He would hit me and then call the police on me when I defended myself. He is doing the same to his current victim. May God bless her. My 1st was a heroin addict. I was young and dumb thinking I could change him. No love in the world can compete with an addiction. I have been abused since I was in the womb. All my exes have been abused. Now I ask, “Were you ever abused?” If they say yes or portray any behavior of abuse, I walk because I have zero tolerance and I’m afraid of what I will do to the next person who lays their hands on me. I do not tolerate yelling neither. We discuss things like adults or I want nothing to do with you. 48 years of every type of abuse you could ever imagine has turned me into a strong independent woman who has no time for games. End of story!
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