Second Marriages & Divorce: Addressing the Elephant in the Room


Second weddings can be tough to plan. The excitement may be at an all time high, but second-time brides and grooms may feel a ton of pressure creating an event that feels right – for everyone. Going overboard may seem tasteless while not measuring up to their past celebrations may have the newlyweds feeling underwhelmed with their new and improved big day.

Don’t let any of those worries stand in your way though. The fact of the matter is, a wedding is just a wedding. It’s the marriage that you want to withstand the test of time and that’s what you need to focus on in all the days leading up to the wedding date and every single day after the vows have been exchanged.

Second Marriages & Divorce: Statistics

Unfortunately, the divorce rate is even higher for those entering into a second marriage than those entering into their first. According to Psychology Today, past statistics has shown that about 50% of first marriages will end in divorce while 67% of second marriages will also fail.

How do we stop this cycle?

Three Reasons the Divorce Rate of Second Marriages is Higher

Marriage is a commitment. It’s a promise. It’s a vow that should never be broken. But if you’ve had them break in the past or you’ve been the one to break them, it becomes so much easier – and manageable, even – to repeat history. Why?

Once You Experience One Divorce, You Know How to Tackle Another

When all the dust settles after a divorce, there’s a sense of relief that is felt. And even if the hardship of going through and experiencing a divorce doesn’t end up seeming “too bad,” that doesn’t mean you should use it as an excuse to end a relationship in the future.

Because divorced individuals have gone through the process and made it out on the other side, they may find themselves with the beliefs that divorce is not a failure and even easier to tackle the second time around since they already know what to expect.

The Familial Bond is Different, Especially Without Kids Together

Children can be the glue that hold failing marriages together. And children can also be what puts a bit of pep in the step of relationships that need the extra push. The children from a second marriage are usually from their prior relationships, making the parent-child bond weaker.

Relationships & Families Get Complicated as They Grow

The older men and women get, especially as single adults, the easier it becomes to live life as one. Independence between genders has become a significant reason in the downfall of marriages. For example, women have become more financially independent not having to rely on their husbands to maintain a lifestyle of comfort. And the more self-sufficient both males and females become on their own, the need to be with a partner decreases making divorce an easy “out,” when things get a bit restless.

Millions of Second-Wed Couples Thrive

Don’t let those statistics put the pause button on your wedding planning though. With the right guidance and attitude, you can weather a storm that may have rocked too many that have come before you.

Communication is as Important as Ever

Even though a lot of second marriages happen after a significant amount of time living independently as singles, you’ve got to be able to learn how to communicate and accept responsibilities for your own flaws. Communications at all times, throughout all highs and lows of a marriage, is a key factor in its survival.

Learn From the Past: Gain Confidence From What You’ve Experienced

Try not to repeat history. Learn from your past mistakes and try to gain new perspective. If you kept things bottled up in previous relationships, try laying your heart out, even if it’s a little bit at a time. Being vulnerable can be a really hard feat for those that have been through major heartbreak, including a divorce. But it’s imperative that you let your partner in on all the comings and goings of both your heart and your mind. Use your experience as confidence in putting your best foot forward instead of using those bad memories as means to break down your self-esteem.

Relationships Are Tough, But Working Together Makes Them Easier

Remember that your new husband or wife is also your partner. Use them when you need a shoulder to lean on. Learn from them. Grow with them. Communicate with them. Even go to counseling with them to fine tune the tools of your relationship. Keep in mind that working together instead of against each other will have your relationship succeeding at a far faster pace.

Follow along at the Gottman Institute to find more insightful rules for having a successful second marriage.

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