We get it — you were young and in love once. And as the years went by, you realized the person you married wasn’t the one you really needed to grow old with. So, you left that marriage behind in pursuit of a fresh start. You’re more mature, wiser, and you know what you need out of a lifelong partner. But we have some news that may be difficult to hear — all marriages after the first one have a higher chance of failing.
If you’re wiser than you’ve ever been, then why might your new marriage be likely to fail? Here are a few reasons.
1. You’re picking the same type of toxic person again
Humans are habitual creatures. We find comfort in the familiar — though when it comes to romantic partners, that’s not always a good thing. Dr. Ramani Durvasula tells Match.com you need to evaluate any patterns you see in your personal and romantic life. Maybe you had a parent who cheated, and your partners have always cheated on you. Or maybe you have low self-esteem and thus pick people who don’t fully appreciate you.
Once you recognize and break the pattern, your marriage is more likely to succeed.
2. You’re dragging old emotional issues into your new marriage
New marriage, clean slate — right? We all have baggage, that’s the truth. As much as you hope to leave all the bad behind you and focus on a fresh, new life with your partner, old issues can rear their ugly head.
eHarmony notes the importance of letting go of old baggage to pursue something new. Maybe you thought the previous person was “the one,” but your first marriage only brought feelings of disappointment and pain. It’s time to examine those feelings and learn from them rather than letting them weigh you down into your next marriage. Learn from what was useful and leave the rest behind.
3. You haven’t given yourself enough time
Rushing into a first marriage makes sense — perhaps your better judgment was clouded with the sunshine and rainbows of love. Now that that’s behind you, you know a lot more about yourself and what you want. You may think this means you’ll know instantly when you meet your next companion, but it’s really wise to slow down.
Business Insider recommends spending two years with someone before you get married. That gives you two full rotations around the sun to see how they act in multiple situations — and you can decide whether or not you want to live with that for the rest of your life.
4. There’s not as much at stake in your second, or third, marriage
You might be more compatible with the second person you’re tying the knot with, but it’s likely there was actually more “glue” holding your first marriage together. As Wevorce explains, most married couples who have children do so during their first marriage. And when children are involved, that makes divorce more difficult and complicated. Every marriage after your first one is likely to have less “stuff” holding it together. Your new marriage might feel more like you’re joining two separate lives, whereas your first one involved building an entirely new foundation.
5. Children from previous marriages might cause a rift
Getting remarried comes with its own set of challenges, but so does being a stepparent. Social worker Terry Gaspard tells HuffPost there can be a lot of conflict on parenting styles between the stepparent and the biological parent. This can leave the children in a tough situation, which can also cause some conflict for you if you’re taking on the role of stepmom or stepdad. Gaspard recommends having a conversation with all family members so everyone can voice their concerns. And don’t forget to take time to just be with your spouse. Taking time off from stepparent duty is necessary for your own mental health and the health of your marriage.
6. Money problems from previous marriages could still be an issue
The No. 1 issue couples argue about is — you guessed it — money. Managing your finances was important in your first marriage, but it’s even more vital in your second. Quicken explains you can create rifts in your second marriage by still having financial obligations left over from your previous one.
Updating your beneficiaries is key. Do you want your previous spouse to get part of your retirement plan in the event of your death? We didn’t think so. Also, be transparent with your current spouse about your assets, income, debt, and job security — and you should know these details about them, too.
7. Once you go through divorce once, it’s easier a second time
Divorces can be painful and messy — but after you’ve fallen once, you know what to expect. Kathy McMahon, a clinical psychologist, tells Quora, “It’s easier, yes, at least in the sense you’ve been through the hurt and pain, and you know it lessens over time.”
But just because you’ve been through it once, doesn’t mean the second time you divorce will be a walk through the park. Make sure you do ample work on yourself before entering your next marriage to ensure success.