Here are the cold, hard facts – 50% of marriages end in divorce, which also means 50% of marriages succeed (note my elite mathematics!), but sometimes not on the first go.
First time around, you followed the societal blueprint to perfection – dated for a certain length of time, got engaged, had the big chichi wedding (that’s such a great word. Let’s bring it back!), fat mortgage, kids – hit all the progress markers – good work Mr & Mrs Stepford! (Yeah, you’re gonna have to google that reference if you are under 30!)
But life happened, you grew older and apart, passion is spent and your marriage became a deadly war of attrition (maybe a bit dramatic, but I wanted to use the phrase “deadly war of attrition” lol.)
So, how do you prepare yourself for a better round 2? Stretch those hammies, warm up those quads…ding, ding, back in the ring!
Be present and nurture your partnership on a daily basis. Small, everyday loving gestures go a long way to nurturing a healthy relationship. Stuck for ideas? (Geeze, do I have to give you everything?)
- Surprise each other – Pick a flower and bring it home (a big ass bunch would be better) or recall a funny anecdote that made you think of your significant other
- Get playful and goofy – wear each other’s clothes (is that weird?) or learn a Tik Tok dance. Remember Twister? Do it naked! (Careful though, that stuff can burn into your retina and you can never unsee it!)
You get the idea.
Learn and grow together in real time, without turning each anniversary or milestone into a hurdle you need to jump over to consider your relationship successful. You picking up what I’m putting down here? Ixnay on the 6-month anniversary peeps!
Lean into your partner. This requires us to be present, and not just with our partners, but with ourselves and how we are feeling. It requires intimacy, which requires vulnerability (and possibly alcohol). To lean into a relationship, we have to be open and honest with our partner, confronting problems directly and respectfully, learning and growing together.
Forget about leveling up or reaching some unattainable goal. Shift the emphasis from milestones and markers to mindful presence. Breathe.
Create a new vision for your remarriage. Second time around will most likely mean baggage. There are usually a lot more “players” in a second marriage: kids from former spouses, step-kids and sometimes new kids from the union. If you take the time to decide on the kind of marriage that would work for you both, you’ll be more likely to go into your second marriage with realistic expectations.
Practice forgiveness on a daily basis. Apologise to your partner when appropriate and accept his/her apologies. This validates feelings, promotes goodwill and gives you brownie points you can take to the bank!
Understand that marriage will never be your sole source of happiness. Be confident about your choice in your partner and be sure your desire for a life partner comes from a place of strength rather than neediness.
And most importantly, make your vows to each other in the voice of the people you are, not the people you want to try to be.
Mandi Forrester-Jones is a Brisbane based Marriage Celebrant who has personal experience in love second time around and relishes officiating at second (third or fourth!) weddings – “Second wedding ceremonies feel like an affirmation of the beginning of a life-long partnership. It’s not their first rodeo and they are wised up, heading in with realistic expectations and palpable joie de vivre!”
To get started on your second wedding journey, contact me now.
Written by Karen Sivijs