There is no way to generalize how divorced people feel when it comes to the decision to remarry. Every divorced person feels differently about second marriages.
I’ve met countless divorced people on both ends of the spectrum and in between: the ones who are married again four minutes after their divorce is final, and those who are affected so much by the divorce, that they have resigned themselves to the fact that they wish to remain single for the rest of their lives.
The ones who sprint back to the altar:
I’m making a bold statement here, so if you are offended I apologize. But, I have to be honest. I can’t stomach the fact that some people are planning their second (or third) weddings when the ink of their divorce decree is barely dry.
Last summer, I read the book, Crazy Time, which, in my opinion is sort of the bible for people getting divorced. Written in the 80’s, this book has so many great messages when it comes to divorce, and one that stood out for me, is that the author, Abigail Trafford talks about how we often grieve the relationship aspect of our divorce years later, and that lots of times it happens when our first serious relationship after the divorce ends. Trafford says that’s one of the reasons why there are so many second marriage divorces: because people still haven’t grieved their first divorce. I could not agree more.
I hear about so many men (and women, of course) who are already dating their second wife (or husband) before they are divorced. In other words (there is no way to sugar coat this) they were cheating with the person. So, they get divorced and they get remarried immediately to the person they left the other person for.
My question is, why the rush? Why can’t you just keep dating for awhile? Test out the relationship when it’s out in the open. Because, often times, when the people can finally stop sneaking around, and it’s now okay to be public about it, problems begin to arise, and the trust issues that they ignored for so long, finally begin to emerge.
Then there’s the scenario when the person is so used to being married, and feels lost, or emotionally or financially insecure, that the minute they get separated, they begin the frantic search for husband number 2. Sorry, but that really bugs me.
There’s also the case where the ex-spouse is getting remarried, so the other person feels like he or she has to keep up. “If he’s getting married, I will too” is there thought process. So silly!! But you’d be surprised at how many people do this.
The biggest problem with rushing into a second marriage is that if it doesn’t work out, the kids are the ones who end up suffering the most. They now have to deal with loss. Again. What if they got really close to mom’s new husband, and now, that guy is out of their life? Not a good thing.
The ones who fear marriage more than “Silence of the Lambs.”
I can’t resist sharing two stories. The first is about a friend of mine who was divorced at a young age, with no children. A few years later, she got engaged to a man who had never been married, who wanted a huge destination wedding on an island off the coast of Italy. She said that on her wedding day, she was “freaked out” and thought to herself, “I am making a huge mistake again, what am I doing?”
After 12 years, the girl is still happily married with two children. So, she now realizes her wedding day jitters were the byproduct of her divorce baggage, rearing itself in a very ugly way.
Another friend of mine was divorced, and said she broke up with the guy she was dating three times before they got married. She said she “just felt unsure, yet she had never been so sure.” Again, the divorce baggage clouding her judgment. This girl has been happily married (with three children) for 22 years.
I think it is very natural to be afraid of a second marriage, but at some point, I think it’s healthy to let yourself trust again. Everything is a risk, so if you are looking for someone who makes you feel like you absolutely have no fear of spending the rest of your life with, I think that doesn’t exist.
In closing, I think the smartest people are the ones who wait a significant amount of time before tying the knot again, but who actually have the guts to get there again.
It isn’t easy. I can attest to that. But, if you make good choices when it comes to who you date, if you look for the really good qualities, qualities that truly matter, and if you are lucky enough to find true love, you will know the right time to get remarried.
There’s no timetable. The right time for marrying your dream guy (or girl) could be 6 months, 6 years, or never. Just do what makes you happy, and what feels right, but don’t forget that there is such a thing as rushing in before the right time, for all the wrong reasons, AND the other side of the coin, that you might have a little bit of baggage holding you back.
Like this article? Check out, “Women Dating Over 50: Are We in No-Man’s Land?”
The author probably didn’t have a brutal marriage and a more brutal divorce. Get financially cleaned out, harassed, threatened and made to vomit by your ex and then write an article.
This is SO true! Almost two years later I’m STILL cleaning up his messes on my credit, with my daughter and with my own trust issues. He’s getting ready to tie the knot again, dragging my daughter through girlfriend after girlfriend and she’s never met anyone I’ve dated (which I haven’t dated anyone for longer than a couple months).
When you are taken advantage of both financially and emotionally (along with many other ways..) marriage again makes me sick to my stomach.. literally. I think if I had to walk down an aisle as a bridesmaid right now I’d puke.
Strong, independent, bread winner females- don’t get married again. Date, live with them, whatever but don’t sign up for their debt or to be responsible for anyone
It is sad there are so many bitter people that lump everyone into the same category. I too have been ripped apart in pervious relationships but will not let others including myself suffer for my perilous bad choices. Chances are you saw red flags but went forward with the marriage anyway. In which case, that’s your own choices you need to work on. We all have instincts, intuition. If you’re not confident enough to trust them, some therapy to work on confidence and self esteem would be in order.
I got married 9 years ago. My husband was a controlling, manipulative, narcissist. About 18 months into the marriage my parents pointed out to me that I was being bullied. After some soul searching, I realised I was the victim of domestic violence (emotionally and psychologically – physically was probably just around the corner). It took a lot of thought and courage, but I left him. It took almost 4 years for me to be able to date again. I’m now living with an amazing man who is wonderful. Our parents are putting a lot of pressure on us to get married and start a family. I flip flop so much. At times I think about marriage and I’m looking forward to it, totally comfortable with the thought. Other times, it freaks me out. Before I got married the first time I started getting panic attacks about 3 weeks before the wedding… everyone told me it was normal, that it was just a touch of cold feet etc. I think I knew the marriage was wrong, but I was trapped, I didn’t think I had the option to not go through with it. So, how do I get past this anxiety I get sometimes when I think about getting married again? I know my current partner is nothing like my husband was, but still there is that fear…
Physical abuse was right around the corner… after 9 years?
Be accountable. If I had a dime for every time a man has been falsely accused of emotional abuse, then I’d be a billionaire.
Yes men never suddenly murder their wives after decades of marriage and then later it is revealed the woman was living in emotional terror for years. That NEVER happens. LOL. Mary you are either an abusive man or a woman who is deeply in denial.
Ajit Padmakar Pradhan
So true. I got remarried 25 years ago and am still struglling with emotional and cultural shock occassionally.
If u have children then certainly dont rush into second marriage. Living life for your loved ones can resist to get married again… it is being truthful to yourself… it will endup in total satisfaction for all the efforts.
Considering I am going through a separation from a man who has mentally, verbally and emotionally abused me for 13 years and just now waking up after 9 years of marriage and having 2 kids – it happens. And yes the physical is not always happen from the start but it does happen at some point. And why do we not leave immediately – when you are in it, it is hard to see and take in what is happening especially when you spouse gaslights you and makes you think that all of it is your fault, that things they say and do did not happen. Abuse is abuse, it does not have to leave a cut or bruise externally for everyone to see – emotional/mental leaves deep marks that are hard to over come and sometimes never overcome. Spouses who are abused are broken down spiritually, mentally and left powerless so they stay. And physical does come, it comes when you try and break free and trust me it is scary to try and break free – that is why some people think it is easier just take the abuse and stay, everything intensifies when the abuser starts to lose control. You should try some empathy Mary especially when you clearly do not understand it.
Lou lou Schmitt
Oh my! PEOPLE, it is perfectly fine not to want to get married again. For goodness sakes, are you really saying not getting married again means you don’t have any guts? It’s not necessarily because a person can’t trust. It’s because they don’t need or want the constant compromises and like the freedom from coupledom. Get real and realize many older women choose freedom over the role of wife.
I love this article. It’s true that everybody is different and to only remarry for the right reasons.
I was in a very abusive marriage for almost 8 years. Only a few physical instances, but imagine every other kind of abuse and it probably happened. I filed for divorce once and then called it off because he promised to changed and we had 2 children together. Another major incident happened and I went and drew the papers again… decided not file again because he promised to change and I was expecting our third child. 4 years after I filed that first time things has gotten so bad! I only stayed because I thought I was doing what was right for my children and that I was doing what was right in the site of God. Finally, after having enough, I divorced him. I finally got the nerve in June to walk out and it was the best feeling I’ve ever had. Things were tough at first, wondering how I was going to provide for my children. Finally in November (seems long when you have no money and can’t feed your children) things turned around for me and I was able to get my own place, and have consistent food for my kids. My worries were gone and I knew I didn’t need anybody (I had been talking to a few guys but never got to meeting them because it just didn’t feel right). Later that month, a dear friend of mine who I had known for 10 years came to visit from out of state. 2 weeks later he was moving to my home town, in March my divorce was finally finalized (best day of my life), in May we got engaged, and in August we will be married.
Something I’ve learned with divorce, and even the judging I passed on divorcees with the ignorance of never going through it myself is that every person has their story, their own reasons, and their own ways to heal. The fact of the matter is that I greived the end of marriage years before I filed that final time for divorce. The final point in my healing was when those papers were signed and I knew he couldn’t hurt me anymore. I have a loving man now, a dear friend who has always cared about me. Somebody I’ve always trusted. I’m not saying our marriage will be perfect. But I am saying that he adds such a joy to my life that I never thought I could have. Every story is different. And I’m so happy to be able to share mine.
Tiffany, I totally understand where you are coming from when you say that you grieved the marriage long before it was over. I too was in an abusive marriage. I left after 23 years of marriage and 4 children and 1 grandchild. My youngest was 14 at the time and was having some major emotional problems because of the emotional abuse that dad had been doing. Crazy thing is that both of my younger children would tell me that he was being mean while I was at work (he is disabled and stayed home and slept most of the day) and then when I came home from work he was a different person. I thought that they were just saying that he was mean because he corrected something that they were doing. Until one day he told me that my older daughter did something while she was out so I called her to come home. I watched as his lies unraveled. My daughter was in hysterics about the accusation and his story kept changing. I had seen it before with me, but never had I thought it was something that they were enduring. The next day I got an apartment and moved out. Since then, my now 16 year old has been mentally and emotionally abused to the point that she refuses to go around him. not long ago he was drunk and pulled out a loaded gun and was waving it all around while griping about me. She had nightmares about him putting a gun to her head for weeks afterwards. I am SO glad I got my girls out of there. My 16 year old is the only one left home now. I met an amazing man on an internet dating site a few weeks before my divorce was final and I could not be happier. Neither can my daughter. This man has shown my daughter what a real man is. I would marry this man in a heart beat. I hear over and over again how I need time to grieve, but I seriously did that.. For FIVE years before I left I did that. We didn’t have sex for 2 years before I left. It was over. I do have times where I am scared to death to marry again, but most of the time I cannot wait to build a life with this wonderful man that I have been dating.