ERP 044: Can Second Marriages Really Be Happy And Successful?
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Relationships sometimes fail or end. When they do, it’s easy to doubt whether or not you are doomed to be unhappy in love. Recently, a listener submitted a question, “Is it possible to have a successful and happy relationship within a second marriage?”
(These are my Empowered Relationship podcast notes. Be sure to listen to the episode to hear stories, examples, and more tips.)
The quick answer to this question is “Yes, absolutely.” Often times, people in their second marriages are more willing and open to getting support. They are more eager to invest in their relationship, and they want to be proactive in setting their relationship up for success. Typically, they are more receptive to learning new tools, skills, and approaches, so they can cultivate more rewarding relationship dynamics. This orientation is very helpful to relationship success.
However, some people go the other direction and become more closed and restricted in a new relationship after having been divorced or a hard relationship break-up. This guarded and protective stance makes for very difficult dynamics in a second marriage or new relationship.
Here Are A Few Reasons Why You Become Closed And Restricted:
- You make rules for yourself, “I will never ________ again.” You do this unconsciously or consciously in an effort to protect yourself from future pain.
- You feel insecure, shame, or inadequacy. You are sensitive to judgment and criticism. You do not want to be evaluated poorly, so you shut down and disengage.
- You don’t trust don’t know how to feel safe in second marriage or new relationship. You do not express your needs and desires, so you do not feel comfortable letting your guard down.
- You get overwhelmed with uncertainties and complexities. Relationships are already complex and complicated. Second marriages can offer even more complexities and uncertainties because you do not feel comfortable following previous relationship models and traditions (in that they did not work).
- You do not have a clear sense of what to want in your new relationship. You feel you have to compromise and settle for what is realistic or readily available, so it’s easy to play small.
All of these reasons are workable and possible to change, although it does take an attitude of willingness and openness to learn and grow. The rewards of a fulfilling and satisfying second marriage or new relationship will be well worth the effort and investment. If you would like support working through any of these challenges, please feel free to contact me.
If you have a topic you would like me to discuss or a situation you would like me to speak to, please contact me by clicking on the “Ask Dr. Jessica Higgins” button here.
Thank you so much for your interest in creating a successful and happy relationship in your second marriage.
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If you are interested in developing new skills to meet relationship challenges, please consider taking the Empowered Relationship Course or doing relationship coaching work with me.