By Audrey Cade
Divorce has a way of challenging our confidence and can leave us wondering what we should do with our lives moving forward and what’s right for us. After surviving a divorce, who would ever want to endure another round of pain and disappointment in another serious relationship?
Yet, many of us, after some time and healing has separated us from the end of one marriage, find ourselves contemplating opening our hearts to love again.
Why shouldn’t we have happiness again? Why shouldn’t we love and be loved again?
The answer to these questions is not simple! Although we may go on to date again following divorce, meet someone great, or even allow ourselves to fall in love, the prospect of marriage after heartbreak can be terrifying for many reasons.
What if we get hurt again? What if the second time around is a repeat of our first failed marriage? Can we trust someone else again or trust ourselves to make a good choice in a partner? Would we be able to survive another failed relationship?
Should we ever consider re-marriage?
Before seriously entertaining this very important question, it’s essential to know a few things about re-marriage.
Re-marriage is very common. According to the Pew Research Center, 52% of divorced women will go on to marry again within five years, while 75% remarry within ten.
The average span of time between divorce and re-marriage is just three years!
40% of marriages include at least one spouse who was previously married.
The more times one marries, the greater the risk for divorce. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 41% of first marriages conclude in divorce (down from the nearly 50% divorce rate that peaked in the 1980s), second marriages have a 60% rate of divorce, and third marriages have a 73% likelihood of divorce!
While the statistics may make anyone think twice before returning to the altar, there are some important correlations between the data. For instance, many experts believe that the haste at which many repeat brides remarry is a leading factor in the increasingly higher rates of divorce for each marriage.
Think about it, the less time we take to properly heal from our divorce, learn from the mistakes of our marriage, and thoroughly get to know our next spouse, the greater the odds of our next marriage failing!
So, if we are to avoid the pitfalls of divorce the next time, it’s clear that we need to take our time to avoid making any rash decisions! Rebound relationships are particularly dangerous for the recently divorced because the allure of romance after a long dry spell from affection, attention, and the excitement of love is very exciting! We just have to be careful to not necessarily allow the “first one” after divorce to become “the one” without really knowing what we’re getting into!
Mari, a 36-year-old mother of two, shared that she re-married her husband six years after her divorce. “I was scared to love again” she explained “my first husband put me through so much. Affairs, financial abuse verbal abuse, it was just such a relief to be free from all of that! As much as I didn’t want to risk another disaster, a big part of me still believed in love and felt that the love I always wanted, and deserved, was still out there waiting for me! I’m glad that I did give love another chance!”
Kristine was 38 when her second divorce became final. “I rushed into my second marriage too quickly. I was afraid to be alone and let myself get too serious too fast about the first man I met and started to date. My love life has been nothing but a failure, and there’s no way I will ever put myself in that situation again!”
Claudia, also a two-time divorcee’ added “I will love again, in fact I am in a committed relationship; but, I doubt I will ever make it official again. I’ve been married twice, and both husbands destroyed me with lies and infidelity. My partner has renewed my faith that there really are good men out there, but I no longer feel like I need a ring or a piece of paper.”
Heidi was married and quickly divorced in her early 20’s. She just got engaged again at age 27 and believes she’s found the recipe for success this time. “My fiancée and I are both divorced. We’ve been through the worst of what marriage has to offer, so we know that neither of us wants to go through that again. I think we both take our relationship more seriously because we know what’s at stake and how awful divorce can be. I also think we’re both more patient, forgiving, and aware of our personal flaws that may have contributed to our first divorces.”
We all have important lessons to learn from our previous marriages and divorces. If we carry forward the education we gain about mistakes made, positive and undesirable traits in our partners, and allow ourselves adequate time to heal from our divorce, we can be better prepared to experience love again! The resolution to marry again, or not, is a very personal one. Either choice comes with good reason, and must be what is most comfortable to the woman making the decision!
About the Author
Audrey Cade is the author of “Divorce Matters: help for hurting hearts and why divorce is sometimes the best decision” (on Amazon) and the matriarch of a blended family of eight. She is an experienced “divorce warrior” in the areas of co-parenting, step parenting, parental alienation, and re-marriage, and enjoys sharing these experiences with others who are also committed to raising happy and healthy kids. Audrey’s professional experience is as a case manager social worker with the developmentally disabled, families with young children, and homeless populations. She holds degrees in Early Childhood Education, Human Service & Management, and a Master’s in Psychology. She enjoys family outings, a variety of arts and crafts, cooking, gardening, and writing. She is a featured blogger for Divorced Moms, has work regularly appearing on Divorce Force, and articles appearing in Step Mom Magazine, The Good Men Project, and others.