The odds are against you
Fifty percent of all marriages fail. Make that a second marriage, and that jumps to a staggering sixty-seven percent! It’s even higher if its a third marriage. Why is that?
Let me tell you…
Because marriage is hard, add in a new partner with some baggage, an ex and some kids that belong to someone else and all hell is liable to break. It can get complicated, messy and stressful. So what can you do to defy the odds?
We’ve been married for 7 years now and I can honestly say that our marriage is still rock solid. Sure, we will tell each other to piss off every once in a while, but for the most part, we almost never fight. This man is my best friend, and he is truly my partner in everything. Here are a few things that have worked for us …
Be real about this remarriage
I can’t stress this enough. Like, the brutally RAW kind of real. Look yourself in the mirror and tell the truth. Be real with your partner. Lay it all out there, because you will both definitely have your own issues. My husband and I got together while we were both going through our divorces (gasp!). Needless to say, I fully understand why so many relationships directly after divorce fail. There is so much shit to muck through. We were both newly divorced and had our own issues we brought to the equation. Be real about the bullshit or you will drown in it.
Be real with yourself.
You better decide if you are built to withstand what a blended family life challenges you with. Are you ready to take on someone else’s children as your own? You can’t exactly blend a family when you don’t see you everyone as one collective unit. I knew marrying Patrick meant Lilly and Logan came with him. It meant loving them as my own, caring for them as my own.
This blending thing redefined love for me, but it tested me every step of the way. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve screamed my head off. It’s been a journey. You have to be willing to take it all. I mean the good, the bad and the UGLY. Because it can and does get ugly. Can you deal with your partner’s ex like a grown-ass man/woman even when you don’t want to?
Because let me tell you, you won’t always want to.
Ask yourself those questions before you enter into a marriage for a second time, and be REAL with yourself. Don’t be all wishy-washy, and full of half-truths of what you hope to be. Be honest. If you aren’t ready for all that, then I highly suggest you move the fuck on because you will at some point become part of the 67%, I guarantee it. This shit is not for the faint of heart. So boss up Karen, or get to steppin.
Be real with your partner
Too many people spend so much time making sure things look a certain way. They are too afraid to be real and let people see who they really are, baggage and all. Those people honestly irritate the shit out of me. I mean, do what you gotta do, but when it comes to your significant other, just be fucking REAL! Be honest about who you are, what you need, what you expect, what you are afraid of and what emotional baggage you are bringing into this second marriage. You can only fake it till you make it for so long. Unpack that baggage, the sooner the better. Because if you don’t, that shit will start falling out of the closet all by its damn self.
This brings me to my next point.
Be willing to unpack your baggage TOGETHER
Let’s face it, we’re all our own personal shit show. Especially those of us who have been previously married and attempting to co-parent with our ex. No point in trying to hide or downplay the baggage that you come with. That shit will surface its ugly head at some point. It’s best to just be open and honest with it all. Cause the truth is, if someone isn’t willing to unpack your baggage with you, you’re screwed. To be frank, when 2 divorced people get married they are agreeing to walk through each other’s shit storms. That baggage we carry around is for life. It might change and look different as time goes on but it will always be around.
You want to know why?
Because you have children who have other parents who you won’t always agree with or maybe even like, but who you will always have to deal with. And guess what?
One day those kids will likely have kids and then you will be sharing grandbabies with these people. This is for life. The baggage doesn’t end with the kids.
Being divorced means that you have some emotional scars that often lead to relationship issues. It’s hard not to carry that emotional damage with you after a failed marriage. It affects your thinking, your outlook, etc. Unpack the skeletons together, be real, be vulnerable and do it together. Together you can repair those scars. Because if you don’t heal from your hurt, you will bleed on someone who didn’t cut you.
Communicate, often and about everything
Communication is so important in every marriage but twice as important in second marriages, for obvious reasons. As a society, I swear we spend more time communicating with everyone besides who we should be! It is pure insanity. This is soooo common in divorce, remarriage and blended families. No wonder why they fail.
Simply put, there isn’t enough communication happening. Toss an ex-wife, an ex-husband and some kids in the mix and try not communicating, and let me know how that works out for you. Let me tell you. It doesn’t.
If you have an issue with your partner’s ex, talk about it. Don’t let small issues become big issues by ignoring them. That’s how seeds of resentment are planted. Ane we all know that once those seeds are planted they take root and spread like wildfire. If an issue arises involving the kids, and it will, address it. If you are the stepparent, don’t be afraid to express your opinion to your spouse when you don’t agree on a kid issue. This is your family too. If you’re not feeling respected or validated, Voice it. Holding in our uncomfortable feelings doesn’t make them go away.
Regular communication about these issues leads to reflection. Reflection on your mistakes, your growth as a couple and as a family. My favorite is when we can look back and laugh about what a shit show everything was once upon a time. I cringe about it because we have come so freaking far, but I still laugh. Laughter helps take the edge off when life gets too serious.
It seems trivial, but this is huge for me. If you know my husband personally, then you know he is hysterical. It’s my favorite. He makes me laugh my ass off every day of my life. Do you know how good that is for the soul? It’s phenomenal. He has kept me laughing even when it was hard. That’s huge. Having someone to bring light to your darkness is a game-changer. Here’s why.
Because Marriage is tough. Blending a family can be tough. Sometimes you just have to be able to find the humor in it together. Whatever you do, remember you’re in it together.