By Jen Segura
There are a variety of reasons that marriages fail. I would estimate that when marriages begin, 99% of them are believed to be the real deal. You know, happily ever after. It is rare to find someone who says, “Yea, I got married, but I knew it would never last.” Be that as it is, marriages do end. And when they do, those involved are often heard saying, “I will NEVER get married again!” But they often do get married again.
For some, it is a long process of healing and grounding oneself before dating can even begin. For others, jumping right into another relationship is how they “heal” (probably not the healthiest option…). Yet, some feel VERY strongly that the pain was just too much to tolerate going through again, and they vow NEVER EVER to marry again! These folks probably fall into the same category as those who can’t imagine getting a new pet when a beloved pet passes. The thought of losing another pet is too hard, so they go without. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer here, and I think we all heal differently and feel differently.
When I lose a pet, I tend to get a new pet quickly (sometimes within only weeks of the loss). Most people around me think I am crazy, but it helps me heal. The void of the lost pet is filled with the love of the new pet, and this feels better to me than dealing with that void for an extended period of time. When I adopt a pet, I am fully aware they do not last forever, so I know the end will come at some point. So instead of being sad when they go, I look at it as a whole new chapter. An opportunity to provide a new pet with a loving home where they will be spoiled beyond most pets in the world. I am grateful for the chance to save whomever it is I am about to save, and I am also thankful for the love and life I spent with the lost pet. It is all a mindset…yes, I am sad, but I am also bursting with gratitude!
So, I could have anticipated I would handle my divorce the same way. I didn’t get married until I was 28. I dated my soon-to-be spouse for six years before we got married, and so it was one of those “…are we ever going to get married?” Well, we did. Our marriage lasted less than five years. However, I was already in a serious relationship by the time we got divorced (i.e., actually finished the process). So I never had the “I’ll never get married again syndrome.” I knew I would at some point. My first husband and I didn’t have children, and by the time we were divorced, I was going on 33! Not only did I know I would get married, but I desperately wanted to be a mommy. I felt the clock was running out, so I thought to myself, why wait!? I could have spent years mourning the loss of the relationship I had been in for the previous ten years, or I could see the time as an opportunity to jump into something with the idea that it needs to be serious because I did not have years to waste. This meant whoever I dated had to have the same mindset as me (which obviously can be complicated)! I needed to KNOW this person on a deep enough level that I trusted him to be my children’s father…well, the universe delivered (as it always does). A good friend of mine whom I had known for four years or so had also just left a relationship and divulged that he had a crush on me. And here we are, going on our 11th wedding anniversary and raising two beautiful daughters! I can’t say I was ‘ready for what happened, but I can say I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world! It happened quickly, but my eyes were open the whole time. I kept waiting for it “not to feel right,” but that never happened. Every step felt better than the last. The connection we had was strong, and our goals were aligned. We supported each other, and both knew we were where we were meant to be.
So how does this all relate to “preparing for your second marriage…?” Well, sometimes I think the best way to prepare is not to prepare at all. I feel that many first marriages happen out of the pressure to “get married, have kids, blah blah blah…” you know, to follow this imaginary path that the world has imposed on us. So when the second marriage comes around, it is okay to let it all go, believe in faith or the universe or wherever and whomever you gather your strength from. Follow your gut, follow your heart, follow your happiness. Don’t worry about checking all the boxes. Screw the boxes. Make your boxes! If you realize you married your first spouse out of a desire to please someone or something outside of yourself, then make sure your second marriage is for only YOU and YOUR SPOUSE. No one else should have any influence on whom you wake up to every day and go to sleep every night. If you marry for anything, marry for love.
For those of you entering your divorce and feeling hopeless that you may never find love again, I am here to tell you that he or she or they are out there! Do not give up on love! Even if you have had a decades-long marriage full of children and family and many other things you never plan to have again. You can still find happiness. There is a whole new chapter (maybe even a book) out there waiting to be written. You can look at this time as a sad time or a time of opportunity. Of course, there is sadness over the lost relationship, but could the relationship not fulfill you anymore anyway? Could it be that your current spouse never actually treated you the way you know you deserve to be treated? Has the romance and passion long since died?
Remember those butterflies in your stomach when you had a first kiss? Remember how intense it was when you first fell in love. That is all waiting for you now… go out there and get it!
Need a premarital agreement for your next marriage? Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center! Call (858) 736-2411 to schedule a free virtual consultation!