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Before You Remarry

Sadly, those who have been through a divorce don't always learn from the experience. If you are divorced and considering re-marriage, you can increase your odds for success if you take the time to truly recover from your divorce and prepare yourself to move on, both individually and as a couple.
07/20/2016 04:22pm ET | Updated July 21, 2017
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The good news is that 57 percent of people who divorce eventually remarry. The bad news is that 60 percent of those marriages fail. Remarried couples are 90 percent more likely to get divorced than if the marriage was their first.

Sadly, those who have been through a divorce don't always learn from the experience. If you are divorced and considering re-marriage, you can increase your odds for success if you take the time to truly recover from your divorce and prepare yourself to move on, both individually and as a couple.

1) Take your time: It takes time to heal. It takes time to reflect on your experience so you'll do better next time. Wait at least 2 - 3 years before tying the knot again.

2) Use those years well: That means doing your personal therapeutic work. If you don't want to do a rerun of the first marriage, you need to take responsibility for your part in what made the marriage untenable. (The exception to this, of course, is if you were a victim of abuse.

3) Finish your divorce: If you are still fighting with your ex, you are not ready for Y. Fighting is a form of emotional involvement. It may be painful and negative but you are still engaged with the past instead of the present.

4) Reevaluate your expectations of marriage: People are only as happy as how closely expectations and reality meet.

5) Accept that you both have histories: Neither one of you is likely to be sexually inexperienced or to be as trusting as you once were. One or both of you may have children for whom you have responsibilities. One or both of you may still be close to former in-laws or friendly with the former spouse. If you can't accommodate a person's past, you can't make a future.

6) Embrace conflict: Conflict is inevitable in relationships. You can't eliminate it but you can learn to use it well. Treat differences of opinion with respect and curiosity, not defensiveness, anger or blame. Working on differences is often how a relationship grows and deepens.

7) Make and Insist on Full Disclosure: Go into a new marriage with mutual honesty about finances, parenting practices, and expectations for each others' roles and leisure time. It may not seem romantic to talk about bills, discipline, laundry, and what you like to do on weekends but it is disagreement about those details of life that are most likely to cause the relationship to stumble.