How 'The Ghost Of Marriage Past' May Be Affecting Your Relationship


The divorce process is over, and you're looking to date again. Maybe another marriage is in your future. But you worry that the fallout from your divorce could affect your new relationship. What to do?

HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski spoke with Ron Deal, therapist and author of "Remarriage Checkup," about why the fear that manifests after a failed relationship can oftentimes be detrimental to a new one.

“One of the things we found in our own research of over 50,000 couples is that fear of another break-up is one of the biggest predictors of whether you have a healthy relationship or a very poor one,” Deal said. "This is a really significant thing. I like to call it the ghost of marriage past.”

He added that sometimes one failed marriage can create a cycle of weak relationships.

“You become guarded and cautious and you’re only giving part of yourself to the marriage,” he said. “The irony of ironies is that the fear of another break-up makes you not love as completely as you could love, which is contributing to a relationship that’s not as strong as it should be.”

But rest assured -- subsequent marriages aren't doomed to fail. Deal underlined the importance of taking an introspective look at oneself to understand how a past divorce could be affecting a new relationship.

“The other person is not going to love you so well that that fear goes away. You have to deal with you,” he said. “That’s how you begin to go from being haunted by a ghost to busting your ghost.”

Watch the rest of the HuffPost Live conversation below:

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