Many people who divorce later come to realize they made a mistake.
Last week a couple signed up for my Marriage Fitness Program in order to reconcile their relationship. They divorced 2 years ago after 11 years of marriage and two children, but decided they made a mistake and wanted to get back together.
However, statistics reveal that for second marriages the divorce rate in the US is 60-67 percent, and for third marriages it's 73-74 percent.
There are no statistics on divorce rates for people who re-marry the same person. But my guess is that it's also around 70 percent.
So, to re-marry the person you divorced requires considerable effort and commitment to resolve the previous irreconcilable differences.
Nevertheless, divorced couples can - and do - find ways to not only repair their damaged relationship, but to re-marry. I've worked with scores of people who have re-married the person they divorced, and believe any divorcee can do the same.
The original marriage probably failed because one or both partners didn't invested the necessary time and energy into learning how to make the marriage work.
Usually people entering a second marriage bring baggage from their previous marriage. But what's unique for people wanting to re-marrying the person they divorced is that the baggage is from their previous marriage.
So, for divorced couples to have a loving and successful second marriage, it's crucial that they accept responsibility for how they contributed to the demise of their first marriage and upgrade themselves as a husband or wife so they don't make the same mistakes again.
For example, was your spouse your highest priority, or did you put your kids or your work first? Did you forget to express appreciation and allow your spouse to feel taken for granted and not special? Were you critical instead of appreciative? Did you improperly manage relationships outside your marriage and allow someone else to enter your heart? Were you controlling and treat your spouse like a child instead of an equal?
If you handle these matters differently the second time around, you'll likely get a different outcome.
The original marriage probably also failed because each spouse had bad habits.
Aristotle said, "Excellence is not an act; it's a habit. This is true in marriage. It's our habits that determine our harmony.
So, to successfully remarry the person you divorced you must employ good habits and refrain from bad ones.
Here are some examples: * When your spouse comes home, drop everything and pay attention to them * Never criticize, condemn, or complain * Make time and save energy for sex * Go away together, just the two of you, 4 times each year * Talk privately for at least 20 minutes each night * Express appreciation at least once each day
If a couple learns the habits of a great marriage and employs them in their relationship, there's an excellent chance they will make each other happy, even if they previously made each other miserable.
Love is not a mystery. There are habits that create intimacy. And there are habits that destroy it.
Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships.
Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship will make your marriage stronger. It's a direct cause and effect. If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable--you can "make" love.
If you want to re-marry the person you divorced, stop talking about all the problems of the past. Instead, focus on forming good habits and building goodwill. This is contrary to the advice of many marriage counselors, who will have couples discuss in depth everything that's wrong with the relationship. But experiences with this type of counseling is one of the reasons some couples got divorced to begin with. It just makes matter worse.
Marriages change when people change (for the positive). Say little, do much--that's the ticket to successfully re-marrying the person you divorced.