A Better Marriage

10 Things We Do Differently in Our 2nd Marriage to One Another

By David & Laura Mullins

As we all know, the divorce statistics are staggering with nearly 1 out of 2 marriages failing. Experiencing a divorce is not only heart breaking and painful, it can be extremely humbling if you are brave enough to own your part of the break down.

At some point in the uncoupling process, whether it lasts 3 months or 3 years, both people undoubtedly vow to NEVER DO THIS AGAIN, or in the very least, try to apply the lessons learned from the first marriage into any potential relationship moving forward.

Some people are able to start with a “clean slate” in subsequent relationships after a divorce, especially if they have understood why their first relationship failed.  When we decided to attempt reconciliation after our divorce was final, we didn’t have the luxury of a clean slate. However, we did have a pretty good understanding of why our first marriage to one another failed. One of our biggest fears was slipping back into old habits and repeating the mistakes of our past. That dynamic clearly didn’t work the first time so how could we guarantee that we could both change enough to avoid these same pitfalls? Well, we couldn’t. There are never any guarantees in life and we had to accept that despite our best efforts, we still might fail at being married.  On the other hand, what if we could change? What if we could truly have the marriage we both dreamed of having to one another and be the spouse we each deserved? It was a chance we were willing to take.

So with great intention, commitment and hope, here are 10 things we do differently in our 2nd marriage that we wish we had done in our first!

 

  1. We put our relationship above all else – including the kids. We heard many times in our divorce that we should stay together “for the sake of the kids.” That is not the kind of marriage either of us wanted.

  2. Taking care of our own mental and physical health. We are in charge of determining what we need to do to take care of our own health.

  3. Supporting your spouse as they take care of their mental and physical health. Give each other time and space to pursue their means of achieving said happiness.

  4. Going on dates and vacations without the kids. Once considered a luxury in our first marriage, alone time is now a priority and necessity!

  5. Being completely present during our family time. No interruptions, no technology, just genuine conversation and connecting to one another.

  6. Communicate during our working day. A text, an email or even a quick phone call goes a long way.

  7. Meeting for “lunch”. Sometimes we actually do eat lunch!

  8. Not allowing resentments to build. Unspoken expectations are guaranteed to fail. Say what you need to say.

  9. Awareness of the things that one spouse deems important may not be all that significant to the other spouse—and that’s ok. Pursuing different interests does not mean you’re not compatible, it means you have your own identity and that’s a good thing!

  10.  We do not put our happiness in the other’s hands. It is an impossible task to ask another human being to “make you happy”.

Many may consider some of these behaviors selfish, but unless we take care of ourselves as individuals, as well as our relationship to one another, everything else around us is impacted. Probably the most important thing we learned in our divorce was that our love for our kids was not enough to keep us both happy in our marriage. Somewhere amidst the diapers, bottles, preschool and career changes, we lost our primary passion for each other. We can honestly say we are far better parents now in our 2nd marriage than we were in our 1st marriage because of our passionate commitment to each other and ourselves. Happy parents, happy kids, happy life.

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