Sunday, October 16, 2011
Is Remarriage even AN Option?
Those of you who are divorced and read this blog, do you ever think about re-marrying? I know you may pretend not to because things worked out so poorly the first time. You certainly don’t want to go through all that again. Vicki Larson in her current article “Why Divorced Men Are Quicker to Marry Again,” states that not only do divorced men remarry more, but they often remarry sooner while divorced women hold off or may not ever remarry. Why do men remarry so fast, especially considering in the US the second remarriage has a 67% chance of ending in divorce?
The most obvious reason is because they can. The man is usually not the custodial parent if children are involved. I dated a custodial parent once and his whining, demanding child turned out to be courtship dynamite always disrupting dates with unscheduled school events, mother refusing to take him for her weekend, or sudden irrational requests. I understand more how men feel about dating single mothers. Men usually jump back into the dating arena because of ego to prove they are still desirable. No time is spent licking their wounds and questioning their actions that resulted in the last relationship termination.
Second marriages fail for two major reasons. First, you have no clue who you are marrying and their wants and needs. Second, you really don’t know what you want and need from the man and the relationship. In the end, you divorce a stranger because you don’t meet each other’s needs.
Often during dating, we assume an alternate personality. You know the one where you try to mirror whatever your sweetie likes. If your new man is a fan of southern cooking, you’re Tivo-ing the cooking channel in hopes of discovering the secret of baked cheesy grits. In the end, this falls by the wayside because you neither liked cooking nor were good at it. The guy sees this as a sign you don’t care and maybe that you misled him. This is a little thing compared to marrying someone with a prescription drug or pornography habit. Sure, the habit is no good for them but it is ruining your life too, forget ever having a relationship.
How does this happen you wonder? Surely, you reason you could spot an abuser, domestic or drug. People conceal monumental issues from each other. My old pastor remarked that during premarital counseling that he found matrimony-bound couples never even discussed basics like having kids, managing money, and where they were going to live. If you can overlook major things like these in a rush to get hitched, annoying habits, addictions, and bizarre relatives are a blip on the radar screen. A blip you really should have noticed for your own personal well-being
How can you avoid marrying a stranger? Don’t marry on the rebound or in a hurry. I always found the one-year courtship a good bet, but take it a step farther. Meet his family, co-workers, and friends because they will be anxious to reveal facets of his personality that he keeps hidden from you. Have him meet your friends and relatives too because they’ll often pick up on things you won’t because you’re so in love. When I was involved in a whirlwind courtship with my first husband, a good friend told me she didn’t like him and informed me that he’d be a hard man to live with because he had to dominate the little woman. She was right, but unfortunately, I didn’t listen. If almost everyone doesn’t like your sweetie, then there is a definite problem.
Be yourself, shuck the dating personality, and get real. Wear sweatpants and ask him to help you with a particular dirty job like cleaning out a flooded basement. Seeing how people act in a difficult situation is a very important thing to know since life is full of difficult situations. The big decision in dating is often what movie to see. Do something the two of you have never done before as a challenge. This allows you to see how he deals with things he’s not good at…this is quite the challenge for men. Does he embrace the challenge and go about it good-naturedly or does he drag his feet and invent excuses why he can’t do it.
This may seem like a trial by fire thing to do, but wouldn’t you want to find out before you’re married. You think you know who you’re marrying, that’s great. Now do you know what you want out of a marriage and a marriage partner? This is so important. Often people looked at marriage simplistically. The men want a pretty female while the women might want a high wage earner. Of course, the man discovers his arm candy is a mean shrew while the woman finds out her high income husband is a womanizer.
I know neither person would conveniently state their faults, but we have eyes, brains, and ears to observe. First, know what is important to you in a partner. Sometimes you can review your failed relationships to discover what to avoid. I dislike not being appreciated. I spent fourteen years in a marriage where my ex paid more attention to the dog and the television set. With that in mind, I enter the relationship game with a strong need to be valued. Maybe your ex-spouse was critical of everything you ever did, then you may need support and approval in your future partner.
You may think this all sounds like a no brainer, but people marry every day not knowing the person and not knowing what they want from a relationship. Second marriages are often rebound marriages to show the ex they can get someone else. Other times it is a desperate attempt not be alone. In Proverbs, a man is warned that it is better to live on a rooftop alone than be in a house with an argumentative woman. Dyan Cannon asked why such a beautiful, energetic woman would live alone, she commented she really enjoyed the company of men, but would not marry one just not to be alone. She added that she was at a point in her life where she was okay living alone. I guess the question you should ask before remarrying is: are you okay living alone?
If you’re not, you might rethink the marriage because you are marrying for the wrong reasons.