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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Zunter

Why Second Marriages Can Be So Much Better

In hindsight — my first marriage was doomed.

This is a fair enough reflection after nearly two decades after saying, ‘I do’ for the first time.

At the time of my first marriage in my early twenties, I undoubtedly had no concept that marriage can sometimes mean ‘I do — until I don’t’.

There was no malice or ill intent behind my intentions for my first marriage. It was simply a case of naivety and inexperience, just like so many others who plunge into the realm of marriage without any real concept of what forever actually entails.

Forever certainly sounds romantic until the reality of romance hits that brick wall of everyday life within a long-term relationship.

It can be drudgery — caring for someone else's emotions day in and day out. Those of us who have experienced long-term relationships know this. It’s par for the course and the rosy moments must exist with those less-than-rosy moments at times.

Though I never intended to leave my first marriage when I let those vows of commitment pass my lips initially, I have discovered that the joys of a second marriage can be quite enlightening. It is important to point out that my current husband was married once before as well, so I am also his second marriage.

If you’ve entered into a second marriage with someone, it’s obviously because your first marriage didn’t work out. It doesn’t mean you haven’t had other relationships since your first marriage ended — in fact — it’s likely you’ve had a few forays into the romance sector since divorcing.

You may have chalked up some significant experience with other relationships before committing to a second marriage. This is a good thing.

I have found that in my second marriage, my husband and I both swim freely in the ocean of admitting our previous mistakes. We wade around comfortably in pools of humility and are able to connect to one another in a way that is less arrogant — less impetuous.

There’s definitely a giddy innocence to getting married for the first time that — for me — wasn’t there in my second marriage. And that’s OK. I’ve been there done that and, quite frankly, I’m not interested in going down that path again.

My current husband and I walked into this partnership — this second marriage — with a real sense of who we are, what we’ve done right, what we’ve done wrong, what we want to improve on, and where we want to go — together.

Second marriages can occur during a time in people’s lives when they’ve already had a great deal of life experience as well as possibly having children already. Nothing sobers you up like having children, and for many second marriages, children are a massive factor, obviously.

Second marriages aren’t just ‘sloppy seconds’ as this unfortunate term indicates.

Just because you’ve been married before doesn’t mean that you’re ruined for marriage forever. Quite the contrary. Many second marriages consist of partners who have brought themselves up to the next level of self-improvement.

The truth is that those of us who are now in second marriages have done a lot of the work needed to become better partners because we know what it’s like to have a marriage slip through our fingers after trying incredibly hard to make it work — even when it clearly wasn’t working at all.

I’m all for those first marriages that work out wonderfully and both partners are satisfied with their partnership. That’s definitely a win for them and I would never seek to disparage that.

However, let’s also give some props to those second marriages where solace can be found in those first experiences that shaped us because we learned from the lessons that came forward.

The experience gained from a first marriage that didn’t work out can be absolutely priceless when you are lucky enough to find a partner who wants to be with you for the rest of your forever a second time around.

More from Michelle: The Dirty Little Secret About Divorce

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