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June 24, 2024

Are You Ready to Remarry? Part 1

If you're considering remarriage after a divorce or the loss of a spouse, you'll want to read this post. Author Susan G. Mathis (along with her late husband, Dale) share helpful lessons they've learned about remarriage preparation before you say "I do" again. This information will be valuable as you plan for a strong, healthy, and lasting new marriage.

Getting married again after a divorce or the loss of a spouse is a crucial decision, and it poses unique challenges—especially if you're aiming to blend a family. Are you ready to remarry? How will you navigate the journey?

Whether you've found someone new, or you're considering marrying again, this two-part post provides helpful insight into issues to consider before you spend a future together.

A Time to Prepare
Consider the story of Adam and Lori, two single-again adults looking to remarry. When asked why they wanted to get married, the couple quickly responded that they "love each other." But digging deeper, there seemed to be more complex reasons.

The couple took time to think about their motives for wanting to marry again. Lori realized that, deep down, she needed financial help, and she longed for a father for her son. Plus, she wanted to replace bad memories from her previous marriage with new and better ones.

Adam discovered that he desperately wanted to end the loneliness that gnawed at his heart, and he needed help with his three kids. He also thought he could leave his past behind and start his life over.

While each of their needs were valid, Adam and Lori began to understand how these reasons for marrying might affect their future together—good or bad. They realized they needed to better prepare for their second marriage by equipping themselves with wisdom and understanding about their relationship and learning how to blend a family.

Let's look at some ways that you and the person you're dating can become better equipped for a future remarriage.

Know your "why"
Do you know why you want to be married? In addition to loving each other, God wants your remarriage to be redemptive, successful, and fulfilling. You may want to marry so you can meet each other's needs. That's honorable—if you know precisely what those needs are. Another reason may be to find true intimacy, and that's an admirable goal.

One of the greatest joys is found in sharing yourself and your life with another, and it's truly rewarding when you are married. However, before moving forward, make sure you're ready for the adventure of remarriage at this juncture in your life. Be honest with yourself and with each other, and explore your needs, desires, and motivations so you both know what you're dealing with.

Pray
Ask God for wisdom and discernment about when and how to move forward, and resolve to be patient and caring with each other. Your goal is to learn about and seek to understand your future mate's heart, to grow closer together, and to be sure you're both ready for the adventure of remarriage. You want to thoroughly count all the costs involved in making a commitment to remarry and blend a family.

Look inward
Search your heart and take a few minutes to answer the statements below. If you need assistance, consider asking a trusted friend or a respected family member—or perhaps a professional counselor to talk with you.

1. I love him/her because... Name at least five reasons why you love this person.

2. I want to marry him/her, because... Name five reasons for marrying this person.

3. I believe we are a good match because... Name five reasons why you think you are compatible.

Assess
In addition, now is a good time to assess why you want to marry at this point in your life. Remember, there's no right or wrong answer; it's your honest evaluation that's important.

You may feel that remarriage will make your life easier and help you through difficult times. And sometimes it does. But more often than not, the first few years of remarriage will be challenging, especially if you are blending a family with children at home.

I don't want to discourage you from remarrying but rather help you know your motivations and your readiness to remarry. Evaluating these things will greatly increase your chances for success in building a solid marriage and a healthy blended family.

You will also want to take time to evaluate these important questions:

• What have you learned from your previous marriage? What did you do right? What went wrong?

• If your prior marriage ended in divorce, what part did you play in its destruction? Knowing this will help you avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.

• How do you communicate with each other? Is there mutual respect and listening?

• How do you resolve conflicts?

• Have you discussed the values and beliefs that are important to you?

Personality Traits: Can I Live With This?
Everyone has good and not-so-good personality traits that affect our relationships. So it's wise to consider how your personalities mesh, and if there are any negative patterns to watch out for.

During courtship, people tend to put their best foot forward, often masking their inner selves and hiding their true hearts. Look past the outward show and discover who that person really is deep down. That's where discernment and perseverance come in.

Of course, no one is perfect; we're all just trying to do our best. Certainly, we can all be a bit selfish sometimes, even moody or insecure at times. However, it's important to watch for patterns of concerning behavior.

Does your future mate have a regular habit of negative, selfish, or self-centered behavior? Or are those traits the exception, and not the norm? If negative patterns are present, they should be evaluated carefully as to the seriousness and regularity, and then weighed against the positive attributes.

Because you may already be deep into this relationship, it may be difficult to assess objectively. But aim to analyze well—before you commit to living with those traits for the rest of your life. You may conclude that he or she has minor imperfections and the exceptions are okay, or you may realize that something is a deal breaker.

Be cautious
Sometimes you love a person who is not spiritually or emotionally healthy, and you don't even realize it. If your future spouse is not healed from his or her past, is emotionally unstable, or is not trustworthy, you'll want to take a careful look at the potential danger signs, and how they might affect your life.

Remember Lori from the example above? She lived many years in an abusive first marriage because she didn't heed the warning signs.

She knew her first husband cheated on her and "fibbed" a bit, but she believed he would change as he matured, as many people do. But she refused to see his regular pattern of self-centeredness and dishonesty as warning signs.

Lori thought that loving her husband meant she could never question him, and that she had to press on—no matter what. But despite how hard she tried, her first marriage ended when her spouse left her to live with another woman.

She didn't understand that being patient, forgiving, and trusting the one you love doesn't mean you turn a blind eye to his lack of character. It also doesn't mean you need to put up with immature, self-centered, or angry behavior, especially if it happens on a regular basis.

Most of us know when something is wrong, if we're being honest. Take the time to discern, and pay attention to the danger signs of your future mate, and deal with them before you marry.

If you don't, like Lori, you may reap the consequences after you're married. Many negative patterns are things that won't change, and you'll likely be living with those behaviors for the rest of your life.

As you and your future spouse plan for a life together, I pray that the Lord will give you wisdom, insight, and discernment for a strong, healthy, and God-centered marriage.

***

In the next post, Are You Ready to Remarry? Part 2, you'll learn about 12 important red flags to watch out for before remarriage.


Susan G. Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author. Her nonfiction books include Countdown for Couples: Preparing for the Adventure of Marriage and The ReMarriage Adventure: Preparing for a Life of Love and Happiness (which she wrote with her late husband Dale). Susan has also published more than a dozen fiction books and several hundred magazine and newsletter articles. Connect with Susan at SusanGMathis.com.