"Remarriage is the triumph of hope over experience." - Samuel Johnson

Taking that plunge (again) can be nerve-wracking, especially if you had an especially difficult divorce.  Here are some factors that help increase your changes of a successful marriage the second time around. 

A study by Falke et al. (2007) reviewed literature from 1980 through 2007 regarding predictors of remarriage success.  Here's what they found:

Higher-quality remarriages had the following factors:

  • Couple consensus on important topics
  • Social support from family and friends
  • Financial stability

Lower-quality remarriages had the following factors:

  • Stepfamily complexity
  • Emotional attachment to an ex-spouse
  • Serial marriage
  • Economic strain

I'll address the issue of "stepfamily complexity".  Stepfamilies always originate from a loss.   Either the biological parents divorced, or one of the parents died.  Either way, there is a period of grieving for everyone.  Many children wish that their biological parents would reunite (no matter how unrealistic that may be), and having a parent remarry is the ultimate denial of that dream. 

Add in a biological parent that abandoned the family, and you have a child that can't express their feelings of anger and grief towards the abandoning parent.  The child may then let out that anger on  the stepparent.  If your mother was unable to parent for whatever reason, it makes sense that the target of your anger would be the stepmother.  And if the biological parent and stepparent are not on the same page regarding acceptable and unacceptable behavior of the child, you can have some big problems. 

Add in biological children of both spouses to the picture, and you can have a lot of conflict under one roof.

However, if you have a biological parent and a stepparent that: a) have similar parenting styles, b) have worked through their issues of grief related to their divorces, and c) had their children get help working through their grief, the marriage has a much better chance. 

And, of course, money doesn't buy happiness - but can make stepfamily life a lot easier.   And now there's a study that backs that up.  


Copyright 2011 Sarkis Media LLC

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