Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Saying “I Do” for The Second Time

Filed under: Blending the Family,Encore Brides,Second Marriages — Larry James @ 7:00 am

You are not the only one getting remarried. Approximately 43% of weddings today are in fact second marriages for one or both partners. It’s sometimes said that those getting married for a second time have the benefit of experience and perspective. Hopefully you are probably a little older and a lot wiser; you know yourself better and understand where you’re prepared to compromise and where you won’t.

2ndMarriage“At this point, you’re more rooted in what you want out of life and out of a partner,” explains wedding planner Toni DeLisi of Memorable Events. “You’re not as concerned what everyone thinks.” That’s why she says, “there’s nothing better than working with an encore bride. She’s not all nervousness and indecisiveness this time. She and her husband-to-be truly appreciate finding love the second time—and they can picture precisely how they want to celebrate.”

“As an encore bride, the butterflies are flying in formation because this go around, you are in total control. While excited by what lies ahead, you know exactly what you want and how you want it and aren’t being pulled in a million different directions by a million different influences like the first time. Your tastes have evolved and your priorities have shifted and you want this event to be as much about who is sharing it with you, be it an intimate gathering or a reason for bringing so many together after too long of a time apart.” ~ The Lily Rose

As a second wife, it’s not just you and your husband in the marriage. It’s you and your husband and his ex-wife, his children and a second layer of in-laws. There are a lot of extra people around who often aren’t very supportive of the marriage. You have to get used to the idea that you’re sharing him with these people emotionally, financially and just timewise.

While the experience and the ‘been there, done that’ attitude, that comes with being in a second marriage could be invaluable, it is important to recognize that no two marriages are the same. You are not marrying your ex-husband or your ex-wife for the second time; this is a new partner and challenges you encounter in this relationship may differ from those you encountered with your ex.

The common denominator here is you. If you find that your new spouse is raising the same concerns that your ex raised while you were together, take that as a warning sign and try to deal with those issues. At least now you know they are real.

Whatever you do, do not bring the past into this new marriage. Don’t look back. There is no future in the past. Let it be the past. It is important to make peace with it before you tie the knot again.

Marriage itself is a challenge – challenge to one’s freedom, independence, sexuality, interpersonal skills and egotism. It is quite natural that being married the second time around throws up more and tougher challenges both partners. They can be downright difficult at times.

Most people go into their first marriages with nothing. But the second time around, it’s more likely the bride and groom each has children, financial assets or some combination of both. That combined with a higher divorce rate for second marriages – 60 percent compared to 50 percent the first time around – make it imperative the bride and groom decide ahead of time who owns what and how to handle joint finances. Talk to a financial planner before you remarry. This is reason enough to get coaching on family-blending techniques from an experienced, reputable professional.

If you’re getting married for the second time life insurance is also an important consideration – and so you would do well to assess what you need for your new circumstances. Should you consider a pre-nup? Be sure to check with the Social Security Administration for the criteria for claiming a divorced spouse’s insurance benefits if you remarry. Contain your jealousy over the time your partner spends with his kids or vice versa.

sandwithkidsIf there was a very difficult (and expensive) divorce proceeding for your partner-to-be to contend with be familiar with what is going on. Child custody battles, drawn out settlement negotiations are common and can sometimes cause a strain on your new relationship. It would be better to wait until those issues are resolved. If you begin the marriage under stresses imposed by hostile exes, there may be no way to counter the damage they can inflict on the new relationship.

Most often we think of marriage as the joining of two people to be wife and husband. In reality, marriage is often much more than that. It is also the coming together and merging of family and friends. When the bride and/or groom have children, it is appropriate for the children to be included in the wedding ceremony. If you are including children in the ceremony, consider adding the “Blending of the Sands” ceremony to your ceremony. The wedding ceremony then becomes the proclamation of a new family or a “family wedding.”

Generally speaking, children will accept a parent’s remarriage more readily when they feel included in the wedding plans, the wedding ceremony and are given a tangible symbol of being embraced by a new family; perhaps a beautiful bracelet, a gold-banded birthstone ring or some other significant token of love. Children from the previous marriage deserve personal time and support from the parent you want to marry. If you come between them you could damage your relationship with both of them.

As time goes on, the situation may improve, children grow up, exes move on, people adapt, but be aware that these are just a few of the challenges you may face when you enter into this volatile situation.

“Be sure that you do not want to pursue the relationship just because the children are cute and they need to live with two parents; or because you think marriage will cure the widow or widower’s grief; or because you must be in a marriage relationship because you have so much love to give. Let your wisdom guide your heart. Practice patience and self-control. When you have considered every thing you could think of, and feel satisfied that what is not perfect is manageable, give your heart permission to love completely and unconditionally. If life offers you a second chance, pray that you make the best of it.” ~ MsDora

BONUS Articles: The Challenges of Being the Second Wife
When Stepfamily Reality Sets In: Hitting and Scaling the Brick Wall as a StepCouple

BONUS Video: How to Get Married for the Second Time

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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