You bickered constantly and despite your best efforts, couldn't get it to work. Then you saw each other again, and things seem better. That same chemistry is there, and you find yourself in a position to consider remarrying your ex-spouse. Do these relationships ever work? As with all marriages, the answer lies in what both partners are willing to do to make the relationship work for the long haul.
Statistics Regarding Restored Marriages
Statistics for restored marriages, where ex-spouses remarry each other, may be somewhat surprising. While statistics in Psychology Today suggest that 67% of second marriages and 73% of third marriages end in divorce, things seem to go a little better for people who remarry their spouses.
Dr. Nancy Kalish has researched rekindled romances since the early 1990s. Her research focuses on couples who reconnect with ex-partners after a five-year break. The first phase of her research, which ended in 1996, consisted of approximately 1,000 survey respondents. In the end, Kalish found that, overall, about 6% of couples who married and divorced ended up remarrying each other, and 72% of reunited partners stayed together.
Reasons People Want to Remarry a Spouse
There are many different reasons why spouses decide to get back together. Additionally, each remarriage may involve one or more impetus for revival.
Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Sometimes couples do not realize exactly what they mean to each other until they have divorced. Even in separation, the couple may not feel disconnected enough from each other.
Time to Reflect Makes Anger Dissipate
It can be much easier to reflect on the relationship when you take time away from it. After some time, your negative emotions will not be as strong as they were while in the marriage, and you will begin to see your part in the marriage's failure. Acknowledging what you could have done better is the first step in reconciling and working on the relationship.
The Grass May not Be so Green
Some people think that things are always better - that the grass is greener - anywhere else but in their current situation. After experiencing the single life, some people may realize that there is no one else as great as their former spouse.
Personality Changes and Renewed Love
People change as they grow older, but this does not mean that couples have to grow apart. A marriage may have ended because spouses change, but they may also change again later in life and find that they once again love each other.
Should You Try to Restore Your Marriage?
Jim Solomon, a counselor who specializes in helping married couples, says there are good reasons to restore a marriage, although he says getting back together is not for everyone. While many counselors encourage couples to remarry if possible, Solomon says that in some cases, reconciliation is unadvisable.
Often times, one or both spouses is hesitant to recognize their contribution to the disintegration of a marriage. Solomon says that this hesitancy is a good indicator that the couple in question is not ready to get back together. In order for remarriage to be succesful, both spouses have to recognize that they each played a part in their marriage's demise.
So often, Solomon says, couples tend to justify and rationalize their behavior (or their former spouse's behavior) without ever taking steps towards actionable change. He syas that in order for a re-marriage to work, both partners must demonstrate a real change in actions, attitudes and behavioral patterns.
Often times, one of the factors in a marriage's downfall is that one or both partners have unrealistic expectations. Solomon says that in order for a couple to successfully reunite, a couple has to have realistic expectations for themselves, their spouse and the marriage in general. According to Solomon, counseling can go a long way towards helping spouses adjust their existing expecations and forming new, realistic and healthy expectations.
Steps to Take to Make Remarriage Work
Some things can increase the chances for success in marriage the second time around. Making your relationship last will take work and dedication, as well as the right set of circumstances.
You don't want to start your relationship with the same issues you had before. Even if you feel these issues do not bother you, they still need addressing. Counseling also helps you learn how to keep communication open between you and your mate. According to Solomon, marriage counseling and pre-marital counseling are a must for a successful remarriage.
Remember You Are Marrying the Same Person
Even though you and your mate may have changed over the years, there are likely still some ways you are the same. Learning to deal with the things that bothered you previously and which still occur is essential to not growing frustrated with them all over again.
Be Prepared for Hard Work
Being married, and restoring a marriage in particular, requires lots of work and effort. Prepare yourself to work hard to make your new marriage work.
Consider Creating a Prenuptial Agreement
Many people who remarry their ex-spouse decide to use a prenuptial agreement to protect themselves. This may be a sensitive issue for both parties, but many people feel better about their commitment when they know that their assets will be protected if the marriage ends once again.
When you marry your former spouse, you may hear a lot of ridicule from family members and friends. The most important thing to keep in mind is to stay positive. If you start to listen to what they say, you will begin to believe in it yourself and your marriage may suffer because of it. Instead, thank your loved ones for their concerns, assure them you both plan to work hard on your relationship this time around, and would appreciate the support.
Restoring Your Marriage
If you think that restoring your marriage to your ex-spouse is the best decision for everyone involved, you should also realize that the task requires large amounts of work. In the end, however, with your entire family living together under the same room, you may just find that everyone is happier.