Divorce is an emotionally draining and traumatic experience that often leaves women fearful of committing to marriage again. Yet, according to Matrimonial Consultant and Relationship Guru Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart, women are often luckier in marriage second time around, so don’t give up on finding ‘the one’, as it’s never too late to find love again!
After ending a marriage, it may seem easier to resign yourself to a state of spinsterhood but don’t despair! Launching yourself into the world of modern dating can be a liberating experience and may be your wisest decision yet.
Just because your first marriage didn’t work out, it doesn’t mean future relationships are destined for the same outcome. Statistically, second marriages have a higher chance of success with only 31% ending in divorce courts, compared to the 42% first time round.
So why does a second walk down the aisle give women a better chance of having their ‘happily ever after’?
Age + maturity = more wisdom
Getting married for the first time is commonly accompanied by the starry-eyed excitement and emotion that comes with the fulfilment of a perfect fairy-tale wedding and finding your ‘happily ever-after’. Too often brides forget to stop and fully consider the future in front of them, lacking a thorough understanding of what marriage involves, how to make a success of it and how to stay happily married for life.
Post-divorce women who have experienced the very thorny side of marriage often spend much more time on self-reflection and soul-searching. This journey of self-discovery is vital for healing and personal growth because many women distil not only an intimate self-knowledge of themselves, but clearly identify what they need and want from a future partner. Usually, they’ve learned from the mistakes of their failed marriages and vow not to repeat them.
By investing more time, effort, energy and priority into their relationship they often find a greater mutual acceptance of their partner’s shortcomings and are more compromising, forgiving and well-practiced in conflict–resolution skills.
Realistic expectations of 'Mr. Good Enough', not 'Mr. Perfect'
Having experienced married life, women generally have more realistic expectations of their second husband, the commitment required, and how to better deal with the challenges involved. First-time married women tend to harbour secret hopes of changing their partners, to become ‘Mr Perfect’ frequently ending in tears as people have an in-built resistance to change and often interpret such actions as criticisms.
Second timers are more alive to the fact that marriages are unpredictable journeys and appreciate the importance of building strong relationships that can withstand marital storms and strains. Hence, they are more motivated to work harder at their marriage.
Older women also take greater stock of their ‘Mr Good Enough’ partners before re-marrying, including actively communicating, listening, and acknowledging what both partners want, need and expect from each other.
Saying 'I do' with eyes wide open
Many post-divorced women are not in a hurry or don’t see the need to re-marry after the painful experiences of divorce. Furthermore, many already have kids and are financially secure. In my experience, there are more pre-nuptial agreements with second-time marriages.
This ultra-wariness and lack of pressure to re-marry puts them in a position of strength as they can become more selective, taking their time to carefully choose life partners with their eyes wide open. Many say they re-marry partners after they have consistently shown kindness, love, generosity, respect and commitment over a period of time, which are positive attributes to building happier, longer-lasting marriages.
Ultimately, take heart that the statistics prove women are luckier in love the second time around. My advice is why not take that first step on an exciting adventure of discovery and the thrills, surprises and laughter that awaits you. Fortune favours the courageous so chomp up the fear and start the adventure.
By Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart, Matrimonial Consultant and Relationship Guru, on a mission to make society ‘relationship-smarter’ by helping people to have more fulfilling and contented relationships, preventing the devastating consequences of marriage breakdowns.
LinkedIn: Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart
tagged in Marriage