Marriage After Divorce – Lessons Learnt From A First Marriage

When I married Ed in September 2017, it wasn’t the first time I had been a bride. I was married to someone else a few years before and it didn’t work out. I feel that there is a bit of a stigma around getting married more than once, especially for somebody my age, so I wanted to confront the taboo around the breakdown of a marriage and discuss the positives of ending a marriage that isn’t working whilst looking at how it helped shape my second marriage. I’ve also spoken with a few other bloggers who have been married before to get their take on marriage after divorce.

It is Important to Be Yourself

In most of my previous relationships I tried to be someone I wasn’t in order to please my partner. I pretended to like the same films, the same music, the same hobbies. I tried so hard to be something I wasn’t that eventually I lost sight of who I really was. It was this loss of identity that made me finally see that things weren’t right in my first marriage. How could I expect to be happy, and for my partner to love me if I wasn’t even able to be honest about who I was to myself? Since meeting Ed, I have been able to fully open up to him and to 100% be myself, without the fear of him rejecting me. It feels amazing to be with somebody who I can be myself with, who encourages me to like different things to him, and understands my quirks without judgement.

You Deserve to Be Happy

As a result, I am so much happier these days. Being true to myself has allowed me to relax and enjoy the person that I am, and to enjoy my relationship. Finding the right person has shown me how right I was to trust myself and let go of something that wasn’t making me happy. When people have questioned how sure I was about getting married a second time after a previous failed marriage, I explain that this time I am happy and it is so different to the first time. It is hard to put into words, but I truly believe that when it comes to love you just know when it is right. I knew it wasn’t right first time round but I was scared and unsure of myself.

You Are Stronger than You Think

I now know that I don’t ‘need’ a man. I do need Ed in the sense that I love him to pieces and I would feel lost without him, but I have been a single mum, I have handled things on my own and I know that if something were to change in our relationship, if we couldn’t be together and I needed to be alone once more, I could do it because I have done so before and survived. There have been situations I have been in since my first marriage ended, which I have not enjoyed, but which have shown me how strong and resilient I am. When kids are involved, it is not possible to sever ties with your ex partner, but you have to make it work and find your inner strength to carry on.

You Don’t Have to Keep it All In

Anna, from Me Annie Bee, “learnt that a bit of disagreement, dare I say arguing even is actually pretty healthy. If you aren’t letting the niggles out then they are sat inside you festering and will manifest into resentment. Also, if the tears you’re crying at the alter don’t feel like happy tears then you should probably walk away. It’s never too late!”. I totally agree. Ed and I have disagreements. I don’t try and avoid them or bottle up my feelings as that only leads to resentment and ultimately bigger arguments. Instead I work hard to resolve any issues we have, finding the root cause of any unhappiness. Marriage isn’t always plain sailing, but with the right person it is possible to move through rough patches and come out of the other side stronger.

It’s Important to Feel Equal

Anna also shares that one of the things she took from her first marriage was that “if you don’t feel like an equal it will never work. This isn’t necessarily in regard to money but as a person. If you’re treated as someone who can be set aside at any time or whose opinion doesn’t matter then it’s not going to last the course or if it does you both won’t be happy’. This is so true. If you aren’t respected and treated as an equal in a relationship, there is always going to be that imbalance of power. It is important to be a team.

You Can Take it Slow

Tanya from Mummy Barrow reflects on the start of her relationship after her first marriage. “Getting married the second time around was a little more complicated as I had three children under 8 (husband has never had kids of his own so he went from zero to step father of three) so I made sure we took things slowly and made sure that we had time as a couple rather than as a family from the outset. In fact my husband didn’t meet my kids for six months as I wanted to make sure our relationship might be going somewhere before I introduced them all”. Sometimes taking a relationship slowly can prevent rushing into things, making sure of your feelings before taking things to the next level. With Ed I knew what mattered to me in a relationship and I made sure that I was doing the right thing before making the commitment.

Tanya was also careful to encourage a respectful relationship between her children and new partner from the outset – “I also made sure in the early days that if Bruce said something to the kids they had to respect it.  There would be no “you’re aren’t our dad” etc.  So they have all got on really well and respected each other.  So much so that when my eldest got married last year she asked Bruce to be a witness on her marriage certificate”. 

It’s Important to Make Your Relationship a Priority

Tanya feels she has worked harder at her second marriage. “I have…made sure that we still have time as a couple, even though the kids are now late teens / early twenties I have always made sure we had time away just for us’. After going through the breakdown of a marriage, it can show you all that was wrong with the relationship, but also highlights things that you might have been able to do better yourself. This can help shape a subsequent marriage and make you prepared to work harder at the marriage during tough patches.

The Marriage is More Important than the Wedding

When I got engaged to Ed, I knew that this time round I didn’t need the big traditional wedding I wanted first time round. I wanted to do something for us as a couple, which is one of the main reasons we ended up going abroad to get married. Penny, from Penny Blogs, agrees. “I got married for the second time in September last year. The key message I’d pass on is that it should be about the marriage not the wedding. First time I had a big glitzy affair, but at the time I thought it wasn’t going overboard at all. Second time around and we just had nine guests (all close family) at the local registry office and afterwards we went for afternoon tea at the council-run tea rooms. It was all utterly perfect though. It was second time around for both of us and we agreed that what was important to us was making that commitment to each other and celebrating our love, rather than putting on a big showy event for other people.We organised the whole thing in about 6 weeks and the most expensive part of the whole event was putting our parents up in a local hotel. 

Thank you to the bloggers who helped with this post – Anna, Tanya & Penny.

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