If you are thinking about getting remarried with kids, I ran across an interesting article today that indicates that getting remarried with kids is not such a hot idea. Entitled “Why Second Marriages are more Perilous”, the article talks about just that. Frankly, second marriages is not a topic that I routinely think about, but it is something that you should consider. Many of my client’s are interested in getting remarried after we finish up their first divorce, or at least they may have started dating again.
Frankly, I disagree with the author’s take in this article. According to the statistics cited, “43% of first marriages will end in divorce within 15 years.” However, “15% of remarriages will end in divorce within 3 years, 25% within 5 years, 39% within 10 years” Call me crazy, but doesn’t that statistic suggest that when comparing the rate of divorce of first marriage (43%) to the rate of divorce of remarriages (39%), you are actually LESS likely to get divorced on your second marriage. However, if you are getting remarried with kids, the rules might be different.
Here are a couple of takeaways from this article:
- Even though you think you have a fresh start with this new loved one, statistics reveal that second marriages are much more likely to end in divorce. (This is what the author argues – I disagree for the reasons stated before). This is because most remarriages can actually create added stress, especially if you have children from the first marriage.
- The second reason that second marriages are more likely to end in divorce is the communication issues that surround a step-parent/step-child relationship. How is your new spouse going to work with you to parent your child? What do you do if there is a conflict between what you are used to and the parenting style of your new spouse?
- The final issue that presents its ugly head in a remarriage is that of discipline. Research indicates that the stepparent’s role should be similar to that of a nanny, aunt/uncle, or a babysitter who “is familiar with the rules of the house.” The stepparent should “monitor and report” the child’s behavior, while only the parent doles out the discipline. Unfortunately, stepparents often take on the role of enforcer, and this can lead to problems.
I hate to be a downer with today’s tip, but what I gather from this is that if you are getting remarried, or even thinking about getting remarried, it is important to set appropriate guidelines and boundaries between your new potential spouse with regards to their parenting of your children. I do disagree with the author that second marriages are more likely to end in divorce. The statistics cited by the author do not support this argument.
My second takeaway from this is that the article does not touch a whole lot on what happens when children are not part of the equation. Frankly, I’ve had lots of very happy clients that chose to get remarried and have been extremely happy with the decision.
So don’t let this article get you down. If you are thinking about getting remarried, don’t let me or anyone else dissuade you. Just take your time in the courtship period and think carefully about the decision before you go forward into marital bliss 2.0.
If you have experiences, pro or con, with second marriages, or are interested in getting remarried with kids – please post a comment below and let me know your thoughts!