Marriage Is More Than Wedding Day

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 8, 2009 | Go to article overview

Marriage Is More Than Wedding Day


Byline: Paula Bisacre, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

'Tis the season for bridal shows where brides-to-be prepare for the wedding day of their dreams.

A well-respected marriage and family therapist once told me she is amazed people invest so much time and effort into preparing for major events, stages and transitions in their lives, such as a wedding, career, hobby, childbirth and even death. It seems, however, that fewer people dedicate as much time and effort to prepare for married life beyond the wedding itself - and it appears they prepare even less for remarried life.

Many people are surprised to learn divorce rates for second marriages are higher than for first marriages. For subsequent remarriages, the divorce rates climb even higher. To some it is counterintuitive; why would divorce rates be higher for remarrying couples? Haven't people who are remarrying already been there, done that and learned from previous mistakes?

They may have been married before, but in addition to bringing any old baggage into a new marriage, there is a host of new legal, financial and family-relationship challenges.

Every year, many of the 1 million people who head down the aisle again and millions of people who already are remarried actually do look for information to help them through their unique challenges but have a hard time finding resources.

A survey of 1,000 people who are remarried or are considering remarriage conducted in March 2008 by Remarriage LLC reveals that 31 percent said they need more access to relationship, legal and financial advice and 27 percent said they need guidance on blended families. Yet 59 percent said it's easier to find a diet they could stick to than it is to find resources on remarriage. Nearly 41 percent said they rely on family and friends for advice. What if your family and friends are neither remarried, nor experts in relationships or legal and financial matters?

Before my husband and I remarried, we read books on remarriage and stepfamily living, but in hindsight, we wish we would have done more.

If you are planning to marry again, I recommend surrounding yourself with expert resources in the fields of financial and estate planning, family law and mediation, and stepfamily counseling. …

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