10 Tips for Successful Second Marriages

If you want your 2nd marriage to be successful, you have to un-learn the bad habits you learned in your first marriage. These tips for remarriages will help with the “happily ever after” part.

saving your second marriageSaving Your Second Marriage Before It Starts: Nine Questions to Ask Before – and After – You Remarry by Les Parrott and Leslie Parrot is an excellent book for couples who are serious about starting fresh in a new relationship. Getting married is an exciting time of anticipation and joy – and ti’s also a time of blending two lives together to make one. Successfully combining lives in a second marriage can be challenging! From unresolved hurts and unshared histories to resentful stepkids and bitter exes, there can be many obstacles to couples in search of happiness the second time around.

The reasons you wanted to get married may be the same reasons you think about leaving your spouse…because what first attracts us can later annoy us to pieces!  Remember that when you’re reading these tips for second marriages.

What you once loved about your spouse may become a thorn in your side. “If you made a list of the reasons why any couple got married, and another list of the reasons for their divorce, you’d have a hell of a lot of overlapping.” ~ Mignon McLaughlin. If you need marriage help, read 5 Best Ways to Get Relationship Advice.

10 Tips for a Happy, Successful Second Marriage

In addition to thinking about the financial, social, and geographical considerations of your second marriage, make sure you’re emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and geographically ready to be in a new relationship. If you’re getting remarried and not sure about your own motives, make sure you’re avoiding the phenomenon of rebound love.

Understand the mistakes in your prior marriage

Figure out your weaknesses and mistakes in your first marriage, and make sure you don’t repeat them in your second marriage. You’ll improve your chances of a successful second marriage if you know where you — and your new spouse — are coming from. This remarriage tip requires you to face your weakest self…but it’s worth it.

Really get to know your new partner

Take this second marriage as an opportunity to really get to know your spouse on a deeper level. This means talking to your spouse about issues in marriage even if you’re scared or embarrassed. If you want to make your second marriage last, you have to be honest.

Let yourself be known

Be vulnerable, open and honest about your fears and hopes; share yourself without fear of failure or getting hurt. Letting yourself be loved requires coming out from behind your walls. It can be especially difficult to be vulnerable after a painful divorce, but this tip for a successful second marriage works.

Go to premarital counseling to make your second marriage a success

Seek objective counseling sessions to lay a strong foundation for your remarriage. The marriage counselor will help you discuss topics that are relevant to your divorce and remarriage. If step children are involved in your remarriage, ask your counselor for strategies on integrating smoothly.

Engineer a fresh start for your remarriage

Build your second marriage in a new house or neighborhood; if you need to, move away from a small town or community. Don’t let the old ghosts of your divorce haunt your remarriage. Even if you’re comfortable living in the remnants of your first marriage, your partner might not be.

Develop new routines with your spouse

second marriageThis isn’t just a remarriage tip — it’s a health tip, too! Developing new habits and traditions together will connect you and your new partner – and it’ll help your brain grow new cells and strengthen those rusty old neurons. Many marriage counselors advise setting new routines with new partners.

Be open to new ways of relating

Getting remarried works better if you’re flexible. Let go of your old routines. Be open to change and compromise, and making adjustments in your remarriage. Another tip for a successful second marriage is to consider in-person or online marriage counseling to make sure you’re both ready to get married again. It’s easier to avoid a marriage crisis than to solve one!

Deal with money issues right away

Many remarriages are difficult because of child support payments, alimony, etc. If financial issues could stop you form achieving your relationship goals, get divorce advice. Ask a divorce mediator or a financial consultant to help settle you financial issues fairly.

Leave the negativity behind when you’re getting remarried

Focus on a successful remarriage without being dragged down by fears, failures, and thoughts of another divorce. Your second marriage is more likely to be successful if you focus on the positive aspects of your partner and life together. Learn about the secrets of happy, healthy marriages together.

If your spouse’s first marriage is causing problems, you may find How Do I Deal With My Husband’s Toxic Ex-Wife? helpful.

I welcome your thoughts on second marriages below. Are you living happily ever after? I can’t offer advice for second or third marriages, but you may find it helpful to share your experience.


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38 thoughts on “10 Tips for Successful Second Marriages”

  1. I realised that if you find yourself in a mindset of fear or maybe a situation thats repeating history of past hurts and pains in second marriage… you need to look into yourself and understand that things in you need to change before people can treat you the way its suppose to be or circumstance to change. If you are in dire straights for people to treat you correct you need to change first. And that is applicable for marriages and relationships with children an family as well. Its amazing how this can change it all if you are willing to change first in thinking and emotions and at the same time get healing for previous hurts and past bad experiences.

  2. Being 100% committed to making the marriage work is one of the most important tips for a remarriage. There are so many complicating factors and different situations, it’s difficult to address it all in an article about second marriages!

    But the bottom line really is commitment. On both sides. A devotion to building a happy, healthy marriage that will withstand the tests that blending families brings.

  3. Hi Karen,

    Thanks for your comments! Your blog looks lovely, and like a great support for other couples in a second marriage.

    Stay true to you,

  4. I really liked your 10 tips. I am in a second marriage and am quite happy this time around. So much so that I blog about it!


    But you are right about many things. It is important to learn from your mistakes in your first marriage and to find new ways of relating. Obviously the ways your elated in the first marriage did not work…at least for one partner. Our biggest boost in my current marriage is that we are both honest with each other, and communicate well. It’s sometimes hard to do, especially when being honest may hurt the other person’s feelings, but being able to share how you feel in a unconditional way helps each partner feel loved and respected. And that goes a long way in making for a happy marriage!

  5. Dear Kirti,

    Yes, I believe you will find a good husband in the future! Getting a divorce from this man, your first husband, is the best thing for you. He is not a good man, and you’re taking good care of yourself by leaving the marriage. I’m glad you’re happier than before!

    You can have a very happy, successful second marriage in the future. You’ve learned a lot from your first marriage, and have grown in ways you couldn’t without being married.

    I think the way to improve yourself is to continue growing emotionally. Keep pursuing your work goals and your personal goals. Stay connected to women friends who are strong, happy, smart, and successful. Travel. Take interesting classes. Get a dog! Stay physically healthy and active.

    And, try to understand the mistakes you made with your first husband. You did not cause him to be angry or controlling; that was not your fault! But perhaps you rushed into marriage too quickly, or you overlooked parts of his personality that you should have paid closer attention to. You loved him and wanted to be with him — please don’t regret your choices, because you made the best decision you could at the time. But make sure you’ve learned from your past, so you don’t repeat the same mistakes.

    What do you want out of your life? Write it down and focus on it. You will get want you want!

    I hope this helps.


  6. Hi,

    I got married in 2008 after completing my study. After marriage when I came with him after one month only I got to know that he is very dominating and angree person.He has also beaten me.I was trying to do things well but his family members also taking his side then with whom I can talk and discuss. Now 4 years completed but same still same problem.Last time when he beated me I came to my brother’s home after 6 months I came in hostel where I am working.You know when I thought about divorse I did not ask any money from him.I did not complained also.I am hard worker and feel happy when I earn myself.Now I am take caring myself better then before and more happy then before.And now we have filed for divorce. So please sugggest me it is good for my future?. Will I get a good partner in future ? Will it be good in future?please suggest me how should i spend my life now and how can i improve myself without negative points.


  7. Hello Lindsay Lee,

    What a great question! I think if you go into your second marriage after putting a lot of thought into your wedding vows, your chances of living happily ever after increase dramatically.

    I wrote this article for you:

    Remarriage Wedding Vows Are MORE Meaningful Than First Marriage Vows

    I welcome your thoughts!

    All good things,

  8. Hi all! I am currently divorced with a 3 year old daughter and 6 months into a new relationship (he also divorced with child). He was the product of adultry and we are both struggling to understand how a couple (who likes each other fierce) can go into another marriage and repeat the vows “till death do us part…” Don’t they loose their meaning after the first time around? What are your thoughts?

  9. Hi Sara, I think that if you’re wondering if you should marry a man, then you shouldn’t marry him! It sounds like there are red flags that you can’t ignore – and it’s much better to deal with the red flags now, rather than let them become huge flames when you’re married.

  10. hi,i m sara ,i am going to get marry in this may but i m confused due to some problems,my fiance is very narrow minded and strict man,as i observe.and he wont like that i should go infront of outsider and open door etc.
    should i marry

  11. Dear Shefali,

    Thanks for sharing your story here. I understand your reluctance to tell your fiance about your first marriage, but I honestly think you should! There will never be an exact “right” time – you may have to make the time right.

    I had too much to say for this comments section, so I wrote this article for you:

    How Much Should You Tell Your Fiancé About Your Past?

    I welcome your comments, and really hope your second marriage is happy and successful!


  12. I belong to a very treditional Indian family who believe in society typically.

    I met my ex before 1.5 Year. we were working in same company.But for more earning we started to do additional projects after office Hr.I helped him financially for all his pending matters. After 2 month he proposed me, but I refused because I knew we can’t marry due caste problem & my family strictness. But we decided to meet daily due to our pending projects. After 1 month I started to like him & I loose my control & had physical relationship with him. In india its a very big thing before marriage, espacially for me.

    These days His family was forcing him get married, So He started to torture me by discussing about our physical relation again n again.I got confuse about my liking or love. Emotionally & thinking about my character I accept his proposal . We did court marriage without informing my family. His family accepted me.but I decide to live separately for 3-4 days.

    But after 3-4 days, When I informed my family about my marriage, they shouted on me & refuse to accept me & him. I love my family.& they didn’t think about me like this even in dream. So I request my husband to give me time of 1 month to convince my family. But he started to torture me by saying you dont live without ur family. ur family is very bad. This & that..Also I come to know that he & his family were very week financially & as usual I ignored everything. But at the end of 1 month he told me that we should take divorce as we will fight everyday. So we took divorce by mutual understanding.

    After taking divorce , I helped him financially 2-3 month. But I ignored him always.

    My marriage stay only for 1 month 4 days. But now I am separate from him in all manner & there is no way to meet him in future, as I left that place & come at my home, living with my family.

    Now My family has accept me. They didn’t know about my past torture. But they just want to see me happy. So they choose a suitable match for me. I also like him & I know he can become my Mr. perfect.

    After 2 month I am going to marry with him.

    Please let me know, I should to talk to him about my previous marriage? if yes, then when?.. It’s sure that he will not come to know about my past in any way in future..

    Please help me….

  13. I’ve been married 7 years and we have a 5-yr old son. I was married for ten years (a long, long time ago) and have two boys from that marriage. My oldest is married and on his own. My second oldest is 18, graduated in June from high school, tried a semester of college (quit because of cost), and lives at home. He just started working full-time and is saving for a car. He’s in by curfew, always. He doesn’t give us any trouble. He’s polite and respectful. The challenge is my husband doesn’t like his girlfriend (calls her fat and ugly…troll, etc.). He won’t let the young lady in the house (they’ve been dating a year), calls her Miss Piggy if she calls the house, and tells our 5-yr. old to call her fat and ugly. My son is STILL respectful to his step-father in light of all of this, but I see the hurt. And the snide comments are so old at this point. I’ve discussed it, gotten upset, even got to the point I told my husband I wanted to leave. I was assured that if I go, he will fight for full custody. He doesn’t want to pay child support/alimony, etc. My son was going to join the military, to get away I think, but I had a nice, long talk with him about it…letting him know that while there are great benefits, there is also an awfully high risk factor involved. He’s postponed it, and my husband is being snide about that as well. He just wants him out…and he’s the kind of person who would not let him back in. The trust is broken, I feel very betrayed and hurt. And I don’t want our child to have a broken home, I believe children should have two parents. But I’m at a total loss. How can it be repaired if my husband is just bent on being selfish and inconsiderate to those of us (his family) he should be supporting the most? And how can I get past wanting to make it up to my son, that his step-father is so non-supportive and derogatory? After all, I was the one who brought him into his life so fully. I’m so confused as to how something so wonderful for so long has turned so sour. It’s been a year now, and despite many attempts there has been no change. I’m very lost, and lost for my kids too, if that makes sense.

  14. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Anton,

    I’m sorry I missed your comment! Are you still around? I can’t offer marriage counseling or personal advice, but I’d love to know how you’re doing in your second marriage after all this time…

  15. Dear Laurie,
    I was born in Iran (not religious at all!), lived 33 years in Europe and the U.S. (back to US since 2007). In Germany, were I lived for almost 30 years, I was married with a Persian woman; we almost grew up with each other (since 1977, back in Oklahoma). I came to US in 2007 to do my masters degree (graduated in 2009). In 2008, I went to Atlanta to visit my sister, and somehow fell in love with an energetic, successful Persian woman (45) who was never married before. I came back to Nebraska (University), but decided to separate from my past life in Germany, including my wife. I started a “no-fault” divorce process; my new “love” helped me with financing lawyers etc. I moved to Atlanta (May 2009) and wanted to live there and get married again, while in the middle of the divorce process. I went to therapy (20 sessions), took Cymbalta for a while (I am gradually quitting now); and I have been wishy washy with my life in Atlanta; left my new “love” 4 times to come back to Nebraska (where my 23 year old daughter lives) because I had guilty feelings about the way I divorced my old “love” (service by publication). I left the -comfortable- Atlanta life, came back to Nebraska in July and since then, I have improved my relationship with my daughter and I chat sometimes with my ex-wife in Germany. The divorce in Germany is finished. Oh, I forgot: I got married with the new love in November 2009; (I filed for divorce from the new love 3 times since then). The court date is now set for January 31st 2011. We are in contact again (with the new love) and I have decided to stay married with her (she always wanted that and loves me very much). However, I am not sure. I think a lot about my past life, and wife; very often she is in my nightly dreams. All my past is gone; almost all our mutual friends in Germany have abandoned me; I suppose they have heard only one side of the story. Non of them has contacted me; my ex knew everything about my divorce decisions ahead of time and I think I didn’t do anything wrong. Still, those thought are with me. I am pursuing my PhD in Nebraska now, have a very good academic standing and infrastructure; have a good job at a Hotel and my new love is coming on this Wednesday to Nebraska for a visit, talk, and eventually dismissing the divorce process (for the 3rd time!). You see that I am confused. I am not sure whether this second marriage is right for me. My daughter doesn’t like the new love at all and that bothers me too. It seems that I haven’t let go from the past. My ex in Germany seems to be moving on in life. I am stock, and I don’t want to hurt the new love -again- by saying no. On the other hand, I very often feel very alone, left alone rather. I don’t know what to do. Please help! Thanks,

  16. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Shaila,

    I’m married to a man who was in a serious relationship for 6 years, and I can’t stand when he talks about her! The only time he talks about her is when I ask questions, and it breaks my heart a little every time. So why do I do it? Because I’m curious sometimes. We’ve been married for 5 years, very happily, and I love him to bits. I’m secure in our marriage, yet I can’t stand to hear him talk about his ex.

    The best way to tell your fiancee that you’re not hung up on your ex is to STOP TALKING ABOUT YOUR EX!! I’m serious. The more you talk about your ex, the worse it’ll get.

    If your fiancee doesn’t understand where you’re coming from by now, then talking about your past relationship won’t help, my friend.

    My advice is to make sure you’re really over your ex, and then to let her go. This means focusing on your current relationship and future marriage — and there is no room for the past in your present life.

    I hope this helps — and wish you blessings on your marriage,

  17. I’m engaged to marry the woman of my dreams, but when we first started dating she communicated that she thought I talked about my ex too much. At that time, our mutual friend was going through a divorce and the similar circumstances often reminded me of my past. I had already been divorced for about 1 and half; possibly closer to 2 years. My instinct was to stop talking about that past marriage altogether when I was around my partner.
    As we approach closer to the wedding, I want to talk about my, because I think they would help her understand where I am coming from. But, I’m terrified that she will start believing that I am hung up on my ex. How can I open a conversation that says I’m not hung up on it, but it is part of my history? Please hear me out.

  18. Dear Laurie,
    Thanks for your input! I have, in fact, been to my therapist several times and she says I am suffering from PTSD because of the trauma my ex’s affair caused. She was there from the beginning and is so happy for me! She thinks my guy is great! She wants me to continue therapy. The problem is I don’t have insurance or the money to continue to see her ($150 per hour). I’d go to see someone else but I’d have to give them the whole story over again…. Do you know of any self help books or any online help that would be cheaper?

    I appreciate it!

  19. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Emily,

    I totally understand your fear of change, and of possibly getting hurt again. And of course, you don’t want your daughter to go through another breakup and loss.

    Your emotions may be holding you back from experiencing healthy love, or they may be legitimate red flags that are trying to protect you from making a mistake!

    I encourage you to talk to someone in person to get help figuring out the best thing to do. I can’t give you the help you need here. Please call a counselor, social worker, spiritual leader, or a support helpline. You need to talk to someone in person, who can help you figure the best next step for you and your daughter.

    The objective, professional support of a counselor or trusted mentor-type person would be really helpful! You’re already headed in the right direction — reaching out for help and sharing what you’ve been through — and now you need to surround yourself with resources that will give you the strength and courage you need.

    I just wrote an article called How to Find Solutions to Relationship and Family Problems, which describes different six ways to get help.

    Please read that article, and get in-person support – or online counseling help.

    I wish you all the best — and welcome you to come back anytime to update me on how you’re doing!


  20. Dear Laurie,
    I’m 36 and have been divorced for 3 years and have been in a relationship for 2 years with a wonderful, loving man. My first marriage ended after learning my husband was having an affair with a mutual friend. Our daughter was only 11 months old. I went to months of therapy, had divorce counseling etc. I was alone for 1 year getting to know myself and why my marriage failed. I feel I was ready to date, was comfortable being alone, etc. I had put my first marriage to bed, forgiving etc. Then, I was lucky enough to find my bf!

    Now to present. My boyfriend and I talk about marriage and me moving into his home but I’m so scared!!! My daughter who is now 4 loves him. He has a son from a previous relationship that I love and vise versa too. BUT…I’m so afraid of change! I don’t know if it is because of trust because I do trust him. I just am so afraid of making the wrong choice again and subjecting my daughter to another broken family. My family are “okay” with him but not thrilled. He is 9 years older and has a son from a relationship… not a marriage. I think they are still hurt from what my ex did to me that they don’t trust anyone. They are very judgmental with him. Mind you, he has done nothing to make them not trust him. I want them to like him and my choice to be with him but I also need to do what is right for me. Isn’t it my turn to be happy after all I’ve been through? Why do I feel like I’m a ping pong between 2 brick walls never getting out and moving on? Please help.

  21. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Bigi Joy,

    I’m sorry to hear that your first marriage ended like that. It’s bad enough to have to get a divorce — and even worse when your ex-spouse lies about you!

    Unless you’re in a solid relationship right now, I suggest you don’t worry about making your second marriage successful just yet. Instead, focus on becoming a healthy, happy, well-adjusted, well-balanced man. Focus on personal growth and building on your strengths. Do things that make you happy — hiking, volunteering, traveling.

    Try to put your first marriage and your ex-wife’s words behind you. They do not represent who you are as a man — and you are free to become a man that you’re proud to be! That’s where your attention should lie: in your present and future, not your past.

    I hope this helps, and wish you all the best in your future. You WILL fall in love again — and you CAN have a fantastic second marriage! You just need to put this first marriage behind you.


  22. dear laurie,i am awaiting my divorce.my first marriage was horrible.my wife told things publicly that as a husband and wife should only know.she told things that i am impotent.she said i couldnt have a physical relationship with her .in reality she refused.even for her small things i gave much importance but still she left.i dont know what to do.i am scared that whether a second marriage would happen.please advice me.

  23. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Also — forgive yourself for your decisions! Don’t beat yourself up for needing time to get yourself straight. It’s okay to be afraid, and feel at a loss. It’s definitely better to listen to your gut than to go forward blindly, knowing that things aren’t good.

    You’re doing the best you can, my friend.

  24. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Marcus,

    I think you need to figure out why you’re so scared of marriage. If you had 8 wonderful years together — and you’re best friends and brilliant companions — then what is holding you back from getting married? There’s not much difference between marraige and a common law relationship, but obviously it’s enough to send you running for the hills!

    Figuring out what the root of your reluctance doesn’t mean you have to over come it and get married. Even if you choose never to tie the knot, it’s still helpful to know yourself!

    I suggest talking to a counselor. It may only take a session or two to identify your hidden fears and maybe even quell them. I don’t know if you can work through your marriage fears with your girlfriend, who has her own emotions and experiences. Like you said, an external perspective is a great way to get a feel for what’s happening….but I think you need to sit down and talk it through with a trained professional.

    I hope this helps, and wish you all the best! Let me know how things go…


  25. Help Laurie, I’m so confused.

    In dramatic style, I split-up with my long-term partner and moved out of our house in January after eight years together. Until then we had a wonderful relationship based on being brilliant companions and best friends.

    So why the split? The issue of marriage arose. And in my heart I didn’t feel ready. I felt scared. I questioned whether I loved this person enough. I didn’t feel comfortable at the thought of my life heading down this trajectory and me not having enough control to bail out should the going get tough. Marriage, kids, commitments – I can barely keep myself in order.

    It sounds cowardly. And my poor ex is utterly devastated. At 35 I’ve had to move home to my parents and start my life again. Now I really miss her.

    What should I do Laurie? Does it feel like I should just conquer the fear and press ahead. It seemed unfair to keep my partner waiting when it became abundantly clear to me that I was far from ready and plagued with too many doubts. I really miss her now, and all our friends are getting married. My confidence and self-esteem is rock bottom, I feel like I’ve let her down and perhaps we could have made it work if we’d talk through these fears but I’m simply not sure and don’t want to just keep her hanging on for the hell of it. It’s not fair.

    In the end, I just want your view on how this looks from an external perspective, because my mind is scrambled and I feel hideous for the amount of hurt I have caused her and her family……

    Thanks in advance

  26. dear laurie, thanks a million for ur response..i am muslim,so my husband and in our religion its acceptable for man to have even four marriage..all my family ask me and beg me to leave him, but i dont know why i cant.im leaving everything to God.i can accept if im his second wife for i cant do anything bout this.but im just asking him to give me time and importance as his wife but i dont know why its hard for him to give me this small things that im asking. he keep telling me that hes too busy on his job and give him more patients and understanding..he promised that oneday he will give me too much love but can nver let his family knows about me. i love him too much that im sacrificing a lot for him.i know i am stupid but what to do.im not that strong to leave him.im so depressed and sometimes wanna give up with life but my faith with God and my love for my kids keep going me still..i dont have anyone to talk to thats why im writing here.i dont wanna tell all this things to my family for they will get upset and will feel pity on me.my mum do cry a lot of times but cant do any coz she knows i love my husband.im too helpless and feel so miserable..

  27. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Haydee,

    I’m sorry to hear about your situation…it’s a difficult thing, to be pregnant and in love with someone who is married to another woman.

    You asked if you’re doing the right thing…and I don’t know about that. But, I do know that he’s lying to you, and he’s not treating you with love, respect, honor, or even much kindness. He’s using both you and his wife to fulfill his own needs.

    A successful marriage or relationship requires both partners to be committed and happy. They do whatever they can to make each other feel loved and respected.

    I can’t tell you what to do, but I hope you listen to your family and the people who love you. They may be more objective about your situation than you can be — because you’re in love.

    What do you think? Do you really think you can’t leave someone who isn’t fully committed to you?

    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post …Best Ways to Save Money on Summer Holidays – 7 Travel Tips =-.

  28. i was divorced when i met my second husband.ive got one daughter from my previous one.my husband now told me that he was divorced too and got one son from his previous relationship.after 5 months of our relationship he confessed that he wasnt divorce with the wife and whilehaving relation with me, the wife is 6 months pregnant with their second child. it does hurt a lot and feel like i wanna die but he gave me assurance that he doesnt love the first one for it was an arrange marriage and promise me not to bring the wife here, for she is living in the country where they orginally from. i do love him a lot that i forgive him from all his lies and betrayal. im pregnant and carrying his child now but were not living together coz his parents and rest of the family doesnt know about me and i dont know when he would gonna tell them. he is scared that his parents would turn their back on him.he told me that he can never leave his parents for me but he can leave his 1st wife for me.i am sad most of the time, living alone with my daughter and the fact that i am pregnant. i dont know what else ihave to do. my family begging me to leave him but i cant coz i do love him. but i told him that once he will bring his wife here, thats the time i will leave him and he made a promise that he wont. am i doing theright thing? i am from broken family therefore i dont want history repeat itself on my kids. my 1st husband is very abusive that even i wanna still stay with him but i cant. and this 2nd time, i thought everything would gonna be fine but im wrong.

  29. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Sharon,

    A year is a long time to date — and still be kept a secret! It’s understandable that your doesn’t want to upset his daughter, doesn’t want to upset her again.

    But, he has every right to move on with his life and fall in love with someone new. It’s probably healthier and better for his daughter to see what it’s like to lose someone you love, and then move on into a different relationship (versus mourning the lost marriage forever).

    You have two options: accept him as he is, and accept that he can’t be open about his relationship with you. This involves being deceptive and dishonest, and undermines the seriousness of your relationship. How do you cope with that? I don’t know. I don’t know how you can deal with something so pivotal to your relationship.

    Another option is to take a step back from the relationship, and give him time to decide if he’s really serious about you. This would be my suggestion — this is what I would do! I would tell him that I love him, but can’t live with him like this. I would love to have a future relationship and possible marriage with him, but refuse to be hidden like something to be ashamed of.

    Taking a break might give him a chance to miss you…and when he realizes how much he loves you, he may be more likely to be honest about the relationship.

    What do you think of this suggestion?

    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s blog ..Pay Off Your Mortgage – 5 Ways to Make Mortgage Payments Go Away =-.

  30. I have been dating a wonderful man for the past twelve months and we
    have so many things in common. Loosing his beloved wife to cancer three years ago, was a devasting loss for him and his three adult children. He has an extremely close and loving relationship, in particular with his daughter, but has not told them about our relationship, saying his daughter will be difficult to win over. Whilst he is very positive about our future, I am resentful that our relationship is kept secret and fear from his comments that his daughter who is very controlling, and will neve accept me. I am at a loss to see how successful our relationship can be once she discovers her father has been secretly building a new life without her knowledge and consent for some time. This is eroding my confidence and I am experiencing anxiety. Our relationship is serious, however, on this issue, he appears unwilling to say anything to ensure there is no conflict. The family is totally unaware of my existence and yet he has welcomed an opportunity to meet and socialise with my circle of friends.
    I need a strategy to cope with this as I feel I could step away from this situation very soon out of fear of rejection.

  31. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Robin,

    Hmmm…since his ex-wife is crazy, I have a crazy suggestion for dealing with her!

    I think you should go for coffee with her. Get to know who she is as a woman — and even better, let her get to know who YOU are as a person. It’s incredibly easy to slag people we don’t know, people we’re perhaps jealous of (after all, you’re married to her ex-husband and her kids like you. Of course she resents and dislikes you — you’re succeeding in areas she has failed).

    Call her up, tell her you want the best for her kids, and ask if she can make time to meet you for an hour or so. Tell her you love her kids and want to learn more about them. Compliment her on how she’s raising them — she must have done something right if they still like and respect you even when she cuts you down!

    Regarding your husband — I know what it feels like when your partner seems to have made a bad choice in wives in the past. But, you have to shake that resentment off, my friend. He was a different person when he first met and married her — and so was she. He made the best decision he could, and he thought he was doing the right thing. Don’t make him pay now for a decision he made years ago….that’ll just ruin your marriage. Instead, accept him for who he is as a whole may — and that includes his first marriage and ex-wife.

    I hope you give my crazy suggestion a try, and let me know how it goes!


  32. I just recently got remarried to a wonderful man, and by recently I mean 3 weeks ago. We have been together for a year and a half and I love him very much. My question is how to deal with his crazy ex wife? She is the most unbelievable person I’ve ever known. She constantly tries to ruin our relationship. They have 4 children together and she tells them horrible things about me and him even though they seem to really like me and don’t let it affect them. I just can’t seem to quit letting this woman consume my life. She talks terrible about me and says untrue things about me all over town. I wish I just didn’t care but I am a very sensitive person and it is just wearing me down! My biggest problem is I find myself being resentful towards him because he was ever with this woman and had kids with her!!! I need some advice on how to deal with his past because it is destroying us! I truly believe that she is our only problem. Any advice?

  33. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Limit the amount of time your ex-husband spends with your new husband! To make your second marriage successful, you need to keep them apart as much as possible. It’s not fair — and it’s not healthy — to expose your new husband to your old abusive one.

    Your husband might also benefit from taking an assertiveness class…because it doesn’t sound like he’s standing up to your ex-husband very well. It’s a hard situation for him to be in, for sure. He needs to learn how NOT to let people around him make him feel bad.

    Why don’t you and your hubby take an assertiveness training course together? Learn how to deal with difficult people together — you might even find a course that specifically teaches how to deal with abusive people. Learning how to handle abuse is the second best way to deal with it (the best way is to avoid the situation!).

    If there’s any way you can completely avoid your ex-husband, that’s probably the best solution. If you have to have contact with him because of your children, then I suggest asking your new husband to stay away when the old one is around.

    Also, consider moving to a new city or town! Fresh starts are a great way to build a happy, healthy second marriage. I know this is difficult for many people for many reasons, but it’s something to consider.

    Good luck with your new marriage! I’m very happy for you, that you found a wonderful new man.

    Best wishes,

  34. I was in a abusive marriage of 20 years and divorced for 3 and now remarried to a wonderful man. My X says and does things to make my husband feel bad . what is the best way to handle the problem

  35. Angela, thanks for your question — it was such a good one, I turned my answer into a full article!

    I think the biggest thing about second marriages and integrating new partners with their stepchildren is TIME. It takes time to get to know one another, have experiences together, make memories, and bond. The more time they spend together, the more memories and experiences they’ll have…and the better their relationship will be (theoretically speaking! Unfortunately, we can’t force good relationships to happen).

    Another thing to remember about second marriages and stepkids is that there will be ups and downs — and that’s normal. All relationships ebb and flow…sometimes everything is amazingly wonderful, and other times it’s just there. Or it’s painful. Disagreements, clashes, conflicts can all be healthy and good for stepparenting relationships!

    And finally, Angela, — I think your fiance might just have to elbow his way into the family. If he’s shy, reserved, or introverted it might make his transition into the family a little longer and rougher. Nobody can expect the stepchildren to pave the way (although I bet there are some fabulous kids who do!). Your fiance really has to take the iniative to fit into his new family as a stepparent – perhaps by doing some of the things I suggested in the article.

    Let me know how it’s going, and what you think of this! If you’d like, I can research this topic from the “how to make your kids welcome a new stepparent” angle. It may be more difficult to persuade your kids to welcome a new stepparent than to persuade your fiance to elbow his way in — but I’m happy to dig up some info, if you like!

    All best,

  36. My fiance feels like an outsider in our family. I have 3 kids from a previous marriage. How can we make him feel included?

    1. I was in his situation before and it’s hard. I would recommend doing things with him you have never done before and include the kids when you can. Maybe he likes a certain sport you aren’t familiar with and attend a game. Take a family vacation somewhere he went as a kid and he can introduce you guys to his experience. That was one of the hardest things about a ready made family is you have all your customs and since there are more of you he will end up having to change to fit into your lives. So creating new traditions and doing something new together for the first time can help a lot.