I am a divorcee with one son. I have been asked by people close to the situation if I would consider remarriage. It is an interesting question, especially since our son is growing up and needs the continual influence of positive males in his life, with his father leading the list. For those who may be seriously considering the possibility of reuniting with your former spouse, here are a few points to consider before saying “I Do” again to him or her.
1. Think about the experiences you had between you before divorce occurred. If those experiences returned, would you be able to stay? For example, if the person was verbally abusive, sarcastic and scathing when angry or shut down when things did not go their way, those behaviors could return.
2. If adultery, a child born out of wedlock or other major issues occurred during marriage, have you forgiven them? Will you be in a position to live with the long-term effects of those decisions, for example, when the child born out of wedlock comes over to visit your spouse?
3. Will you be willing to go to premarital counseling and marital counseling? Going back to someone who knows your flaws, hot buttons and other issues may be a tough decision to make. If you are willing to go back to him or her, ensure that individual and couples counseling is a high priority for both parties. Full disclosure and open discussions about past failures or challenges should be a requirement before moving forward. Understanding each person’s current thought process about major issues or non-negotiables are important and should not be ignored or minimized. Confirm compatibility as well; just because you were together before, doesn’t mean that you should be together again.
4. Will you be willing to start over from the very beginning by learning to trust again? Earning each other’s trust is the key to a successful remarriage. Trust is the foundation to a lasting relationship.
5. Ensure you are in a position to respect the person you intend to remarry. Respect is another foundational key to the marriage working well.
6. Where are you financially? Where are they financially? Have they made successful moves by making better financial decisions than they did in the past? What is their thought process and attitude toward spending vs saving? Be prepared to look at credit scores and other major financial decisions that were made during your time apart. Also, be mindful that your financial situations will merge when marriage occurs.
7. Do your close family and friends support your decision to remarry your ex? Although the decision is ultimately yours, pay attention to what they may share if they raise concerns.
8. What about the children? As you reflect on your current situation and on your past, if nothing changes the second time around, how will your children be affected?
9. Pray and listen to your “gut”. If you are thoroughly convinced that this is the right decision to make, you will be at peace about it.
This is by no means an exhaustive list to review. Ensure that you are both being mentored by individuals who have your best interests at heart and will tell you honestly what they think. This decision is 100% yours, but take a good look at the impact it will have on your life, on the lives of any children you share, and on other major areas of life – the tangibles as well as the intangibles.
BMWK – have you ever considered remarrying an ex-spouse? What needs to happen in order for you to consider it?