Advocating for yourself & making a second marriage successful

Hi Mary Jo,

Why are we so obsessed with getting love validation from others but refuse to embrace ourselves?

Being obsessed about what others think comes from a deep void of feeling that you’re only worthwhile if you give or do something to please someone else. This can develop in childhood, when parents praise a child too much about their accomplishments, looks, or actions. People who need outside validation are blind to the incredible things about themselves and critically compare themselves to others. They find themselves boring and unworthy and try to fit in by creating an image others will find acceptable. The search for validation is fueled by fear of rejection. Practicing these four suggestions can help you learn to validate and advocate for yourself.

  1. Minimize time spent on social media and activities where you feel you have to be or act like someone you’re not.
  2. Learn to get comfortable in stillness. Journal your thoughts so you can become more comfortable with your own opinions and feelings.
  3. Set a personal goal that doesn’t involve anyone else and begin taking small actions to achieve them.
  4. Set a goal and celebrate personal success when you achieve it. The goals you set and work to achieve are what determines your life. Don’t set yourself up to be taken advantage of people who need you to be a certain way to be acceptable.

Hi Mary Jo,

I am a single, divorced mom considering dating. Are there qualities more likely to help marriage be a success the second time around?



Common sense would tell us that being older, wiser, and more mature would help us find a more suitable partner the second time around, but that isn’t what happens statistically. Often, we are still attracted to the same qualities in a person. Second time marriages have a higher divorce rate than first marriages. Here’s some things to keep and mind:

  1. Prior to dating, make sure you’ve done your homework. Understand your part of the divorce, including your weaknesses and strengths when sharing a life with another.  
  2. Blending families and children is a challenge for most second time marriages. Anyone you date or perhaps marry should be willing to work with you to create a fair and cooperative family life.
  3. The three biggest issues are money, sex, and in-laws. Second marriages feel the strain more when money is tight. Make sure whoever you marry is financially secure and responsible with their money. In-laws can be problem, especially if they are angry about the divorce and clinging to the hope that the couple will reunite. Get to know them prior to becoming intimate with a potential partner. Be sure whoever you are interested in can talk openly and honestly about their intimacy needs, expectations, and feelings.
  4. Couples who are friends first make better spouses. Go slow with dating. Pace yourself and don’t feel forced or obligated to make a decision that goes against your personal values or gut feelings.