Six ways to avoid divorce the second time around

Mary Jo Rapini

The divorce rate the second time around is between 60 and 67 percent, which means couples getting married a second time have to be more committed, more commutative and more emotionally mature than they were in their first marriage. That isn't easy considering you go into a second marriage with an ex-spouse, kids and the awareness that love isn't always forever. Despite the statistics, marriage experts report that after six years of divorce more than half of women are remarried and as many as 70 percent of men.

There are things you can do now that will help you beat the odds of divorce the second time around. If you've found someone that you want to spend your life with, the following suggestions can help you with your commitment to forever.

1. The single most important thing you must do on your part is to understand your role in what went wrong in your first marriage and resolve the past (if you're still blaming your ex, you are not ready for re-marriage).

2. Being open and honest about yourself is more difficult the second time around. It's important you aren't harboring any secrets from your first marriage.

3. Invest in premarital counseling. Premarital counseling is the best insurance for your marriage success that you can invest in.

4. Embrace the rough patches instead of withdrawing from them. Second marriages have more tensions around holidays, birthdays, graduations and weddings. Rather than engaging in loyalty or blaming comments, work to show more understanding and empathy for one another.

5. Don't ignore red flags in your marriage. Most divorces take 5 to 7 years to happen. Deal with the little things to prevent them from turning into big things. If tensions around values or expectations increase for more than two weeks, go to a marital counselor.

6. Develop an attitude of commitment; the endurance to continue working on your marriage is the single biggest predictor of marital success. Marriage cannot survive if partners are willing to give up on their relationship, and couples married a second time give up sooner. The word divorce should not be mentioned as a solution to couples problems.

I have met many couples that have remarried and have wonderful marriages as well as extended families. Their key to success has been based on three primary actions. They focus on being kind, generous and flexible. With blended families come more surprises, chaos and tension. Embrace life…embrace your commitment to marriage.