You’ve met someone, fallen in love, and you’re ready to get remarried. Or, are you? Could your desire to marry again be more complex? Love isn’t the only motivating factor when it comes to getting married, especially for the second or even third time. Understanding your true motivations for wanting to marry can help you determine how successful the marriage will be.
Before committing to another marriage, ask yourself why you're taking this step. The time you spend making sure that remarriage is right for you could save you a lot of emotional pain in the future.
Are You Lonely?
Some people can’t be alone and don't feel complete if they aren't part of a couple. They don’t like their own company and the feeling of being unattached. The problem with allowing loneliness to motivate you to marry again is that if the second marriage is a bad marriage, you will be lonelier than you were before you married. It’s a great relationship that keeps a person from feeling lonely, not marriage.
Do You Have a Financial Need?
Financial need can be a great motivator for some to marry again—especially single mothers who are struggling to support and care for children. But regardless of your gender, don’t marry someone because it will relieve financial stress or help further a corporate career.
Is There a Strong Sexual Attraction (And Only That)?
Lust isn’t love. There is a huge difference between the two, and waiting to have sex until marriage due to religious or ethical reasons is no reason to rush into another marriage. Sexual attraction can blind you to negative personality traits in a partner and negative relationship issues. Wait until the lust dies down and the rose-colored glasses come off before committing to spending your life with someone you want to have sex with.
Do You Feel Pressure?
You’ve been through a nasty divorce. Your friends and family have watched with concern for your wellbeing, and they want to see you happy and coupled up again. Don’t be surprised if they start talking marriage at the first sign of you being in a great relationship.
The fact that family and friends are pressuring you to marry again is more about relieving their own discomfort at the thought of you being alone than about you finding happiness in a healthy marriage. Don’t let others make the decision for you.
Are You Emotionally Ready?
You know who you are—and you like who you are. You’ve got a keen sense of self and the ability to discern when you’ve attached yourself to someone who doesn’t respect that in you. You have the internal resources required to work through marital and relationship problems. Inevitable hard times in the marriage can be tackled and dealt with because you and your new spouse are highly functioning, autonomous individuals who don’t shy away from conflict.
You have no outstanding issues from your previous marriage. When it comes to your ex-spouse, you are able to have a civil relationship and co-parent in a healthy manner. There is no unresolved pain or leftover anger, and you’ve learned valuable lessons to take into your second marriage from your previous.
Have You Invested Time in the Relationship?
A study from the School of Professional Psychology at Pacific University revealed that a strong correlation exists between the length of the dating period and marital success. The study showed that couples who dated for more than two years scored consistently high on marital satisfaction, while couples who dated for shorter periods of time scored in a wide range, from very high to very low.
The longer you date, the better you get to know each other, which will equate to more satisfaction in the marriage.
Is Your Relationship Emotionally Stable?
If your relationship has been marked by conflict, turmoil, cheating, and constantly breaking up and getting back together, you don’t have the stability to maintain a healthy relationship during marriage. If you are both reliable, dependable, and consistent in your love and concern for each other, it may be time to hit the alter!
Do You Hold Similar Values and Beliefs?
Happily married couples have a lot in common. Having like-minded views on issues that are important to both of you is the glue that holds a couple together. Having similar core beliefs, values, and ethics is associated with marital success and is less associated with marital instability and divorce.
If you aren’t on the same page regarding issues such as how many children to have, how to spend marital assets, or how much alcohol consumption is too much, it's probably a good idea to postpone a trip to the altar.