“In sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, till death do us part.”
Most couples recite their vows on their wedding day, confident about living it out. But life sometimes throws a curve ball and some marriages fall apart.
In 2019, Singapore saw a 3.8% increase in divorce cases from the year before. However, many are choosing to pick themselves up and remarry after a divorce. According to Singapore’s Department of Statistics, 24% of marriages in 2019 were remarriages.
While the notion of finding love again is highly encouraging, the reality is that marriage after divorce may not always be easy, especially if it involves children from the first marriage. Nonetheless, remarriages can be successful if couples enter it with an understanding of what this new chapter may bring. Senior Counsellor at TOUCH Marriage Support, Mdm Lai Fung Ling, shares more on how divorcees can transit smoothly into their new marriage and find hope in love once more.
Remarried families are more complicated than ordinary families in terms of husband-wife, parent-child and sibling relationships. Therefore, it is important to brace yourself for the new challenges ahead and never assume that the problems you encountered before remarrying will vanish or lessen after.
If you have never been married before and are entering into a marriage with a divorcee, be understanding towards him/her when he/she brings up his/her previous marriage or spouse. While your new spouse may mention the experience of getting along with his/her former spouse, it does not necessarily mean that he/she still misses them because it is inevitable to touch on past life experiences. If your new spouse’s mentioning of his/her former spouse bothers you, raise your concerns to him/her frankly but gently so that he/she will be more aware of how you feel.
Wanting to find a new parent for your child should not be your main reason for remarrying as your child may feel responsible for the marriage, potentially causing them heavy psychological pressure. In addition, your new spouse may not share the same view as you and may not place his/her priority on parenting when entering the marriage. This mismatch in goals and objectives may lead to conflicts down the road.
Hence, try to re-evaluate your reason for remarrying. Marriage should revolve around love between you and your new spouse, involving three components: intimacy, passion and decision/commitment.
Pay attention to any unresolved emotions you might be feeling from your previous marriage (e.g. anger, sadness, resentment, regret) and take some time to resolve them before entering your new marriage.
Recognise that your new marriage will be a different experience because your new spouse is a different person from your former spouse, and they will not behave the same way. The dynamics between the both of you may be largely different too.
If you have children from your previous marriage:
If your new spouse has children from his/her previous marriage:
AFTER THE WEDDING
Marriage is a journey. After the wedding, continue to communicate with your new spouse and support each other to make the new family work. Continue showering your children and your stepchildren with love and involve them in the new family’s lifestyle.
Want to know more about how you can have a fulfilling marriage? Contact TOUCH Marriage Support at [email protected] or click here to find out more.
TOUCH Marriage Support aims to enrich marriages to build a strong foundation for families. Through a range of holistic programmes led by experienced marriage educators and counsellors, TOUCH Marriage Support prepares young couples for marriage, strengthens spousal relationships, guides couples through conflict resolution, and empowers couples to navigate and cope with the stressors and challenges which they may face in their marriage.