Divorce, Reconciliation & Remarriage

Are you divorced and thinking about reconciling with your ex-spouse? Maybe you are in the process of that right now? If so, here are some things to consider.

The Statistics

The numbers suggest that in the United States about 40-45% of all marriages will end up in divorce. Of all of those divorces, there is about a 10% chance of remarriage between divorced spouses. Personally, I have seen probably 100’s of divorces and divorced couples in my lifetime, and out of all of those, I have only witnessed three actual remarriages. It is a very rare thing to witness, and even more rare to experience if you are to be one of those 10% or fewer.

What Does It Take?

First, it takes time. It takes about three years after a divorce before a couple is reunited and remarried and there is a good reason for that. Both partners need to time to heal and re-form as individuals after the divorce. If a couple gets back together too soon, without enough time to go through the healing process, having time to learn and grow, and to modify their previous behaviors, reconciliation is probably doomed to failure. A couple may reunite too soon due to just being lonely, out of fear, and without healing from the previous hurts of the relationship. The old patterns of “doing a relationship” are still there and history is bound to repeat itself. As the saying goes, “a problem can not be solved with the same level of consciousness that created it.”

A True Story

I was able to interview a former colleague of mine on this subject. He had been married for nearly seven years before his marriage ended. It was his decision to pursue the divorce and end the marriage due to all of the conflict and inability to resolve those conflicts in his marriage.

I asked him if after his divorce if he thought there was a possibility of reconciliation, he said no. In his words, “Reconciliation of any sort was impossible, and that is what drove the divorce in the first place.”

He took it upon himself after the divorce to seek help. He joined a Divorce Support Group ran by a local church. It was during that process that he was able to look back and clearly identify his role in the demise of the relationship. He was also willing to correct and change his errors to the best of his ability so that if he ever did find another relationship he would not be repeating the same behaviors. He also built a new life for himself pursuing his own interests in the martial arts and exploring nature.

He and his ex co-parented a young son. There was still contact between the two after the divorce and this was probably one of the factors that helped them through their three-year separation and to find each other again. They both loved their son so much that they agreed to work together when it came to parenting.

But he was not the only one to change post-divorce. His ex-wife was doing her own personal inventory herself. There was work happening on both sides of the ex-spouse fence for each of them.

After two years of being divorced they realized there was still love there between them and they also had their son to consider, and they decided to try to make a go of it again as a couple. They spent the next year and half going through couple’s therapy with both of them intending to get back together. Since they were both on the same page, the tools they learned during their sessions gave them the ability to become a much higher functioning couple. Three years after the divorce, they remarried. They have been happily married for the past three years; a reconciliation and remarriage success.

I asked if there were any insights that he could share with anyone who might be considering a reconciliation with and ex and this is what he told me.

  1. Take your time.
  2. Look at your part in it all and be willing to correct your shortcomings and change what needs changing.
  3. Be able to take a step back and be objective both before and after getting back together.

In closing, he shared with me one trick that they use daily to keep things on track. Twice a day without exception, they ensure there is a loving contact between the two of them. Before they leave for work in the morning, they connect in a loving way and the same thing happens in the evening. Just that seemingly small act alone has gone a long ways in furthering the bond between this couple, who are now happier married to each other the second than they have ever been in their entire lives.

More To Think About

When a relationship ends, it can only be reconstructed on a new foundation and only after both partners have forgiven each other for the past. If reconciliation is to occur, both partners must change and correct themselves in some way. Both must fully grieve the loss of the marriage and heal by releasing their hurts, by forgiveness, understanding, and gratitude for the relationship, even if it did end badly.

Both partners must come into the new relationship dynamic healed, independent, and able to stand on their own two feet. There cannot be any neediness, clinginess, anxieties, or insecurities left over from before. Reconciliation is only possible after the end of the relationship is fully grieved and let go.

Last Words

Reconciliation and remarriage is not for everybody. There are plenty of people who should get divorced — and stay that way. If you think that restoring your marriage to your ex-spouse is the best decision, then you should also realize that the task requires large amounts of work, from you and your ex-spouse. In the end, however, with your entire family living together under the same room, you may just find that everyone is happier.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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