The Keys to Successful 2nd Marriages
I was very excited to interview Terry Gaspard, LICSW this week on Last First Date Radio! She is a licensed therapist, author, and college instructor who specializes in divorce, children, and families. She is a sought after speaker who frequently offers her commentary on divorce and her research on daughters of divorce. Terry has conducted three research studies on the long-term impact of parental divorce. Her third study is an in-depth look at 234 daughters of divorce and examines relationship issues such as love, trust, and intimacy. Terry and her daughter Tracy offer a healing community for adults dealing with divorce on movingpastdivorce.com. She is a regular contributor to Huffington Post Divorce and yourtango.com. Following are loosely transcribed highlights of our show on 12/10/2013. Enjoy!
|What are some of the biggest obstacles that couples face in 2nd marriages?They need to let go of unrealistic expectations. You can’t recreate the past, so rewrite your story. Work on vulnerability. Try to be honest about what you’re bringing to the marriage. Work on building trust and intimacy while you’re dating. Don’t rush into it. Get to know each other over a period of time. I had two kids 9 and 11 when i met my husband. Form your solid bond first, then bring the kids in. Don’t just go on the passion in your relationship. Communicate about everything – including finances.
What are some of the common pitfalls of blending families in 2nd marriages?
Often, the new stepparent doesn’t understand their role, so they’re not involved with the kids at all or they come on too strong. The best role for stepparents is like an close aunt or uncle. Their job is to provide support, do fun things, attend sporting events, etc. Show interest in what the kids are studying, but don’t come on strong with discipline. This creates a lot of tension. Also, there will be ups and downs in the family. If you acknowledge that they’ll be happening, you’ll do better. Don’t make ultimatums, like, “I’m out of here!” Don’t mention divorce. It will add a negative component to the relationship. Have at least 3-4 meals together a week. Have family outings and vacations.
What are some of the benefits of 2nd marriages for a single parent and his/her children?
In my case, if you pick a partner with whom you’re compatible and share common interests, you can support one another and have a higher quality of life.
Practice forgiveness along the way. If you misspeak or underestimate some of the glitches that come up, realize that blended families can have problems.
Blended families often do better financially, so kids will benefit when you have more financial resources.
How can couples enhance their chance of success and make their marriage last the 2nd time around?
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