Relationship Support Services
Counsellors who can help you sort out what the problems are and help you find ways to try to mend your relationship.
For those of you that have difficulties with violence or abuse in their relationships there are a range of services available.
The Challenges and Opportunities of Re-Marriage
A new pattern is emerging in Australian marriages. One-third of marriages involve at least one person who has been married before. These second marriages often involve children from a previous relationship and will therefore form a step-family.
Contrary to their bad image, step-families can provide a rich and rewarding environment for the adults and children involved.
In second marriages, couples are often more aware of the difficulties in establishing a successful relationship and are more committed to making the marriage work.
Both second marriages and step-families have to overcome some difficult hurdles. These hurdles can present significant challenges to the couple in their relationship as partners and as parents.
Unfortunately, many second marriages and step-families, despite their commitment to making things work, fail to get over these hurdles.
This page outlines some of the challenges and complications of re-marriage and step-families.
The Decision to Re-Marry
In considering remarriage, there are three questions that should be reflected on::
- To Whom?
When to re-marry?
The simple answer to the question of when to re-marry is when you have come to terms with the end of your first marriage. This is particularly important if you did not want the first marriage to end, and had to deal with the pain of leaving or being left by your previous partner. It takes longer than many people expect to get over the end of a marriage, even if you might have been unhappy and felt that the end was inevitable.
Some studies suggest many people take at least two years to adjust to the end of a marriage. There are many exceptions to this. Some people take longer, others adjust more rapidly. Ask yourself:
- Do I find myself thinking about my ex-partner and do these thoughts still arouse strong feelings, including feelings of anger and resentment?
- Have I adjusted to living alone again?
- Have I regained a sense of self-confidence?
- Can I look back on the first marriage and recognise some of the things that contributed to its breakdown?
In other words, am I emotionally free to re-marry? Can I put all my emotional energy into this new relationship without allowing my feelings about my first marriage to get in the way?
Just as you cannot re-marry until you are legally free to do so, being emotionally free to re-marry is also important.
Unfortunately this question is often overlooked. Are you thinking of re-marrying because you want to be with a new partner whom you love or do you want to re-marry for the sake of being married, or to provide a two-parent home for your children? Being alone is not easy after being married, especially if you have children living with you. However, moving too rapidly into a new marriage is no solution in the long-run, particularly if it doesn’t work out.
Past experiences influence our choice of partners. This is especially true of a second marriage. Be realistic about what worked and what didn’t work in your first marriage when making a decision about a new partner. Learn from that experience to clarify what sort of partner you want.
Being in love is not enough to make a relationship work especially once the initial excitement has worn off. Many couples thinking of getting married try living together first. This may help, but remember that living together is not the same as being married. If you have children, they may find such an arrangement confusing and need reassurance.