Skip to content

7 Challenges Faced By Couples in A Miserable Second Marriage

7 Complicated and Severe Challenges Faced By Couples in Second Marriage

Are you struggling with a miserable second marriage?

In case you are, it’s imperative that you try to understand which factors are causing the problems.

What To Do If You’re Struggling With A Miserable Second Marriage

The New York Times reported that 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce. Given a statistic like that, it makes sense that if you’re miserable in your second marriage that you might be wondering if it’s time to call a divorce attorney.

“In marriage it is never about not falling, it is always about getting back up.” – Dr Emerson Eggerichs

But before you pick up the phone, take a deep breath and consider exactly what it means to be struggling in your second marriage.

There is a multitude of reasons why second marriages fail and just as many for why others make it. To get to the bottom of what’s making yours so unhappy, let’s look at two categories of problems you might be having. The first is common to every marriage and the second is common to second (third, fourth…) marriages.

The most common struggles all married couples need to come to grips with include:

1. Ideals vs reality

Happily ever after doesn’t just happen. It takes work – lots of work – every single day of your life together.

Since life isn’t a cakewalk, marriages and spouses have good days, meh days and bad days. If your second marriage is going to work, you both need to recommit on a daily basis to make things work.

2. Intimacy and sex

Most believe that couples in second marriages have great sex. And, in the beginning, it’s typically true for newlyweds. But when the honeymoon phase ends many couples in miserable second marriages cite intimacy and sex to be one of their biggest problems – just like couples in first marriages do.

Every couple who wants to experience great sex needs to make sure they have connection and intimacy outside of the bedroom (or kitchen or shower or wherever they typically make love) too.

“Don’t let doubt convince you that your marriage is not worth fighting for.” – Jennifer Smith

3. Finances

Another of the major struggles common to marriage is dealing with money. Money represents power. It can also represent freedom or struggle or personal value or something else. When spouses have differing beliefs about money, difficulties ensue.

4. Roles

Everyone who’s contemplated marriage has an idea of what being a spouse means. And yet the likelihood that two people who decide to marry will have identical ideas of what it means to be a husband or wife is quite small.

When there’s a mismatch in expectations and/or values between mates, trouble will follow.

5. Communication styles

One of the most common challenges heterosexual couples face is a mismatch in communication styles. That’s because we each assume that our spouse will communicate and think just like we do. And there’s quite a big difference between in ways men and women typically communicate.

However, it’s understandable that you would think this. After all, when you fell in love, you could complete each other’s sentences and seemed to always know what the other was thinking.

However, when the honeymoon phase ends, most spouses are shocked to learn that the person they married no longer communicates as they used to. They may not communicate at all. Or, they may over-communicate.

When spouses have a difference in communication styles, there’s a great possibility of profound unhappiness because at least one doesn’t feel understood.

“A marriage is like a house. When a light bulb goes out, you do not go and buy a new house, you fix the light bulb.” – Happy Wives Club

6. Love language

In his book The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman did a great job of bringing people’s attention to the fact that we each experience and naturally show love differently. What is loving to one person may not mean a whole lot to another.

Most spouses believe they are showing their mate love when they do what they consider to be loving things. However, their spouse may not agree. A mismatch in love languages can cause one or both to feel unloved.

Since this isn’t your first rodeo, there’s probably nothing in the list above that comes as a surprise. But just because it wasn’t surprising, doesn’t mean one or more of these issues aren’t at the root of your miserable second marriage.

It’s worth it to pause to really think about this list of common marital struggles and see which, if any, are present in your marriage. The answer may truly be none, but most couples beyond their first attempt at wedded bliss regularly fight about at least one of these issues.

The thing about identifying which of these issues are contributing to a miserable second marriage means that you’re now in a position to figure out a plan for making things better. However, this is just the starting point.

7 More Complicated Issues Faced by Second Marriages

Finding out what basic work your second marriage needs allows you to dig deeper and consider the more complicated issues that second marriages also need to navigate if they’re to survive.

1. Blended family

It’s never easy to blend families. It’s difficult to prioritize your new spouse, the needs of your kids, and the responsibilities you have with your ex – much less the needs of your new spouse’s children. When you’re both struggling with your children’s needs and other responsibilities on top of caring for the child/ren you have together and each other, you’ve got a lot of personalities and duties that need to be managed.

Without a cohesive plan and support system in place, blended families can wreak havoc for even the most committed and loving couples.

2. Finances

Although finances are one of the common problems of any marriage, it deserves mention here because the stresses of finances are typically greater for second marriages.

Since this isn’t your first marriage, chances are you’ve had to start over financially – one of the gifts of divorce. You may both also have more financial obligations than people entering first marriages do because of spousal support/alimony and/or child support.

“A one flesh marriage consists of a husband and wife each giving 100% rather than 50/50” – Jolene Engle

3. Less sense of family

Many couples in second marriages don’t have children together. This lack decreases the need for a tight family unit. Without this need, there’s less at stake if the marriage should collapse – especially if it’s a miserable second marriage.

4. Behaviors developed in previous marriage(s)

Your first marriage didn’t work. And there were reasons for it – really good reasons. The thing is that when you’ve been in a dysfunctional relationship it can color your perceptions and behaviors in a subsequent relationship.

This is true for your spouse too.

5. Memories from a previous marriage(s)

Remember the firsts after your divorce? Your first birthday, the first holidays, the first anniversary… Typically, they’re pretty tough because they stir up all kinds of grief.

Sometimes these types of triggers last past the first and when they do, they can disrupt (maybe even destroy) a current relationship.

6. Easier to call it quits

You’ve been divorced before. Your current spouse has probably been divorced before too. You both know divorce sucks, but you also know you can survive it.

7. Married the wrong person

And sometimes, the reason you find yourself in a miserable second marriage is simply that you married the wrong person. This can most easily happen if you married before completing your healing from your divorce.

When you divorce there’s a great need to feel wanted and loved again. This can cause people to jump into a new relationship too quickly. And when you jump too quickly to say “I do,” you might just find yourself with the wrong person in a rebound relationship.

There’s nothing easy about struggling with a miserable second marriage. The frustration and confusion can be overwhelming which can make it incredibly tempting to just call a divorce attorney.

However, when you spend some time reviewing these two lists of common challenges for second marriages, you just might find a path forward to create a better relationship instead of becoming a statistic.

Giving up might seem like the easier option, but think of all the good times you have spent with each other, and all the memories you have built together. If you understand the problems and work together to solve them, you will end up building a stronger and better future together.

If you want to know more about this, check out this video below:




Written by Dr. Karen Finn
Originally appeared in drkarenfinn.com

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and life coach. If you would like additional help healing after a divorce or breakup, I can help. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. And, if you’re ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.

Looking for more information about healing after a divorce or breakup? Check out the other articles in Healing After Divorce.

You May Also Like:

10 Rules For A Successful Second Marriage
Second Time Around: Reuniting via Twitter
4 Reasons Why Second Marriages Are Happier and Last Forever
3 Easy Ways to Rekindle Your Marriage 

7 Complicated and Severe Challenges Faced By Couples in Second Marriage

Dr Karen Finn

Dr. Karen Finn is a divorce and life coach. She helps her clients navigate the challenges of divorce – from the moment it enters their mind as a possible solution to the discontent they feel in their marriage (it’s not always the best answer), through the turmoil of getting divorced, and on through creating a fulfilling life post-divorce. You can learn more about Karen and her work on her website.View Author posts

Leave a Reply

Up Next

Successful Women Dating: What Is It Like Dating A Successful Woman: Some Myths and Realities

Successful Women Dating

There's this perception that men tend to have a hard time dating and being in a relationship with successful women. What is the real truth about this? Do successful women dating issues a myth or reality?

Do Smart Men Really Marry Down?

About 14 years ago, the psyches of successful single women were singed with worry when journalist John Schwartz wrote a New York Times article titled “Glass Ceiling at Altar as Well as Bedroom.” He claimed that “men would rather marry their secretaries than their bosses.”

The following year, Maureen Dowd followed with another Times column (and a book, Are Men Necessary?), agreeing with Schwartz. The authors’ clear thesis: Men prefer to marry down. Since then the media have continued with this narrative lending credence to the succ

Up Next

7 Bonding Exercises For Couples For A Strong Marriage

Bonding Exercises For Couples Strong Marriage

When it comes to making your relationship stronger and more loving in the long run, there are a few effective bonding exercises for couples that will definitely help you achieve that goal.

Researcher Robert Epstein, Ph.D. believes it is possible to increase your closeness or feelings of love by using scientifically inspired techniques. Below are seven of his many love building exercises from an article titled, “How Science Can Help You Fall in Love” that was published in the Scientific American Mind (Jan/Feb 2010). Techniques reprinted with permission.

7 Bonding Exercises For Couples To Strengthen Your Marriage

1. Intimate Gazing

<

Up Next

When Relationship Becomes Business: 5 Signs Of A Transactional Relationship

Signs Transactional Relationship

Are you in a transactional relationship? Transactional love is a form of romantic interest that results in a relationship of convenience. It can be considered like a business transaction where the focus is not on strengthening emotional connection, but on what one has to give and can receive from their partner. 

Let’s explore the meaning of transactional relationship to see if you are in one.

What is transactional relationship? 

To be honest, a transactional relationship sounds more like a business deal than a real relationship. It can be considered as a “business transaction” where two people enter a romantic relationship where one partner offers certain services or “gifts” and the other partner provides services in return. The

Up Next

Is Boredom In Marriage A Cause For Concern? How To Fix It

Is Boredom In Marriage A Cause For Concern

Are you feeling bored in your marriage? Boredom in marriage can be a huge and insidious dealbreaker, but the good news is that you can fix it and find yourself and that love back again.

Boredom can make you feel unhappy in your marriage. Studies have found that marital boredom is a problem that causes couples to lose interest in their relationships, have relationship problems, and have marriage difficulties. In fact, boredom is tied to the notorious “7-year itch.”

Researcher Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., and his team discovered that couples who were bored in year 7 were significantly less satisfied in year 16.

Psychologist Arthur Aron sought a solution and discovered that a surge in anxiety a

Up Next

4 Revealing Signs Your Relationship Is Ending

Revealing Signs Your Relationship Is Ending

Knowing the prominent signs your relationship is ending can help you manage things at the right time so that you can give your marriage another chance and potentially work things out.

All married couples experience difficulties, but for some, these troubles reach a point where partners become profoundly unhappy in their marriages. This can create a destructive downward spiral where the relationship focus stays on the negative.

Despite how hopeless you feel, learning to be aware of certain risk factors can be a step in the right direction. Once that happens, you can see what needs to change and be deliberate about doing things differently.

According to John Gottman, Ph.D., a leading expert on predicting divorce, there are four signs that indicate serious problems in a marriage.