The expectations we have heading into a second marriage are often quite different from those of a first marriage. Our past experiences and our current circumstances can overshadow the bliss younger couples might have going into a first marriage. There might be issues of trust, safety, and security. A death or divorce may bring a cynical, or at least cautious, view of the future.
In second marriages, the biggest influence is often our previous marriage. Whether you lost a spouse through death or whether there was a divorce, there are usually some negative feelings you need to deal with. Grief over the loss, sadness, depression, anger, pain, hurt, and trauma—these emotions and feelings can often affect your expectations of a second marriage and put undo pressure on your mate.
Because each of us is uniquely different from one another we must understand and manage each other’s expectations if we’re to have healthy relationships. To do this, talk about and study each other’s priorities and preferences so you’ll be better informed when it comes to understanding each other’s expectations. Though you won’t get all the answers to every area of life, you will soon realize how comfortable—or uncomfortable—you might be with the other person’s expectations.
As you move toward marriage, keep in mind that God expects you to serve each other unselfishly, accept one another’s unique personalities, needs, and differences, and be faithful to each other throughout your entire lives. God also expects you to love each other unconditionally, be merciful and forgiving, and be patient as you learn and grow together.
The key to merging these expectations successfully is communication, compromise, and care. Continually ask yourself, “What’s best for our relationship? What’s really important to us as a couple?”
What expectations surprised you the most?
Adapted from The ReMarriage Adventure: Preparing for a Lifetime of Love & Happiness, by Susan and Dale Mathis. Copyright © 2012, all rights reserved.
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