Marriage…Take Two… Action!

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Honestly, finding a happy couple has become a rare commodity these days, we mostly hear about break ups and divorces. It is so depressing how many couples resort to splitting up rather than fighting to keep their families intact, but its unavoidable at times. Some people are blessed with a happy marriage, some are not! Some people get a chance to start all over again, but, do they regret it? Does it work? Are they really happy?

Well, I got the chance to meet a radiant woman who is always smiling, it turned out she is married, in her second marriage, to a wonderful man and they are happy together (touch wood!). But, is it a match made in heaven or do people learn something from their first marriage and use it to the beat the odds of failing for a second time?

A.G, 40 years old went through a nasty divorce ten years ago. She experienced the typical down spiral of a divorced woman inEgypt, the nasty talk, the self doubt, the feeling that this is it for her in life but eventually, she met her man. After four years of living happily ever after, A.G. shares her “24/7 ear to ear grinning” secret. “ It all depends on choice” she says, “after the first marriage ends, you don’t want to risk ending another one, so you should not get married to lose the title, or to evade loneliness, you get married because you found your match”.

When I asked how she felt after the first marriage ended? She said “it felt like I didn’t have anything to give anymore to anyone, I was emotionally drained, the idea of starting over with someone who might hurt me again scared me to death. But when I met my husband everything changed, he stirred a new ocean of feelings inside me. If you ask about the secret, it’s simple but tricky, because second marriages are easier to end and more agonizing than the first one, as a result, more effort from both parties is needed to make it work. The first marriage was packed with the stress of getting married at a young age, wanting to have a house, career, kids, but in the second marriage couples don’t experience the same pressure, they are supposed to be mature (maturity is not age related, it’s personality related), they know themselves by now, they should have figured out what went wrong in their first marriage, they want to share and enjoy the company more than fight each other. They should accept each other and stop trying to change their partners; they should also acknowledge that their spouse came out of a broken relationship and that they were injured, so tactfulness is required”.

A.G. continues, “It is funny how we usually try our utmost to give the best impression with all the people around us at work, with friends, with strangers, we put on our best smile and talk politely, nicely and calmly, we curb our anger and create a cooperative atmosphere at our work place or build a team for a project, but some how, we forget to do the same with our partners. If a couple lay the rules which they think will make their marriage a successful one, then they are supposed to work on it together so that they could avoid the crisis of another divorce. They should share a common interest, if there are none they should share the other person’s interest. Try to figure out solutions for your problems together, you should both work on it. One person is not responsible for making a successful marriage and one is not responsible for breaking it.”

When I asked about how they manage their time each having different careers, different kids and different problems, she said “usually, we spend all day at work and it’s the last two or three hours that we get to spend together, so we invest this time in doing something we both like, we put enjoyment as the key to everything we do, we try to forget about the day and put our differences behind us. We take time for ourselves every now and then to recharge our emotions, we maintain a good relationship with all our kids and this requires intelligence as much as kindness from both of us. A relationship is like a bank account; both parties have to give in so that they could build a fortune of feelings, and by doing this, you will always be the corner stone of your partner’s life and not just one of his life’s corners”.

When I browsed the Internet on the subject of second marriage, I stumbled across many websites (yes, there are websites for avoiding a second divorce!) and articles posted by psychologists giving their advice and warning people not to make the same mistake twice, more or less they gave the same advice on how crucial it is to understand ourselves and pinpoint the things which led to previous breakups and to find a person who shares not just the same interest but the same values in life.

The bottom line is that it doesn’t make a difference if it’s the first marriage or the second marriage; effort is needed to maintain happiness in any relationship; after all it takes two to tango!

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