Professor's House

Would You Remarry Your Spouse?

Think back to your wedding day and try to remember what you were thinking and feeling. What were your expectations then? What did you think that your life would like after the ‘I Do’s‘ were said? Did you ever imagine that your life would be the way it is today? Are you disappointed, or are you glad that you made the choice you did when it comes to your life partner?

Whether 5 or 15 years has passed since that fateful day of holy matrimony, it is interesting to ask yourself whether or not you would remarry your spouse. Now that you know everything about them, have been forced to witness all of their dirty little habits, and see their idiosyncrasies and short comings for what they are, would you make the same decision now – as you did back then? Is your spouse really, Mr. or Mrs. Right for you, and really, is there such a thing?

Statistics show that many people in this world, have followed in Marie Osmond’s footsteps (she remarried her spouse 26 years after their divorce) and have decided that maybe just maybe, in the sea of single fish their ex was the best. Today, around 67% of all marriages end in divorce in the first 15 years (most in the first 7). Of these people who have decided that enough is just enough, around 15% end up remarrying their spouse. This seems to go straight against the fact that an ex is an ex for a reason. And also seems to indicate that often, we don’t know just how good we have things until we are able to experience the other side of the fence.

Honesty, the question is a hard one to answer. Most couples find that troubles in their marriage ebb and flow like the tides. As both people grow and life experiences occur, couples transition in and out of love. During the times when you completely dislike everything about your spouse, the answer of whether you would ever remarry them is an easy NO. And yet, when things are rolling along smoothly, you would likely not think twice about remarrying this person (who leaves their underwear on the floor) should the opportunity arise.

Ironically, the most interesting part of this question is this. With so many people remarrying their spouses, you have to think about how permanent the problems in your marriage really are. You also have to consider that perhaps most of the time, divorce or separation, is about fleeting anger rather than the big issues in the marriage. Sure, no spouse is perfect and no marriage is without flaws. But in two people who truly love one another, and who have respect for the institute of marriage, compromise and compassion are continually flowing through the marriage. Then suddenly, something like infidelity arises, and the marriage dissolves. Years later as the anger and hurt seem to vanish; the love can float back up to the surface.

If you would remarry your spouse, chances are your marriage is amicable. The two of you have found a great place between friends and lovers where you are comfortable. You are likely able to overlook a lot of the small stuff that goes on, and feel pretty good about your choices. Chances are you also knew what you wanted when you got married, and found a partner that had the same the future plans and desires as you.

On the other hand, if you wonder now why you married your spouse at all, and would NEVER consider remarrying them if they had the chance, you might still be figuring out the relationship. Most married people find themselves very disappointed in the beginning of the marriage, and have trouble facing their own disappointment and reduced expectations. If you would not remarry your spouse again, knowing what you know now this is a great time to reflect both inwardly and outwardly on what is going right and wrong in the marriage. The sheer fact that you would not make the same decision again, means that the two of you have some work to do. You likely need to rearrange your own thinking about what a marriage should be, and reconnect with the things that you love about your spouse. Being honest, open, speaking your mind and being willing and able to make changes in the marital dynamic may be the best way to improve your marriage before you too, become a divorce statistic.

Even so, every year people remarry their spouses after divorce. This seems to prove that the adage, absence makes the heart grow stronger is definitely true. Too often, in the midst of our lives we fail to see the things that make us happy, forget about feeling grateful, and disconnect from the reasons we chose our partner to begin with. Make yourself a list of all the things you love about your mate. Spend a few hours strolling down memory lane and reconnecting with all the things you love about him or her the day you married them. You just might find the answer to your marital problems and your unhappiness can be found in your memory.

Above all things, if you are already divorced and are considering remarrying your spouse, think things through clearly. It is very important to restart the marriage with a clean slate and to entirely heal from the hurts and wounds of the past, lest they disrupt your future. You might want to consider couples therapies to make sure that the two of you are truly ready to walk down the aisle again, and you must be candid with your ex and yourself about what will and wont be tolerated in your marriage the second time around.

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