In our last post, we shared nine reasons why you shouldn’t rush into marriage or remarriage. Whether you’re getting married for the first time or remarrying after divorce or loss, committing to life with another person is a major step and must be taken with caution. When it comes to remarriage, in particular, there are a few important factors that help determine whether you’re ready to move forward.
Even if you’ve thought, prayed, and planned extensively for your remarriage, how do you know whether the timing is right? Today, we’re going to talk about how to know you are ready for remarriage.
You both possess a healthy sense of self.
Having a healthy sense of self, or self-concept, means that you both have a firm grasp on who you are, and you both like yourselves. It’s a strong indicator of an individual’s emotional and mental wellness, and it’s something you should both be attuned to before you walk down the aisle. As we wrote in our book, Healthy Me, Healthy Us, your marriage is only as healthy as you are.
Having an unhealthy self-concept puts you at risk for:
- Selecting a marriage partner who is actually a mismatch for you
- Avoiding conflict, therefore leaving it unresolved
- Escalating conflict, therefore unnecessarily complicating difficult situations
To gain a healthier sense of self, it’s possible that you might both need to work with a licensed counselor. Having a trained professional to listen to your story can help you gain fresh, much-needed perspectives. Working with a counselor who can give you the tools you need to become a healthier person will pay dividends in the long run.
Both of you are completely independent from your previous marriages.
In addition to having a healthy self-concept, you’ll both need to be completely independent from your previous marriages. A first marriage can have a tremendous impact on how an individual interacts with and relates to their new spouse. If one or both of you has been married before, then you’ll both need to examine whether you each have a healthy sense of separation from your previous marriages.
Independence from a previous marriage isn’t just about feeling like you have fully moved on. It means that your ex’s baggage doesn’t weigh on your new relationship. Additionally, it means that you have shed the ways they conditioned you to behave in the context of a relationship.
Consider asking yourself questions like:
- How did your ex teach you to express your feelings (or not)?
- Do you struggle with the idea of being intimate or trusting because of your ex?
- Have you resolved pain and bitterness associated with your previous marriage?
- What conditioning or experiences from your previous marriage might you be bringing into a remarriage?
If you’re still carrying weight from your last marriage, it’s time to work on resolving those issues.
Be “relationally ready” for marriage.
So you both have a healthy sense of self and you’re independent from ex spouses. That’s great, but it’s not enough. Your relational readiness is also a key factor in determining whether you’re ready to remarry.
Relational readiness involves creating a sense of stability, similarity, and longevity in your relationship. It’s crucial to get a sense of where you stand on these factors, and what attributes of your relationship call for caution. One major tell? How long you’ve been together.
You can get a better feel for your relational readiness through pre-marriage counseling and resources such as the SYMBIS Assessment and our book, Saving Your Second Marriage Before It Starts. Grab the bundle here.
Are you ready to get married again? If you’ve remarried already, how do you and your spouse keep your relationship healthy? Leave us a comment and let us know.