Cupid's Pulse Article: Can Love Be Better the Second Time Around?Cupid's Pulse Article: Can Love Be Better the Second Time Around?

By Patricia Bubash for Hope After Divorce

Yes, it can! This answer is according to the couples that I interviewed for my book, Successful Second Marriages. What prompted a book about second marriages? The failure of my own second marriage and my admiration for remarrieds who found success in this second chance love — success in spite of the negative numbers for second marriages. Statistics approximate that half of first marriages end in divorce.  For second timers, the odds for staying together get even tougher: Two-thirds of those taking the plunge a second time don’t make it. With odds like these, it is surprising that more than half of those first-time exes remarry…but they do! We are a nation in love with love.

Related Link: A Hole in My Heart

So yes, love can be better the second time around if we do some self-introspection, a little homework. When we’re met with failure while attempting a new project, a recipe, school work, or a job, we question what we did wrong. We don’t want to repeat our mistake and fail again. This mindset should also be true for a marriage.  Whatever happened in our first union, we did make some contribution to the demise of that marriage. Maybe not to the extent of our ex-spouse, but we were half of the doomed duo.

Love can even be better the second time around with the same former spouse if needed relationship work is done by both parties together as a team. Take two celebrity couples in the news for possibly getting back together again: Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie as well as Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. Good for them! There truly is hope for couples to work together to strengthen their relationship and be happier and better than they ever imagined they could be. Owning up to the individual part we play in the relationships we are in is what matters most. We can only be fully responsible for ourselves and how we choose to participate in our marriages.

Family/marriage therapist Mary Duparri has observed a certain pattern with clients who have found love again. Their comments relay their total lack of responsibility for their failed first marriage.  They say, “Now, I have found the right person. I choose the wrong person before. I shouldn’t have married him (or her) in the first place, but this time, I have the right one!” The therapist expressed her dismay that her clients do not accept any personal liability for the previous marriage and do not look into what went wrong so mistakes would not be repeated. Instead, they conclude it was simply the wrong person. Now, this new love is the right person — a perfect match. Problem solved.

A pleasant change for DuParri would have been to have the couples I interviewed as her clients. These nine pairs had done their homework before committing to another relationship. As much as they all agreed that after their divorce they hoped for another relationship, they also, very vehemently, stated, “I never want to go through another divorce!” They were going to do everything in their power to make number two a success. The tagline on my book reads “Inspiring, Encouraging, and Hopeful” — words descriptive of the couples interviewed. Every time I left a home, I felt humbled and gratified for our conversations. I knew that I needed to be more attentive to my own marriage (yes, I’ve been in a third-time-is-charm marriage for the past 24 years). I found myself aspiring to have a relationship similar to that of the couples I was talking with.

Related Link: Second (and Third) Marriages: Destined for Divorce?

Their stories were the catalyst, a personal goal to write the book. In terms of my own personal understanding of what went wrong with my second marriage, how had I contributed to the failure of it? And what was the formula for success the second time around?

1. Know yourself. Before you say “I do” again, know what you really want in a marriage. Are you looking for companionship, security, credibility, a family? What are you willing to contribute? Do some introspection. I was impressed with the number of individuals I interviewed who did just this — spent some time alone, getting to know themselves better versus rushing to become a twosome again. Taking time out for a little constructive self-awareness leads to a better relationship when that true love comes along.

2. Discuss finances. I know this was a problem in my second marriage. I owned the home we shared, earned more money, and had job security. This is especially important when each person has children. Decide who is responsible for what expenses and have this clearly determined before you become a married couple.

3. Don’t expect love and acceptance from their kids! Many a troubled, disappointed parent has come to my office to bemoan, “I have found the love of my life, and my children are being horrible” or “I don’t know what is the matter with them. I have finally found my soulmate.” Well, you may be in love, but your children are not. They have another parent, so give them time. Don’t rush them to acceptance of this “wonderful” new husband or wife.

Related Link: Maggie Scarf Breaks Down Unique Family Dynamics in “The Remarriage Blueprint” 

These two celebrity couples — Duff and Comrie and Paltrow and Martin — show us that there is hope and promise for the possibility of working harder together to build a stronger foundation for our relationship, marriage, and family. Good for them — we are cheering them both on!

I learned much more than these three tips from my wonderful second timers. Love can be better the second time around when we don’t rush to action (marry again too quickly), do some introspection, clarify financial responsibility, give kids time to adjust to the new person, and read Successful Second Marriages!

For more information about Hope After Divorce, click here.

Cupid's Pulse Article: Can Love Be Better the Second Time Around?Patricia Bubash received her M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Working with students and families has been her true calling for over thirty years. For more than twenty years she has presented workshops at the community college on a variety of topics relating to parenting issues, self-esteem and issues relative to divorce. Patricia is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Missouri and, a Stephen Minister. She submits a variety of articles related to relationships, marriage and divorce to several internet sites, and, frequently, is interviewed on internet radio stations. Volunteerism, writing and family are most significant in her life. Patricia writes for,,, She can be reached at