When I said "I do" the first time around I relied on my trusty list. You know the list of logical - unemotional things I shared in common with my Ex. The list I thought guaranteed a good match in marriage. Top of my list - same religion. Growing up a Non-Mormon chick in a heavily populated Mormon state I was convinced a Mormon could never get someone like me.
What I never took into account was did he make me laugh? Did he really get me? Mormon or not. Did we share any of the same dreams when it came to living our life? Could he support my dreams that were separate from his? Did we connect on an emotional level?
If I had chosen to seriously ask even one of those questions with honestly before I said I do, I would have never agreed to marry my Ex. Instead I blindly followed the list. Four years later I would ask myself those very questions as I contemplated divorce and a life without him.
So I threw away the list my second time around. I mean how could I not? Twice divorced Dad of Five! Seriously that would have never made any list in a million years. Instead I asked myself those questions I had painstakingly pushed to the back of mind with marriage number one. Surprisingly a Mormon Guy did get me - this crazy, loud Non-Mormon Chick.
Still entering into a second marriage there was another level of questions I had to seriously ask myself before saying I do. After all, there was much more at stake this time around with 6 kids and three divorces between us. We both wanted to get this one right. So I asked the tough questions. The ones that would be super easy to push to the back burner if it was a good match for our kids.
- Are we good to each other? Not just to our respective kids.
- Do we love eachother as Partners and Parents? It really needs to be both.
- Is our relationship held together by more than raising our kids?
- Is our love romantic love?
- Is raising our kids together, secondary to our connection as a couple?
The answer had to be YES to every single question! Second marriages don't have the benefit of a honeymoon period - the US time in a marriage. That time to get to know your Spouse as a lover, a partner, a best friend. So that when he disappoints you as a Partner - a Parent - you have a bank full of positive experiences to put into perspective the disappointment.
The List will get you into trouble everytime, but so will your heart. The love googles are on which makes asking the hard questions even more important when contemplating a second marriage. Answering with a YES the hard questions won't guarantee happiness or success. They will however, give you the strongest foundation to build your Marriage and Blended Family with the best chance of weathering the storms.