My husband Gil and I have been married for fourteen years—remarried that is. We were both active and involved in our churches before we met, so we never thought we would find ourselves on this side of the marriage fence. Divorce was not in our plan. Yet, both of us found ourselves divorced, healing, dating again, and asking, “How do I make this relationship work? Where can I find remarriage advice?”
A huge ripple effect was created by “the great train wreck,” our divorces. These non-welcoming, painful ripples have been felt by our kids, other family members, and friends. But God can lovingly heal the harmful effects of divorce as He continues His work of restoration in your remarriage. Out of our pain, God-inspired our ministry, Restored and Remarried. We’ve been speaking, providing resources, and coaching to help couples through remarriage and blended family transitions for 12 years. So, here’s one tip for every year!
Here are 12 ways to make a remarriage healthy and satisfying.
- Work through your past hurts, insecurities, and jealousies. If you don’t, it will definitely affect your remarriage.
- Stay in the present. Don’t compare your new marriage and family to what you had before. This is a new ball game with some new players.
- Be your spouse’s biggest ally. They are first. Have their back in all situations. (Before the kids, the ex, the job, you get the point!)
- Seriously pray for wisdom daily, hourly even. Remarriage and stepfamily life is a huge challenge that will require wisdom from God to navigate smoothly.
- Assume the best in your spouse. Stay positive.
- When nothing is going right, hold each other for 30 seconds, then kiss.
- Display these two contagious attitudes as much as possible: gratitude and forgiveness. We can never have enough of this stuff! The gratitude is always for each other and sometimes the forgiveness is for ourselves.
- Don’t forget about “self-care.” A stronger, more relaxed you rubs off on everyone.
- Don’t try to go it alone. Tap into the experience of others who may be a little further along in their remarriage experience. Continue to invest in your relationship.
- Make building a legacy of restoration your goal. Keep that goal in front of you, even on the darkest days. It’ll be worth it. The best gift we can give our kids is a strong marriage, and you can still make that happen!
- Laugh at hard moments more.
- Remember what brought you together in the first place. When was the last time you were on a date? Away for a weekend? Be intentional to get away with each other—often.
So, “How do I make my remarriage work?” Well, it’s work all right, but it’s worth every moment. And with God in the middle of it, restoration, redemption, incredible joy, and healing can be yours.