Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



2nd Time Around

Barbara Bensoussan

After a first marriage fails, a second marriage can be a balm to the soul. But that doesn’t mean it’s a smooth ride. Here are some common hurdles that newlyweds have to face the second time around — and the ways they dealt with those challenges.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

rings

After a painful divorce, Liora was left with four young children, no college degree, and a job that paid only $15 an hour. “My ex did help with the children’s expenses, but once I paid the rent, there was precious little left. Trying to create a happy Jewish home when I was so overwhelmed was really a challenge. I still remember struggling to put up a little succah by myself, and crying in frustration when the poles kept collapsing. It just seemed to symbolize my whole struggle to keep my home together.”

Worn down from the front lines, Liora was delighted when she met Ari. He seemed like the perfect knight in shining armor to lift her up and carry her out of her misery: financially successful, charming, with only a few older children who lived with their mother. Liora and Ari spoke about commitment and how to solve problems through good communication. He promised he would renovate his house for her and buy her a new sheitel.

Less than a year after their marriage, Liora was back in another apartment with her children. “He became a different person after we got married,” she says. “He seemed to stop caring about me; he was moody and critical. As for the support, well, he never came through on any of his promises.” Ari refused to discuss problems, thereby ruling out getting help from a counselor, rav, or therapist.

Not all second marriages have such a sad ending, but Liora’s experience is in line with secular statistics on remarriage (there are no statistics for the frum community): The divorce rate runs at about 67 percent for second marriages and 73 percent for third ones. (The failure rate for first-timers is lower, but no less dismal, at 50 percent.)

Why are remarriages so fragile when you’d expect people to enter them older and wiser? For one, things get increasingly complicated the second time around. If you’ve already been married, chances are you have children; your chassan likely has some, too. If he lives elsewhere, you might have to uproot your entire life to join him (with your disgruntled kids in tow). Finances can quickly become a heated issue — what happens when you get an inheritance but want to reserve the money only for your children and not his?

From second-timers who have been there — and experts who advise them — here are some pointers on how to avoid the pitfalls of remarriage.

 

 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you