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
 
Weekly Struggle
Shoshana Friedman Cover text: promise big and deliver what we promise
Only Through You
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A response to last week’s letter, “Waiting in Passaic”
Are You Making a Kiddush Hashem?
Yonoson Rosenblum In communal affairs, “one bad apple…” often applies
Chance of a Lifetime
Eytan Kobre I identify with the urge to shout, “No, don’t do it!”
Work / Life Solutions with Bunim Laskin
Moe Mernick "You only get every day once"
Seeking a Truly Meaningful Blessing
Dovid Zaidman We want to get married. Help us want to date
Shivah Meditations
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Equivalence between two such polar opposites is puzzling
Magnet Moment
Jacob L. Freedman Everyone’s fighting a battle we know nothing about
Secrets and Surprises
Riki Goldstein Top-secret suits Eli Gerstner just fine
Blasts of Warmth
Riki Goldstein Keeping the chuppah music upbeat in low temperatures
Behind the Scenes
Faigy Peritzman The intrinsic value of each mitzvah
Good Vision
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Good or bad, nice or not? What you see is what you get
Day of Peace
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz On Shabbos we celebrate peace within and without