Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Second Chances

Shimmy Blum

After going through the pain of a failed marriage, is it possible to hope for happiness the second time around? Previously married individuals can never really go back to the carefree days of singlehood, but moving on while hauling the baggage of a previous marriage presents its own unique challenges. When is it time to take that next step?

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

“After years of trauma and shattered dreams, it was so refreshing to think about choosing a new spouse — one that would truly suit me. However, anytime I would discuss shidduchim with family or friends, they’d comment about how I couldn’t get through a conversation without mentioning my previous experience and how bad it was.”

Just because a man or woman is halachically free to remarry does not mean that it’s already time to enter the shidduch market, and no matter how unencumbered they might look, previously married individuals can never go back to the carefree yeshivah bochur or seminary girl stage, especially if they are already parents. One must first deal with the baggage from the previous marriage before thinking about beginning a new relationship, according to Rabbi Shlomo Ehrlich, a behavioral therapist, family counselor, board member of the Achim B’derech organization for divorced men — and the father of a blended family. “Trauma, stigma, fear of remarriage, or legal and custody battles can be poison if they are not settled before you start the shidduch process,” he says.

Experts agree that it’s advisable for men and women who have divorced or lost a spouse to enlist outside help — either a professional therapist or a wise, competent rav or mentor — to facilitate their advancement toward the next step by dealing with the negative effects of the past and help them through the dating process, which can be particularly tricky.

Certified life coach and counselor Mrs. Surie Frenkel, also the mother of a blended family, says that anger and resentment toward an ex-spouse, family, rabbanim, or anyone else related to the first marriage is the greatest saboteur of healthy advancement and the most damaging factor to the process of looking for a new spouse — whether these feelings are justified or not.

But besides personal emotional preparedness, there is another factor in being ready to enter the “parshah” again: the children. Are they ready to accept another life-altering change?

When parents break up, so does the stable world of their children. When a single mother is considering reentry into the shidduch world, she would be wise to objectively gauge the state of her children, says Mrs. Chana Rivka Jacobs, a shadchan and dating coach with the Binyan Adey Ad organization, who focuses on older singles and second marriages. If they’re not ready for this new step, large doses of undivided love and focused attention are advised for as long as necessary until they are prepared for their mother taking steps to remarry. Happy, emotionally prepared children significantly improve the chances for the success of the second marriage.

 

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

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
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"