When you walk down the aisle for the second time, it’s different. It’s not just saying “I do” again; it’s saying yes to a second chance at lifelong love and connection. In remarriages, we may feel extra pressure about what’s at stake, but with teamwork, understanding, and solid communication, finding success in a second marriage is wonderfully possible.

Why Second Marriages are Harder

While remarriage is a fresh start for happiness, the statistics reveal that reality is a bit different from “happily ever after”. Data shows that over 60% of second marriages in the United States end in divorce, compared to around 50% for first marriages. Second marriages often face challenges that can lead to big problems down the road. 

Unresolved Issues From the Past

One big obstacle second marriages often face, according to remarriage expert Terry Gaspard, is jumping into a new marriage without really figuring out why the first one didn’t work. Carrying issues from a past divorce into a new relationship can cause problems before your new relationship has a chance to blossom fully.

If you’ve been through tough times before and still find it hard to trust people in your current relationships, that’s a big clue that there might be some unresolved issues from the past. You might unconsciously be looking at your past experiences and using them to figure out what to expect now.

When you’re going about things based on templates from painful past experiences, it’s pretty natural to feel afraid or paranoid that those same bad things might happen once more. Unresolved trauma can make people feel more intense feelings than they might have otherwise. Holding onto past relationship issues can make it difficult to trust your future partners, making your new relationship vulnerable to conflict and tension.


Money issues, especially when there’s child support or spousal maintenance involved, can add extra stress to a relationship. According to the American Psychological Association, nearly one in three married couples say that money is a major source of conflict. Arguments about finances also tend to be more intense and less likely to be resolved. 

Partners are more likely to bring personal assets into a second marriage, so money expectations should be discussed before tying the knot. Couples should consider whether a prenuptial agreement is appropriate, especially those with complex financial situations. 


Not being ready for the challenges of step-parenting is another thing that can go wrong. Although kids are not the ones deciding whether or not their parent marries someone new, experts say they do play a major role in deciding whether the marriage is successful.

Stepfamily expert Maggie Scarf says that a stepparent’s role is distinctly different from a traditional parent. She says that many stepparents go wrong by leaning into a disciplinarian role when what kids need is a friend and ally. A solid family unit requires buy-in from everyone, not just the adults. A major part of being a stepparent is earning your partner’s child’s trust.

How to Strive for Success

A successful second marriage, much like any enduring relationship, demands a healthy dose of realism. Despite the desire for a better marriage, the reality is that second marriages aren’t automatically smooth. The key to a successful second marriage is being aware of the challenges, approaching the relationship with openness, and working together to build a stronger foundation.

Disagree When You Need To

Disagreements may not be anyone’s idea of fun, but steering clear of conflict may not be the best approach either. A 2013 study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research revealed that suppressing emotions can lead to poorer health outcomes. The study also found that in extreme cases, holding in your feelings can lead to premature death. 

Licensed professional counselor Dr. Mark Mayfield says that it’s much better to address negative feelings than to bottle them up. He says that healthy conflict can bring couples together. This is because working through an issue together can make you feel more committed to your partner. In times of stress, remember that you and your partner are a team; you’re working together to solve a problem, not against each other.

Appreciate Each Other

In any relationship, it’s important to let the other person know you appreciate them. Malini Bhatia, founder and CEO of Marriage.com says that she notices when couples are not appreciative of each other. According to her, making each other feel appreciated is the key to maintaining a healthy relationship. 

When you acknowledge and value things about your partner, it boosts their spirits and shows them that their efforts matter to you. Especially if one or both of you are still processing the effects of a previous relationship, it is so important to share your appreciation freely and often. 

Bhatia says that couples can benefit from developing the habit of thanking and appreciating each other for “every little thing they do.” Doing this will help you acknowledge and appreciate things you may have taken for granted. A culture of appreciation and understanding will help keep your relationship solid through stressful times.

Forgive and Move On

Dr. Lisa Fierstone argues that people will always be flawed, so forgiveness will always be crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship.  Forgiving doesn’t mean you’re okay with the pain caused, but it helps you move forward and reminds you that you’re on the same side. It’s also important that both partners are willing to apologize when necessary without causing resentment to do so.

Forgiving couples tend to show better control over their actions and a positive attitude towards their partner. They’re more likely to let go of issues instead of holding onto anger or resentment. Instead, they focus on maintaining a positive relationship and not being harsh or punishing.

It’s not as simple as it was the first time around. Some unique challenges and pressures come with getting married again. It helps to talk openly and understand these things to make a second marriage more likely to succeed. Building a strong foundation of trust and closeness is crucial to overcome these difficulties.

While it might seem challenging, a successful second marriage is possible through teamwork, understanding, and good communication. Remember that second marriages aren’t automatically easy, but by acknowledging the challenges and working together, you can build a solid foundation for a successful and enduring connection.