Second Marriage Happiness
Marriage involves a total commitment whether it is the person's first, second, or seventh time walking down the aisle. A positive attitude, an absolute determination to make this one work, is vital. Recently, I had a bride and groom contact me wanting to see if I would perform their Jewish wedding ceremony. They shared with me that this would be their second marriage for both of them. As a Cantor who officiates weddings for brides and grooms I do sometimes get inquires such as these.
Chabbad has an interesting perspective on second marriages.
Many many remarried couples experience blissful and loving marriages. It is important to note, however, that the fate of a marriage often depends on the original approach one takes to the relationship. Entering a marriage with low expectations for its long-term prospects can end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is unfair to oneself as well as to the person one cares about enough to consider marrying.
Second marriages often bring unique challenges. The acute sensitivity required of stepparents when dealing with stepchildren; the occasional reluctance of certain family members to accept a second spouse; as well as certain expectations the spouses may have developed in the course of their first marriages. Preparing for these issues by reading up on the subjects, as well as discussing them with others who have successfully dealt with these dilemmas, is certainly a wise step. But bear in mind that with an unqualified commitment, coupled with compassion and the spirit of cooperation, one can weather most, if not all, family issues.
For those who are tying the knot for the second time after experiencing the heartbreak of a failed marriage, there's good reason to be heartened: there are realistic reasons to be optimistic that the second time can and will be smoother than the first go-round. A failed first marriage causes one to acknowledge that love and passion alone are not sufficient grounds for marriage. This recognition should cause a person to examine any future perspective spouse through a lens of clarity and objectivity, thus increasing the odds of marrying a truly compatible mate.
In the majority of instances, the couple united in a first marriage are "bashert" (predestined) for each other; they share a soul connection since before they were born. While their souls may be a perfect fit, they may have clashing personalities, priorities, and/or ambitions. So why did they marry? Because they were destined for each other. Second marriages present an opportunity to choose a person who is compatible with one's lifestyle and character.
According to the Talmud, the quality of people's second spouses depends on their deeds (as opposed to first spouses which are determined before birth).
The bride and groom who I met with provided me with their get documents. A Get is a writ of Jewish divorce which terminates a Jewish marriage and enables the former husband and wife to remarry freely under Jewish law. It is a 12-line document, written by hand by a professionally trained scribe under the proper supervision of a Bet Din, or Rabbinic Court, and signed by two witnesses. Under Jewish law, a Get is presented by a husband to his wife. When she acquires the document, both of them are released from all marital obligations.
They have found love and found a partner that they are so compatible with and compliment each other so well - they are so ready to get married and build a life together!