A frequently observed pattern is for those who remarry to repeat the mistakes from their previous failed marriage. Second marriages are even more likely to fail than first marriages. This occurs far too often, yet there are things that can be done to prevent it.
It is extremely important to gain some understanding and insight into what we may have contributed to the failure of our earlier marriage(s). It is never so simple as to have been entirely the blame of our first spouse that a previous marriage ended. If we do not have understanding and insight, we cannot take the necessary responsibility in order to correct past mistakes, and therefore, not repeat the same mistakes.
Marriages end due to many factors, including rushing into a marriage without an adequate courtship period to get to know the person we are marrying, not knowing our partner’s history and character, rushing into sexual intimacy, failing to be prepared for the demands of marriage, not being financially secure, failing to manage anger and other emotions, not knowing how to communicate well or resolve conflicts, just to mention a few.
Counseling is an important experience in getting help understanding how a past marriage failed. It can make the difference between a failed or successful second marriage. Pre-marriage counseling is also a very important experience, to insure that future relationships are on track to becoming a successful marriage. Premarriage counseling should begin as soon as possible after the first talk of a life together for the future.
The Bible speaks of the importance of the “safety in a multitude of counselors,” (Proverbs 11:14), and that we should walk in wise counsel (Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 19:20).” Making important decisions on our own without counsel increases the odds of our making an error in judgment.
Consider the gift of pre-marital counseling to your adult children considering marriage. A comprehensive assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of a planned marriage, offered by a trained and objective professional, may carry more weight than your own opinion. Further, this gives your adult children the counseling or therapy they may need to get their relationship on firm ground.
-Dale Doty, Ph.D.