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Home / Marriage Advice

The secret of sustaining a second marriage

Your God will be my God and your people will be my people. This is a common scripture in many Christian marriages though it’s also an anecdote frequently used in other bonds. But rarely do people include clauses like “your debts will be my debts, your children will be my children or your enemies will be my enemies” though that should be part of the package.

Remarriage unions, especially where children are involved, is a bond that comes as a package with an understanding of sharing the good and the bad.

Remarriage often occurs usually when the involved parties are waking up from other marriages as in the case of divorce, single parenthood or widowhood. Remarriages therefore come with challenges such as variation in parenting, lifestyle or discipline and can be a cause of aggravation to children and their parents.

According to Helpguide.org, a project of the Rotary Club that provides skills to build mental and emotional health, bonding with a step family is difficult for all parties involved hence it’s important to lay a firm foundation by taking quality time to plan for it.

A person recovering from a divorce or the death of a spouse may rush into remarrying to either fill the gap or in the case of divorce, to prove a point. Relationship experts advise that before a non-parent embarks on marrying a parent, appreciating that they may not know much about parenting is worth recognition. The parent in the relationship should therefore understand when the new spouse misunderstands the stages of growth and maturity in children. Dealing with adolescence for such a parent can be very frustrating.

Silas Kiriinya, a psychologist and the Executive Director of Amazon Counselling Centre in South B, Nairobi advises that before getting into a remarriage, an individual should have clear motives why they have chosen that road. He observes that remarriages are made of people who have had other marriage experiences hence the road can be bumpy as the two strife to avoid repeating previous mistakes.

Others may be so possessive of their partners such that they are unaware when they start distancing from their children. This, he notes, is because a spouse, for example, may have the notion that they are getting older and if their spouses abandon them, they may never get someone else. “This is a very negative conception because it may make someone play desperate or make unworthy sacrifices,” he warns. Silas’ views are reflected by Ann Gathuma, a relationship expert who believes that a couple can have a difficult time either trying to prove their worth or making efforts to impress their new find and can easily neglect other responsibilities.

She cautions that getting married to a parent is a sacrifice to be an equal parent to the children. “It is no longer about two love-birds but about building a family”, she advises.

Both Silas and Ann agree that bonding children, especially in a case where the two spouses have their own children, is an extremely challenging task.

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