A second marriage is a romantic pursuit that brings with it a strangely familiar and sometimes frightening point of reference since this isn’t your first rodeo. Wondering ‘just how far is it going to go this time?’ is only natural. This feeling can become even more pronounced when you’re past a certain age. If you’re dealing with mixed feelings about second marriage after 40, here is everything you need to know about what to expect and how to make this innings of matrimony last.
What are the chances of getting married after 40? Can you make the marriage work a second time around? How do you deal with the inherent fear of crashing and burning again? All of these questions and reservations are both natural and common. So, don’t worry about the trepidation and excitement you feel ahead of this impending adventure you’re about to embark on.
What to Expect from Second Marriage After 40
When two people step into matrimony, it’s with the hope of being together forever. Yet, so many times, things don’t go as expected, setting you off on the path to divorce. Or you may have lost your partner to unfortunate circumstances such as an illness or a mishap. Either way, recovering from the loss and preparing yourself to share your life with someone else can be a daunting prospect.
For one, you may find yourself worrying about the odds of remarriage after 40. After all, it’s only natural that you’d want your second innings in the marital journey to be lasting. This means finding a partner with whom you can see yourself for the long haul and who would be just as invested in building an enduring relationship with you. Given that the options of connecting with like-minded people become limited after a certain age, you may find yourself wondering about the chances of getting married after 40.
Then there is the anticipation, guilt, cynicism, self-loathing for not ‘fixing the first marriage’ and desperation to put on a ‘happy face’ can put a person looking to get married again under undue duress. Knowing what to expect from your second marriage after 40 can make the transition easier.
Second marriage after 40 – How common are they?
The success rate of marriages is fast dwindling across the world. In the US, 50% of marriages end in permanent separation or divorce. In India, this number is significantly low. Only 13 out of every 1,000 marriages end in divorce, which means the rate stands at around 1%.
While couples opt-out of a marriage because of unhappiness and discontentment, this does not necessarily mean that they lose faith in the institution as such. How often divorced couples marry during their 40s? Close to 80% of people tend to remarry after divorce or the loss of a partner. A majority of them are well past 40. So, the incidence of divorced couples getting into a second marriage after 40 is significantly high.
If you’ve been wondering about second marriage after 40 – how common they are, you now know that a majority of people don’t shy away from giving matrimony another try. Which brings us to our next question – Are second marriages more successful? What is the possible success rate of second marriages?
Are second marriages more successful?
Given that either both or at least one of the spouses has been through the grind before, one would assume that the second marriages have better odds of working out. Based on your experiences the first time around, you’d have learned from your mistakes, and emerged from it, more mature and wise. That’s why a lot of people are intrigued to know: are second marriages happier than first?
Statistics point to the contrary. The second marriage divorce rate stands at nearly 65%. That means two out of every three-second marriages don’t work out. The chances of a second marriage after 40 meeting this fate can be higher. While you are wiser, calmer, and more mature at this stage of life, you’re also more set in your ways. That may make your second marriage after 40 a bit vulnerable, however, many people do work on themselves and make their second marriages a lifetime of happiness. This makes adjusting to a new partner more challenging.
Some of the reasons why second marriages fail include:
- Baggage from the first failed relationship
- Divergent views on money, sex, and family
- Incompatibility between children from first marriages
- Involvement of exes in life
- Taking the leap before fully recovering from the setback of the first failed marriage.
Related Reading: 10 Signs You Are In A Loveless Marriage
How To Make Second Marriage After 40 Work
Don’t let these statistics deter you from a second marriage after 40 if that’s something you really want. It is possible to find your happily-ever-after with a second marriage. As Sonia Sood Mehta, who has been happily married a second time around, says, “I have been married for the second time and he is my soulmate. We have been married for 17 years and I have known him for 19.
“We were both previously married. My first marriage was really bad. I have two kids from my first marriage and that doesn’t change anything. We are a happy family of four. We are so closely bonded that no one can tell we had a past. God is kind. It doesn’t matter what marriage it is. You should find a life partner who loves you and respects you.”
So, if you’re wondering is it possible to get married after 40 and make it work, you have your answer. Your decision to marry again needn’t be made out to be a twisty tale in the dark woods if you’re clear and honest about the reasons why you’re considering a second marriage after 40. A good start point would be remaining mindful of the second marriage divorce rate and why second marriages fail.
It can help keep you grounded and motivate you to put some earnest effort into your relationship. That would help you and your new partner a great deal. Here are some tips to make your second marriage after 40 last:
1. Avoid comparing your current partner with your ex
While it’s natural for you to want to use your last partner as a benchmark to assess your new partner’s looks, monetary standing, attitude, behavior in bed, social circle, general candor, communication style, and so on, make a conscious effort to shake off this tendency. You should absolutely not bring these things up in discussions with your partner.
If this tendency is used to gain leverage over your partner, it will most likely result in permanent damage to your new relationship. The spouse without a grouse does not exist and, therefore, your current spouse may possess or lack certain personality traits that remind you of your ex.
However, constant comparisons can make your current partner feel inadequate and that can sting quite a bit. This is particularly important if your spouse has never been married before. You don’t want the whole ‘my first marriage his second’ feeling to become a sore point in the relationship.
2. Take stock of your actions
If your first marriage hasn’t worked out, you need to introspect. Ask yourself, ‘what did I do to contribute to the failure of this relationship’ or ‘what could I have done differently’. Chances are, you’d know things about you that you never knew. And that would help you in not repeating the same mistakes and improvise on yourself. A responsible adult is one who knows how to accept the consequence of their actions and use these life lessons to build a better life.
It is your moral duty to protect your interests while still learning to be open and vulnerable with your current partner. If you want yours to be among second marriage success stories, the key is to use the failure of your marriage as a fuel that propels happiness in your send. You have the opportunity for a ‘do-over’. Do it right.
Shilpa Tom, a banker, says, “The chances of getting married after 40 really depend on the personality of a person and also on meeting the right person one is compatible with. The more important thing is to make second marriage after 40 work. For that, it’s crucial to make the things that went wrong in the first marriage right.
Related Reading: 20 Ways To Make Your Husband Fall In Love With You Again
3. Be honest without being reckless with your words
Many people pride themselves on being honest all the time. In the bargain, they end up being careless with their words and actions, causing irreparable damage to their partner’s feelings as well as their relationship. It’s important to speak the truth to your partner but brutal honesty can land brutal blows in relationships. Honesty is a double-edged sword that must be counterbalanced with kindness and empathy.
Janet Serrao Agarwal, a chartered accountant, says, “When it comes to odds of remarriage after 40 and making that relationship work, the emotional quotient between the two partners is most important, as in the first marriage trust is lost and there is bitterness.
“There is a lot of baggage, both emotional and tangible. For instance, accepting your spouse’s kids and navigating the ropes of a blended family while also learning to manage triggers such as trust issues or insecurity.
“Besides, at this stage, both partners are independent and hence only look for acceptance and respect for their individual lives. So, being honest and realistic also means accepting that it’s not going to be a love story where you experience butterflies in your stomach or feel your heart skip a beat. The relationship is more likely to be centered on pure companionship.”
4. It’s not your way or the highway
Ditch the ‘my way or the highway approach. Yes, you may be used to doing things a certain way, living your life a certain way by the time you have a second marriage after 40. But this outlook is a recipe for disaster.
Building a strong marriage, second time over is akin to skating on thin ice. Sentiments are fragile, and the cuts and bruises of the past still sharp. So try to be more accommodating in the relationship, and make your spouse feel welcomed in your life and home. Even if that means a little adjustment here and there.
5. Celebrate the differences
You and your partner will disagree on several things. All couples do. Don’t let these small disagreements or casual bickering become triggers for past trauma. Also, do not sacrifice your individuality at the altar of your second marriage after 40, just because you are fixated with the idea of making it work this time around. That’ll only leave you disgruntled and bitter.
Instead, build strong communication to accept, embrace, and celebrate your differences. Whether it is the second or first marriage after 40 – or even first for one partner and second for the other – the key to success is to create enough room in the relationship for both partners to thrive and be their authentic self.
After all, a marriage is all about collaboration, generosity & the shared adventure of progress –as individuals & as a couple. Don’t worry about the second marriage divorce rate and second marriage success stories. Don’t lose sleep over questions like, ‘Can I pull off a second marriage after 40?’, ‘Are second marriages more successful?’, ‘Why second marriages fail?’ and so on. Give it your best, and let things take their natural course.