Giving love a second chance is a beautiful thing. However, you’re older and wiser than when you first got married. If you’re divorced and planning to get hitched again, it’s time to learn from your mistakes.
Take some time to analyze what went wrong with your first union, then decide how you want your new partnership to go — and have the talk. Here are five things for single moms to know when planning their second wedding.
1. Have Tough Money Talks Up Front
Money matters are the leading cause of stress in relationships and one of the top three causes of divorce, along with infidelity and abuse. Yet, for whatever reason, finances seem to be a taboo topic of conversation everywhere in our society — even around the kitchen table — although the green stuff runs nearly every aspect of our lives.
You have a lot of things to discuss with your new love. Will you save for a home if you currently rent apartments? Will you want to buy cars, save for your children’s education, travel together? All of these things take a coordinated team effort when you’re married.
One thing to decide is whether to keep your money separate or create joint accounts. If you’ve been married before, you know there are arguments for doing both.
A joint account helps you build responsibility and accountability together. However, if your last spouse used money to control you, you might not be too thrilled about the idea of giving your new beau that much leverage. A compromise solution is to keep separate accounts and create a joint one for household expenses you share, such as the mortgage or vacation fund.
2. Get the Children Involved
Do you and your new partner have little ones? If so, they’ll have a lot to say about your new union. It’s your job as parents to listen.
You also have to practice understanding. For example, if you have kids and your partner doesn’t, they may feel like an outsider at times. Please be patient and don’t force the relationship. Encourage your partner to invite your new stepchildren on outings to the park or mall to get to know them better, but don’t chastise your kids if they say no.
If you’re a blended family, you and your new spouse might have different parenting styles. How young is too young to go on a first date? A first sleepover? Should your littles be able to stay up as late as they want, within reason, or is 8 p.m. a firm bedtime? Discuss these things in private before discussing them as a family and setting your expectations.
On a less serious note, consider your children’s input when planning the festivities. Does your little flower girl want to wear pink? Is there any rule that says the sky will fall if she doesn’t go with white?
3. Decide How to Cohabitate
Getting married again may or may not mean changing your living arrangements. If it does, remember, you both have plenty of precious memories you want to showcase in your home. Decide how you will share your space.
You’ll probably decide that some things need to go to make everything fit and look harmonious. Go through your items together instead of handling the task solo. That way, you and your partner have a chance to explain why certain objects have sentimental value, further cementing your bond.
If you have children in common, get the bedroom debate out of the way early, as it can cause little ones considerable stress when they don’t have a place they feel is theirs. If your kids have to share bedrooms once you cohabitate, let them work out arrangements on how to share the space that they think is fair.
4. Prioritize With Your Partner
What’s most important to you in life? If you don’t know the answer to this question, you need to figure it out before saying “I do” again. Focusing so much on your partner and their needs that you lose sight of who you are and what you want is codependency and can lead to toxicity and even the dissolution of your union.
Understand that you and your partner will have differences. It doesn’t mean one of you is “bad” or “wrong,” and the other is “right” or “good.” Varied opinions are the spice of life — it’s how you address them and learn and grow from each other that matters.
The ability to respectfully disagree is a green-means-go signal on your new union. If you find yourself constantly silencing yourself to keep the peace and “walking on eggshells,” you might want to consult with a therapist before taking the plunge.
5. Get Unique and Creative
Planning a second wedding isn’t all serious. You’re probably financing this event independently, unlike your first, where your parents may have helped foot expenses. If that’s the case, why not make your ceremony as unique as your love?
If you went traditional the first time, why not opt for a funky costume wedding where you substitute cosplay for the traditional pricey 1-time-use gown? If you and your partner like geeking out, you and your crew of friends in your wedding party will all have something to wear for the next Comicon or Renaissance Faire.
Maybe you don’t want all the pomp and circumstance. A small, intimate gathering in your backyard can be more memorable than a costly affair at an exclusive venue. However, if you want to rent a ballroom, keeping things tiny can shave expenses.
Things Single Moms Should Know About Planning Their Second Wedding
Taking a second chance on love is an act of courage. Single moms should know these five things about planning their second wedding.