Based on the author’s personal experience, over 30 years of clinical practice, knowledge from leading marriage and remarriage researchers, and 100 in-depth interviews of remarried people, The Remarriage Manual offers 10 essential keys to a successful remarriage:
1. Build a Culture of Appreciation, Respect, and Tolerance. Negativity is toxic. Personal growth and love are possible when you can express appreciation through positive words and actions.
2. Make Your Remarriage a Top Priority. Never underestimate the power of intentional time with your partner to increase physical and emotional intimacy.
3. Ditch the Baggage from Your First Marriage. Learn ways to be more reflective and less reactive to triggers that hit raw spots or vulnerabilities stemming from prior relationships.
4. Don’t Keep Secrets about Money. Remarried couples face complicated financial issues such as unequal assets, child support, alimony, and education costs for children and stepchildren. Honesty and full disclosure about finances are essential.
5. Don’t Let Mistrust Stop You from Being Vulnerable and Emotionally Intimate. Learn that vulnerability and trust go hand in hand and the steps you can take to be authentic and intimate with your partner so you can achieve long-lasting love.
6. Get Sexy and Fall in Love All Over Again. Given the stressors of a second marriage, it can be particularly challenging to stay sexually intimate. Yet moments of connection, such as touching, talking, or making love, are all part of the glue that holds a second marriage together.
7. Don’t Make a Big Deal about Nothing . . . but Do Deal with Important Issues. Differences in beliefs, expectations, and conversational styles can cause you to blow things out of proportion and tune each other out. Effective communication will help you overcome these types of misunderstandings.
8. Manage the Flames of Conflict. You can’t avoid disagreements entirely. What you can do, however, is learn how to manage them successfully to avoid the “blame game” so that they can nourish rather than drain your remarriage.
9. Embrace Your Role as a Stepparent and Create Positive Stepfamily Memories. There is no such thing as instant love in a stepfamily. When biological parents are involved, the relationships can get even trickier. Learn to adjust to your role as a stepparent―the chances of a second marriage succeeding go way up when both partners adopt an attitude of “we’re in this together.”
10. Say You’re Sorry and Mean It. Studies show that apologizing to your partner for hurting their feelings and granting forgiveness are crucial to the success of a second marriage. It’s essential that remarried couples learn the value of sincere apologies and forgiveness.
Drawing on the experiences of dozens of couples and remarriage scenarios, Terry Gaspard shows you how to bring each key home and set up your relationship for lasting success.
Whether you are thinking of remarrying and concerned about going the distance or are already remarried and struggling, The Remarriage Manual provides the expert advice, practical tools, hope, and inspiration you need to prevent challenges from becoming deal breakers. The 10 keys provided here will help put you and your spouse on solid footing; keep the flame between you burning bright; and build a deeply trusting, loving, and sustainable connection for the long haul.