Traditional society expects us to be with one partner for a lifetime, but unfortunately, it is not the case for a lot of people. Remarrying can result in uncomfortable situations.
We are the architects of our own happiness. We consider traditions such as arranged marriages old-fashioned. But choosing our own life partner is not foolproof either, there are times when we realize we have made a mistake, get divorced, and marry again.
Divorce is not the only reason to remarry, sometimes married people die and leave their spouse behind. Mortality rates of Americans for example, are flat from ages 15 to 64. That is an intriguing statistic released by the CDC. It means that working-age Americans die at the same rate regardless of their age.
Whatever the reason, remarriage is a personal choice. It is anyone’s right and privilege. But meddling society gets in the way. Here are some tips to handle it with style.
Treat your ex-relatives with respect, but don’t be a doormat
Just because you have legally severed your relationship with your ex, that doesn’t mean the bonds created with your in-laws are broken. Consider how well they treated you in the past, and use that as a template for the present.
If they were mean to you in the past, ignore them. Unless there’s a court order, you can treat them as invisible. There is no need to create new conflicts with your ex’s relatives, don’t bother ruining your day because of them.
There is no need to change social circles to avoid your ex or their relatives, but it’s also a personal choice.
Gossip runs wild and rampant in small cliques when someone gets divorced. People also tend to talk about other people who are absent. It’s a pain, and if you’re guilty of this, refrain from this behavior.
If they were gracious to you in the past, then continue with your relationship. If they do turn hostile, understand that it’s not your fault. They are taking their relative’s side and that understandable. Apologize and leave.
If you do find yourself in a situation where you have to deal with your ex’s relatives, never lose your temper. Leave the moment you notice things are hostile. You have no obligation to ride their whims.
Be honest with your children
Tell them the truth, it’s that simple. Explain the new situation over and over until they understand. Do not be embarrassed by the choices you made. Your children will also have to live with it.
It is best that you and your children are on the same page in every situation. Lying to children will result in them losing their trust in you, and in the worst-case scenario they will repeat that lie to someone else and make you look like a total idiot.
Do not create a situation that would make your children hate your ex. They could superimpose that scenario into your new spouse and carry that resentment well into adulthood.
If the children blame you or hate your new spouse. Then you are just going to have to suck it up, be an adult, and do what you can to appease them.
Be careful not to overcompensate and turn them into spoiled brats. Depending on the coping mechanism used by the child, you would need to be patient and make sure not to escalate the problem further. Do not be afraid to show your true feeling in front of them.
You and your new spouse should support each other, they can have children from their previous marriage of their own. Discuss arrangements and how to handle situations as they come. Problems with stepchildren escalate as time goes by, so resolve it as early and as often as possible.
Losing your temper in front of children will only serve to increase their contempt for YOUR choices. If you need to vent, do it privately with your new partner.
Smile, smile, and smile
There may come a time when you would need to introduce your new partner to your ex. It could also be the other way around, you could find yourself in a situation where you would have to meet the new partner of your ex. It is understandable that all parties involved will have mixed feelings about the situation.
There is only one way to handle this situation, regardless of what happened in the past, smile.
You have to be honest with children, you don’t have to be in front of adults.
Do not compare yourself or your new spouse. Let others waste their time with the mind games. Moving on with your life that is what remarriage is about. What other people think is of little importance, the only thing that matters is to have a civil relationship with your ex and your/their new spouse.
You cannot have any sort of respectful relationship with hostility. Creating more issues with your ex’s or his family is counterproductive. There’s no sense in creating problems with someone you already left. Smile and move on. Choices have been made, and live with it.
Awkward situations are inevitable
There are many other possible scenarios with friends, family, ex’s, and even strangers that might result in awkward situations. It is something you are going to have to live with for choosing to marry again. Remember that remarriage is not anything to be ashamed of and regardless of what other people say, it’s your life and not theirs.
Avoid people with “Holier than thou attitude”, they are the ones who go out of their way to make you feel bad for choosing to marry again.
So make sure to keep your poise. Stay calm and smile. Do not escalate the situation in any way, saying something, anything will only give them something to gossip about. The last thing you want is to keep things interesting for them.
Family, especially the children, are the ones you should truly care about. They are the only ones who deserve your time and effort. They are the ones whose lives have been affected because you decided to marry someone else. They will have to learn to deal with their own awkward situations, a circumstance that you created for them, and they might not be able to handle it.