Factors that Complicate a Second Marriage 

Remarriage after a divorce can be even more complicated than marrying for the first time. It’s important to carefully prepare for the obstacles you may encounter in a second marriage. When you enter into your second marriage after becoming divorced, consider how to respond to the complicating factors.


Step-children can definitely complicate any new marriage. Factor in issues such as visitation with the other parent, child support issues, and custody problems and it can put a strain on an otherwise healthy relationship. Learning how to parent someone else’s children while trying to establish a relationship with a new spouse is bound to create some marital problems.

Learning how to navigate the step-parent role is tricky. Most parenting experts recommend establishing a relationship with your step-children before attempting to discipline them. However, it can be difficult to establish this relationship if children are still grieving over the divorce. It can also be difficult to try to cross over from “friend” to parent at a later date.

Blend two sets of children into one family and it gets even trickier. Trying to agree with your new spouse on household rules for everyone while trying to help the children adjust to their new situation can lead to hurt feelings, anger, and resentment if it isn’t done well. Concerns about favoring your biological children or treating the step-children differently often abound.

Also establishing a relationship as a couple becomes more difficult when you are trying to work together as parents at the same time. It is important to still find time to nourish your relationship as a couple and to take time to address marital issues and not just parenting or family issues.

Dealing with Ex-Spouses

Dealing with ongoing stress related to an ex-spouse can be another complicating factor.  This can become especially difficult if there are ongoing custody or child support issues at stake.

Learning to deal with your new spouse’s ex can be a tricky thing. Often feelings of anger, resentment and jealousy become problematic.

Sometimes people get involved in new relationships too soon after their marriage ends and they don’t fully grieve the end of the relationship. This can cause people to continue a relationship with their ex-spouse, even if it is a tumultuous one, as they just can’t seem to let go.

If you haven’t yet been able to work on a healthy relationship with your ex-spouse, it can be nearly impossible to not let it impact your marriage. Also, if you are married to someone who continues to struggle in a relationship with their ex, it is likely to impact you. Learning how to set healthy boundaries and establish limits is important.

Attitude Toward Divorce

Sometimes people who have been divorced once think “Well I handled divorce once, I can handle it again.” When people view divorce as a viable option they sometimes don’t put all their effort into the marriage.

Other times, people who have experienced divorce don’t want to ever divorce again. This can lead to them staying a marriage that is mediocre or bad without thinking it can improve.

It’s important to examine your attitude about marriage and divorce. Spend some time reflecting on your thoughts and beliefs about marriage and divorce and consider how this might impact your relationship.

Division of Property

Often the first marriage is easier when it comes to sharing and dividing up your money. Many people, don’t own much when they marry for the first time. However, when people remarry, they may have more money, more possessions, and more investments. Combine that with a divorce where they may have lost things to their spouse, it can get hard to share again.

When many people remarry, they tend to view things as “his, hers, and ours.” Many people don’t bother combining bank accounts or even insurance policies. Learning how to really combine your separate lifestyles into one requires some extra effort. It also will require you to give up some things, including some independence.

Seeking Help for Marriage Difficulties

It’s important to seek help when you encounter difficulties with remarriage. Marriage and family counselors receive frequent referrals to address blended family issues. If you are struggling to deal with the complicating factors that arise with a second marriage, seek a qualified counselor to help you overcome these obstacles.

Sometimes individual therapy is warranted. At other times, marriage counseling makes sense and still yet, sometimes the entire family can benefit from family counseling. You don’t have to decide what type of counseling you think your family could benefit from. A trained counselor can assist you in determining what interventions will be most beneficial in meeting your goals.

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