(Closed) Question for encore brides

posted 9 years ago in Encore
Post # 3
355 posts
Helper bee

Hi, I think it’s a great question and one I wished I would have asked when I got married the first time.  For me, the most obvious reason I got divorced is that my ex was having an affair with a co-worker.  I came from a pretty old-school view in that divorce was only an option if one of the 3 As was present (affairs, abuse, addiction).  But knowing what I know now and having reflected a lot on my marriage (and being in a new great, healthy, communicative relationship), I would say that the affair was a symptom of our problems and not the root.  We just weren’t on the same page about anything, didn’t have much communication, and had zero conflict resolution skills.  The truth is we just rushed into marriage (we were in a long-distance relationship less than a year when when we got engaged) and were still in the infatuation stage.  Then when the harsh realities of real life set in (job loss, chronic illness, parents’ health issues), we had no groundwork on how to deal with problems with each other.  I think the best thing anyone can do to prevent divorce is to choose wisely in the first place — spend a lot of time with their future partner and see what they are like in a variety of situations and how you two navigate issues together.  A great book I read (post-divorce) was “How not to marry a jerk” — I highly recommend it. 

Post # 4
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

The simple answer is that I wanted to stay married, but my ex-husband did not.  After he moved out, it seemed kind of silly to still be technically married to him.

But I think a lot of the issue for us, as for sf_carrie, was difficulty in communicating/negotiating.  My ex-husband has Asperger’s (a mild form of autism), which basically results in great difficulty in reading social cues.  So when we disagreed, he would not even know I was upset until I got to the point of yelling–and then my anger was so overwhelming to him that he would just shut down.  He either agreed to what I wanted, and then felt resentful, or just did what he pleased without taking into account what I wanted.  (Often, he did both–agreeing to do what I wanted, then immediately breaking that promise.)  Thus, things that would have been minor issues if we had been able to talk them through and make compromises became huge.

At the time, I was very angry with him.  However, at this point I really believe that he can’t help being the way he is.  He is not a bad guy, but he is not good at relationships.  (I was his first relationship, and he has been through a lot of relationships since we divorced in 1996, none of which has lasted.)

Post # 5
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

I’ll answer this…I am pretty open about my first marriage.  It was an amazing learning experience for us both!!

We were young…23 and 22.  We had done a long distance relationship for almost 2 years and he was about to graduate college. In March we sat down with his parents (who weren’t crazy about me) and said we planned to move to Virginia after his graduation and live together.  Being devout (ya right) Catholics they forbid us to move in together and said they would disown their son (very Catholic!!).  We thought about it and said fine, we’ll get married.

There was a lot of drama with the two families…We had never spent more than a week together as we lived 5 hours apart. The more his family didn’t want the marriage happeening…the more it pushed us together.  A month before our wedding his mother called  mine and asked her to help call it off.

We were married for 2 years when we began to talk about having children.  It dawned on me that this was NOT the man I wanted to be the father of my child.  We were pretty good friends but we didn’t have the chemistry (physically or otherwise).  He was also a HUGE momma’s boy and never stood up for me or our relationship. We tried counseling but we both realized we rushed into getting married and were NOT right for each other. I was blamed for many things after that (Him not pursuing his Masters) and his mother couldn’t be happier that we were divorcing.  His family preached about being Catholic but were sneaky, manipulative as well as many other things. Those aren’t qualities of “good” catholics (and I’m not religious!!!!). 

I found out my ex-husband was what I like to call a chameleon.  He will adapt his personality to whomever he is with.  I never got to know the real person.  After the divorce he filled for an anulment and LIED on all his paperwork.  I didn’t fight it but I did tell my side and he eventually got his anulment and is remarried with 2 stepkids.

Never in my life did I expect to be divorced. For me…marriage was it, just once.  I wasn’t in an absuive relationship and my family didn’t understand the divorce.  But we only get one go-round in this life and I will NOT settle. I was adult enough to realize the mistake I made and learn from it.  I’m a better person and have now found someone to share my life with.

I hop that helps you.  No one EVER goes into marriage thinking it will end in divorce…and for some it’s not an option.  For me, living the rest of my life unhappy wasn’t an option.

Post # 6
7499 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

He had an affair with a flight attendant.  Seriously.

Post # 7
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

My ex husband cheated on me after 7 years.  He hid it well.  Divorce was not something I planned and not something I wanted but it takes two to be married.  Cheating destroys many marriages imho.  A vow is to be taken seriously.

Post # 8
683 posts
Busy bee

I just wanted to thank you all for sharing your stories. Getting the D-word out in the open really helps with my ongoing education of marriage, and it’s great to have a forum to talk about it.

Post # 9
3098 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

I think it’s a terrific question, honestly.

In my case, I got married way too young (19) and not for the right reasons (he was joining the military, and we didn’t want to be apart). We spent four years married, not so happily, but I didn’t want to leave because I didn’t want to prove everyone right that said we got married too young. In the end, he cheated on me and I left him.

Post # 10
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I think studentbride’s question is valid and I always love to read what the encore brides say. That sounds bad…but I mean it in a way that it’s good because it’s a dose of reality. Bad things happen to good people. Let’s face it, LIFE happens. Learning from other’s struggles helps us grow as a person AND, even better, be more sympathetic and understanding so that you can be there for others who have hardships in the future. I know when I was younger I used to be judgemental about remarries (that happens when you have parents who’ve been together 25 years and your aunt’s been divorced like, 12 times–it kind of gives you only the worst perspective) and now i have friends dating men who are divorced and things like that that have happened…they’re concerned we’ll judge them and I like to think that a lot of the experiences i read on this board have opened my eyes and made me a better friend in the process.

I know i’m not saying that very well…I mean it with the best of intentions =

Post # 11
145 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I got married quickly – before I realized just how abusive he was. We made it through the first year or so (and my pregnancy) without too many issues but once she was born he increasingly became more abusive and controlling to the extent that it took me about 4 years to escape him (literally) and I have PTSD from all of the stress and abuse.

If I could have any advice for someone considering marriage it would be to:

  1. ALWAYS listen to your instincts they are never wrong.
  2. Don’t rush into anything if he loves you, he will wait.
  3. Don’t ever settle just because you want to get married/have children/are worried that there will be no one else out there etc.
  4. If he is pushing you towards marrying quickly it is a huge red flag
  5. Marriages fixes absolutely nothing. If you are having difficulty now, call it off. No exceptions.


Post # 12
23 posts
  • Wedding: May 2010

It is a good question. And one I wish more engaged couples would seriously think about. I am sure all of the ladies above would tell you they never planned on getting divorced; I know I never did. And I am sure all of their stories are very different. And, of course, hind sight is always 20/20, right? Any flaws or cracks in your relationship will always be more apparent after it is over.

Now that I am planning my second marriage, I see things from a totally different perspective. I understand that it is not enough to just love each other. Love does not necessarily mean that you are compatible. If I had to pin point one reason why I got divorced it would be that. Yes, we were madly in love for the first three years of our relationship (one year dating, one year engaged and one year married). We were “old” enough (I was 25, he was 24 when we got married). Everything looked great “on paper,” as they say. But, we were not compatible on many of the fundamental issues. I will preface this by saying that I met my Fiance on eHarmony and we are big, big believers in the 29 dimensions of compatibility. We are so alike in so many ways it is almost scary. Having met him, and then comparing our relationship to my previous marriage, I now see that we didn’t have those 29 dimensions of compatibility.

We tried for three more years after the cracks in our marriage started to show. In the end, we both knew it was over. It ended amicably enough, although there was some eventual betrayal on his part. If I had to condense it down to one thing, though, I would blame it on communication and compatibility.

And I would just like to reinforce what  ejs4y8 said above. Life does happen. Sometimes life just gets so crazy that you don’t realize that your relationship is disintegrating around you until it’s too late.


Post # 14
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Thank you all for sharing your stories. I too wonder about this as I think about getting married and getting married young. I appreciate the advice and insights. I’m glad to hear you’re all in amazing relationships now and I wish you all the best!

Post # 15
7975 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

This is a really great thread. Thanks for all the insight, ladies. 🙂 I hope many of us can benefit from the less-than-fortunate circumstances in your pasts!

Post # 16
1901 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

It’s a great question! I wish I had a place like WB when I got married the first time and maybe I would have had an outlet to express my concerns before we got married! I had dated a ton of jerks before I met my 1st husband. He was so kind and nice to me. I thought I had hit the jackpot. Unfortunately, it takes nmore than just a “nice guy” to make me happy. Before the wedding even happened, our *initmancy* dwindled to nothing and during my 3.5 yr marriage, there was none either. ZERO. ZILCH. BIG PROBLEM. He has issues in previous relationships and did not tell me about it. I tried counseling but he was never open and honest with the counselor. We also did not have a lot of things in common. I wanted to travel the world, while he didn’t care to leave the U.S. His mother was also no help at all. Very manipulative and controlling and he always caved and sided with her. BIG PROBLEM!

It took me a long time to decide that I wanted to be married again and this time around is so different. Wedding planning is bringing us closer together and even when we are under stress, it brings us closer instead of tearing us apart. I know we will be growing old together:-)

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