You may have heard the statistic that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. What’s important to note is this statistic does not mean that 50% of all people that get married end up getting divorced. Divorce rates are higher for people that get remarried—meaning that second, third and more marriages have higher divorce rates than first marriages.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t get married again if your first marriage fails. People often have successful marriages after their first one fails. In order to help your second marriage succeed, here are some steps for you to follow: 

Take your time

Research indicates that second marriages are more likely to fail if the relationship is less than a year old when the marriage takes place.

There can be a temptation to jump back into a new relationship when the old one ends. However, your best course of action is to slow down and give yourself time to mourn the loss of your first marriage. Even if you’re happy to be out of that marriage, it’s still a loss and a huge life change. Give yourself time to heal and be comfortable being on your own before embarking on another committed relationship.  

Understand why the first marriage failed

It can be easy to blame your ex for the failure of you first marriage, but it is important to dig deep and understand what role you played in the relationship. Relationships are complicated and understanding why you picked your first spouse is really important, Without this awareness, you could easily pick a similar partner the next time; we are often drawn to what is familiar, even if it’s problematic.

Understanding your contribution to problems in the relationship requires soul searching. If your partner cheated on you, it is easy to say he or she is solely to blame. While infidelity is a serious issue, most relationships are troubled before affairs take place. One partner chooses to solve the problem by going outside the marriage and that is a betrayal. However, in most cases, both partners played some role in the problems that preceded the affair. Not communicating, fighting to hurt, avoiding important issues – these are just a few examples of how marriages become distant or conflictual.

Be thoughtful about blending

One complicating factor in second marriages is the blending of children with the new spouse.  This requires a lot of thought and planning to make it a success. It also requires a lot of time, energy and patience. Relationships between kids and between kids and adults don’t happen overnight. A lot of shared time and effort goes into developing a bond. It is easier to take your time and do this step slowly than to rush it and have to spend a lot of time working through problems. I am not saying problems don’t arise if you take your time, rather that they can be easier to address if a bond is established.

Everyone deserves a happy and healthy relationship. Many people find second marriages so rewarding because they know themselves so much better and have a more realistic understanding of what it takes to make marriage succeed. Give yourself every opportunity to have that lasting, loving relationship you want.