The first step to a healthy remarriage is you. Is this a surprise? Life wounds all of us. The losses, disappointments and hurts of life will not heal themselves —you must choose to heal. In fact, you will not grow until healing has taken place —and this takes time. We’re talking about remarriage readiness.
You will determine the success of your next relationship by the investment you make in becoming a healthy single. Your friendships, habits, spiritual disciplines, attitudes, expectations, doubts and fears —everything that defines who you are and what you will need in a relationship. They will all play a role in the success or failure of your next relationship. The healthier you are, the better your chances of success.
So the question is, will you take the time to invest in your own healing and growth? You may be wondering, what exactly does that mean. The list below highlights some things you need to bring to a healthy relationship. How many of these do you have right now?
Do You Have:
• A healthy single lifestyle
• A good relationship with your children
• Resolution of any emotional issues such as guilt, anger or bitterness
• A meaningful connection to a community of believers
• Adequate grieving of past losses
• Realistic expectations about future relationships
• A handle on any abuse issues, addictions or self-sabotaging behaviors
• Effective communication and problem solving skills
• A willingness to change and learn
• A willingness to repent and forgive
• An ability to know and articulate your needs
• A healthy release of the past
• A willingness to understand and respond adequately to the needs of a partner
• Accurate, realistic information about remarriage and step family life
• A well thought out sense of what you want in a partner and what you have to give
• A committed relationship to God
However, if instead you bring unrealistic expectations, underdeveloped relationship skills, unresolved issues from the past, and inaccurate information into your next relationship, you’ll repeat unhealthy patterns and behaviors that will sabotage every one of your relationships. Becoming emotionally, spiritually and relationally prepared for the challenges of remarriage is far more critical than fine-tuning your list of qualities in a potential partner.
Be Emotionally Healthy for Remarriage Readiness
The healthier you are, the better relationship choices you will make. DO NOT CONSIDER REMARRIAGE UNTIL YOU ARE SPIRITUALLY, RELATIONALLY AND EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY. In fact, restrict your dating until you’ve addressed these issues. Please keep an open heart and mind about this. In Philippians 1, God promises to complete the good work He has started in us. It will take that kind of personal commitment.
God wants to partner with you in both your personal growth and healing as well as in your remarriage. Only when Christ becomes your true source of intimacy will you be able to establish healthy relationships. These are ones that are driven not by fear or loneliness but by your fullness in Christ and a desire to share life with another.
This information appears in the excellent book, “Looking Before You Leap …Again! … Preparing Yourself for the Adventures and Challenges of Remarriage” written by Jeff Parziale, Ph.D. and Judi Babcock Parziale, Ph.D., published by InStep Ministries. Jeff and Judi are the directors of InStep Ministries —a ministry to single, divorced and remarried individuals and their children. In addition to counseling, support services and printed resources, Jeff and Judi are available for workshops and seminars. For more information, please see their web site at: Instepministries.com.
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