Dealing with the Stress of a Second Marriage 


According to Terry Gaspard, a social worker and writer for the Huffington Post states that most second marriages fail for a variety of reasons. The “reason vary, including ghosts from the past, financial concerns presented by the adult step-children and the challenges that come with interacting with them, exes, and extended family.” Nancy Kalish, PhD and writer for Psychology Today, concurs by stating “the most common stressors are finances and stepchildren. Throw into the messy salad an adoption of new spouse’s young child and a newly diagnosed bipolar at their 5 year mark of marriage and we have obstacles beyond most marriages.

Let me address the obstacles faced by a second or third marriage. The following described by E. Marvis Hetherington of HuffPost
-A lot more players such as, the children from  former spouse. Opportunities for rivalries, conflicts, and breakdown in communication between the newly married couple requires a swift motion for achieving stability right from the beginning. Extended families will vied for attention, compete against the new spouse or dislike her, resented the divorce of their parents and may even hope for the new marriage to fail. Perhaps even “shared their resentment that every penny that parent spends with new spouse (and her family) and may even convey this whenever a big purchase is made.” Psychology Today. 
Working through wedges, especially during hard times can create a stigmatism when the adult children only hears their parents perspective. Psychology Today article points out that rituals, expectations, identities, and habits need to be addressed or altered.  

Still, Cindy Wright confirms that “the two main problems in second marriages are money and children.” “ Work stress to money issues can cause a strain on a marriage.” Psycholology Today’s, Nancy Kalish MD

From a newly exacerbated bipolar that was triggered by her own child’s loss takes every ounce of strength to withstand the stressor issues. My final effective treatment stent took 4 years but it felt like a lifetime to me. I never hesitated to acknowledge that something had changed in my behavior but I was convinced that my thought processes were kept intact. And throughout all this time my mind remained intact. I sought help immediately and kept seeking until the right diagnosis and the right help came along. 
How can I take responsibility:
Relationships with bipolar is difficult. But, its not impossible. Like any other marriage it takes both partners to make a marriage survive. 

-Communicate. Maintain an open, honest, and assertive dialog helps ensure my marriage is a team partnership. Psychology Today affirms that “Issues may be small to the parent spouse but may be very important to his new spouse.”  Especially when it relates to loyalty, conflicts, tension, and during times of hardship. 

-Todd also suggests to Talk- Incorporate ideas, plans, and strategies doing that can minimize harmful events/conflicts. Extended families should be made aware to respect the philosophies of marriage designed by their parent and new spouse.

-Knowing Myself- knowing my triggers, my symptoms, and my emotional feelings that reacts to my trends. This is where the mood chart and journaling come into play. 

don’t ignore the red flags. Expect plenty of rough patches. Particularly around holidays and special occasions. Tracy Todd, Ph.D. suggests to “identify the environmental triggers that maintain stability that soothes the marriage.

-Maintain Identity and Be Autonomous. I’m a true believer that marriage doesn’t exist outside the marriage. Too much pressure and responsibility on a relationship easily dictates my state of mind. Putting all my time, energy, and emphasis adds more stress. When things are going poorly than I’m doing poorly and visa versa. Expanding communication and social interaction outside of my relationship by “diversify myself will strengthen my resilience and become more flexible” ( New Life Outlook Bipolar). 

Finally Success Comes From Love, Trust, and Support

Dr. Karp, writer for BP Magazine has surveyed that “successful couples say they have used periods of wellness to prepare for episodes that may lie ahead.” In my marriage we strive for that success. Remember that second marriages come with inherent stressors. Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW written in HuffPost Blog that a “strong determination to stay together, endurance and time” second marriages can adjust and thrive.

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