Dear Dr. Laura,
Many of the second marriages that I have watched fail were due to only the spouse’s name being changed. Behaviors were still exactly the same. Although I heard from more than one that Mr. Right#2 was in no way similar to Mr. Right#1 before the marriage; I would hear in the months after Mr. Right#2 would leave his smelly socks on the bed, toilet seat up, and all the other complaints I heard about Right#1. Often a few new complaints were tossed in. Of course the reverse was also true with Mrs. Right#2 was always too something and always nagging, which is what got Mrs. Right#1 put to the curb.
The other common thread was the idea that “I was not the major part in the 1st marriage failing. That was my ex’s fault.” “If only she would not have done ___ we’d still be married.” Amazingly, these people said the exact same thing after divorce #2.
We must make changes in ourselves to become better marriage partners. Then there is the realization that the person you are going to be getting married to is on their best behavior in trying to court you. Don’t expect it to get any better than this just because there is a ring on your finger. If you must change someone, change yourself. You will fail in historic fashion if you attempt to change your future partner. If they is not what you want right out of the box, be nice and tell them, it’s been interesting getting to know you, but we are not right for each other. Lastly, don’t fear being alone. If you cannot stand to live with yourself, how in the world can you expect to have someone else live with you?