QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking
behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.
My husband and I have been divorced for fifteen months. For the
past six months we have been discussing reconciliation. We have two children
and both of us want to re-unite our family. We believe that we have learned a
lot during our separation and have given up our previous relationships.
However, my husband's girlfriend became pregnant with his child while they
were together. My husband says that he will support the child and be active
in the child's life, but that he wants to marry me. While I am willing to
accept the child as part of our life, I recognize that the situation will
My real question here is whether a second marriage to the
same man has a good chance of survival? Do you feel that when people say
they've learned from their mistakes, do they really or do things tend to
simply fall back into old patterns?
There is no easy answer to such a complicated situation. Without
knowing the cause of the divorce and whether those issues have been resolved,
it is difficult to predict whether you relationship will be better the second
time around. As you say, the arrival of a new baby by another woman further
complicates matters. In order for your marriage to have the best chance
possible under the circumstances, it is necessary that you have a strong
foundation. You will be dealing with a variety of new issues in addition to
whatever old issues still remain. Will you or your children be jealous of the
time he spends with the new child? Will having the baby's mother in your life
be a constant irritant and reminder of that relationship?
In order to increase the odds of a re-marriage working, and to develop the
strong foundation necessary especially under these circumstances, I strongly urge you
and your ex-husband to consult a professional marriage counselor to help sort
through the issues, both the old ones and the new ones. There are too many
lives involved and too many issues for you to try to come to a conclusion on
your own. The time invested in counseling will be worth its weight in gold in
helping you come to a decision and getting a clear perspective on your
Dr. Edward A. Dreyfus is a Clinical Psychologist,
Marriage, Family, Child Therapist, and Sex Therapist. Dr. Dreyfus has been providing
psychological services in the Los Angeles-Santa Monica area for over 30 years.
He offers individual psychotherapy to adolescents and adults, divorce mediation,
couples counseling, group therapy, and career and vocational counseling and
assessment.His book, Someone Right For You, is available in the Amazing
Dr. Dreyfus can be reached at: (310) 208-5700.