Photo by Cindy ChenI spent years feeling ashamed that I'd screwed up my first "starter marriage" after just a couple of years. I didn't even have the "but I was very young" excuse – I got married at 29, not exactly a child bride. I spent years squeezing every drop of potential out of a crappy relationship just to prove (to who? Me?!) that I wasn't a flightly little idiot who couldn't commit.
Finally, two years ago, I got remarried, and since then I've had a bit of a revelation: If your first marriage works out, all the better for you. But if not, second marriages kick all kinds of hiney!
First of all, you have a ready-made scapegoat. If you act like a pud, or your husband acts like a pud, guess whose fault it is? The ex! Yay! Oh man, I forgot to plan dinner. That's because my ex always made me plan dinner! Crap, my husband overreacted to my buying him an electric toothbrush. Oh wait, it's because his ex was overly controlling! We're both off the hook for everything! Blank check!
Second, you may come to the marriage broke from the mid-life crisis that either caused or resulted from your unforeseen marital demise, but you do get to bring something else to your new marriage: All kinds of baggage! Fresh baggage about your first marriage, ancient baggage about your mom that you never worked out – you arrive with bounty! Now, that's a dowry!
And best of all, since California is a joint-property state, if I do break up with my husband, he has to take half my baggage. Of course, I have to take half of his, but new baggage is so much more interesting than my same old food issues and middle-child syndrome.
You also get a cooler wedding dress the second time around. At least I did. And the kids come with no stretch marks.
Now, before you break your keyboard trying to flame me in the comments (and as an aforementioned middle child, I have to warn you I am way more excited to have comments than I am upset about whether they're flamey or not), please know that I am only keeeeding. We only blame our exes for about ten minutes before changing our ways and moving forward, like a good mature married couple.