Wife #2 might not be such a bad gig.
It's easy to focus on the "baggage" he lugs along, but dating the divorced guy actually comes with many unsung benefits. Before you write him off, consider switching your lens to see the positives emerge.
Sure, you expected to be the first wife, but let's take a look at the perks of coming in second:
1. He's not afraid to commit.
Women often hope to tame the eternal bachelor. Though this gamble sometimes pays off, a far safer bet may be placed on the divorced guy who's proven he can and will commit. Of course anyone can change, but typically people's past behavior best predicts their future choices. So if you're hoping to walk down the aisle, it makes sense to look for someone who's gone that route before.
2. He's been broken in.
When dating the divorced guy, we can't underestimate the hard work put in by the ex-wife. She dealt with the boy; you get the man.
Rookie relationship mistakes have already been made, so you'll start on a solid foundation with this seasoned veteran. Additionally, the ex has probably alerted your man to all his faults so he likely has a crystal clear picture of any areas of weakness. The nagging she did relieves you of that pesky chore (not that you'd ever be a nag, of course). In fact, the next time you see the ex, you might want to pull her aside and thank her.
3. He enjoys being married.
The fact that your guy has been through an unsuccessful partnership yet still wants to give it another go shows just how much he enjoys being married.
As a divorcé, he has every good reason to entirely forsake the institution of marriage, yet here he is, still searching for the love of his life. His willingness to take the plunge again assures you he enjoys being a husband and walking through life as part of a couple. Jumping back into the dating scene indicates he still believes he can manifest the marriage of his dreams with the right woman (maybe you).
4. He possesses relationship maturity.
No matter the circumstances surrounding his broken relationship, the divorced guy has garnered a measure of relationship maturity that can only serve to enhance his EQ. After what he's been through, he'll likely pick his battles carefully, majoring in the majors, not the minors.
There's no greater teacher than experience, and the lessons the divorced guy has learned will most likely contribute to smooth sailing in his second marriage.
5. He's positive and hopeful.
Divorce ranks as one of the most disheartening and demoralizing experiences one can endure. But your man evidences resilience and a positive spirit by picking himself up, dusting himself off and moving forward.
Observing how he manages single life while juggling responsibilities from his first marriage (i.e. fathering and negotiating parent agreements) gives you a valuable glimpse into his character. And likely, the qualities that assist him in recovering from divorce will likely generalize to other areas of life. The unavoidable challenges of marriage — and life in general — will be tackled much more effectively with an optimistic, hopeful and resilient man.
Next time you find yourself focusing on the negative aspects of "divorced guy baggage," change your perspective by reminding yourself of the many benefits.
Dr. Karin Anderson has a doctorate in developmental psychology, a track record of well-received presentations at national and international psychology conferences, and a speaking platform focusing on women’s identity and adult family relationships. Her latest book, "Single Is The New Black: Don't Wear White 'Til It's Right" encourages women to stay true to themselves, instead of changing just to “snag a man.”
This article was originally published at drkarin.me. Reprinted with permission from the author.