Three (or Four) Questions for . . . Anne Brennan Malec
Okay, I am not anywhere near the stage of remarriage, let alone re-falling madly in love. Nor are most of us, at least in the immediate aftermath of divorce. But it hovers out there—the aspiration to connect with someone new, recommit, perhaps remarry. We’ve all heard the statistics; second and third marriages have higher rates of divorce than first ones. How can we be optimistic about our own romantic future?
Start by having realistic expectations, particularly if you have children, says Anne Brennan Malec, a Chicago-based clinical psychologist, step-mother of six, and author of Marriage in Modern Life: Why It Works, When It Works.
Wendy Paris: What should people expect when remarrying, with kids?
Anne Brennan Malec: The couple is in love and want to spend their lives together, and they can be under the false impression that their children will feel the same way. In reality, children are often confused and have contradictory emotions about the new family setup. Forming a blended family is a long-term process, and it is reasonable to expect some push back from children, who had no voice in your choice to marry. If you imagine that your children will find the transition to be more difficult than you will, you’re off to a good start.