I’m reaching an age when a few of my friends or family members are moving onto their second marriages. I’ve noticed a pattern: they often marry someone that was already in their life, when they were still married to the first spouse. Perhaps it can seem deceitful or a little controversial. Was there some sort of affair going on there previously? Even just an emotional one? Did they always have this person as a backup plan, should the first marriage fall through? Well, it’s rarely anything exactly like that. There are actually a lot of good reasons that people look to their inner circle—or close outer circle—for a second spouse rather than turning to the thousands of strangers on dating apps and offered through matchmaking services. Even just hearing that prospect, can’t you see why a friend is more appealing? Here is why the second marriage is often to a friend.
He was there during the divorce
This friend may have been a support system during the actual divorce. He was a shoulder to cry on. He provided a couch to sleep on during the bad fights. He was there during your most vulnerable time, and that creates a very deep connection.
There is already a great deal of comfort
There is so much built-in comfort there. This person already knows your flaws. He knows your routine. You can sit in silence together and be comfortable. You can show your ugly sides, physically and emotionally. In fact, you already have during the divorce.
The family accepts him
Your family may struggle to accept a new stranger in your life. They will always compare every new partner to your spouse. They’ll be very protective of you. But they won’t compare your good friend to your ex. They already have a special relationship with him.
The friends accept him
Your friends already accept this person. They already approve of him. While they may judge everyone else you bring around, fearing nobody is good enough for you, they already adore this person. They know he won’t mistreat you—he was a friend before anything else.
The children know this person
This is a big one. If you have children, they already know this friend. It can be so hard to get kids used to a new stepparent, but they may have always felt that this person was a stepparent in a way. And he already cares about the kids.
He already knows the damage
He knows how the divorce messed you up. He knows what happened. He knows about every dirty detail. He already knows in which ways you’re fragile, and what your triggers are.
So you can skip the backstory
You get to skip telling him all about your divorce. You can skip explaining to him how your divorce affected you. You even get to skip the awful moment of simply telling him that you are divorced.
Getting to know someone new is exhausting
At a certain point in life, telling your life story to new people can be too much to bear. The more years that have passed, the more there is to tell. You don’t need to explain your past to a friend. He already knows.
He may have triggered the divorce
While there may not have been an actual affair, the way this friend treated you may have become a measuring stick for how a partner should treat you. It became painfully obvious that your spouse didn’t treat you anywhere near as well as this friend did.
He’s a friend for a reason
You were friends in the first place because you share common values, interests, and beliefs. If you remained friends for a long time, there is clearly a high compatibility there.
There is safety in the familiar
With divorce comes a feeling of being extremely fragile. Sometimes, divorced individuals don’t want to meet anyone new or make themselves vulnerable to new relationships. They want to stay in their safe cocoon of people they already know.
There are no odd motives
There can be fear, as a divorcee, that interested parties have some ulterior motive. Perhaps they’re after the money you got in the divorce or are attracted to women they perceive are in crises and “broken.” There isn’t fear of that with a friend.
He doesn’t disrupt the ecosystem
By a certain age, your life is in place. You have your friends and your routines. A friend doesn’t throw a huge wrench into your life the way a totally new person does. You may like your life as it is, and a friend doesn’t disrupt it.
The relationship is halfway there already
Some people like to be married and want to skip the whole long courting process. With a friend, you’ve already done most of the work that often takes years with a new person. You can live together and marry sooner.
He should have been the first
You didn’t know your spouse should be your friend when you were young. You married the wrong guy—the exciting guy, the mysterious guy. But now you know as an adult that a friend makes the best partner.