In many cases after a divorce, an individual gets married to somebody new, creating an opportunity to make really good or really poor choices. So, at a time lots of people are considering making New Year’s resolutions, I offer the following as possible---
TOP TEN NEW MARRIAGE RESOLUTIONS
(some of which may apply to individuals marrying for the first time, as well)
10) I will live in the present and enjoy my new relationship, rather than dwelling on issues of the past.
9) I will choose to not to remarry simply out of loneliness, neediness or a fear of having to spend life alone.
8) Instead of going on a search for the “right person,” I will follow advice given by Ann Landers many years ago, and seek to find a person for whom I can be the right person. (Concentrating on what I can offer, rather than what I can get.)
7) I will avoid getting in a hurry to find somebody, allowing time for my divorce wounds to heal before pursuing a new relationship, because I recognize the emotional instability and upheaval that divorce creates and would not want to make such a life altering choice under those circumstances.
6) I will always remember to respond to my current spouse and his/her needs, rather than base my responses on the needs and actions of a person in my past relationship(s). Thus, I recognize that this spouse and this relationship is unique, and lessons learned with a different spouse in a different relationship cannot be assumed to apply today.
5) I will avoid making incessant comparisons of my new partner with my ex, neither seeking a person who is “the complete opposite” nor one who is “replacement spouse.” I will not idolize my previous nor my current spouse as if he/she is perfect or without faults, for even the faults contribute to their endearment in my heart.
4) I will learn from my past, and seek to grow enough to not place myself into another unhealthy relationship, falling into the same mistakes I have made previously, nor to allow resentments from the past to limit my choices for my future. I will accept responsibility for my own actions and choices, but reject responsibility for those of others.
3) I will appreciate my new partner for who he/she truly is, valuing both the strengths and the limitations as combining to create the whole person I love, and will express that appreciation to them in word and deed, and to God as I consistently pray for him/her.
2) When (not if!) situations arise that bring back haunting feelings and memories, I will never assume the outcome has to be the same, but recognize that I have the power to make different and better choices with a new person, who also has the power to make different and better choices. Hence, I will never limit my present or future to the encumbrances of the past.
1) I will embrace God’s ability to take all the experiences of my life, those things learned or suffered in the past, as well as the challenges and opportunities of the present and future, and use them all to help me become more like Him. I recognize that God is at work, and brings people into my life, in part, so that I may learn how to love as God loves, and may experience His love through the love of others.