After taking what you felt was the necessary time to heal, to reclaim yourself, and to set new personal priorities, you’ve now found your way back on the path to love. And your new partner is a dream come true! In fact, sometimes you feel you have to pinch yourself because you find it so hard to believe that there isn’t another, perhaps darker side to this relationship.
Waiting for that dark side to appear — even when there are no rational indications that it ever will — is a symptom of “First Spouse Syndrome,” a trauma you may experience over the fear that the mistakes and issues of the last relationship will haunt you again in this new partnership.
FSS rears its ugly head in unexpected times, and in the most innocuous ways: perhaps an innocent remark made by your partner was a phrase once used — and used against you — by your prior partner; or, maybe you have not fully resolved a trust issue, and some behavior you’ve witnessed in your new partner is hurtfully reminiscent of that enacted by your old love.
Very few divorced people are able to sidestep FSS. However, you can confront this trauma. At the end of this article, you’ll find four steps to keep you on the path of the love you so greatly deserve.
Can those readers who are married to a previously divorced partner help lessen any FSS that their loved ones may be experiencing? You bet! Your partner is your strongest ally in staying on course. Partners, here are three tips to help you both cope with FSS:
Tip #1: Don’t take it personally.
Tip #2: Don’t overreact.
Tip #3: Encourage your partner to face his/her fears.
Remember, soulmates are not always perfect. But then again, neither are we. Relationships survive through give and take, and with flexibility and forgiveness. Readers, here are four things to do to put this new relationship into perspective — and on a more successful path:
Step One: Don’t confuse your second spouse with your first.
Step Two: Don’t let the little things get to you.
Step Three: Seek answers to your fears.
Step Four: Forgive yourself when you forget to follow Steps One, Two, and Three.