Is love -- and marriage -- lovelier the second time around like Ol' Blue Eyes once sang? HuffPost Divorce bloggers think so. Below, happily remarried writers share the reasons they're better equipped for successful marriages the second time around.
1. Divorce -- and the lessons you learn from it -- make you better equipped for a relationship.
"I am so much better equipped for marriage now that I have an idea of how to be married and what it’s all about. It’s not ideal to learn from failure but failing is what showed me what I do and don’t want and what I can and can’t compromise on. And oddly enough, failing has given me confidence. Rather than agree to things just to keep the water calm like I did as a 25-year-old woman, I now have the confidence to say to my husband, 'That doesn’t work for me. How can we find a way to make this work for us both?' I would have never dreamed of saying something like that before, even though there is nothing wrong with it. It took me a lot of years and a failed marriage to see that no one can read my mind." -- Lynsey Mattingly
2. You work on yourself after divorce and that makes you a better partner.
"Before marriage #2, I got rid of all the silly rules and checklists I 'believed' I needed in a husband. I worked on myself after my divorce and took responsibility for where I was in life. I got clear on what was truly important and how I wanted to feel. By letting go and listening to my inner self, I let love in. Michael and I have been together for seven years total (married for four of them). I never knew a marriage could be so fun, exciting and sexy. We laugh together (or at each other) daily. We elevate each other. He still gives me butterflies. I am obsessed with our marriage and our life." -- Indrani Phillips, blogger at The Effortless Life
3. You're more determined to make it work.
"It's ironic, but I'm better equipped for marriage this time around because of my divorce. It was so devastating for me and for my children that I went into my marriage with Mick determined to make it work. That determination has helped me stay focused on the most important priorities and let go of the little things that cause resentment and bitterness to build. I also think that I am able to be a lot more honest this time around; rather than trying to pretend like everything is OK, we talk realistically about what's working and what we need help with. We are much more willing to admit when things are tough, seek counseling if needed and work through our differences without withdrawing from each other or making things worse. (That and it helps that I married a man who loves to laugh!)" -- Shawna Wingert, blogger at Not The Former Things
4. You're over pretending to be someone you're not.
"My first marriage was a lesson in who not to be. I spent nearly 19 years trying to be the person my first husband wanted. It didn’t work because in the end, he didn’t want the real me. It was just as well because when my second husband found me, I had already sworn on a stack of bibles that the only person I was ever going to be was me. When we came together, we made a pact to allow each other to be unapologetically who we are, the good, the bad, the quirky, the weirdo, the optimist, the procrastinator, the travel-holic, the news junkie. We don’t try to change or fix each other. My husband is not my 'fixer upper' and I’m not his 'project.' He's the guy I want in my corner and he knows I’ve got his back. He’s the yin to my yang…the bread to my butter." -- Peggy Nolan
5. You're older and (hopefully) wiser.
"Divorce changes you. It's up to you if you want it to change you for better or for worse. You can use the lessons from divorce as a springboard to a better life. If you don't own your mistakes or take a good look at your decision making, you are destined to repeat your mistakes. Even though I wouldn't wish a divorce on anyone, I can look back now and realize that it was that experience that shaped me today and now I see my life through the lens of someone older, wiser, and much more thankful for how far I have come. The change was excruciatingly hard, but now I know that I am stronger than I was before it. My second marriage is the hope for my happily ever after, renewed." -- Kristin Vanderhey Shaw, blogger at Two Cannoli
6. You're a better, more grown up person.
"For me, marriage is better the second time around because it took me till now to become his person and for him to become my person. We often lament, 'Why couldn’t we have met sooner?' But in reality, we wouldn’t have liked each other as we were ten years ago and we wouldn’t have been good for each other. From little things like my ridiculous fashion sense back then, to his former appreciation for gangster rap, to the big things, like how selfish I used to be and how unwilling to compromise he was. I am now a woman deserving of a man like my husband and it took me years of hardship and growth to get here. My second husband is the best thing that ever happened to me and I earned him." -- Heather Leiva
7. You value your marriage more.
"Economists talk about the 'IKEA effect,' where people value things more when they have a sense of ownership from building it themselves. The way I see it, a second marriage is like that. Unlike my first marriage, where the vows seemed like a natural and easy progression, this one was born of intention and effort on both of our parts. We have removed the rotten pieces of our pasts, sanded smooth the rough edges and built upon the reinforced foundation. And when we build it, we cherish it." -- Lisa Arends, blogger at Lessons From The End Of A Marriage
8. You realize marriage is all about partnership.
"My first marriage taught me a great deal about what is required to make a family thrive. Sadly, and ironically, I learned the most by its ultimate demise. I do not believe that first, second, third or fourth marriages are either better or worse in comparison. I believe that any marriage can be a magical, lifetime adventure of love, but only if you have the right players. I have been happily married to my second husband for almost nine years now. What makes this marriage better? It's healthier because it's two people who have made a solid commitment to love and respect one another no matter what life may throw their way." -- Melissa Buchanan, blogger at Parallel Pathways