Once we hit our 50s, we tend to start seeing the sad breakup of our friends’ and family members’ marriages and long-term relationships, as teenage offspring fly the nest and couples decide they have been drifting apart for a while.
But this is not to say it is all doom and gloom – naturally, people will mourn the end of their partnerships, but often they are eager to see what other opportunities are out there.
And in time, us Nifties will start noticing a trickle of wedding invitations appear on the doormat as our friends take the plunge and decide to head down the aisle a second time, this time without the pressures of their first wedding day.
There is much to be said for second marriages. Often individuals are more confident of their living situation and are sorted financially. They are almost certainly wiser about how relationships work and they are looking forward to starting the next chapter of their life without the worries they had when they were younger – about when to have children, how to negotiate the distribution of housework tasks or how to impress the in-laws.
So should a second wedding be arranged any differently from a first one? Relationship therapist Julia Armstrong doesn’t think so, as long as each partner is happy with each other’s and their own involvement.
“There is more expectation now that the bride and groom will work together to plan and organise their wedding – there is less expectation that the bride’s family will pay for everything and it be their party,” she notes.
“Today, too, there are many second marriages – in which case the whole format is more likely to be an event planned by the couple, rather than the couple’s families, in which case the groom has much more input than in the past.”
She recommends that the couple talks about their hopes, fears and desires for their wedding day and, in doing so, “they will be starting their lives together in the spirit they would like to continue”.
So Nifties – better start shopping around for a new hat!
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