Sometimes, love is better the second time around and these three couples know that to be true. After all, divorce helped them find each other again.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on January 7, 2020. It has since been updated.
You might have heard of celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Pryor and even Pamela Anderson who married, divorced and then remarried their spouses. However, while they might have had the media attention, there are ordinary couples like us who have gone through the same cycle of remarrying their exes. Like these three women who divorced their spouses and ended up back with them. But it isn't the whole institution of marriage that taught them something valuable. Instead, it was what they learned when they were divorced that actually helped their marriage the second time around. These are their stories:
Kathleen Walsh and Trip Rothschild
Why did they divorce? Kathleen explained to WomansDay that she had felt disrespected in her marriage. "It reflected a long pattern of men mistreating me," she explained. "I felt I needed to tell the universe that I was no longer participating in that pattern, and divorce seemed like a really good way to make that statement clear."
Was it worth it? A year after the divorce, the two remarried, happier this time around. Trip said, "It just seems calmer and less stressful than before. We're able to see each other more clearly, faults and all, and appreciate the depth of our bond."
What was the lesson? With regard to taking the time away from marriage and whether you should remarry your ex, Kathleen stated, "Go ahead. It is so romantic and fun. Your newfound perspective and appreciation will help create a long-lasting, loving relationship that is better than before."
Denise Lindgren and Kenny McCabe
Why did they divorce? When Denise found out that Kenny had been having an affair with someone she knew, she was heartbroken. "I was publicly humiliated," recalled Denise. "I would have most likely forgiven him—I never wanted a divorce... I knew at the time that it was not really the solution, but my heart was broken and my pride was hurt." They remained friends, and Denise went on to get married again, which she later realized was on the rebound. "It was the biggest mistake I ever made in my life," she admitted. But when Kenny was in an accident, things changed. She was there to take care of him. "She got me back to full strength," says Kenny. Soon after, they got back together. "I divorced him [a rebound relationship] in 2014 and Kenny and I have been back together ever since."
Was it worth it? As for why divorce seemed like a solution, Kenny said, "I no longer knew who I was. I had no center. I needed to find myself." And their marriage seems to have blossomed.
What was the lesson? Denise said, "We have both matured and have more confidence now. I regret that the divorce happened, and yet I feel that our relationship would not be as strong as it is now if we would have stayed together the first time. We are both most definitely better partners now."
Betty and Wayne Morgan
Why did they divorce? The divorce came as a surprise to Betty and the resulting disunion was not good. It made sure that both of them kept out of touch. Wayne even got back into the dating scene almost immediately unlike Betty, who couldn't do the same for a while. "I threw myself into healing," she said and then 18 months after the divorce, "I dated some wonderful men and tried things out of my normal comfort zone, like whitewater rafting and trout fishing," she continued. "But after a few years, I gave up on dating and spent my time with family and friends. I was content with my life." But at some point the two got back in touch and they remembered why they fell in love in the first place. "I was stupid and rash," Wayne said. "There was no real reason for it to happen."
Was it worth it? Betty said, "I have become more generous with 'please' and 'thank you' and being more complimentary. I work to be sure he knows I don't take the things he does for granted." And Wayne admitted, "I appreciate family more now. I realize what's important."
What was the lesson? "I know now that [while the divorce was his idea], I share responsibility for the failure of our marriage," Betty revealed. Wayne added saying, "That we should have been together."