Well, you got through your divorce, settled in to your new life as best you can, and now you are in your first important, post-divorce intimate relationship.

You’re excited and relieved — yet also wary. You wonder if this new relationship is a go? Your doubts are not unfounded. After all, 67% of second marriages fail and 73% of third marriages fail as well.

But, as I mentioned in my first article in this series, these statistics are for lots of women in general and in all different kinds of circumstances that might not apply to you.

Here are some of the top questions you should ask yourself.

My advice comes from my research and work with thousands of women.

Question #1. Am I repeating my old mistakes — or over-correcting them?

It’s important to assess your man to see if he is relationship material, but it’s equally important to keep your eyes on your pattern of relating. Look at the picture below of the ‘bones’ of intimate relationships.

The vertical line is about feeling safe in love — either by being too much in charge or by turning over too much control. The horizontal line is about managing closeness in love — either by spending lots of time together on the hot end, or little time together on the cool end.

The box in the middle represents a healthy mid-range that allows for the flexibility that strong relationships require. Where would you place your marriage on the chart? In your new relationship, where would you place you? Did you flip your positions and over-correct your previous pattern? Or, did you repeat a version of your marriage? Use your information to help you build flexibility.

Question #2. How much do I mistrust love?

If your partner cheated on you or abused you verbally, physically, sexually or financially, it’s understandable that your trust meter is very low. You might feel that you are now walking on eggshells and waiting for the next shoe to drop. Observe yourself. Are you holding back emotionally? Are you interrogating your partner? It’s okay to be vigilant, but open your heart.

Question #3. How do I feel about my sex life?

Even if your spouse was not good for you, it’s possible that you had a good sex life. In my research, about 20% of women said that sex was the emotional glue that held their relationship together.

So, it’s possible that your new love disappoints you.

The good news is this problem is usually fixable. Play sexual school with your partner. Begin with you being the student. Touch your partner, or try different positions, and ask him to teach you what he likes. Reverse the roles. Showing works better than telling. Words can be received as criticism.

However, you might say, “I love making love with you. Let’s try something I was thinking about (fill in the blank).” Take turns.

Question #4. Am I hesitating to ‘be me’?

Divorce means someone got rejected. If your husband fell out of love with you, it’s tempting to hide your fears, quirks, opinions, preferences and needs. Hiding these factors can create emotional distance from the relationship.

Tell your partner about your fears of being you. And ask him if he is withholding things about him from you. You both might feel relieved — and closer.

Question #5. Are you having trouble accepting each others’ habits?

The top big issues that prompt couples to argue are money, quality communication, sexual intimacy, in-laws, sharing household chores — and accepting each others’ habits.

Talk with your partner about what annoys each of you about the other. For example, the most common issues are neatness, tardiness, manners, temper and television shows. Get solution-focused. You could each pick an annoying habit that you believe is easy to alter.

Question #6. Are you having difficulty dealing with each others’ friends? 

It’s likely that you value and love the friends who got you through your tough times — even if some of them are not so easy to be with. Tell your man that he doesn’t have to love your friends as you do. But you will respect his friendships and that you expect him to do the same for yours.

Discuss how to handle those knee-jerk reactions and dislikes. Be empathic about how difficult it can be to adjust to your new life and choice of partner. Tell them how much you still trust them to give you sound and caring feedback.

Question #7.  Are you lacking an effective plan for dealing with each of our children and parents?

Your parents’ reactions might be similar to your friends’ reactions to your new man. Your parents might either welcome your new man, who they consider to be a vast improvement over your ex. Or, they might miss your ex’s charm or abilities. They might even openly compare the two men and let you know how much they miss your ex.

Educate your parents and children about your man’s good qualities, and tell them that you hope they will be happy that you are in a healthy and happier relationship. Give both your parents and children permission to take their time adjusting, but tell them that you expect them to be polite and respectful. Assure that you will be on the lookout for abuse or lies and other issues from your marriage.

Work out issues with your partner such as whether it is okay for you each to discipline the others’ children. Practice respecting and balancing each others’ private time with one’s own children and time with all the children. There’s no magic formula — as long as flexibility and loving attitudes are part of the solution.

I wish you luck! Please tell me your story about how you solved a similar problem. It will help others.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, Ed.D, MSS, MA, is a nationally recognized psychologist and licensed clinical social worker, specializing in women's issues in love, life, work, and family. Sign up on her website, http://www.lovevictory.com, to receive free advice, blog, cartoon, and information about her two upcoming research-based, self-help books for women: The Love Adventures of Almost Smart Cookie-a cartoon, self-help book and Smart Relationships. You can follow Dr. Wish on Twitter.