ILANA MITLITSKI, 34, AND VADIM MITLITSKI, 39 NORTH BERGEN, NJ
Ilana, a biologist, and Vadim, a chemist, each got married for the first time in their 20s. Close friends for years, they attended each other's weddings, just a few months apart. Later, after their
first marriages ended, they became a couple. They've now been married three years and have two sons, Benjamin, 2, and Gavin, 5 months.
"I met my first husband when I was in college and he was in graduate school," says Ilana. "We should never have gotten married in the first place. Even then, I knew in the back of my mind that
it wasn't a good idea. But all my friends back home in Texas were getting married, and I guess I felt pressure to settle down. And then things got too far along, and I was too scared to call it
off. I was only 24, and I thought, Well, maybe it will work out.
But we just weren't meant to be together. We got divorced three years later."
"Vadim and I met at work. We got married around the same time, and then we got divorced around the same time too. So we talked a lot about what we were going through and tried to help each
other through it. We just got along so well, and we started spending more and more time together, and then...voilà. We married in June 2005. It was so different from the first time. I wasn't
nervous at all; I didn't have any doubts. It just felt right. I knew I wanted to be with him, and I felt lucky that he felt the same way."
Second time's a charm
"Everything comes easier with Vadim than it did with my first husband. We come from more similar family backgrounds, which helps. I think he understands me better, and I think he tries harder.
But I also appreciate him so much more. I pay more attention to potential problems than I would have in my first marriage — like when we have a stupid argument, I try not to let it develop
into a bigger issue than it needs to be. Having been married once before, I want to get it right the second time."