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What's the hardest part about being a second wife?

Posted by on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:31 PM
  • 108 Replies

Not about being a SM, but being the second wife?

For me, it's the validity that this past relationship is given simply because kids were produced. My husband married his ex and started a family because "that's what you do". It was never a "you're my soul mate and I can't live without you" kind of scenario. At the time she seemed like a good option because she had a job and was more responsible then his previous girlfriend (he was 23 at the time - he's now 41).

They divorced 7 years ago. We met 2 years ago. We are soul mates. But there are so many witnesses to this first relationship, it sometimes feels like a shadow I can never escape. I understand that his kids think the relationship was significant, since they were the product of it. And I don't try to dissuade them otherwise, I would never dream of it. 

It's the other stuff. His family. BM herself. Fighting the feeling of being "the second wife" and the stigma that comes along with it, when I know that I am the real deal and she is just a mistake he made. 

I had a first husband too. No kids were produced. So the relationship remains where it should - in the past. I never realized, until I met my husband, how much making kids with a person changes peoples' perception of the importance of that person.

by on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:31 PM
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LyndaLoo78
by Skeletor on Nov. 10, 2013 at 9:20 PM
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I think part of the problem you face is trivializing your DH's first marriage as a "mistake he made.". It was a significant relationship that ended, and that is okay.

I would be my SO's second wife and I would not qualify his first marriage as a mistake. It wasn't a mistake. It was an important relationship. If he had not had gone through that relationship he would not be the man he is now, the man I love.

SO would be my second husband, my first marriage, while issue riddled and not by any means ideal, was not a mistake. I loved my ex at one time, I don't now. I would not be the person I am today without that relationship.

It is a matter of perspective, I do not to trivialize SO's first marriage in order to make our relationship seem for important by comparison. In fact, no comparison can be made between the two relationships, he is not the same man today that he was then.
runinpinkshoes
by Silver Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 9:36 PM


I am not actively trying to trivialize it, it is what it is. It was a mistake on my husband's part, and he's paying for it dearly. He is the first to say that he regrets that choice.

Quoting LyndaLoo78:

I think part of the problem you face is trivializing your DH's first marriage as a "mistake he made.". It was a significant relationship that ended, and that is okay.

I would be my SO's second wife and I would not qualify his first marriage as a mistake. It wasn't a mistake. It was an important relationship. If he had not had gone through that relationship he would not be the man he is now, the man I love.

SO would be my second husband, my first marriage, while issue riddled and not by any means ideal, was not a mistake. I loved my ex at one time, I don't now. I would not be the person I am today without that relationship.

It is a matter of perspective, I do not to trivialize SO's first marriage in order to make our relationship seem for important by comparison. In fact, no comparison can be made between the two relationships, he is not the same man today that he was then.



LyndaLoo78
by Skeletor on Nov. 10, 2013 at 9:45 PM
Well that speaks to what type of man your DH is, SO simply states he and his ex wife were poorly suited to one another. My ex has a lot of personal challenges that made remaining married impossible. Neither SO or I regret our former marriages, we are who we are partially due to those relationships.

Quoting runinpinkshoes:


I am not actively trying to trivialize it, it is what it is. It was a mistake on my husband's part, and he's paying for it dearly. He is the first to say that he regrets that choice.


Quoting LyndaLoo78:

I think part of the problem you face is trivializing your DH's first marriage as a "mistake he made.". It was a significant relationship that ended, and that is okay.



I would be my SO's second wife and I would not qualify his first marriage as a mistake. It wasn't a mistake. It was an important relationship. If he had not had gone through that relationship he would not be the man he is now, the man I love.



SO would be my second husband, my first marriage, while issue riddled and not by any means ideal, was not a mistake. I loved my ex at one time, I don't now. I would not be the person I am today without that relationship.



It is a matter of perspective, I do not to trivialize SO's first marriage in order to make our relationship seem for important by comparison. In fact, no comparison can be made between the two relationships, he is not the same man today that he was then.




amanda_mom89
by Gold Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 9:56 PM
2 moms liked this
I can't answer that because I'm not a second wife. This the first and only marriage for both of us.

DH and BM conceived SD when they were crazy irresponsible teenagers. They weren't in a relationship until BM got pregnant.

I thought it would be hard to go through pregnancy with him because he'd already done it before. I thought it was an experience he had already had.

But I was wrong. Each baby is a new experience and he has made each pregnancy sweet and exciting.

I guess that's the way I would look at it in your shoes. Instead of comparing the importance of each relationship to validate your love.. Revel in the wonderful experiences and love between you. That alone should be what validates your relationship.

His and Bm's relationship is important. It may not be important in the ways that yours and DH's relationship is.. And that's OK. *hugs

Hope my advice is helpful considering I'm not speaking it from experience. Maybe someone else will have something helpful.
whatIknownow
by Ruby Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Honestly I don't even think of myself as a "second wife." I had a husband before, my DH also had a previous marriage. So what. I don't notice a stigma.

Ktina11
by Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 10:12 PM
1 mom liked this
This is exactly how my DH would characterize his previous marriage! He says it was the biggest mistake he has ever made.


Quoting runinpinkshoes:


I am not actively trying to trivialize it, it is what it is. It was a mistake on my husband's part, and he's paying for it dearly. He is the first to say that he regrets that choice.


Quoting LyndaLoo78:

I think part of the problem you face is trivializing your DH's first marriage as a "mistake he made.". It was a significant relationship that ended, and that is okay.



I would be my SO's second wife and I would not qualify his first marriage as a mistake. It wasn't a mistake. It was an important relationship. If he had not had gone through that relationship he would not be the man he is now, the man I love.



SO would be my second husband, my first marriage, while issue riddled and not by any means ideal, was not a mistake. I loved my ex at one time, I don't now. I would not be the person I am today without that relationship.



It is a matter of perspective, I do not to trivialize SO's first marriage in order to make our relationship seem for important by comparison. In fact, no comparison can be made between the two relationships, he is not the same man today that he was then.





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USBrit
by Silver Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 10:16 PM
5 moms liked this

What I don't like about being the second wife:

I don't like that when I moved to his town where he and his ex-wife grew up that for the longest time, everyone felt the need to tell me all about their relationship and break up.

I don't like that my in-laws see me as an add-on to their son, brother with no significant history to their family tree, rather than a true member of the family, as they saw his first wife.

I don't like that the ex-wife had his youth and her youth, we have our midlife and a future of old age? (yikes)

I don't like that we are too old to have children together

I don't like that we don't have family traditions for the holidays.

However, I love my DH with all my heart and soul. So, while I don't like all those things....I think I'll hang in there with him because he is so worth it.

runinpinkshoes
by Silver Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 10:35 PM


I have the same mindset, that past relationships help shape who we are today - that we grow and learn from them. I don't regret any of my past relationships. 

There are differences with my husband and his ex. This isn't a relationship that we can just forget about, chalk up to the past - she's always there. She has an entitlement towards my husband that he "owes her" because she gave him kids, she refuses to tolerate him moving on even though she left him. She's done everything she can to make him getting married difficult on him. It's easy to regret ever being involved with a person like that. I don't judge my husband for that at all. 

Quoting LyndaLoo78:

Well that speaks to what type of man your DH is, SO simply states he and his ex wife were poorly suited to one another. My ex has a lot of personal challenges that made remaining married impossible. Neither SO or I regret our former marriages, we are who we are partially due to those relationships.

Quoting runinpinkshoes:


I am not actively trying to trivialize it, it is what it is. It was a mistake on my husband's part, and he's paying for it dearly. He is the first to say that he regrets that choice.


Quoting LyndaLoo78:

I think part of the problem you face is trivializing your DH's first marriage as a "mistake he made.". It was a significant relationship that ended, and that is okay.



I would be my SO's second wife and I would not qualify his first marriage as a mistake. It wasn't a mistake. It was an important relationship. If he had not had gone through that relationship he would not be the man he is now, the man I love.



SO would be my second husband, my first marriage, while issue riddled and not by any means ideal, was not a mistake. I loved my ex at one time, I don't now. I would not be the person I am today without that relationship.



It is a matter of perspective, I do not to trivialize SO's first marriage in order to make our relationship seem for important by comparison. In fact, no comparison can be made between the two relationships, he is not the same man today that he was then.






runinpinkshoes
by Silver Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 10:36 PM


You nailed it. These are the things that are difficult for me as well.

Quoting USBrit:

What I don't like about being the second wife:

I don't like that when I moved to his town where he and his ex-wife grew up that for the longest time, everyone felt the need to tell me all about their relationship and break up.

I don't like that my in-laws see me as an add-on to their son, brother with no significant history to their family tree, rather than a true member of the family, as they saw his first wife.

I don't like that the ex-wife had his youth and her youth, we have our midlife and a future of old age? (yikes)

I don't like that we are too old to have children together

I don't like that we don't have family traditions for the holidays.

However, I love my DH with all my heart and soul. So, while I don't like all those things....I think I'll hang in there with him because he is so worth it.



progressandjoy
by Silver Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 10:40 PM
This may sound odd, but I hate when people assume that BM is going to eat my soul for breakfast. I can't tell you how many people (who don't even know BM) have said something along the lines of - "Be careful around her. You never know what she'll try to do to the baby."

Also, everyone (extended family and even strangers) want to talk about BM. I know they are fishing for a juicy story, but we don't want to share that.
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