Being My Husband's Second Wife

When I first wrote this article, I felt somewhat alone. The request asked that someone write an article about the ups and downs of remarriage, and I decided to share my personal experiences with being my husband's second wife.

It's an isolated feeling, and for a long time I have thought that I was alone in my feelings of discouragement and resentment. But the article got page views and I noticed that it was showing up in Google searches. The truth is that I felt encouraged.

What follows is my personal experience and how I feel about being the second wife (or in my case, the third). I know now that I am not alone in the way that I feel, and remarried men might want to consider my words in dealing with the ups and downs they face with their second wife.

Leaving the Past in the Past

Often, however much effort we might make towards the goal of leaving our past in our past, we are haunted by it. We are troubled by an affair our ex had with her boss, or we are fearful of the raised voice that accompanied a meltdown.

Or worse, we remember with a mixture of disgust and fondness particularly enjoyable sexual encounters with the ex. Maybe it is the honeymoon that is recalled so fondly, or perhaps we still have a close relationship with our former in-laws.

What if your husband is still friends with his first wife? What then?

There are many emotions that are significant to married life. Men, in particular, associate sex with affection and receive an incredible emotional satisfaction from the sexual pleasure their women receive during their intimate times. Also recalled may be the anger from a particular fight, or the betrayal when she announced that she wanted a divorce. In many cases, every stab to his heart that he experienced during his marriage is buried deeply and has yet to be dealt with in an effective and appropriate manner.

These bits and pieces come to the surface every now and again in many second marriages. Some past issues need to be dealt with gently and firmly, while others need to be handled by a trained counselor. Your husband's relationship with his first wife can affect his relationship with you in a very profound way.

Hidden Resentment

One of the things that has been hardest for me as a second wife is the fact that my husband had children before he met me. There are three children from his first marriage. He had been through the pregnancy and birth process three times before he met me. And when I became pregnant, I was met with a nod and a shrug. My pregnancy wasn't special: he had seen it all before. In fact, when he introduced me to friends of his, he would talk excitedly about his oldest two children (of whom he had physical custody for six years) without introducing me or announcing my pregnancy. I felt like a fifth wheel, with his oldest children taking priority in his life. I took a back burner. My children took a back burner. 

Many second wives feel this way. We are hurt when our husbands seem to take less interest in our pregnancies (they've seen it before and are pretty sure that we aren't as fragile as we would like them to believe). We miss the tears in their eyes when our first child is born. We miss the expected excitement. We are sometimes angered when our mothers in law don't come by in the hospital to see the new baby. They've seen it before. Sometimes they even think he shouldn't have had more children.

A second wife often has to play second-fiddle to the children from the first marriage. She can be hurt and alone and confused by why this is happening. Bitterness can build in her if she is neglected, or if she is given too much of a role in caring for her step-children. She might become angry if her parenting skills are compared to those of his first wife, and she often feels as though she was his second pick.

A second wife can become incredibly resentful of her step-children, and it is taboo for her to discuss this topic, with her husband, or with her friends. Many women feel so guilty about the subject that they only allow it to eat at them rather than properly addressing the issue through counseling and proper communication with their husbands. And often, men don't understand what is eating at their wives.

Second Doesn't Mean Second Best

A second wife might ask of herself (and her husband!) what it was about the first that he loved. She might even feel as though he has been unfaithful to her, in spite of the fact that the "other woman" was his wife! Even if he doesn't, she might compare herself to his ex. She might even worry that if he lost interest in his first wife that he will also lose interest in her.

This is especially complicated if there is a support order. If her husband is unable to support her and her children, the second wife may become very resentful of the first wife, her husband, and the children they have together. She will sometimes doubt herself, and she may find that she regrets having become involved with her husband in the first place.

It's My Story

I don't like being a "second" and am, in fact, a "third." My husband is my second, and I know that we both live with the regrets of the past. Some of those regrets have been caused by one another, other regrets are caused by legislation that has not been well thought-through. We both hurt greatly from time to time and each of us questions ourselves.

Being a "second" is part of the reason that I have considered very deeply the implications of pre-marital and extra-marital sex. Two souls came together before, and when the divorces occurred, what remained was no longer complete. I got what was left over when his first two wives were done with him. I experience sadness and sometimes even shame. Some days I fear that I am becoming the "bitter woman" that I dreamed I would never be.

I am a "second" and it isn't easy. For those of you who are remarried, male or female, give your spouse everything that you have, and strive to never, ever make them feel like a "second."

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Comments 124 comments

Go-getter from California 7 years ago

I completely agree. Anger and resentment can easily build, and it takes a lot of strength to overcome that and enjoy your marriage. Thanks.

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

"We are sometimes angered when our mothers in law don't come by in the hospital to see the new baby. They've seen it before. Sometimes they even think he shouldn't have had more children."

I think that's a failing on the mother in law's part, if that happens.

I'm the eldest of 4 children, and my grandparents all rocked up all the time when my brother was born, even though they'd been there and done that for 3 already. And we're all the same family (one marriage, 4 children, my parents are still married).

Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

LG, I have a deficient mother in law, that much is definitely true. I won't even start on her because I'll never stop. I've never seen anything like it!

Unfortunately, however, some of the way his family treats me is because of his first two wives and who they were. They were... Well, something else. Adulteresses and abusers and in one case flat-out crazy. His family has always expected the same from me and nevr gave me the chance to get to know them before chasing me away.

I haven't really decided where the "blame" for that lies (including assessing myself). But it doesn't help that I'm not the first or that he's not mine!

R. Blue profile image

R. Blue 7 years ago from Right here

I'm a fourth class citizen in my own home....her priorities are

1....her children

2....her dogs


4....if there's anything left

another hub altogether is the relationship with the stepchildren.

Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

R.Blue, I would do that one if I was even remotely able to figure it out. I struggle with that in a huge way.

I'm really sorry that you're "coming in" so far down on the totem pole. I've been there as the wife in the relationship and I don't think it matters man or woman, it hurts! That IS a hub I will be writing!

eaasi3574 7 years ago

This is really good information.

Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 7 years ago from Sydney

I think the main problem with second and third marriages is trust.  Trust is vital to a successful marriage, but a man who's been betrayed twice will struggle to trust again.  Without trust, he can be afraid to let himself feel too deeply.

I'm lucky that my new husband and I were able to talk about it and he confessed that if he sometimes seemed uncaring, it wasn't because he didn't care - it was because he cared too much, and was afraid to give in to his feelings in case he was hurt again.  We've been together four years now and he is gradually learning to relax!

Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

I believe that is where my husband is coming from too, Marisa. We aren't mature enough in our relationship yet I guess to really discuss it and put things out on the table, but I knew his second wife before they were divorced and... Well, he has a reason to be distrustful.

jdove-miller 7 years ago

I have learned an enormous amount from having been divorced and having become a second wife. I am friendly with both my husband's exes and all of his children. But... we were both "ready" for each other when we finally married. I hope that you get to that place of security appreciation in your marriage.

Mark 7 years ago

if my marriage doesn't work the 1st time it will be the last

Marriage is supposed to be forever so what's the point if you are just going to leave and start over?

elle 7 years ago

"Men, in particular, associate sex with affection" Wow, I thought that was what WOMEN felt! I thought that for men sex was just a release and any woman would do.

I am my husband's second wife. His first wife divorced him after only a few years(with his approval) because they had nothing left in common. We have been married 20 years more than they were. I feel for second wives who have to deal with children from first marriages. Fortunately, he had none. The first wife, who now lives in another state, sometimes contacts him, but it is always bad for him. Not that he hates her, but she knows the right buttons to push to hurt him.

Marissa, trust is important in ANY marriage. Lack of trust, whether imagined or deserved, is a marriage killer.

To R. Blue: Why the hell did you marry this woman!?! You can do better.

BTW, I'm not his second wife, I'm his LAST wife ;)

christalluna1124 profile image

christalluna1124 6 years ago from Dallas Texas

Great article. I have been with this one ... my second. His ex-calls him everyday whining about one thing or another. She has not called or sent him a christmas or birthday present in the 5 years we have been together. She was ordered to pay $ 126.00 a month in child support. She called cursing and screaming , not to see her child whom I have raised, supported, tucked in and the one he calls mommy. I buy his school uniforms, fork out 200-300 dollars a years for birthday parties, help with school work. My son. YES MY SON , is now a healthy, secure 8 yearold.But what burns my _ss is that my husband still feels so sorry for her. Oh I don't want to take money from her, shes disabled. OH well....WWWAAAA. So am i , I suffer from manic depressive illness and it is a battle everyday. But i do what i have to do, my earnings of $ 533.00 a month is spent on mostly things my son needs. Now the BIGGIE... at thanksgiving he suddenly has found two children that belong to an ex-girlfriend, not his but he wants me to accept them as his and care for them. I'm sorry but that is just going to far. Both of these women slept with his brothers...why would he feel sorry for them. I would leave but I am scared he wouldn't let me see my son.

Warmest regards,


Bhawna Sharma profile image

Bhawna Sharma 6 years ago from Mumbai, India

It's always good to read someone's experience. You have wrote it the way it goes. Clear and true.

I liked few comments too, especially the way Elle said that she is 'last wife' :D

Carol 6 years ago

Wow, I am so glad to have found your article. Even though the waters have settled in our home, the pain and misery I have suffered from his ex (and him) is beyond repair. They had a child together that she used to drive him crazy with (guilt). I resented her and their child as a result of it. He didn't have a backbone when it came to her whatsoever! The only thing that has caused peace in our family now is no contact with her and their child anymore (by her doing).

Ps. His parents did not come to any of our children's birth!! You are not alone and I am glad I am neither.

Hannah Ministries profile image

Hannah Ministries 6 years ago

This is a great HUB, thank you very much. I'm a ministers wife and I need to understand what people goes through in order to be there for them! TO be honest, (What else can I be?) I NEVER HaVE CONSidERED the position of the second wife! i alsways saw here as either a bad person that broke up the first marriage or the poor woman that get the left overs. I personally don't believe in remarriage. I know! Don't jump all over me, please. Hear me out.

Some of my best friends are remarried and still living happy but ussually it never works and result in another div orce or life long pain. I don't believe in extra marital sex either. Those things may feel good but in the long run are empty and heart breakers! Girl good for you to write a hub on this topic. Please write a book next. Love

Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 6 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

In our case, we are both remarried because of adultery. Our previous spouses were unfaithful to *us* (not the other way around) and we met later on. I was an abandoned wife. My first husband abandoned me when I was only 21 years old and had my entire life ahead of me.

I think that all too often Christians aren't taught to think about these things, the causes of divorce. Sometimes the reasons are (biblically) legitimate. In my case I *know* I deserved another chance. In his case, stupid choices led him not to think about the fact that when someone cheats once, they will do it again. He tried everything to restore those marriages -- in his case, too, the women abandoned him (ran off with their lovers). This is the scenario that rarely gets considered, right?

I'd never thought of writing a book on this subject actually. I will consider it. My attention has been focused primarily on writing a book on the subject of evangelism to those who don't understand Christianity (since there is *so* much that Christians don't understand).

lakeerieartists profile image

lakeerieartists 6 years ago from Cleveland, OH

Both my husband and I are our first marriage and hopefully only, but this is a very thoughtful discussion. I have said many times to my husband that he is not allowed to divorce me because it would be too much trouble. Marriage is complicated with out the issues that you bring up here. This just makes it more difficult.

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

I would advise anyone out there who is thinking of divorce, rethink very hard, the consequences are severe. I was married twice and now share a common law relationship, the baggage from the second wife especially caused a lot of grief and problems in my life. I have a relationship with only one of my four children. When you find your best friend and soul mate hang on to him/her and never let go. The grass in not always greener on the other side, but if your in a really bad marriage get out of it as quickly as possible, neither one of you are going to benefit by staying in a marriage where the love is gone. I know it's tough for couples like myself who are on their second or third time around, but we have to keep working with our present partner and putting the past behind us and push forward together.

bornblond8dg profile image

bornblond8dg 6 years ago

This was a very interesting article...I feel if a man chooses to have an affair and leave his current wife there is no need to divorce the children as well...this happened to me years ex's second wife left him after just a couple years and of course they had more children...he now has two sets of child support to pay...for my ex i don't think the grass was greener in another pasture.He's now living with a woman and taking care of her children(another mans children)...where's the logic...i guess if the truth be known they just don't always think of the conscequences for their actions.

dragonlady1967 profile image

dragonlady1967 6 years ago

I have to agree. Why is it we have to hide so many feelings because they are so taboo? Each relationship should be it's own relationship....without so much baggage.

deb 6 years ago

i think woman who become the second wife have low self-esteem and are afraid to be alone... so they put up with abuse.... being put on the shelf, and being in an emotionless marriage is abuse, but alot of woman become the second wife.... honestly, i don't get it... just find someone who has no children.... why suffer for years, and be neglected.... go out there and get what you want, and deserve... the truth is your living another woman's life and thats where the frustration, and resentment come from... live your own life.... be happy!!!

rheine 6 years ago

Is it normal that your husband kept sending his first wife a flowers every year for their anniversary???

Judicastro profile image

Judicastro 6 years ago from birmingham, Alabama

Since I am hopping into this hub so late in the game I'm not even sure you'll see my comment. I am also a 3rd wife and he is my 2nd. We have been married 27 years. I would love to say that it was a walk in the park, but I can't. We have fought for every bit of happiness we have. There were days when I didn't think we would make it but we hung on. His first x turned his 2 boys against him so badly that it was 2 years before he even found out that his oldest had been killed. His 2nd son has a great relationship with the siblings from his dad's 2nd and 3rd marriage but has yet to give his dad the time of day. My husband's 2nd wife after all of these years is still bitter and resentful. She can't understand what it is about me that has kept him married to me for all these years. One thing I can say about us is that we are best friends, that's how we started out, we fell in love and then we got married. Although our marriage has been a huge roller coaster ride if I were asked if I would do it all over again I wouldn't even hesitate to say-YES!

Kellybell* 6 years ago

I'm the second wife and it's my first (and only) marriage. We have been married almost 3 years and I never considered how miserable I'd be being the "replacement". I'm slowly learning to get along with my stepson, but everytime I feel like I've done good and we are becoming friends, he misses visits for awhile (I think it's his mothers doing) and by the time he comes back, it seems we have to start all over. Anyway, the reason I'm reading thru this topic today is my husbands choice of music, oddly enough. Around me, he listens to classic rock music. His truck, on the otherhand, is filled with country "I miss my ex", "I love women that do me wrong"' oh, why'd you have to go" kinda crap that really pisses me off and makes me wonder why in the hell he married me in the first place (probably because I was already "knocked-up" and he was going to be sure to be around for this one, altho he treats him differently than the 9yo he had with the love of his life) so, correct me PLEASE if I'm wrong. Don't people listen to music that A) matches the mood they're in or how they feel -or- B) to change their mood or how they feel. So, therefore, he misses his ex. Terribly. Right? They divorced because SHE had an affair. Otherwise, everything was hunky-dory. And I'm chopped liver. And yes. I do believe my self-esteem is wallering around on the floor with the dust-bunnies.

Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 6 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

I'm still around, guys :) Just not as much as I used to be, and I normally only check comments periodically. I'm trying to jump back on the horse here at Hubpages though, so I'm checking more often.

Kelly, I really feel for you. Thankfully my husband seems to be happy with me. It's his family that is the struggle in my case. I feel as though they think much more highly of his exes (one who is crazy and the other who had an affair) than they do of me. As far as the music goes, I'm a country girl. I love the country music and it had nothing to do with my satisfaction in my marriage. Have you talked to him about this issue?

Kellybell* 6 years ago

There is no talking to him anymore. All conversations end with one of us being too defensive. I truly believe I'm merely a replacement. There isn't anything we've been thru that he's not been all, "been there, done that" about. Nothing. Not even for my sake. I have a 5yo, but I've never been married before now, and there is no ex for him to deal with. I think my husband is absolutely cruel to him, but of course this is my imagination. He says he doesn't treat any of them any better than the others, but he sooooo does. The order is 1) my stepson, who actually is a sweet boy. I really am not resentful of him. He is just a boy and never asked for any of this, so....2) then our baby, who is almost 2. Hubby has no patience for him, but does try to spend time with him 3) my 5yo son. Hubby tells EVERYONE he is going to adopt him. I don't think I want him to. Other than my boy wants his last name to be the same as mine, I don't think he wants to be adopted either. Hubby is always demeaning him, laying guilt trips on him, blaming him, smacks him (instead of time out like I've requested time and time and time again) tells him to shut up all the time, etc.....

The music choice when he's alone (in his truck) is all about the ex. I don't even need to ask. I KNOW it to be true (with him).

And, his mother CONSTANTLY compares me to the ex. Apparently, I'm not much like her. Supposedly, I wear less make-up and I clean the house much better but, hey. Does EVERY conversation HAVE to have something to do with his ex?

I'm not cut out for this crap. I believe I'm better than this bologna....but what am I supposed to do?

Hubby didn't participate with me and the 5yo today because stepson didn't visit. I felt really close to stepson last wknd, so mommy didn't let him come after he told her about ANY of the stuff we talked about last wknd. (bugs, cubscouts, how to make tea, our plans for this wknd...) so 5yo and I made our own scarecrow family by ourselves.

Jason's stepmom 6 years ago

Thank you for writing such truth. My husband and I were both previously married, only he has a child from his first marriage. I knew better. After a year of marriage, it has become apparent that his son is the only thing of importance in his life. We have spent countless dollars on legal fees just so he could have another day each week to spend with him. He acts depressed on days his son is not around and completely ignores me on the days that he is. It's like a roller coaster. No matter what this child does or doesn't do - it's ok. He's the perfect child and my husband cannot imagine another child that could be so perfect (both in looks and actions). Well, we are 2 months away from having our first child together. He was moderately excited until he found out we are having a girl. The excitement is gone. On top of that, he constantly tells me how we should do things (since, of course he is the expert on babies). He has also periodically compared my pregnancy to that of his ex-wife. What's worse is his mom does as well. She has asked to be in the delivery room to offer me support. As I was entertaining the idea, she explained to me everything that happened during the birth of my husband's first child. I'm feeling alone, frustrated, and most of all angry. Thanks for letting me vent!

MenAfterDivorce profile image

MenAfterDivorce 6 years ago from Sydney

Excellent hub. Men are sometimes seem overly eager to sabotage their new relationships due to not really recovering from their divorce properly.

After my divorce I went through a few short term and a long term relationship which all had to end because of various problems I myself caused.

Learned from that and moved on of course - but I have a huge amount of sympathy for second wives and it is good to hear their point of view so both men and women can learn from it - thank you.

adil javed profile image

adil javed 6 years ago from my loving world

nice hub and interesting but i would like to tell u that u should b join new life partner not a boy friend becz there is a lot of different between both of them so i advice to u that u should not live lone my best wishes as with u

La st profile image

La st 5 years ago from Somewhere in the midwest, USA

This made me cry. I am in a committed relationship with a live-in boyfriend (divorced with two kids). Reading this made me feel like you crawled into my heart and head and posted exactly what I feel. What I'd like to know now is how to actually deal with being "second" (or 4th if you include the kids), and how to build a relationship strong enough to not feel secondary. If I marry this man, I will be marrying his ex-wife and kids as well. Learning how to blend it all together and still have the passion of a "first" seems impossible. But, is it?

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada

Everyday Miracles, this is beautifully written, and wonderful that you could be so honest. I have struggled with feeling this way in my marriage, too, so I understand. I am my husband's second wife, and he is my second husband. Just wondering how long you have been married. I know that as we nearing our third year of marriage, those feelings are there a lot less. As we build a life together, the past no longer seems as relevant. But up until a few months ago, it had been a real struggle.

Again, thank you so much for sharing. I am sure you have helped countless people. Take care!

bugslady8949 profile image

bugslady8949 5 years ago from The Bahamas

I have never been married but it seems when you are the second wife you have to repair the things that the first wife broke. I think you did a great job on this hub.

feeling foolish 5 years ago

I am my husbands third wife. The first was a crazed alchoholic and the second just crazy and controlling. I know my husband loves me dearly. We became best friends before getting married almost two years ago. He has 3 children from his first wife whom he had full custody of and who are all now adults. I get along great with them as well as his family. We are expecting our first child together and he is very excited and supportive of my pregnancy. My problem is and it may sound foolish but, I recently found some old cards and letters he wrote to wife number two while they were married and realized that all those special things he says to me are the same words and phrases he used with her. Is it just that he can't think of anything new to say? Am i just being silly? It kind of hurts to find out that i'm not as special as he made me think i was!

Lisa 5 years ago

I must say I am the 2nd wife and my mother in law was the same way when I had our son she didn't come to the hospital or anything didn't even see him till he was 3 months old when she came to see my step daughter for her mother in law lives in new york and couldn't drive the 6 hours for the birth of her last grand child but could because her FAVORITE grandchild was turning 14....oh yeah really made me mad. that was 7 years ago...funny thing is my step daughter now 20 had her first child 4 months ago and my mother in law at the drop of a hat comes for the birth of this one...oh wait it was her 1st great grand child..My mother inlaw asked my husband when we got pregnant if I did that to trap him in a relationship like his first wife did WTF I shouldn't be constantly compaired so I just dont deal with the B any more yeah she pushed me over the edge when she lectured my husband about getting a vasectomy...really he is 37 if you could talk to him before he had 4 kids why bother....if we want 20 more kids thats our buisness BUTT OUT

Sunnyglitter profile image

Sunnyglitter 5 years ago from Cyberspace

I'm sorry you had to go through this. I never realized this could happen to second wives. My situation is basically reversed: I was with my daughter's dad for 5 years, and he's a total deadbeat who rarely makes an attempt to see her. He married a girl he met while we were still together and had a child with her. He watches the child every day, posts photos on his Facebook, all the stuff he never did for his daughter. It's very painful to see him act like his second family is more important than his first.

Attention Getter profile image

Attention Getter 5 years ago

Very interesting. I've never been a second wife but I have been with a guy who had kids with another woman. I felt as though it would result in me feeling as though my pregnancy (if it happened) wouldn't mean as much to him as it would to me. I even resented the kids a little even though I didn't have my own kids.

I knew that I didn't personally want to feel like that forever and from that relationship forward vowed to only date guys who were in the same spot in life as me as far as kids and marriage.

I should say that my current relationship is going on ten years with a guy who has never been married and doesn't have, or want, kids - just like me. So it worked out perfectly.

Jan 5 years ago

I am also my husband's second wife. I have been married to him for 25 yrs. I have done everything I could for my husband's 43 yr old daughter by the way she lives right next door to her mother who is still single. My husband' daughter has 2 children & divorced. I have done very nice things for them too. The problem here she has never changed she still throws cheap shot remarks to me and her father turns his cheek the other way it's like in his mind he doesn't care if she insults me. In my opinion I believe I do not deserve this. My husband does everything for her and it's like she just plain doesn't appreciate all the help he gives her. I always have to butt out because he makes sure that SHE is his daughter and I am not. That's all she wants is pity and when hubby gives in and gives much attention and financially aid she drops him like a hot potato. I am sick of this. She has made my life miserable. She's not only immature but a marriage wrecker but that's my husband's daughter who I had it up to my neck with her.

We went to marriage counseling to no prevail. He has baggage and I can't deal with anymore!!!

Sad and Disappointed 5 years ago

I found your hub interesting. I'm not the second wife, I'm the first. I am, however, the second mother. My husband has a son from a teenage relationship. Dealing with this child's mother (and her family), the legal system's idea of what we "owe" this woman and the child, and my husband and his family's ideas about where my children stand in relation to this child......well, it's been hard. I have been expected to pour out money to provide for his child or to pay legal expenses to keep the mother from neglecting him or subjecting him to emotional abuse at the hands of his stepfather. I have been expected to put my children on the back burner EVERY time this child has an issue, even if my own children needed me during this time, and expected to explain to employers why I needed ANOTHER day off work to take his child to the doctor, to go to another court date, to go to a parent meeting for him.... Then the child became a teen and became difficult to handle, both at home and at school. He was put in detention repeatedly and then, finally, he was suspended for a week for punching another child. When I dared to say this child needed to be punished I was put squarely in my place. When I expressed concern that he was setting a bad example for our other three children I was told it was none of my business, when he lied about something I said to him to my husband, I was told that I had to be the one lying. My husband has threatened to divorce me numerous times because "My son was here first." What about the other three children he fathered? Just because they were born to another woman (who, by the way, was the one he deemed to marry,and I wasn't pregnant or otherwise "trapping" him, the one he said was a good parent) they don't "deserve" any consideration? Now, the state has forced me to add the stepchild to my insurance. In truth, my husband could have taken out a policy for him and his son but it was over a thousand dollars a month. My insurance is half that and I already paid for it. I wish I'd told him to find his own:( but a thousand dollars a month is a lot to lose when you have mouths to feed and backs to clothe. Now, my insurance wants to know about other insurances he carries. Well, he has 2 others, both in different last names. His mother carries him in her maiden name and his stepfather carries him using his last name. My insurance is threatening to suspend my benefits until I can straighten this out. This will leave my children uninsured. The state doesn't care, I spoke to them and they told me we owed this child. Why? He has other coverage, he has THREE times the coverage my own children do. And if we lose this insurance, he is still covered and they are not. The problem the state has? I won't give the mother an insurance card. It has MY name and MY information on it. I don't trust her not to pretend to be me and make me financially responsible for whatever illnesses she trumps up. She took him, at 15, recently to the ER because she said he was having a heart attack. He was laughing, talking, texting... not a heart attack. And she tried for an hour to get me to sign off to pay any charges that the insurances didn't cover. I refused but the whole thing was uncomfortable. This is also a woman who is knowingly committing insurance fraud by claiming this child belongs to the stepfather. I have given our local doctor, the one he's used for years, a copy of the card to keep in his file. She switched to go to another doctor so that she could complain to the state that she didn't have my card at that doctor. The whole thing is ridiculous and I'm sick of it. To top it off my husband sent me a text last night that read "Sorry I was so short with you. I'm just tired of fighting about this insurance stuff." I found that offensive. First, why should he oppose me in this? Shouldn't he be fighting with everything he has to preserve the benefits I provide for our children? Second, I was offended by "stuff". As if it isn't THAT important that my children remain covered, I just need to roll over and give this woman whatever she cries to the state for. I've had it. I'm tired of being told to provide whatever is deemed necessary for this child, even if it costs my children. I'm sick of my husband thinking this is acceptable. I have cried until I just have no tears left. He may have "been here first" but he is also a child. I wasn't raised to allow children to run adult's lives. My mother was right, blended families were never meant to be. This is simply against what nature intended for families, and it is rare that these situations aren't just sick and upsetting for all involved.

chicsummers 5 years ago

Thank you for this article. I am a second wife as well. My husband is 45 while I'm 23. Having 22 years apart, his family is very doubtful of my intentions. My husband doesn't look old, I was tricked that he was around 30 when we met because he really looks young. I knew he had a previous family with a teenage daughter. After 2 years we got married living in another state. The ex-wife has the full custody of the kid and did everything to hurt my husband. He says my husband is a dead beat father and a useless excuse for a human being when my husband gives $1,500 for child support for her daughter. We tried all means to make the daughter visit us but she wont let him see her daughter. She was using her for money as the daughter tells us about all she has to endure with her mother. She has to ask money from us just to buy clothes coz her mother wont buy her any saying that the money that we give isn't enough. The bad thing is that my husband (I think) is afraid of his ex-wife. She curses him a lot that even I am afraid of his ex-wife. Recently we tried to get the custody of the kid spending nearly $10,000 of our savings just for legal fees. She made false accusations against my husband and even hired a psychologist to prove that her daughter is brainwashed by her father. In the end we had to pay EVEN her legal fees and they acquired a 15% raise in child support. This woman is evil and shameless that I am speechless. What about my kids? Does she think that her daughter is only the kid that my husband has? Now I am forced to work to pay legal fees. Sometimes I regret having this kind of life thinking, "I didn't signed up for this." But then probably I knew this was a possibilty that I have overlooked when I married him. Now we need to wait until the kid turns 18. I love my husband & he's a good man. He just met an evil woman. I'm going to support him till the end.

Kathyartist2011 5 years ago

I'm my husband's second wife. His ex left him after 25 years of marriage for another man who was a close friend of the family. We are both in our 50s and his children are adults. We rarely have to deal with her other than to pay her alimony which is ludicrous because she never worked during their marriage and was a bored housewife (hence the 5 year affair with the boyfriend she is now living with). She didn't get married because she would have lost the spousal support from my husband.

Anyway, my most difficult issue is that my husband constantly refers to his past i.e. their house, their possessions anything they did together or owned as "our" or "we." Now whenever he refers to our current life together or possessions, they are "his." He will talk of our house (which we own jointly) as "my house." He's talk about our trips or vacations as "when I went to Hawaii..." etc. Yet he'll wax poetically about his memories and experiences with his ex as "we did this, we went there." It bothers me and I've told him. He'll try to correct himself after saying it. But he still continues to use this language. I wonder how long before he feels he is truly married to me.

He also has all the wedding gifts he and his ex received. She wanted no part of the china, crystal and silver. But we have all of it and guests will comment to ME "Oh, your dishes and crystal are so beautiful!!" and I have to respond that they are not mine but my husband and ex's. They are embarrassed and I look over at my husband annoyed.

Lost in the space 5 years ago

I am a third wife and i hate it. I moved to another country because of him. Managed to get a job from the very first day. Managed to make friends and connections but feel lonely most of the time. With his first he did not get any kids and that was a big problem. With the second, with whome he did not get married, he got 2 kids, one after another....and then she left. We got married 2 years after she left him. She left him but she did not let him go. Phoning, texting,asking for this and that has been a normal thing for her. Before I came into the picture she did not want to talk to him but with me coming to his life she changed her attitude. Suddenly she wanted to be a great friend with him. She wanted them to do everything together...holidays, birthdays, her family celebrations....she even came and stayed overnight in the kids room while I was away, on a business trip. I have managed to introduce some rules but my husband feels horribly guilty because of that.The kids stay with us every week, once it is a weekend, the other time two working days. My husband is the happiest man when they are with us but he does not help with a housework, cooking, cleaning. The kids are actually good but it is too much for me. Those weekends are not weekends for me. It is a full time job from morning til evening. We have never gone anyone alone. All his plans for hlidays include the kids. His guilt is so big that he even let me have holiday alone while he is with the kids. In the days when kids are not with us he does gardening or nothing at all. We don t even have a sex any more and I think he does not want to have any kids with me in order to preserve this status with the kids from his previous relationship. I do not know what to do. I want to have a kid but can not force it. I keep talking about that and all the things that bothers me in this relationship. He nods, he says i love you, I understand what you want ...but the things do not change. I am fed up with this life. Can not wait any mnore. Do not know what to do. I am 42.

Solawa 5 years ago

I am not yet a second wife, but it is something my boyfriend and I are thinking about. He was married for 18 years, and has two adult children from his marriage (the youngest is 18 and in college). Anyway, I am his first serious relationship since he divorced 2 years ago, and he says he is ready to start a life with me, get engaged, and married in a year. I just get nervous about being second, I honestly feel like he had this whole life before me, and I am just second place, or second best. I cant help it.

He tries to reassure me that I am number one, and he loves me. We have a significant age difference, he is 44 and I am 28. I have a four year old daughter from a previous relationship, but I have never been married, I have never been someones wife, something you can only do first once.

The ex wife is a little off but I think I can deal with her over time. I get along with his youngest son, and I tolerate the oldest. We are only 5 years apart so maybe it is a little awkward for the oldest son.

He has to pay his ex alimony for several years and financially that will put a damper on our plans to start a family, at least for a few years, but I really don't mind that so much. But it does hurt when I see a big chunk of money leave our household to go to hers. My daughters father and I have joint custody, and he has her this year so I pay child support as well, but its to support my child. He pays alimony solely to his ex. His kids are grown, and yes it does kind of bug me, but she stayed home in the beginning of their marriage so whatever.

I guess I never planned on being a second wife, but no one else makes me feel the way he does. I just hope I am not settling.

CJ 5 years ago

I am 14 months into a 2nd marriage with a wonderful gentlemen who I am his 2nd wife. I found out due to a piece of mail coming to our home that his ex-wife is his beneficiary on his life insurance, the house we currently live in and his mother is for our joint account--i asked him why that hasn't changed and he told me that he just hasn't had the time to do it---we've been married 14 months.

Irritated Fiance' 4 years ago

I am a soon to be 2nd wife. I also felt like you could see in my heart how I feel when I began to read to read your hub. My fiancé & I are both divorced, due to our ex spouses cheating on us and leaving each of us. I wasn't happy in my marriage anyway, as to my ex husband being emotionally & verbally abusive, but my finace' was the happiest I believe he has ever been. He married his high school sweet heart & they were together for 15 years and have 3 beautiful children together. She remarried to the man she cheated on him with. Well, myself & my fiancé have been together for almost 2 years, but have broken up 3 times, bc of feelings he was having about his past and missing "his family". Hearing these things & even writing them out breaks my heart all over again, bc I am totally in love with this man & love his children as my own.( I have no children). Well, my point is...I am not sure how things are suppose to work with the ex & children involved in a new marriage & I am doubting a marriage between to last. My fiance's ex wife & I are civil but its completely fake. I am so annoyed that he & she have a best friend relationship. I guess I'm jealous, but also scared. He always says that he misses his kids, but when he gets them on the weekends he is scheudled to have them, she has something that she wants to do with them, so our Saturday is broken up into sharing his alloted time with his children & this has us (me bc he's been known to hit hte golf course when this happens) sitting around waiting on her to bring hte children back in a couple of hours. I don't understand why he lets her do these things & i ts often. Also, when we argue...he compares me to his ex e.g. She cooked better, she cleaned better & when he's really mad he says hurtful things about me never being half the woman the she is. He will call me a whore, but if something is said about his ex, then he takes up for her with the quickness & she cheated, left him, took the kids & moved this new man into their home & married him. I am so confused. We are to be married in 3 months. At this point, shouldn't I be the one planning our weekends? The one he talks to before allowing the ex to pick up the chidlren during our time? Before giving more money than child support when she calls for it? There is always something & I am honestly a nervous wreck & sick to my stomach when I know that we are about to get the kids for the weekend bc I know I will have to deal with things that involve her or the children telling their daddy things about mommy. This is so much harder than I expected. Don't get me wrong, she is a good mommy, but I know I will be too. The best if not day if allowed to( this is still up in the air with him as well, if he will have 1 or 2 children with me). Please lend any advice & say a prayer for guidance & wisdom for me and my future marriage. God Bless you all!!

dee 4 years ago

i am a second wife.

I married a man, who I knew before he divorced. I knew "how much he loved her", and "how it just HAD to work out". She had multiple affairs, and drove them into debt. She is absolutly beautiful, she works out daily, breast implants, lipo- the works.

I on the other hand, am cheap. I have a hard time spendin money on myself, clip coupons, and have stretch marks and saggy tits.

But, what I really want to get at, is, he wishes his first marriage worked out. He tells me straight up.

Am I hurt: of course.

Im I jealous of her tight ass and big tits: you bet.

Although he tells me he loves me, and I know he does, I cant help but feel like runner up.

She is currently divorcing her recent marriage, and cant help but think that secretly, he would like her back.

Pure and simple, he states this.

He never wanted to divorce her. H never wanted his family to fall apart. So, here I am, looking for help.

He loves me, I know it. But It sure is hard to know that I am "runner up"

giasim 4 years ago

I pray someone can help me here.

I was divorced for a very long time,I have a daughter I adopted.

I did not date for six years,I felt it was best to let go of all the hurt and pain from my former marriage so when ready I would be free to truly love again, My best friends husband set my up with a co- worker everyone said he was a real nice guy and he is,but good guys don't always make good husbands.

But he was married for 25 years and she left him for another man told him she never loved him,they had been divorce for seven years when i met him.We dated, got along great all but his mother that's another story.

He asked me to marry him I love him so I took the plunge, I fear I made the worse mistake of my life.

His x was married when we met, he seemed to really not care for her much they had two children while married both grown.

While we were engaged the X's husband she left him for passed away.

We were talking about our past and how we had to grown as a couple and leave all that behind us but I already had.

His x wife took up with another man not even a month after her husband died he also told me she hurt him very bad more than any of the women he dated before marrying me.My husband admitted to me that this hurt him when she took up with the new man,then I was hurt and still am.

I was asking myself why would this hurt him? It's been over for years and he has a new wife,me we have only been married for one month.

I moved in his home still full of her things she left it all behind and when I wanted to replace it he became very sullen he let me do a few things and just stored hers but most of my stuff is in storage.

He clearly has lots of unresolved issues that were unknown to me at the time of our marriage.I believe in my heart and soul he was hoping she would come back to him after her husband passed but she did not.I also believe he married me to get back at her.

Since they have grown children with grand kids. I have to be around her and him together ,I feel very awkward now. I waited so long to date again.Now I'm just hurt and confused. I see no happy ending to this.I do not want to be second best I deserve better.

I let go of my home and everything to be with this man. I want out. I'm I wrong to feel this way?I have caught him in so many lies lately that I realize I don't know who this man is.I never dreamed being a second wife would be this hard.I try and try but I'm getting no where,now i do not trust him. My x husband also left me for another women that went belly up ,then met another women i was not hurt it was over in my eyes.We were with one another for ten years and I got pretty banged up but made sure those wounds healed before ever dating again.I did not want to bring that baggage into any new relationship i may have later on. My new husband did date soon after she left him.I thought the x was not an issue that was what i was made to believe. How blind can one person be here? I'm so upset I can't sleep or eat well.So please forgive me if my wording is off.

Farfromsmart 4 years ago

Your resentment of his kids from an ex wife is so spot on with what I had with my wife. You knew he had kids from an ex and you should have never been involved with him if you were going to be "hurt" by a child. He needs to compress 2 weeks (if he sees his kids every other weekend) into 2 days. Women will never understand how it feels to LOSE your kids after a divorce. You think that men are made of stone and shouldn't feel but get this: WE DO.

pixie 4 years ago

I Hate His/Her Ex by Alex Cooper is a book for anyone having difficulty coming to terms with their partner’s past relationships - brilliant read! Available on Amazon or most bookstores - Kindle or paperback!

RMR 4 years ago

Thank you. Just... thank you.

Furious Fiance 4 years ago

My fiancé has two children from a previous marriage. He is 37 and I am 23 and have never been married nor do I have kids of my own. I get along with his kids just fine even though I hate that he pays an enourmous amount of child support. If the total amount of child support he pays goes to his kids then they should be wearing armani and chanel clothing to school..that's all I'm saying about that...But I could live with this if it was the only issue because I really do love him. I just feel like he is taking everything out on me from his first marriage. She didn't work at all and still doesn't because she's so lazy, and therefore he told me that when we get married I have to work full-time in a job I might hate, even though I am trying to finish my degree to get a better paying job. She ruined his credit and left him with a ton of bills when they got divorced so he's very anal about money. Now he's even going so far as saying that he refuses to get married in my church. I know it's because he hated his first wedding and sees me as his first wife but he won't admit it. Someone please help me out here. I am so pissed about this. I don't even know who to talk to. Should I call off our wedding?

angry second wife 4 years ago

Hell yes. You will grow to resent him and his children. I know this because I am in a similar situation.

J love 4 years ago

Hi there all~

So I am a 28 year old womean who has been married to my first husband for 5 years now. We have a 4 year old and a 1 year old son. We are happy and love eachother. When I first met my husband he came out of a 7 year relationship with a woman wh0 cheated on him. He and her began dting in high school then stayed to gether a few years later. After his first girlfriend left him for someone else we met about 2 month later. We held a long distance relationship for a few months then I moved in with him and became pregnant within 5 months. Before gtting pregnant we had discussed marriage and our love for eachother. To get down to the point... my mother in law has on a few occasions brings up that she doesn't know if we ere ever going to be together if I didn't get pregnant. The last and final thing said was she always felt that I was her son's rebound girl and she was devistated when I got pregnant. This hurts me so bad because over the years I have become fairly close to her and I hate that she feels my husbands and I's relationship was based on.... responsibility. In the mean time my husband who does not get along very good with his mom, discussed that she is hurting me saying these things and he loved me thats why he married me. What to do now??? What shold I say to her... ? sence this has all been out in the open, My mother in law and I have not talked for a week which is unusual because we talk about every other day. Any thoughts would be great!!! Thanks!

sassy 4 years ago

My story (I should probably say 'our story' since they're all so identical) is one of confusion. One day up, one day down. Coming or going, etc. I'm less than 3 months away from saying 'I do' to my fiancé. I'm 25 and he's 31. He was previously married for 6 years and has 2 children. Initially it was 3 children, but I learned that the middle child was not his (she had an affair).

My relationship with the beginning it was great and sometimes it still is. It's 50/50 when it comes to him understanding where I'm coming from as the next wife and future stepmother.

My relationship with his children...I was completely naïve. I'd never dated anyone with children, so I thought it was going to be like being with my nieces and nephews. WRONG! I forgot they actually had a mother and that I wasn't their mother. He has a boy and a girl. I feel I can't even be first in that either! His son is very independent. His daughter is 2, so that leaves me to be the 'woman figure.' I definitely didn't see my marriage being filled with jumping straight into mommyhood. (There's that naivete again)

My relationship with myself...I'm a mess. I'm literally hanging on by a thread daily. I live for Fridays and get queasy when Monday rolls around (that's the custody schedule). I never thought this is what my life would be like.

My fiancé has felt guilty in the past about not being able to provide me with my 'firsts' but what the heck can be done now right? We love each other dearly and have put our trust in God.

P.S. if I hear another woman (that already has kids) tells me that I should be grateful that he already has kids and that I should just be happy, I'm going to probably lose it.

picture1987 4 years ago


I think you need to rethink getting married to your fiancé if you find it awful by the very thought of seeing the children. It isn't fair to you, your fiancé or the children to as they sense when someone doesn't like them or want them around (they know). It will make it tough for your fiancé to see you stressed all the time also. It is important that all step mums understand that the children didn't ask for any of this, they feel the alienation etc etc that goes on between parents. If you love him and want to help your fiancé, then work with him and give to your step children to be, they will love you for it and you never know you just might grow to love them too and look forward to seeing them as well! Good luck.

rose 4 years ago

Husband's daughter from first marriage has not forgiven father for parents sepation she said he should have never looked at another woman . That was 35 years ago We have been married for 10 years now . Are happy together but they had a fight 11 days ago and she has not talked to him since.She is mad because he give his step children some money. She has has a lot of money from dad in the past . How do we handle this problem?

Cin 4 years ago

Second marriage is not easy. I have been married for 2 years now. My husband and I were both married for 16 years previously, the problem is his children are older 21, 20 and 18. His ex wife still finds the need to text him, call him etc. She is a crazy person and calls at night or in the morning. The largest issue is my husband does nothing to stop it. I recently called her up and yelled at her, because I had enough. (We have been together 5 years) and this has been going on for the entire time. Now, when I look at his cell phone records, he is hiding it. Does not look like he responds back all the time, but I cant live like this I feel lied to

picture1987 4 years ago

I think it comes hand in hand with a second or more marriage. No one can expect a husband and wife who have had a family together, not to call or speak to each other. If children are to be cared for (even if they are older) then the new wife or husband better get used to the idea that the first wife or husband may call occasionally. It seems today people are more worried about their security and worried the first husband or wife may be talking to the old one. For some people this is a little bit of karma. Children are important, so unless your husband comes baggage free, be kind enough to understand. Or better still look for a fellow who doesn't have commitments etc.

sour lemon 4 years ago

dear furioud fiancé,

in reading your comment,i got instantly a bad stomach ache!!! this is because of my experience with this story like others is detailed and long, but something good came out of my nightmare story,i became older and wiser.I am now 52 yrs old,with 4 lovely children.I have 2 daughters and 2 sons.I am my husbands second wife.He had 2 sons from a previous marriage.we have been married for 22 years.Ok these are some of the facts.Now, listen carefully please i beg you.What i am about to say may seem negative, wrong, it is positive for you!!! YOU MUST VACATE THIS RELATIONSHIP IMMEDIATELY.Everything you said indicates to me,DANGER, DANGER, DANGER.Its like i told mydaughters from the time they could understand.Do not be nieve or blind.This so called love is only a small part of the becomes old and resentfull.When I met myhusband, he was perfect!!!and i mean perfect.He met every requirement i wanted on my list.I did this when i was 27 yrs. old.So i felt our love could conquer ALLL11 bull shit!!! when reality hit,like his outrageous child support he had to pay, and he was no Rockefeller, and i wasn't a great wage earner, I'm sorry and embarrassed to say.I always worked, but then i started having my children and my husban's ex,was so evil and selfish, but clever.She was able to very successfully crush us with the help of the family court system.This is no joke,my kids suffered tremendously, but i fought tooth and nail every step of the way to love and protect them.They always saw this, thank god,they had it rough, like no money for lots of social events, clothes etc.good mothers have a divine right to this.bad mothers should have their asses kicked.i have warned my daughters several times not to ever get involved with a young man who has children,it is not meant to hurt them, but i don't want my girls suffering like i did and them too.I am right about have to stop this relationship now for your own good, i guarantee its a heart break waiting to happen.The first children of the previous marriage are always favored upon by the court system, my kids were cast aside as if they had no business being born.That always infuriated me and still does and always will.I still to this day have bad problems with my husband and his child support arrearages that he will be paying to her till he dies, very sad.And myhusband was denied seeing his sonsbecause she brain washed them against him, and the courts always listened to her.myhusband was heartbroken.My husband was not a dead beat father, just a beaten down father.I will not stop fighting on this matter until i have sweet justice somehow.SOOOOOO, please, run like HELLLLL from this situation you're in.

Good luch, find a single no child man, do it for YOU!!!

Confused 4 years ago

I too am the second wife, im 28 and my husband is 40; we have been married for 3 years and have one baby together. I am also pregnant with the second child and my husband has an 8 year old from previous marriage. This is my first marriage and i feel likei got ripped off, whereeverything is new and exciting to me is quite ordinary and not special to my husband, i get hurt when i don't see the sparkle in his eyes. I soon came to realize that i did not know him, and he fooled me to be the person that i thought he was. My marriage was hasty and i sometimes regret marrying him, and his neglect to share experiences in marriage. I also realize that although he supports me financially, he is a lousy husband who lies about the smallest stupidest things just to avoid any discussions. As for his children, including the stepdaughter he doesn't have the patience to spend time with them, he is a loving dad but he cant take more than 30 mins with them, his stepdaughter often wakes him up cuz he sleeps while she visits, she also doesn't like coming to visit due to his behavior and has no problems with me. He is always on his ipad, tv, napping, or stays hours in the bathroom..when he is watching the baby and i feel my baby is always wanting to grab his attention, he is a lousy dad who cares for his kids but cant deal with them the whole day, more like a part time dad.. Although he is trying and i love my husband and he loves me, I feel bitter and the resentment towards him is growing, i feel the only way to make our marriage will work is by not asking questions, not relying on him for anything, being the mom and dad in the relationship, and having sex all the time is the only way it will work. Im currently pregnant with one baby and no financial support other than my parents...sometimes i feel stuck and this is not what i wanted my marriage to be. When i discuss this with him, he agrees but reverts to his old just tired and feel i deserve better than being the second wife with allhis baggage...i hope i can be more forgiving and i hope my marriage will last, however; if i could turnback time i would have choosen differently now that i know what its like to be second.

Jewelie 4 years ago

I think a lot of second marriage issues boil down to confused values and priorities. I have been remarried for about a year to a man who seems to have different values than me and it affects his priorities. The whole concept of marriage that I've been raised with is based on Judeo-Christian values.

When a man and a woman marry, they are supposed to become one. One in purpose and also putting their partner above all of human relationships. If these values are deeply held and practiced by each partner, the marriage will suffer. If only one spouse has those values, then the more committed spouse will suffer a great deal of pain. I have personally been battling my husbands dysfunctional value system since we got married. I have suffered more pain than I can even begin to express over this issue. We are in marriage counseling and there have been some improvments, but ultimately if he doesn't change his values and stop neglecting me and abandoning our marriage much of the time, I doubt I can stay. Why would I? It's as though no marriage exists when your partner doesn't become one with you. But I will exhaust every option I have first.

Jewelie 4 years ago

Meant to say..". If these values are NOT deeply held and practiced by each partner, the marriage will suffer"

lamy 4 years ago

wow! it made me so tired reading comments about wives that their current husband still contacting their ex wives.

when i filed divorce from my ex , i firmly cut off all ties with ex and his family. i am glad that i made that choice because that made life so much easier for me and my two sons.(i can do this bcoz the law in my country allow it) because i am now in my second marriage , i can not imagine having to deal with my ex and his family who acted like gangsters while having issues at current marriage. after i read all the stories here, i am even more thankful now. so thanks for all the posters here.

lamy 4 years ago

and so i told myself if the current marriage did not work, it will my last and i will have nothing to do with this thing called 'marriage' ever again. i am serious. a failed marriage is really a waste of time and effort. not mentioning the time spending in anger, sadness and disappointment, reduced productivity.

if God allow me to live all over, i will choose a suitable man to be husband for life. i hate divorces. i feel so bad for my sons because they don't have a real dad they can look up to. but i don't allow this to stop me from disciplining them, otherwise i will be cooking up new future problems.

p/s: all the posters here are so real, i prayed that you all problems can be lifted soon. i can feel your pains in your words.

Jeanny 4 years ago

Hi, Thank you so much for this post. I am 30 and my husband is 53. And I was tricked that he's 43, because he just looks so young. Anyway, we got married 4 days ago, and the certificate was not passed to the registrar yet. Yesterday, I found out that he has 2 kids (he disowned them), and he was willing to set me free. I am young, and can still find a man with a perfect past. Anyway, I decided to proceed with the registration. I love my husband, and if I find another man, I don't even know what lies ahead. I might become the divorced or whatever. So I'm taking this risk. I just hope everything works out, and I will be able to accept of his past.

dana29 4 years ago

i am in a relationship and have been for 3 years though we are not married and i have no kids of my own, i still look after his youngest she's 16 we have a great relationship and after my bf's wife died his oldest daughter who is 22 left 2months b4 finishing year 12 to become a hairdresser he wouldn't even speak to her for 4 years i reconnected them back my problem is my bf lacks in giving me what i need sexually this has only been a problem for 2years and im suffering i gave up a lot and im still giving things up i just want a bit of lea way either you want me or you don't just give me an honest answer

Adam 4 years ago

I read this hoping there was a silver lining I could show my wife, but it ended just as negative as it started :-(

Georgina 4 years ago

10 years older to me, I am his third, mine is first marriage. We are going through the roughest patch in our 7 years of togetherness. It was very hurtful during my first and final pregnancy 5 years ago, when he said "every woman goes through this" My first and only, very special pregnancy was just a routine matter for him.

My learnings during these 7 years of marriage" Never talk with him" Because he will blame me, accuse and abuse me" He is not working and so all the tension and frustrations he takes out on me.

Am staying till I get a refuge" Oh god, please help me.

Deb 4 years ago

I am a first wife, soon to be divorced. My husband lived with the woman who is to be his second wife the complete last year of our marriage. I was unaware though suspected as he constantly used bill money to maintain her. A gift from him to her accidentally (I think accidentally) came to my house in her name. One month after our seperation agreement was signed, he proposed to her. That month I paid his bills because he said he could not. I repaired his truck because he said he was low on cash. I could hug this soon-to-be second wife for finally providing me the security I would have never had as a first wife, fiancial stability with him gone. She is accepting a man who refuses to budget, constantly borrows without thought to repaying loans and can sweet talk the pants right off you. Woman to woman, I would like to let her know but it would be wrong. I feel sorry for his soon-to-be second wife and will remember your postings and give her nothing but peace.

Ted 4 years ago

I honestly don't know how anyone handles the aftermath of divorce, much less remarriage (two years later and I'm still broken). I will never again consider marriage. There's no way I could open myself up to someone in that way twice only to risk being brought to my knees a second time. That kind of bravery is way beyond my capabilities. Good luck to those still trying.

Carol 4 years ago

My story is of marrying a widower with 4 children 2 females who hate me, one son who barely tolerates , and another who's completely indifferent! I went into this one with one daughter, who has, accepted my husband and family arms wide open, but is also left to feel like an outsider, but does not complain, just accepts it! (No waves or confrontations for her) I'm also faced with his friends, who don't care for me, one who's also a widow, (my husbands best deceased friends wife) whom I have a gut feeling was waiting around for my husband to realize they were soul mates, simply by the way she throws her arms around my husband, hugs, and kisses him, and treats me as if I'm completely invisible! My husband claims no interest in her other than friendship, but I believe there's an emotional bond going on there! We all took a group photo last year, she's square in the middle of the photo, I was on the side! The photo ended up as his desktop on his iPod, and when opened she's square in your face, and I'm completely cropped out! His knowing that I don't care for her at all stemming from the disrespect, and treatment that I've received from her over the years, makes me wonder why he would use this photo, that I am clearly cut out of! I don't think I have the strength!

Stephanie 4 years ago

Everything happens for a reason.. Nothing in life is perfect.. Fairy tales are not real. Don't sweat the small stuff or worry about things you cant change. Don't settle, but don't look for perfection so hard you never find it.. My parents are both second marriages , been married 26 years.. Happily! Im their child! :) they both never treated me less important than their first kids ( i don't call them half brothers, i just call them brothers) and we are all happy! I actually think im the favorite ! Haha! Im the baby , and only girl.. My brothers adore me! Love can come twice, and even better than ever!!

Why am i here though? I recently got involved with an older man who has one son and an ex wife ..( hes been divorced for ten years, and hasn't seen her since, and hardly speaks to her ) but i digress... When i first started talking to him none of this mattered lol... I'm 25 and casually dated, enjoyed sex, ect...

It all only started to bother me once i realized i was in love! Haha .. I just felt insecure all of a sudden!

He's amazing though.. Tells me he loves me all day.. Makes me feel more loved then ive ever felt.. Tells me he has never felt this way about any one before , and that he knew deep down he had been searching for me his whole life ..

Its a fairly new reltionship.. And i just don't want to be insecure any more about it !

( i wont get into details of their divorce, realkstically it doesn't matter.. It ended for a reason.. No need to dwell why )

But i am 25, young, smart, pretty , and in love ... I just fear the unknown.. The "what if's" lol.. I fear all of your situations !

( i have insecurities/ baggage from being cheated on and lied to and manipulated in my past )

Well.. He's so wonderful to me .. And no matter what the future will bring , i want to enjoy the moment .. Because i love the way we are together.. Were best friends ! And he talks about me to his family and friends often! His mother seems excited for him too, i think! He's excited ! He is like a young boy in love when it comes to me! Lol. He stares at me with passion..

I really should be more greatful.. I just cant help the scars ive had on me.. Time heals all wounds though..

Are we alllwed to share email addresses here ? I wouldn't mind making new "second wives" friends ( As i would be one if i married him one day lol )

I could offer an ear to any one , or advice!

I only can say i hope all of you try to remember that you are the makers of your own happiness.. If you think positive and wish to be happy, then you will be! Dwelling on negativity and sad feelings only keeps you sad .. And if you are truly unhappy... Walk away.. Even temporarily ..

There is no easy answer.. And thers is no right or wrong amswer.. Only what is best for you!

But my parents are living proof second times a charm! I wouldn't be here without them! Remember that, too.. The children are blessings in disguise .. Us "second time marriage" children thank you for life. ! :)

I love you all! And you are good people! Hang in there!!

Sanne 4 years ago

I'm a first wife but second mother. I love my husband with all my heart, he's my best friend and soulmate. But all the bagage that came from his previous relationship (he had 2 daughters with her) is driving me nuts more than ever. I was very naïve diving into this thinking that we could conquer everything together. Also read many articles about blended families and how it takes years for a family like that to stabilise and feel like a real family. I'm still waiting after 8 years...still doesn't feel like a family. Having the kids every other week just makes them not part of either house. They don't seem to be very attached to either parent and treat the houses more like a hotel than a home.

We've been married for 4 years now and together for 8 years...way longer than his previous relationship. But all these years helping him deal with everything and to assist him in parenting his kids, shuffling yourself to the side because aren't the kids the most important thing (as you read in most articles about stepparenting and stepkids). Now 8 years later I'm just tired of it all...we have two gorgeous boys together who brought my husbands' family closer together. But I hate it that we can never become the family I had hoped for...I can try to make things as cosy as possible but if you only get this cold shoulder from his kids who take but never seem grateful or happy about what they get (which my kids, young as they are, do show) than you just get sad and resentful.

Tomorrow his kids come here again. My stomach's a week of no privacy (not possible in this house) and no alone time with my husband. I will feel like a stranger in my own home. Why don't we see more of these kinds of posts on the net and help for us in this 'secondhand' relationship. I wish I would have had a bit more of an idea what I was getting myself into before I made the decision to spend the rest of my life with this man.

I think marriage is forever and my husband is my soulmate but this whole situation only makes me feel lonely, isolated (you can't really seem to talk to anybody about this) and very, very sad.

So when is it our turn to be happy???

Sanne 4 years ago

Well...had a looong talk to my husband yesterday and he fully agrees that he dropped the ball bigtime when it comes to his daughters. He's going to use the coming week for talks, talks and more talks to get them to see that they have to change their ways for this blended family to work. Everybody needs to work together for this to actually have a chance.

So fingers crossed that there might be a little brighter future. It's not going to make up for all the hurt from the past but if we can make it work to not let my husbands previous life rule our current but to blend it together to a happier mix than I'm happier than I've been in a looong time...

Valegrl 4 years ago

I may be older and wiser...I offer up my story. I was married for 17 yrs. We had two children, a daughter and son. I rebounded into a second marriage with someone who had never had children...big mistake with two teenagers and an interfering ex-husband. It only lasted 4 years. Years later I lived with a man who had his 4 younger children every other weekend and sometimes living with us. His ex was unreal and at the point where he was going to get full custody of all four, she offered to move him into her house and raise the kids together (platonic of course). He could hardly contain himself as he actually thought she wanted him back! I moved out and it was such a relief I vowed I'd never even date someone with young children since mine were adults. Four years of promises and working my A-- off for what? I was single for 12 years and remarried a third time. He milked me for $18,000 in the first year and I promptly annulled the marriage. I met my last husband three years later and we've been married for almost a year. He is widowed and she was killed in a car accident they had. He feels so much guilt and tells everyone she was the love of his life. It's HER two children from prior marriages that have accepted me with open arms and so has his daughter from his first marriage. I've been told by many who knew her that she is a hard act to follow. He says he doesn't want me to feel "second best" and I think "to late, you already did". I've been open and honest with my husband about my feelings and bless his heart for trying his hardest to put the past where it belongs and move forward with OUR life. I don't begrudge him holding HER in his heart but I will not walk in HER footsteps. I make my own path and stand on my own. Thank God for his children, my children and HER children helping "us" to make a family. I believe you have to maintain a healthy self-esteem, expressing the truth and honesty of how you feel, even when it hurts. I also believe God had to be in your lives to give strength and love.

Do not put up with abuse (emotional or physical) and certainly DO NOT allow this to happen to your children, whether yours from a prior marriage or together. Don't allow yourselves to be a doormat, you are worth more than that.

Sanne 4 years ago

Valegrl: It does seem to be hard to find some uncomplicated happiness these days. I really hope things have turned to the good for you now.

I do think it should be possible to have a working blended family but it is pretty much impossible if your partner and his ex can't communicate and somehow seem to forget the kids come first. Also not setting clear rules for the kids will bite you in the ass.

I guess that my last unpopular point is that the stepkids don't come before everything else but the family does. My husband does get that but sometimes seems to have a hard time getting to the core of the problem and working on a solution from there. But he's working on it hard now. His youngest daughter actually helped me clean up after dinner yesterday without even being asked to do so...that was a first...she also addressed me directly at least 3 times to ask me something. Just little things but made such a big difference...hope she sees it too and will continue on this path.

OMK211 4 years ago

I am a 2nd wife and it is bothersome at times! But since I am Catholic, I do not count his first marriage as valid. They were not married under God as their witness. Therefore I consider myself his first wife. I am so madly in love with this man I chose to spend the rest of my life with. Even though he has two children from his ex, I never wish it to be differently. One of the reasons why I fell in love with him is because I admired him for being such a wonderful father! I also must add that I am 11 years younger than my husband and he has been divorced for over 5 years now. The only thing that bothers my about his ex is how ugly she is and how she tries so hard to keep close bonds with my husbands family. It is so annoying. I just think certain boundaries shouldn't be crossed, and she's crossed more than enough for me not to care about her. I do get along with her, I am civil, plus I rather us all get along for the children's sake. But I am done with her trying to stay close to my husbands family and I am done with her trying to use her power over my husband, just because she has 2 of his kids! Sorry. It doesn't work like that! I try to just leave it all in Gods hands, and be a good person and do that right thing, but yes....being a second wife can be difficult. At the end of the day, I've never felt more complete then being by my husbands side every night!

Tan 4 years ago

YOU ARE THE WIFE NOW, IF HE DIVORCED, IS FOR A REASON... LET GO OF YOUR FEARS AND INSCURITIES... yes you will never be the first, of anything, because he has a past!! you hsoul've thought about it in the first place, you have to accept that fact!! and that is ok! you have a new different especial place.... you have to earn your in laws trust and love.... if they don't want you, ok, it does hurt, but you focus on your husband and your baby,don't let anyting bother you! he is the imporatntthing for you... not the other people.... he is with you, and he loves you!! I DON'T THINK HE THINKS OF HIS EX AS YOU THINK, otherwise he wouldn't have divorced her!!! accept his past and enjoy the future!!!!

or you will be past too!!

Maureen 4 years ago

I'm so sorry to hear so many struggling with this. My husband is my 3rd, I'm his 4th (in defense of both of us our last marraiges were when I was 23 and he was, youth and stupidity at play, we're in our late 40's now).

When we met, my husband was really wrangling with damage done in his previous relationships (including two serious girlfriends after the end of his last marriage). In fact, our first argument was over me telling him on our second date that he was sooooo not ready to date as it had only been two months since his last relationship ended. And I think that's what he most likely did with all of his relationships, used the next one to get over the last one. I chose not to date at all until my children got older after my last divorce (a span of 15 years).

My current husband and I spent two years really being just friends (because of the argument on the second date). I wasn't up for jumping into a marriage with someone clearly carrying around unresolved issues from past relationships. Obviously we did end up together, but it took a lot of time and a lot of patience. And, honestly, it is less complex because he doesn't have any children. I have five, so I think that's sufficient :)

Hubby and I were talking about this "second choice" thing not all that long ago. And I don't believe either of us has ever felt I was a "replacement" or "second"...even though he does talk about some fond memories of his previous wives along with the irritation and hurt. I suppose I just assume that the previous relationships on both our parts were misjudgements, that we were not really well matched with any of our former spouses. I also think taking the time to recover from ended relationships before diving into another plays a huge part in why neither of us feel like "replacements".

On the other side of this, my second husband remarried not too long after we divorced and from what I have witnessed myself along with random comments my children have said, I think my ex's new wife is really feeling what most of you have said. And I know for a fact my ex has used me as a weapon against her. (He actually said to her in front of me, "Why can't you be more like Maureen?" I don't really care for this woman but even *I* wanted to slug him for being such a moron.)

I suppose what I'm trying to say is this; you have to heal, and your spouses have to heal before you can build. You have to draw a line in the sand of what you will and won't live with while acknowledging that you cannot control what any other person does. You have to talk...not scream, yell, threaten..but really talk about the issues, about how you feel no matter how afraid, or silly, or insecure you may think it is. If the person you are with is worth the effort of a lifelong relationship then they are worth the risk of putting yourself out there emotionally. If they aren't worth that risk, you need to cut them loose.

Michelle 4 years ago

Hi to everyone who can read this. I need help and never told my situation to anybody yet.

While i was cleaning my husband car saturday may 26, 2011, i found a letter dated november 2009 it was from his wife looking for him. The wife was asking about him and why he is hiding from her and their 3 kids and she was saying that their not divorced yet.

I felt so betrayed and i thought i was his only wife and we only had our son. I haven't told him yet what i learned and pretend evrything is ok.

It so hard that i couldn't tell my family and i don't know what to do. I need some advice pls help me

Annie 4 years ago

Wow, great comments. I really enjoyed reading all these posts. Im 26 and not married and reading this has really opened my eyes. I know right now i probably feel immune to all these emotions and its really something else once ur faced with it. Its amazing how many people are affected in how many different ways. I feel terrible for people who feel inadequate, its truly not their fault, and the children that get dragged into the mess don't ask for it. I imagine all this drama wreaking havoc on their impressionable minds.

Some of the stuff is straight out of novels, never did i imagine the reality of it.

i wish u all luck and a happy life.

Annie 4 years ago

Oh Mchelle, so sorry for you. I suggest you address the issue ASAP for ur own sanity as well as ur childs. Polygamy is a serious offense in the states and i hope it can sorted out before it gets ugly. If not for urself, think of your child.

sunita 4 years ago

I am second wife with no legal rights. He hasn't divorced his first one. he is not able to give me any child or any short of satisfaction. now it has been around 20 years. my girl is 13 years old now. One day FIRST came with her two young boys and threaten me and my daughter to leave their father otherwise they will kill us. i am working in my husbands firm only and he is not ready to release me to work elsewhere. No place to go with my baby. it is very very painfull. i just need a reapectable job. sunita

Lisa 4 years ago

I am sorry, but do any of you have any compassion for the children of your man's first wife?! How do you think they feel, when their daddy leaves their mommy, marries a new trophy, and has kids with her? How self-centered can you be! If you didn't want to deal with it, why the eff did you marry someone with baggage.? The "soul mate" crap is bs, by the way.

Holly 4 years ago are NOT a second wife.. sorry..but your a mistress... He is STILL your a miss and a MISTRESS .. you know it and so does your boyfriend. What a mess you are in .. and it is clear this man does not respect you .. but do you respect yourself??

andrea 4 years ago

For Lesa, if we women had a the magical crystal ball to know the future, for sure we would not commite the mistake to marry a man full of baggage past. In my case, the man i married, convinced me I was gonna be happy with him , actually he lied to me telling me his exwife would not be involved in his life as much, he is 20 years-=-=-09-e, usually those older men look for younger inexperience girls to persuade them to get marry, in my case I was blind and this guy was very convincing.

sad 3 years ago

I gave up my whole world for my hubby, I am the younger, prettier 2nd wife. I have been google searched, tortured by his x wife, sisters and family. Nothing but terrible judgement. He has 50/50 custody and all his ex wife does is call or butt in on our time w the kids. I secretly watch the clock tick, its the house of madness. The girls are beyond spoiled and call their mom all day long while at our house. My hubby fights w ex and i go to take my dog for long walks. I can not hv my own baby it has been hell trying. So now i feel absolutely stuck, embarrassed over a newly failed marriage, while being young. I live in a house of cards. I would never re marry again. There is no worse place in the world than being a 2nd wife and a step mom. My husband to me is not the same man at all, how can he live in this war zone shot! My advice to anyone is to exit, I swear i have gotten white hairs just being w him for 2 years. And now I have to seek out blogs for help and support, as its shameful to talk about how I really feel.

LostLostLost 3 years ago

GF wants me to give up kids. She "hates" my kids. Never met them. We are great together other than this "matter". Especially after these posts, she thinks the kids will bring nothing but bad vibes and trouble. These are MY kids. What do you think?

Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 3 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

The best thing that you can do is to involve her. Don't make her feel left out and include her in the way that the kids are raised. It's when the girlfriend or second wife feels pushed out that major problems begin to arise.

My personal issue was that the children of the first marriage were favored by my husband and ultimately by his family as well. I felt as though nothing was new or special with my children when they were born. This is apparently pretty typical for women who are in a marriage to a man who has been married before.

The pressure is on *you* to make her fee special, as though she's the first. Your children are important: There's no argument that they aren't important to you. But they cannot be elevated above your relationship with your significant other and any children that she brings you in your relationship with her.

Being a step-mother is very hard and it's difficult to know what boundaries are okay to cross and which ones aren't. I won't tolerate my step-children being put before my daughter. If it's a matter of feeding her or getting birthday gifts for them, she needs to eat first.

Essentially what I'm saying is that you need to build both relationships. Both the one with your girlfriend and the one with your children.

Aurel123 2 years ago


Hoping someone might be able to give me some guidance.

I'm in a completely loving relationship with a man (26) who will do anything for me. We're not married but have discussed marriage and children.

He met his 'first' girlfriend when he was 17. She already had a boy which he took on and has been a devoted father to him ever since. They also had a girl who is absolutely beautiful and he would do anything for her. 3 months before they were due to marry, she told him she didn't love him any more and they broke up. Since then, he has done everything to be a part of his children's life where she seems to do very little to help him in this. I cannot fault him for this, it make me annoyed that she uses him but the sentiment behind it is one of the reasons I love him so much.

Although I appreciate the requirements of his children, I do still feel the jealousy towards his first family which I am trying to come to terms with and discuss with him openly and honestly.

My main concern is supported by the negativity I have read through these posts. Since the only person I know who has been through the same situation is my partner (with his boy), I am struggling with the lack of support from my friends and family. The overriding advice is to leave him, not because of our relationship or the kids, but because of 'what I could have with someone else with none of this baggage'.

Do second families ever work? Am I settling by not giving myself the opportunity of a 'first' marriage? I know it will be difficult and I am prepared for that, but I am only 23 and is that naiveté?

Any help would be much appreciated :) thank you.

Joni 2 years ago

I'm the second wife and I ca feel the painful emotions rising up in me as I read your hub. There is a lot of truth in your writing. It is a 'hard' life to live, especially if you don't feel loved by your husband and you have to deal with the angry ex-wife. I pray that my kids never have to live this kind of life.

Joni 2 years ago


I am living this life and I would be lying to you if I told you it was easy. Yes, second families can work but only with the help of God. When my husband and I had our own kids, it opened up another door of emotions for his ex-wife. She hated my kids and she wasn't ashamed to show it. We have been married for almost ten years and she still does not acknowledge my existence. Our marriage was difficult for along time because I dealt with the jealous feelings that you mentioned. When I talked to my husband, he felt that I was taking it out on him. We got into terrible arguments about this. It was like we went around the same 'mountain' for years. We are just now maturing enough to be able to discuss our feelings without taking it out on each other. I just needed to be 'heard'. He was only able to 'hear' me and acknowledge my feelings last year. Let's just say, you and him will deal with emotions, especially if you are dealing with an angry ex-spouse. Our relationship has gotten a lot better, it just takes time and God to work it out.

Sue 2 years ago

First of all I would like to say that I am sorry for all your pain Becki with all my heart. I'm not sure if you are a women of faith or not but I am a Christian and would like to explain in my opinion why second wives suffer so much. God is very clear in the bible exactly why this happens. "The World" believes they can divorce based on too many reasons to count. In the bible people misinterpret it to include a few "out" clauses giving them the right to divorce. None are true! The only way out of a marriage is death. If there is abandonment or adultery or "divorce", ( which is a word in the in the bible relating to a contract made with a man and women to become married. If the marriage is not consummated that is when theu were talking about allowing divorce. Man!! Not God!! Now or ever!!) a man or a women is to stay unmarried or you will be committing adultery. No where in the bible does it say you can remarry. God does this for our benefit not His because he knows the pain it causes us and our children for life! When you have sexual relations you are creating a soul tie. When you get married you are not just married by the state but have come into a covenant with God! That covenant can never be broken. That is why your husband will forever be connected to his first wife. It is because of a hardened heart that they divorced nothing else. And his kids are Not your kids or your grand kids! They just aren't. Thank you for being kind to then though. As a wife waiting for her husband to return I appreciate that the other women at least try's to be kind to or children. I follow This world has it backwards when it comes to marriage. Please stop the pain by not remarrying. Either stay with your spouse or stay single. Your kids especially do not need a replacement! And grand kids! If you have remarried please remember you are commuting adultery every day you stay in the marriage. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We changed he rules and look what happened. Pain!! Especially the kids. By who cares right? It's all about what we want. Who cares who gets hurt as long as we feel better today! We are on this earth a very short time but eternity lasts forever. What we do while on this earth, dictates what we will do for eternity. Think about it please. Thank you.

Javed Ur Rehman profile image

Javed Ur Rehman 2 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

Well all people don't have simple life, there are various people who are living the life which they never expected.

DM2 2 years ago

Lost in the space,

I and a third and I hate it, too. I wonder how long has you been married. Hope not long as 10 years as mine. Your situation is better than mine was that you had a job and friend. If I was you with your age right now and you think you can be able to have your own child, please find someone else who wants to have kid with you, so you can be able to have your own family. Please, don't wait too long like me. Ten years in married, no kid, no family and friend around, no job, English is my second language, and big 50 coming up next year with not be able to have any my own children anymore. Feeling lonely, hopeless, useless most of time.

Ashley Ryan P profile image

Ashley Ryan P 2 years ago from Red Dirt Country

I didn't even know this was a thing!!

We're soon to be married. It's his second marriage and my third lol!! But the first time either of us are getting married for love.

Great read! Kinda hurt my heart that people feel this way :/

JPatt 24 months ago

I am marrying for the first time next year. My fiancé has been married twice before me so I get to be wife no. 3. He has 2 children from wife no. 2 and the only time wife no 1 has come up is when my soon to be mother in law made me look at their entire wedding album! In her words "it was such a beautiful wedding and maybe I could get some ideas from it"..... really? She even went as far as to pull out the decorations from weddings 1 & 2 and tell me I should use them in my wedding!... to me that is ridiculous but I'm getting off subject. Wife no 2 uses the kids to treat him like a puppet. We are starting a huge custody battle trying to get primary custody of the boys and as I have been the primary caregiver to them it kills me that the lawyers say I have no rights and I just have to sit back.... again off subject. What I want to ask is wife no 2 still has his last name and refuses to change it. It makes me not want to take his name so my question is, is it wrong of me to refuse to take his name BC wife no 2 still has it?

Kim 22 months ago

For women who are dating a divorced man with children, please reconsider and learn what challenges and baggages are laying ahead and waiting for you when you marry a divorce man with kids and become a second wife. You need to reevaluate what you really want. Do you really want your husband's first experience? Do you want to be his priority? Do you want a marriage that is just you and your husband and your kid? If you do, then please walk away while you still can. Divorced men come in a relationship with drama and baggage from his first marriage and exwife, and really not worth for you to stress over it. You deserve to find and be with a man who can treat you the way you deserve and want. Good luck, ladies!!

Pat 22 months ago

Being the "second" or subsequent wife is the pits. It started during our engagement. My husband didn't want a big wedding because "he'd already had one". I should have walked in the opposite direction at that moment!! His sister couldn't come to our wedding because she already "had a vacation scheduled". His family gave me the cold shoulder for years. We were having breakfast with his mother and his 3 kids from the previous marriage - she said "What a nice family! Too bad it had to break up!" We had to attend an event with his ex-wife and his sister ran up to her, gave her a big hug, and talked to her all evening. His parents display photos of his ex-wife and the kids in their house and kept a copy of the photos from his first wedding. My husband constantly talks about incidents from his first marriage as well as intimate details of his kids' births. I don't want to hear that!! I don't constantly bring up details of my past relationships so why does he think it's ok for him to do so?? Yea, he wasn't that thrilled when I had 2 kids because he's already seen that before too. We went to a friend's house after we were first married and the friends hauled out photos from a picnic 2 years before that which included my husband and his ex-wife. We had to sit around and look through these photos. Yes, I feel like the 5 th wheel constantly. DON'T MARRY A DIVORCED/WIDOWED MAN UNLESS YOU'RE READY TO HAVE YOUR NOSE RUBBED IN IT CONSTANTLY BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS AND I FIND IT VERY ANNOYING! YOU WILL NEVER GET THE RESPECT AND STATUS OF A "FIRST" WIFE!!!!

loreen 20 months ago

Try being the second to a widower with adult kids who compare every little move to their mother. We can't go on vacation without hearing " you never took mom on vacation " I knew what I was in for but figured it wouldn't be bad because they were adult. Boy was I wrong.

Gertrude 20 months ago

Sue, whilst I appreciate your remarks, I too am a child of divorced parents, and do not advocate it at all, however what if a person had married someone who was vulnerable, had a rescue complex and married her because he thought he could fulfil it, and to add to his descision she was crying and upset becaue their dating hadn't worked out because they were wrong for eachother but she had to NEED TAKE HAVE , in order to have a "parent" as her own are lousy , he obliged. Hense allowed himself to be manipulated. Then had years of physical abuse and mind games.he then has a child with her to "change her". They then leave and file for divorce, leaving the guy chewed and spat out. Are they really expected to just have just that ONE experience of marriage and live their life SINGLE just because of what someone did to them and not be able to find a good partner who actually loves them? As they never married for love ? Do you think God would honour such a union? Do you think he is capable of helping us out of our mistakes ?

This happened to my current Beau, and TBH why should a person have to miss out on love just because of what someone did to them?

I do not believe people should divorce willynilly at all. All I am saying is the innocent party should NOT be held to ransom because of one person's sin. The Bible DOES NOT say you shall not remarry after abandonment, it says the person is NOT OBLIGATED to that person anymore they are free to leave . God requires us to honour our promises and covenants . If the other person doesn't THEY are the guilty ones not the innocent one. As for the IDIOT who says they cast a return spell well that is just plain witch craft and evil, it should not be played with or is it responsible, it could just be coinsidence he returned love.

winniepoo 19 months ago

I found this article very interesting. From my point of view I have no sympathy for the second wife from my experience, although I do sympathise with the experience many people who have replied to this article.

The personal experience of a relative of mine who is the ex-wife, the second wife has treated her very badly. I do not blame the second wife as she is an excellent stepmother to her husband's son but he must have told so many lies about his ex wife. The ex wife suffered many years of the husband's many affairs, lies and physical abuse. Evenutally she had a one night stand and told her husband. He could not wait to get out the door and moved in with the girl who is now his second wife within two weeks. He left her with many debts and saw his son about once a month in the first year.

There is so much to this story but to make the point about second wives, after moving into her house he married her after approximately two years. The second wife has refused to meet the first wife or even talk to her on the phone. All communication has to be done through the husband or son. The first wife brought the child up herself for the first 9 years and because she had no help with the mortgage from her husband, she was made redudant and had to sell her home to pay back all the debts she was in. The first wife is devastated as the son has now gone to live with his father and the second wife and had to change schools. The first wife has never chased after he husband for help or contacted the new wife because her ex husband is very controlling and she says anything for a quiet life without him.

This is the reason in this case I do not feal sorry for the second wife as she knew he was married when he first met her.

Nicole Austin 13 months ago

I really like this article. Sometimes, the first marriage or the first wife is not the right type of person for the man and they fall through, but the second wife could be the life long soulmate you know? I am a second wife and I agree with you on keeping the past in the past, and counseling has helped a lot too with any feelings of resentment.

Kay 12 months ago

Hmmm, as a first wife, I would say "where there is smoke, there is fire", the reason 2nd's get a bad rap is because many of them deserve it. My ex's 2nd is nice enough and I would never do anything to harm her (that's not my style anyway) but the truth is that if she hadn't run in and said "I'll pull my panties down", my ex and I would likely have worked things out and gone on to remember why we loved each other and married. Our children would also be happier. As to having children with the 2nd, well, honestly he shouldn't. If you you have children from a first marriage, it is offensive to the children to also be replaced by this "new" family. As to the 2nd in my situation, she is the same age as our oldest child - she will always be a joke and he has lost the respect of friends, family and his children. Will we all continue to be courteous? Sure because my children were reared properly and there is no point is commenting, it is like telling your friend they look fine because they have to walk out the door and there is nothing they can do to change it now anyway, why cause self-consciousness? If fewer women would rush into relationships with men who are barely divorced or in the process, I am willing to bet a lot of relationships could be salvaged but there is always some little bimbo who wants to jump in to a life she didn't earn. Admittedly, not all seconds fall in to the category I am discussing, I am just saying again "where there is smoke..." If the husband is paying an ex, they were likely in a long term marriage so...just saying. As a final note, the seconds may want to find out precisely why the first marriage failed, could have been an "outside" reason like addiction - doesn't have to be drugs either. This could explain why your new hubby is still friends with the ex, she didn't do anything, she just put her foot down and hoped he would step up, if he is married to you, he didn't and that doesn't bode well for your future.

Chandra 10 months ago

My husband cheated me for so many years. He has a second women in his life without my knowledge ..Is this fair??

Melissa 8 months ago

And then there is me... The third wife... He has children to three different women... Someone please tell me why I didn't run from the day I found all that out... The oldest got pregnant at 16 with her first child, number two didn't fall to far behind... The middle daughter told every lie she could come up with and then some.. Her biggest being that she was raped in our home by a neighborhood boy and now the youngest daughter is cutting herself and mom thinks its no big deal and doesn't need counseling... Again why didn't I run... Far and fast...

Dj 8 months ago

All I can say is my ex not only wAlked away from 4 awesome kids but never looked back so instead of addressing 1 side you should also write about how it is the other way.

craftybegonia profile image

craftybegonia 8 months ago from Southwestern, United States

I have two relatives who were second wive and both marriages ended sadly. After careful observation, all that you mention is true. One of the ladies mentioned had to contend with a stepson and the other was constantly compared with the first wife in a demeaning way. I think it depends on the individual.

Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 8 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

My new husband and I are both in our third marriage.

Although it is hard not to compare myself to the others who came before me, I know that we have chosen each other, and we are both committed to making this work.

Thanks for sharing your experience.


primpo profile image

primpo 4 months ago from Ocean County New Jersey

I am glad I came across this particular article. I was getting ready to post an article about my situation, so glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. This is my third marriage and his fourth. I feel so lonely sometimes and I was always outgoing and friendly and full of life and laughter. He is not physically abusive but I would say verbally and emotionally. His ex wife has two kids from him and then he is divorced from someone who is remarried and she still emails him or texts him every day. I am not supposed to be concerned about it. I have so many mixed emotions. I'm in my late forties and already have gone through so much stuff in my life. am wondering if it is worth it.. just venting. crying alot

Lost in England 3 months ago

Amazing how many comments follow this article. So many women in similar situations...

I googled "Living in the shadow of the Ex" looking for advice, and can only shake my head at how much pain follows loving someone.

My first serious relationship was with a divorced man 20 years older with 3 daughters, the eldest just 4 years younger than I. I fought to make that relationship work for 6 years but in the end just made myself ill as the ex wife (an accomplished perfectionist with control issues) and 2 of the kids made life for us impossible. One week after I finally broke it off for good all my ailments (IBS, insomnia, depression...) went away. Being free from all the stress was liberating!

I swore I'd never get involved with a divorced man again but found myself pursued by another recently divorced man. I fought getting involved but attraction is a force to be reckoned with. We got married when I got pregnant,and I reluctantly left my family and friends to move to the UK where my husband is from. (I'm American). Ironically, it wasn't until we moved close to my husbands family and friends that his ex wife ( who is also American and lives in America) was suddenly everywhere. Even though my husbands first marriage only lasted 2 years with no children, and they lived in America during those 2 years, she made a lasting impression on my husband and his family. I'll never forget sitting with my husband on a beach, holding hands and happily smiling at each other until he called me his ex's name. He tried to say it was a compliment because we were at a place where he and his ex had once been very happy. Right. Nice compliment.

Then there was the "meet his family and friends" occasion where they were all to meet our 3 mth old baby. His aunt introduced my husbands best friend to me as the "best man at his wedding". His first wedding that is. Whoops. None of his friends made it to our wedding.

What gets me now is that all of my husbands family and friends are still friends (on fb if not in person) with his ex wife and her family. They comment on each others lives. My sister in law has a photo of my husband, his ex and his dad on the same beach my husband slipped up and called me her name. My father in law for some reason always seems to have the photo album from my husbands first wedding out at his house. My husband refuses to watch/listen/do certain things because he did them with his first wife. When we argue he compares me to her in ways that make me inferior. Other times he tells me I would have gotten along with his ex. When we first met he told me what a bitch she was but as our marriage goes on I get the feeling he wishes he'd worked things out with his first wife, since he still mentions her after 3 years of marriage and 2 kids.

I often wonder what the right approach is to these things. I believe that the right thing to do when a couple breaks up (if there are no kids involved) and a new relationship begins is to separate from the ex completely, and that goes for the family too. It is a constant stress among my husbands family and friends to not feel like second best. Their acceptance of me seems forced and I find myself not wanting to make the effort to be of importance to them, not while they are still part of his ex wife's life.

What is the right thing for the family of your partner to do? Should one just suck it up and be secure enough to not care if they remain friends? I'm so sick of seeing photos from my husbands previous marriage at my in-laws. When I broke it off with my ex of 6 years I also broke off contact with his family and friends, thinking that was the fair and healthy thing to do. Why can't my husband and his family do the same? They were only married for 2 years!

I do believe that we women must find confidence in ourselves to hold our heads high and not suffer the insults that come with being "second best", to love ourselves enough that no comparison can hurt us.

If only our partners (and families) could have enough decency to support a second (or third) chance at love and let the ex RIP...

Pass the seconds 3 months ago

I know this is such an old hub but I relate to it.

I've read so many of these comments.

It's such a common problem.

My problem isn't resentment over not being "the first" or the fact he has children(now adults).

It's that he feels such guilt over ending his first marriage and situations happening around that time that he has Never been present in this one. Unfortunately,he also carries emotional baggage from his second marriage.

The adult children and I are not fans of each other.

It got so bad they began basically cyber stalking me from place to place online.They don't see how downright creepy that is-in their mind they were right to do it and I'm the devil.

It's a seriously dysfunctional(toxic) situation and given my husband has been and continues to be emotionally and at times physically abusive I am currently trying to get out of the situation entirely.We have no children together,thankfully.

We can't even have a holiday meal together without him opining about past holidays(

Any efforts or going above and beyond,spending hours in the kitchen to see him post "it smells like Thanksgiving but I miss past holidays"

then comment on what type of meal was prepared(past meals) doesn't make a "wife" feel appreciated or even wanted(or married for that matter).

There are so many of these types of comments and blatant apathy for our marriage that have added up over the years that any connection I initially felt has dissipated.

Our wedding anniversary,my birthday?What are those?

My husband also uses language like, "We" , "Us" , "They" when talking about his past relationships/kids and that would be fine if it weren't for the language he uses while discussing "Ours"."I" , "Me" ,"Mine" , "You".It's disheartening.

Don't expect sympathy from family or children because if you dare open up about the feelings it conjures you're vilified.

It's suddenly-you want to erase his past and feed his children poison apples.

In my case,I understand he has a past,he's just NEVER lived in the present.I'll not be putting myself in this kind of situation again if I escape this one.

Confused92592 2 months ago

I don't suggest blended families. There are so many people involved plus, resentment and regrets from the past. Especially when adult kids do live in this new home that you are forming. If you are in doubt as to whether to marry/remarry - you should wait. Talk to your Pastor, ask for Godly advise. The Lord provides our Needs - He gives us Joy. No human being can Offer that. Get counseling before you become Angry and frustrated.

Kanna 2 months ago

Your situation isnt easy, yet with all you've been through you still want to make it work. If both of your husbands previous 2 wives were adulterers , who then would cut and run, and never looked back. With that in mind your husband is insecure, he probably feels that no wife new ,or old would want him, that hes not good enough to keep a women,so hes simply protecting himself from more heartache. As for your new mother in-law who didn't visit you in the hospital while giving birth. Do you think that the reason his family and mother dont care, and act cold towards you, might be due to the fact that they have had to watch the previous wives brake her sons heart, one time to many.She probably sees you as the next adulterer. All the while comforting her son. And for his children , they went through 2 ugly divorces with their mother (s) ,whom pretty much all but abandoned them. My point with both yous husband, and you stepchildren, and your in-laws have already been burnt twice, and they refuse to be burnt a third time.

Brooke 2 months ago

I don't appreciate dads who tell women " I will never love a woman like my kids" "my kids come first" . It's a given kids come first. I don't need to feel like a second class citizen. I don't need to be constantly reminded I'm not worthy of your love. And yet these dads complain they can't find good women. Good attracts good. Rubbish attracts rubbish. Treat people how you want to be treated. Relationships are that simple!!!

Anon 2 months ago

I had a wonderful relationship with my partner and his children, however recently found out I am unable to have a child of my own. Although he is very supportive I can't help but feel alone as he has his children, he hasn't missed out on anything. Ever since finding it his children seem to be acting really naughty making it difficult for me to cope with the situation, I am beginning to resent them being around. They currently share a room and we have room we were saving for a nursery, his oldest (6) has asked for this to be her bedroom which we said no to. Following a tantrum my partner has now repainted the room for her which broke my heart. I have started sleeping in there when they are at their mums.

Anonymous 2 months ago

I'm a "second" and am becoming very resentful. His ex wife still uses the children to get to him, borrow things we own to help her but because the kids ask he thinks he's just doing the right thing and being a good dad because it's for his child through the ex wife. All the while, she's now remarried also, both her and her new husband gainfully employed. It drives me nuts. His ex wife also comes up in conversation, " this memory" " this relative of hers". I get she'll be "around" due to the children but have to wonder after 7 years of the two of us being together and 2 years of our own marriage, is the door EVER going to be shut? Feeling like a 3rd wheel lately.

alice22333 2 months ago

I'm currently divorcing my first husband and we have been separated for 2 years now. He started seeing someone else, and there are already feelings of being the "second wife" sometimes i forget why I decide to separate from him in the first place and it sucks especially because im alone. On another note, I was wondering how you and your previous spouse got your divorce (if you don't mind me asking) My spouse and I are planning our own divorce and we want it out of the court because of financial reasons. Is there another possibility for divorce to be done online? Thistoo seems ok ( for reference), but I'm doubting on whether or not it'll be trustworthy, as they are handling a lot of confidential information. Does anyone have experience with online divorce? Any suggestions would be appreciated thank you.

2 months ago

This is for some perspective on mistresses. I was young, and pursued by a man who told me he was divorced with a little 2 year old girl, who was delayed in her milestones. I was flattered, and felt so sorry for the little girl who seemed so neglected.

After a time, I discovered he wasn't divorced. Had still been living with his wife! He tried to tell me that they were living together for cost and for the kid, but were still getting divorced. I had become a mistress! I was floored, but felt it was unfair to quit the relationship now. A few months later his mom told me that it's a good thing that his "ex" miscarried, as if I knew it was a recent concern. He was still sleeping with her! He looked sheepish, but wouldn't discuss it.

Should have run then. But by then, I had such low self esteem and didn't realize it. He was such a user and emotionally drained me, I had no friends or support. Felt so betrayed, but by then, I didn't want to walk away from the poor little girl I saw often and I had heard such terrible stories about her mom.

I was invited to the girl's 3yr birthday party. I finally met her mother, his soon to be ex wife. She was a wonderful person who treated her daughter well and was very kind to me.

Everything he told me was a lie. I finally broke it off. The only one I miss is the little girl. I hope she grows up and has a good life.

Molly 2 months ago

Thank you for sharing. I'm glade I'm not alone.

shophia16 8 weeks ago

hi, Im new and I dont know how this works, anywayI'm the second wife my husband just divorced his wife after I found out they were having an affair and he have 3 kids with her eldest 16 they come around weekends which mean they here whwnever they feel like beside the fix weekends cos we live 2 door away from them,anyway there is barely anything between us 2 and when I try he say he doesnt like women who asks for sex yet he been begging her for sex begging her to say she wants him and i was litterely sitting next to him, I have no effect on him like I dont exist and he says the reason he don't come near me is cos I put off cos we argue, his daughter is actyually the wife she decides where we go what we eat whenever we out or even home he consults her all time she knows when he coming from work if is gonna be late where he going, and what kills me is how he look at me I;ll turn and he is just looking at me with a hateful look its like his eyes r saying I fucking hate you so loud I just say why you hate me so much? and he will say im joking I know he is not, if I look at him and smile he looks away, he just looking for any reason to shout and swaer at me anything to pick a fight,and all I think is he is regretting his divorce all he care about is his kids and me Im just maid I have to make food clean and smile at his kids and feed them if I ask anything feeling wise or adress a look or something he said thats it for me Im nasty Im this n that.... this is just too much im cryng cant even write I dont know what to do anymoreafter all he done to me he is not even trying to make it up to me she control my house from hers she uses her kids and he dont mind and he knows I'm so tired picking up left overs I waited so many years with him that now that I'm here I dont want to end it cos I dont want her to enjoy the victory cos I know she is trying to destroy my marraige yet I'm exhausted fighting just for my basic rights as a wife, I am in a foreign country no family no friends absolutely nothing and he uses that against me ...any advice please anything

Sarah 7 weeks ago

I really related to the original post and felt reassured I wasn't some crazy women.

I am a second wife my husband left his wife for me...or so i thought! He had 2 daughters with wife number one and puts them on a pedal stool. I feel pregnant and his response was.. Don't think this baby will take the lime light away from my girls!! Sadly I lost the baby and he didn't care at all. He has made no effort with my kids and still houses his ex who doesn't work whilst we have to rent and I work a really stressful job.He seems to put his ex and kids before me always.

Redwing95 5 weeks ago

I'm new here and struggling. My wife is my first and I'm her 3rd. She is eleven years older than myself. We are polar opposites and all seemed good. For a while. I used to come home from work and seek her out to give her a hug and kiss to let her know I missed her. A few years ago, she started to brush me off and act uninterested in me even touching her. I persisted thinking she was probably going through something that I needed to be there for her. As time went on, she started sleeping in another room. The physical dropped off and things just became routine. I don't believe her to have had physical relations with anyone else. She just became detached from me. Snapping when I so much as talked. Then being sweet as pie when she chose to talk. I figure I'm pretty bad at using my spine as I never addressed it. I just let it be, almost in my mind being a self martyr. Spinless, I know. As time passed one day I went to use her computer and from being nosy, I discovered about the time she started to act strange she had a conversation with a sibling that was dogging myself and to my great dismay, my wife spoke terribly about myself and my family. Totally out of context for, the woman I knew. To top it off, there was a man that was emailing her love songs that I would come home to her listening to in hindsight. She never said anything innapropriate in her conversations with him. But she was sharing life events that she would barely speak with me about. When I confronted her, she said she never even paid attention to the emails. A flat out lie. I left the house in a rage. She begged me to come back. Hours later I came home and she was hurting and sorry. We made up physically that night. That was two and a half years ago. The last time we've been intimate. Recently I snapped at the attitude she has when we speak. I vented like an explosion of things dating back to day one. She didn't speak to me for three days. Then the only response she had was that I was miserable, now she was too. And that she guesses that we've got "decisions" to make. I told her that's not what I wanted, and that's where were at. There is much more small details on how I feel, but I am confused. Should I be even trying, is she done? Recently she went with friends to a festival that her friends have gone to for years. She comes back with minimal stories other than her new friend. She spoke of his wife, that wasn't there. I just found out since then she put more thought into telling him happy birthday than she ever did myself. I'm stumped, and not sure I am in the right place here. Any thoughts? Am I just a jealous nutjob?

andrew 5 weeks ago

I was a step parent with my first wife and now have a girlfriend who I also have a baby with, along with my son from my first marriage. It's not easy on either side of it. I actually can't figure out which is tougher. There is a struggle and balance that is difficult to figure out. After a first "failuer" to your child/ren, it sometimes make you have feelings of completely protecting them. Escpecially during hard times which can just remind you that there is the possiblility that you can show this child, for a second time, that commitment isn't a real thing. That everything can be taken on a split second. That's a tough pill to swallow on the other side of this story.

Brittany 4 weeks ago

Every bit of this I am experiencing now. I'm trying everything I can to make it better but the effort is not being returned. My husband still talks to his ex wife (they have their daughter together) and he laughs and jokes with her all the time. Even sends pictures of our babies to her, tells her personal details of the day our babies were born and has even gone as far as letting his ex wife tear down my son's first bday cake before me or anyone else could get pictures or anything. Now it's been about 8 months since he's slept in the bed with me (res been sleeping on the couch). I have no idea what to do any more. Talking does not work he never listens. So I'm just forced to do my own thing until he decides what he wants to do or notices something is wrong.

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