After 18 years together and 13 years of marriage I still feel like a ‘second wife’, an interloper, someone who is of less value due to the fact my husband has been married before. It was worse when we first moved in together and looking back I’m not sure how I managed to endure it.
Probably because we were so in love. We still are. Love, unfortunately, doesn’t make it any easier.
While I expected to be treated with suspicion during those first few years, particularly by my husband’s family members and friends he shared with his first wife, I thought it would get easier. It did, particularly once we were married with children of our own. I finally felt like I belong, like a legitimate part of the family.
Still, the discomfort remained. Every time someone openly compared me to my husband’s first wife or mentioned her, I wondered if it would have been easier if I’d just waited for someone who didn’t have the baggage of a previous marriage.
The Binge: Why you should watch Finding Prince Charming.
For the record, my stepsons never felt like baggage. In fact they are a large part of the reason why I was able to cope. Spending time with them made it all worth it. Looking at my relationship with my husband and my stepsons today makes it all worth it.
I’m just wondering when this feeling of being a second wife will end? At first I thought it would end once we moved in together. It didn’t. Then I thought maybe once we got married. Nope. Surely after we have a baby it will be better and it was, a little, but not really.
Then I thought time would do the trick. After a decade or so it would feel like our relationship was front and centre and meant to be. It still doesn’t. Recent happenings in the family have brought back all of those old feelings and I’m not sure how to stifle them.
It also doesn’t help when someone close to me announces they are getting divorced. I can’t help but feel sad at what they’ll have to go through with their ex, their children and any new partners that come along. It’s not fair but it’s particularly hard for new women on the scene, that old female rivalry.
Regardless of how and when they met, that second wife is going to feel less than. It’s jut the way it is. Hopefully the love you have is strong enough to survive it. Mine has been. I’m just sad that after all these years I’m still being reminded, with hostility, that someone else was there first.