Relationships come and go, and that’s to be expected. What’s not typically expected is to being the second wife. You didn’t grow up thinking, I can’t wait until I meet a divorced man! Somehow, you probably have always pictured someone who has never been married.
It doesn’t mean that it can’t be wonderful. It doesn’t mean that it won’t last. It just means that being a second wife comes with a lot of challenges along the way. Here are 8 to watch out for:
1. Negative stigma
“Oh, this is your second wife.” There is just something you feel from people when they realize you are the second wife; like you are the consolation prize, only second place. For some reason, people are far less accepting of a second wife. It’s like when you are a kid, and you have had the same best friend since you were a baby; then all of a sudden in high school you have a new best friend. But by then, no one can picture you without that first friend. It’s a hard stigma to run away from.
2. The statistics are stacked against you
Depending on the source, divorce rates are pretty scary. A typical statistic out there now says that 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce, and 67 percent of second marriages end in divorce. Why is it higher the second time around? Could be many factors, but one could be that since a person in the marriage has already gone through divorce, the option seems available and not as scary. Obviously, it doesn’t mean your marriage will end, just that it is more likely to than a first.
3. First marriage baggage
If the person in the second marriage who was married before didn’t have children, then chances are they never have to even talk to their ex again. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a little wounded. Relationships are hard, and if things go wrong we get hurt. That’s life. We may also learn that if we don’t want to get hurt again, to put up a wall, or other such adjustments. That kind of baggage can be detrimental to a second marriage.
4. Being a stepparent
Being a parent is hard enough; being a stepparent is out of this world hard. Some children may not be very accepting of a new mother or father figure, and so instilling values or upholding rules may prove difficult. This can make for a challenging home life from day to day. Even if children are more or less accepting, the ex more than likely won’t be ok with the new person in their child’s life. Even extended family like grandparents, and aunts and uncles, etc., may not ever see you as an actual “parent” of the other person’s biological child.
5. A second marriage gets serious quick
Many first marriages start out with two young, giddy people, unfettered by the realities of life. The world is their oyster. They dream big. Every possibility seems available to them. But over the years, as we get in our 30s and 40s, we mature and realize that life just happens, no matter if you plan for other things. Second marriages are like that. They are like the mature version of you getting married again. You are a little older now, and you learned some harsh realities. So second marriages tend to have less of the giddiness and more of the serious daily life attached.
6. Financial issues
A married couple that stays together can rack up plenty of debt; a marriage that ends? That tends to bring with it even more. There is splitting the assets, each person taking on whatever debt there is, plus paying attorney fees, etc. Divorce can be an expensive proposition. Then there is the hardship of making a living by yourself as a single person. All of that financial mess can translate into a financially difficult second marriage.
7. Nontraditional holidays
When your friends talk about Christmas and having the whole family there together—you’re over there thinking, “The ex has the kids for Christmas…” Bummer. There are many things about a divorced family that can be nontraditional, especially holidays. It can be challenging when you expect those normally happen times of the year to be a certain way, but then they aren’t so much.
8. Relationship issues we all face
While a second marriage can be successful, it’s still a relationship composed of two imperfect people. It is still bound to have some of the same relationship issues that we all face from time to time. It can be a challenge if wounds from old relationships aren’t quite healed.