Being my husband’s second wife is more difficult than I thought it would be. Insecurities and jealousy surfaced that I never knew even existed. It felt like I was constantly faced with another reminder of the woman and the life that came before me. I longed for a simpler marriage – one that wasn’t clouded with the baggage, turmoil, or residual drama of his first marriage and subsequent divorce. I found that I was caught lying to myself, making things harder on myself than they needed to be. I was so fearful of being a second wife, I tried to self-sabotage my relationship.
These are ten lies second wives tell themselves. But here’s the truth: you are worthy of love, happiness, and peace.
Stop Self-Sabotaging Your Marriage! Lies Second Wives Tell Themselves
1. He’ll never love me as much as he loved her.
That’s ridiculous. There’s a reason that he’s no longer with her. Whether it was his choice or hers, he knows they’re not right for each other, and he wouldn’t have put himself in a position to potentially divorce again if you weren’t worth the risk.
2. Second wife means second choice.
That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Would you choose your husband over your ex-boyfriends? Of course you would! Otherwise you wouldn’t have settled down forever with him, his children, and the ex-wife still in the mix. If he wasn’t your second choice, why would you think you’re his second choice?
3. Because she called it off, he must not be capable of loving me.
If she called it off, she hurt him. It may have been emotionally difficult for him to move forward with his life, but he wouldn’t have married you if he wasn’t absolutely serious about a life with you. He’s proven he’s capable of loving you, so let him!
4. He’s comparing me to her.
I’ve told myself this lie more times than I can even count. It’s just that: a lie. He is not comparing you. She’s not comparing you. YOU are the only one making comparisons, and you need to stop! Immediately. It will only make you feel worse; it’ll never make you feel better, even if you find you have the upper hand on a given category. Seriously. Stop it.
5. I don’t cook/clean/parent/tell jokes/etc. as well as she does.
I’ve done this one, too. My husband’s ex-wife stayed at home, and she cooked homemade meals. Did I mention she also went to the trouble to cook vegan, healthy meals? She also worked out and kept the house clean. I drove myself absolutely wild trying to keep up with the competition, when one day I realized I was the only one running. Truthful or straight-up lie, I don’t care if you cook/clean/parent/tell jokes/etc. worse than his ex-wife. I just care that you’re making the comparison.
6. His family will never accept me the way they did her.
And our lie detector test says… that’s a lie! It may take them a little adjustment period – she was in their lives for an extended period of time! She gave them their grandchildren. But you will be welcomed into the family too, just give it time.
7. I can’t show weakness.
Listen up. This one’s important. You do not have to be superwoman. Now, I’ll admit I’m the proud owner of a Super Mom, Super Wife, Super Tired shirt, but that’s just a joke. None of us can (or should try to be!) superwoman. It’s okay to show weakness. It’s okay to ask for help. No woman is an island, it takes a village, and other cliches. Got it? No one expects you to be everything to everyone.
8. I have to hate his first wife.
Wrong, wrong, WRONG! You don’t have to be best friends, but you absolutely do not have to hate his ex-wife. You’re certainly not always going to agree, but there’s no rule that says you need to hate the ex-wife.
9. He divorced her, so he’ll divorce me.
I’m guilty again here. My husband is no longer afraid of divorce; he knows exactly what to expect from a divorce. So that’s a little terrifying for me. But 1 divorce doesn’t mean 2 divorces – what kind of logic is that?! As I mentioned earlier, he wouldn’t have married you if he thought you’d get divorced. He doesn’t want to go through the emotional (or financial) distress of divorce again; there’s no reason he’d be interested in another divorce.
10. Life would have been easier if he’d never been married before me (or if she wasn’t still in the picture).
I understand where you’re coming from, but your logic is flawed. The man you married – the man you love – is different from the man she married all those years ago. He has grown up since then, and he’s lived through so much since then – the birth of his child, his divorce, single parenthood. The man you married wouldn’t be who he is today without those experiences. They shaped him into the love of your life, so don’t wish those away!
Stop telling yourself these detrimental lies. You are absolutely worthy of his love and affection, and you are his first choice. You didn’t marry him first, but you are absolutely his first pick today and forevermore.
P.S. Do you tell yourself any of these lies? Or do you ever struggle with your own second wife insecurities or bouts with jealousy? Give the Embracing Your Role as Second Wife course a look-see.