Dear Husband. Love, Your Second Wife.
You know me; writing is my ultimate source of relief. I do it with my heart in my hand, and I wonder if you will ever understand, even if it’s written literally out of my heart the way lava emerges from a volcano.
I must start by reminding you of the great man you are; an exemplary man as a father, as a husband, and as a child of God. You are such an amazing selfless person, that I feel guilty in what I am about to let out. You do so much for us, yet I constantly seem to be missing something.
I just haven’t felt…Understood.
I have felt no appreciation that compensates the sacrifice I have made in accepting your children and everything that it entails. Before we move on; believe me, I know how much effort you put into making me feel valued and acknowledged, however there are just things you are not seeing.
But no matter how ready I was, nothing ever prepared me for the role I would have as the “Second Wife” or the “Stepmom”. I have days that make me feel this isn’t what I signed up for when I married you; everything I have had to sacrifice as a new wife who willingly opened the doors of her home to your past.
It’s hard for any couple to start a family and make a marriage function in the long run! Do you realize how much harder than that it has been for me to walk into a family that already existed before the one you and I formed together?
I won’t even go into the fact that you are still the stepdad of your ex’s 2 other children and what it’s like taking them in too, every time their brother stays over.
I have given time, energy, income, space and attention to people from another life. Not only have I opened my private life to the man I love, but I have allowed having it invaded by children to whom I have no legal, biological or dependent connection.
I know you cannot understand all this, but I had hoped I would receive a good amount of support on your end just as much. But I feel alone. The weight would just feel lighter if you expressed more genuine concern and support for me.
I know, I sound like a miserable stepmother who doesn’t want them.
I care about those children, but too often my own needs are ignored. I am here for all of you, but who is there for me when I have had enough?
I would be carrying out this role for the wrong reasons if I did it to be applauded and appreciated. I know that. But I cannot pour from an empty cup or give what I don’t have. It is imperative to address my own needs and concerns as a person. Since you are the one who was divorced, it’s easy to feel pulled, stretched and needed, and without a doubt it’s true. But consider how invaded I feel by forces I never saw coming!
Just like you, I am now bonded to these children. Being with you means we can’t just make any decisions we want at any given time like if it were just you, me and our own little family. It means including these other people in how we conduct our lives. It means sharing our income with another home. It means sacrificing a degree of privacy I never imagined having to give up to another woman and her children who are not the fruit of our own sacred union.
I need more of YOU.
While your children bring blessings and joy into my home and my world as your wife, they also bring germs, noise and mess. Every time they leave, I find something literally destroyed. I feel invaded. My house becomes their park, and the chaos is overwhelming. This is the big price that comes with the love and devotion I have for you. And it means I need more of you to recover what I wholeheartedly invest in them.
Please note that in spite of my moments of understanding and disposition, I have times of desperate frustration. I have a genuine desire to love them the way you do, but that too, takes time. I need you not to expect what I can’t give.
The blood that flows through my veins doesn’t have what you have in yours that makes you capable of having the affection and patience that you give them. It’s a lot easier for you, but I cannot be like that all of the time! I need you to back me up so I can get back to giving you guys the best of me, and not feel that you are expecting too much from me or something I can’t give. Be aware that I am trying really hard.
Don’t forget that I need some ME time.
I spend hours upon hours with them! You know I have every valid reason to demand time from you, and I have never had to thanks to you having your priorities straight, but if you want to do something more for me, I just ask one thing.
When you get home, just take over them. They’re yours the moment you get here. I tend to them all day long, day after day and at the end of each day, I am just so over hearing “Nena, Nena, Nena”, in a whiney voice 20 million times a day! I am tired of the fighting, the destruction of my babies’ things, the tattling, the bullying on our daughter, etc. I. Am. Tired. I need help when you’re here.
Related: 45 Ideas for Me Time for Moms
I need to feel that you listen to me with openness and not defensiveness. It’s not personal. Sometimes I just need to process and express my frustrations. Remember, this is so much more than I expected.
This challenge on my little family isn’t the ideal I life imagined upon marrying the love of my life with whom I wanted to form our beginnings, and not a life invaded by your past for the rest of our lives together.
What NO Woman dreams of…
No woman dreams of sharing her life between two families, or to always have her partner’s first family affecting her own life. My ideal life with you never included our special time being interrupted by calls and texts from the other woman.
My plans never included exposing my own children to the confusion of our particular situation and the price, they too, have to pay for all this. My plans never included being reminded of your intimacies with another woman every time I had your child over. So please, understand where I’m coming from.
I am Grateful
I am grateful to have a man that knows how to back me up when disrespected and how to show the children’s mom the place I deserve. However, don’t forget that part of respecting me, is demanding respect for yourself. This means not allowing her to speak to you as if the two of you are still together, because you’re not. There needs to be mutual respect among all of the parents.
While I appreciate you letting your kids see how you honor my place as your wife, part of that includes your reaction when I discipline them. Don’t make me feel inadequate by reproaching me in front of them.
It’s not okay. Not in front of the children; not in front of your family. They already judge me as it is.
I want you to be aware how helpless I feel that we don’t have them full time and I get so desperate trying to do all I can for them while they are here!
All I want is for them to grow up to be capable, accomplished, and educated men who remain humble, respectful human beings able of conducting happy, independent lives! I just wish I can do more than I do, and I can’t. And it hurts.
I don’t want to feel like I’m going it alone.
We are a Team
Writing this to you has taken every last ounce of any courage I had. But I did it because I truly do care.
It would be easier for me to keep this bottled up and just ignore everyone every time I get frustrated. But I was not put in this place to be like that. That’s why I wrote all this. Because I need it…I need YOU. So that together we can press on, hand in hand.
Please keep this letter handy and take it out whenever you need a reminder, or if I don’t look okay to you. This might be why. This may be all you need.
Ultimately, I want you to know that no matter what, there is a reason these kids came into my life and it has been a blessing over everything else. If I had the chance to start over, I wouldn’t have said: I am gonna have to think long and hard about this.” I would have fallen into your embrace right then and there and said: “I’m right here with you…for always.”
Your Last Wife.
PS: Here are 15 Things Stepmom Wishes Her Husband Understood.