My early days as a future stepmom were spent in a classic holding pattern: desperately waiting for my boyfriend’s divorce to be finalized so that we could move on with our life together.
Whenever emotions were high, I had a hard time deciphering what the true cause was. I placed blame instead of practicing introspection. I criticized instead of empathizing. As time progressed, the divorce was finalized, and we got married, I was able to label the looming feelings I still had: second wife insecurities.
My Biggest Second Wife Insecurity
Much like my early emotions in the relationship, the cause was hard to pinpoint. Being a stepmom, a caregiver for the kids, seemed to come naturally to me, but something about being a “second wife” felt off. It felt heavy. Despite knowing how bad of a match he and his ex-wife were, there was still some sort of resentment built up inside of me.
In fact, it’s still there… and now, I can label it. It’s not that she was a better wife than me, or prettier than me, or smarter than me… it’s something much bigger than that…
He wanted to have kids with her, but does not with me.
Of course he wanted to have kids with her! It was the first marriage for each of them. Oh, what bliss! They had it all: the showers, the big wedding, the new house… there was joy and excitement with each pregnancy announcement. It was a blessing that their family was growing!
Sure, maybe they didn’t plan each pregnancy, but after all, building a family is often the goal in marriage. Even if the timing wasn’t right, I’m certain that the births were some of the most memorable and amazing days of their lives.
To top it all off, he was so certain his family was complete that he had a vasectomy. What a great feeling, to be in your mid-20’s and so happy with life that you know you’ve reached all of your familial goals.
The first thing that people say to me when they find out my husband had a vasectomy during his first marriage is, “Oh, that’s no big deal! He can get that reversed!”
Not only are vasectomy reversals painful and dangerous with less-than-promising success rates, but he doesn’t want it reversed. This was never a secret. He told me this during our first month of dating. So why does it still bother me?
If he didn’t want kids and didn’t already have kids, it wouldn’t bother me as much. I could be at peace with someone not wanting kids. After all, I’m still trying to figure out how to decide if I really want kids.
It’s not the vasectomy but rather, my insecurities as a second wife that have me in a chokehold. He wanted kids with her, but not with me.
Does he think I would be a bad mother? Does he think I treat his children poorly? Does he think another child would be too much for me to handle? Does he think my temper is too short for an infant? What is it? What?!
The Power of Perspective
You don’t really know a relationship unless you are one of the two people directly involved. Maybe their marriage wasn’t so blissful after all. Perhaps there was big drama leading up to the wedding. It’s possible the unplanned pregnancies led to more stress and arguing.
Maybe he thought that his family with her was complete, or maybe he knew they would eventually part ways. Regardless of her, maybe he felt like two kids was enough for him.
What if his decision to have a vasectomy had nothing to do with her, and everything to do with himself?
At the end of the day, I can either allow my morale to be destroyed in this emotional black hole, or I can trust my husband’s words at face value. Isn’t that the case in so many instances of stepfamily life?
What My Husband Thinks
My husband assures me that he doesn’t want any more kids because he feels like his family is complete with me as his wife. He sees me as a parent to the kids, and he thinks that four is the perfect family size. He is practical, and points out that our home is the perfect size for our current, completed family.
He doesn’t understand how I feel as a woman. He doesn’t comprehend that being told I cannot have biological children suddenly spirals me out, craving that “maternal bond” I hear so many of my friends and relatives talk about. He doesn’t feel my panic as I worry about our marriage dissolving after my biological clock has stopped ticking, or my fear of growing old alone.
He is a man. He is practical and logical. He is a really, really good man. And thankfully, his brain doesn’t do all of the same crazy, emotional things that mine does. So despite this fear being my biggest insecurity as a second wife, I choose to trust his words at face value.
Insecurities will always be there, and they are loud. As with all less-than-ideal facets of life, we have to face our insecurities, and then learn to live with them. For me, it is empowering to be able to pinpoint my biggest insecurity as a second wife, then make a conscious effort to not let it hold me back.
Today, I challenge you to reflect on what your biggest insecurity as a second wife is, then develop a plan of action to overcome it. Download this reflection guide to assist you. The power to your happiness is within reach!
P.S. Are your insecurities as a stepmom holding you back? You are not alone.
14 thoughts on “My Biggest Second Wife Insecurity”
Thank you for writing this. I cannot describe how relieved it makes me feel to know that I am not alone in feeling this way, nor is something wrong with me. I can’t even describe how much I appreciate that you wrote this. I know why my partner doesn’t want any more children, but it’s impossible for me to not take it personally. What was even stranger was that before I met him, I was pretty sure that I didn’t want them anyways, so why is this driving me so crazy?!? Thank you for the insight.
Hey, Kiki! You are not alone! <3
What a blessing to read your exact words that are in my thoughts everyday! It’s nice to know someone understands and I’m not the only one who thinks this way!
With respect, I think any couple who don’t have the same perspective on having kids together is doomed in the long run. My partner had a vasectomy and I celebrate it every day (well, a few times a week… give me a break).
I am childfree, which is VERY different from childless. I can have children, but I don’t want to. My partner has children who are old enough not to need me to parent them with a woman who co-parents them with him wonderfully. He was done after two.
While ideally I would have fallen for someone who was also childfree, this feels like an acceptable compromise. If you want children, this is not a tenable situation. You will either grow to resent your partner and his kids, or you will find your own way to have kids. Step kids aren’t YOUR kids. It’s not the same thing.
I’m reading this article as my wedding to a man who was once happily married approaches, and while I share some of the insecurities (we will never have those happy moments), I know we’ll have other, different happy moments. We already do, all the time. If baby showers and birth announcements and seeing your husband snuggle with your own infant is something you want, you need to be with someone who can make it happen for you.
Hello! Thank you for the feedback, and congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Best of luck! <3
I’m in the same boat with you! My boyfriend told me on date 1 or 2 about his vasectomy and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. He already has a daughter and a son who are older and I love them. I was always worried I’d meet someone who wanted biological children, and while I probably could, I have some medical issues (reproductive and other) that would make it difficult. Not to mention the whole host of crazy that runs down both sides of my family. I have felt for a long time I didn’t want to pass that along. I’m excited to become a Bonus Mom. (And it’s very nice not having to worry about birth control methods!)
Hang in there ladies! Remember you have someone who loves YOU and chose YOU even after someone else hurt him so badly he may have never thought he’d be able to love, or even trust, someone again.
That comment ‘He wanted kids with HER but not with ME’ really punched me in the chest.
My partner and his ex went through 5 years of IVF and other treatments to bring their twins into the world, and their birth at 25 weeks was so traumatic that he still had PTSD from it and can’t talk about it.
So even bringing up the idea of having kids with me has always been a huge ‘NO’ sign flashing in my head. I never have asked him, because I know what he will say and it will break my heart.
Having kids for me wouldn’t be easy, (I have had endometriosis removed, but also lost a fallopian tube in the process. I also have a rather ironic love heart shaped uterus,) But I feel like if I don’t at least try, I will never forgive myself.
I’m nearly 30, my partner and his ex had those kids 4 years ago. They had a really hard time with it all, the kids were sickly and in hospital a lot. He admitted that the stress of it all was a factor in why the marriage ended.
So I get it.
But I wish I didn’t.
I love him, I love us, but the blind resentment I feel for his ex-wife is overwhelming sometimes. He had a life with her, planned those kids for years. Had them. I won’t get any of that and the injustice of it all is just….well….unfair.
Sorry to vent, but I don’t really have anyone to talk to about it. Nobody in my circle is in this situation – just me. Nobody else gets it.
As you said though, naming the insecurity will (hopefully) allow me to identify with it, and find a way past it.
Still sucks though.
I totally empathize with you on a deep level! Hugs! ?
I am in the same situation that having kids would not be easy for me. Being a mom and watching my own child grow and seeing milestones for them has always been something I wanted…… even though that sounds a little selfish
I grew up with step parents. They both have their faults, but they re not bad people and I love them both very much. That being said, I don t think I would bring anyone into my children s lives if something happened to my husband. We both know how we want to raise our children, and I would never put myself in a position to let someone else have a say. I keep looking at that last sentence trying to find a nicer way to write it or justify it, and I just can t. I m not a control freak, but kids are people and I can t see how I could comfortably accommodate another adult and change nothing for the kids.
thanks for this post……… it’s exactly how I feel. I hate that she has something with him that I will never have with him and I even have 1 child of my own, but I know it’s going to drive me crazy my whole life that we don’t share that.
Hang in there! You’re not alone! <3
I am in the same boat. Because of the way my husband’s ex left and took the one kid and was currently pregnant he doesn’t want anymore kids.
It is hard to explain to people and hard to accept sometimes how he feels.
So hard to explain to people! I’m here for you!