For many second wives or first wives who come after their spouse had kids with a former sex partner, the reality of partnering with a man with children only comes after they've had their own children. Once the reality of $1,000 or $700 or $2,000 in child support sets in, they are upset.
But don't expect for them to get any sympathy. Oh no. Not here. Second wives and women who marry after children are born are excoriated online and by almost everyone. "You asked for it when you married him, honey," they might say. As if we can control who we fall in love with.
The reality is, second wives get a bum rap and these kinds of comments don't make it any better. In that vein, here are 5 things not to say to second wives:
- Do you hate your stepkids? -- We aren't living in a Disney movie, people. A woman can marry a man with children and love his children just as much as you love your own. Really. It doesn't take biology to love a kid and families are complicated even when they are related by blood.
- Child support is what you get for marrying him -- This may very well be true. But it doesn't mean it can't suck. Or that it has to be easy and accepted. For many second wives, child support is a big burden, one that sometimes feels unfair and like too much money to part with. The reality is, family courts are often more generous with first wives than second families. I know a family where the man gives a third of his salary to one child while his other four kids with his actual wife split the other two-thirds. Sorry, that's not fair. We can feel bad for her. It doesn't mean we don't also think kids need to be supported.
- How is that baby mama drama? -- It's not always all that dramatic. Sometimes there are just kids from a previous marriage or relationship and everyone is happy and calm and settled in their lives. Hard to believe, but very true. In fact, this normalcy and comfort may be more normal than drama and strife. Shocking!
- He can't ever love you like his first wife -- If he is a widower, this is said a lot. To this I say: No two loves are alike. Right? I mean he may not love you just like someone else, but that's OK. He still can love you a whole lot. And also: Who the hell says this?
- The kids always come first -- That is true. Kind of. But the reality is, kids grow up. Marriages should last forever. A good father can balance both. He shouldn't make a woman FEEL like she is coming second. If he is, there is a problem. Even more, if you are the friend of a second wife, she already FEELS like second best. So why make her feel worse?
Are you as second wife? What do people say to you that is rude?
Image via Tony Alter/Flickr