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Hi

This is my first post on here so It may be a little long but hopefully some of you have some time and advice to spare

Ok so I am a 30 year old female and I am recently engaged. Things with my fiancé are perfect. It is the healthiest relationship I have ever been in. Before him I was in a very emotionally abusive relationship and meeting my fiancé was like a breath of fresh air.

The only problem is he has been married before and has 2 children from that relationship. The children aren’t the problem, we get along great they love me and when they are with us we are all very happy. The problem isn’t even his ex. They have not been a couple for 10+ years, she is re-married. They only communicate about the children and see each other in passing when they exchange the kids. The problem is me. I can’t get over the fact that I am not his first for anything. I know how petty and immature it sounds but part of me is almost angry at him that this won’t be his first wedding, that when we have children they won’t be his first.

I know this seems so crazy because I willingly got in a relationship with him and I knew these things up front. I can only say in my defense, I have never dated someone who has such an extensive past before, especially one that is still connected to the present. I didn’t know that these feelings would come up as we started to make our relationship more serious. I didn’t know that when we got engaged, I would be wondering in the back of my head if it was similar to his last engagement. That I would become obsessed with trying to ensure that our wedding is completely different than his first. That I would only want to have girls because he has 2 sons already.

I can’t shake the feeling that everything I am doing with him has been done before. He is so sweet and has tried to assure me that their relationship was nothing compared to ours, that he never thinks about their relationship or compares the two but I can’t shake the feeling. Most recently I found out his mother (my future mother in law) is still friendly with his ex. This sent me into a complete tail spin. I’ve always had the fantasy of having a mother in law I could be close with. And finding out that she is still close to his ex-wife really broke my heart.

This has come up several times recently (during wedding planning) and it’s really starting to affect our relationship. My fiance has expressed that he does not know what else he can do to assure me that things are different with us and that he is happier than he was before.

I don’t know what to do with my jealousy and my feelings of being “second best” I don’t want to destroy this relationship and I wish there was some rule book on how to be a second wife. I would love to hear from anyone who has been in this situation and how they dealt with these feelings. Thank you.

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Hi

This is my first post on here so It may be a little long but hopefully some of you have some time and advice to spare

Ok so I am a 30 year old female and I am recently engaged. Things with my fiancé are perfect. It is the healthiest relationship I have ever been in. Before him I was in a very emotionally abusive relationship and meeting my fiancé was like a breath of fresh air.

The only problem is he has been married before and has 2 children from that relationship. The children aren’t the problem, we get along great they love me and when they are with us we are all very happy. The problem isn’t even his ex. They have not been a couple for 10+ years, she is re-married. They only communicate about the children and see each other in passing when they exchange the kids. The problem is me. I can’t get over the fact that I am not his first for anything. I know how petty and immature it sounds but part of me is almost angry at him that this won’t be his first wedding, that when we have children they won’t be his first.

I know this seems so crazy because I willingly got in a relationship with him and I knew these things up front. I can only say in my defense, I have never dated someone who has such an extensive past before, especially one that is still connected to the present. I didn’t know that these feelings would come up as we started to make our relationship more serious. I didn’t know that when we got engaged, I would be wondering in the back of my head if it was similar to his last engagement. That I would become obsessed with trying to ensure that our wedding is completely different than his first. That I would only want to have girls because he has 2 sons already.

I can’t shake the feeling that everything I am doing with him has been done before. He is so sweet and has tried to assure me that their relationship was nothing compared to ours, that he never thinks about their relationship or compares the two but I can’t shake the feeling. Most recently I found out his mother (my future mother in law) is still friendly with his ex. This sent me into a complete tail spin. I’ve always had the fantasy of having a mother in law I could be close with. And finding out that she is still close to his ex-wife really broke my heart.

This has come up several times recently (during wedding planning) and it’s really starting to affect our relationship. My fiancé has expressed that he does not know what else he can do to assure me that things are different with us and that he is happier than he was before.

I don’t know what to do with my jealousy and my feelings of being “second best” I don’t want to destroy this relationship and I wish there was some rule book on how to be a second wife. I would love to hear from anyone who has been in this situation and how they dealt with these feelings. Thank you.

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How about counseling for lack of esteem?

 

I agree.

 

My fiance has expressed that he does not know what else he can do to assure me that things are different with us and that he is happier than he was before.

 

Whatever is buzzing around in your head, I think counselling will be beneficial. Carry on this way and you WILL destroy your relationship because your fiance will eventually run out of patience.

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The fact that you will be his second wife is a fact no one can change. He is with you though, that's all that should matter. Unless you are teenagers, everyone you will date will have a past: past lovers, past wives. The fact is, you are his present. He wants to be with you and you're fortunate to be in a position whereby neither his first wife nor his children are causing any issues, so why cause an issue for yourself? It's all in your head. I'm not sure if this is representative of another issue you may be dealing with, like low self-esteem as other posters have mentioned, but don't cause yourself undue stress for something that frankly, doesn't matter. My parents had both been (unhappily) married before when they met each other. This was the second marriage for both of them, and the one that worked out. Don't sabotage yourself or your relationship for something so menial.

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Thank you for your thoughtful response. I don't think it is a self esteem issue as others in this forum have (rudely) suggested. The issue that I am struggling with is not of self worth it is more about jealousy. But I agree that it is a form of self sabotage that I need to address and deal with because I don't want to ruin this relationship. I am also very happy to hear about your parents who found love after one unhappy marriage. Thank you again.

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I don’t think it is rude to suggest there maybe esteem issues after an emotionally abusive relationship. That would actually make sense . My mother too remarried . More than once. She was a second wife , twice.

 

There is actually nothing to be jealous about if your fiancé wanted to be with his ex-wife he would be with her . Instead he chose you . And people love their children whether they are first or 14th . People don’t love their second child any less than the 1 st. Any child he has with you would be loved just as much as his first two . People love adopted children as much as they love their own biological children . My mom was a stepparent twice.

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Even if you broke up- You are 30. The older the get, the likelier it is going to be that the people you would date are going to have a serious past.

 

If their marriage was so great, they'd still be together. They aren't. His ex isn't mean and the kids are great? You hit the jackpot!!!!

When he tells you he is happier with you, believe him. Your marriage WILL be special because it's the two of YOU.

 

I'm remarried. My current husband and I's relationship is MUCH different than either of our first marriages. But we are both SO much happier. So who cares if when we got married it wasn't the "first" for either of us? It was more meaningful than my first wedding because I was marrying the man I felt the deepest for of anyone I'd ever known. Not once during the day did I think- " Well, done THIS before"- it was a totally new experience. It's like taking a GREAT movie that you loved as a kid and re-watching it as an adult and seeing all the subtle meanings that you never saw before, getting all the "adult" jokes that you never understood before, appreciating it on an entirely different level.

 

I'll tell you something else- being the "first" isn't always the best. My current husband is getting the better version of me. Because I've learned. I've learned how to be more patient and understanding. I've learned from my mistakes in my first marriage. So has he. He's more equipped to be a better husband to me (and has said as much). He's slower to anger now, he's more empathetic than he used to be. We both are better communicators and aren't afraid to express ourselves the way we were in our first marriages. So, who cares if you weren't the first? First doesn't equal best!!!!!

Let me put it another way- Would you want to have ridden in the FIRST form of the airplane? Would you want to have been the FIRST person to ever have surgery?

 

Experiences aren't about the things we DO. It's about the PEOPLE we DO THEM WITH and OUR relationship with THAT specific person. Let me turn in on it's head for you, too. Would you want him to be upset if you took him to a restaurant you took one of your exes to? Would you want him to be upset if you watched a movie with him that you watched with your ex? And he got mad because he wasn't the FIRST to eat there with you or watch that with you? You can still enjoy it together and the experiences will be TOTALLY different. It's not how you start, it's how you finish. Take it from someone who knows, I'd rather be the LAST love of someone's life than the FIRST. Something to think about it. All the best to you.

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Thank you for your thoughtful response. I don't think it is a self esteem issue as others in this forum have (rudely) suggested. The issue that I am struggling with is not of self worth it is more about jealousy. But I agree that it is a form of self sabotage that I need to address and deal with because I don't want to ruin this relationship. I am also very happy to hear about your parents who found love after one unhappy marriage. Thank you again.

 

I don't think anyone can say with much authority that you have self esteem issues, we don't know you. But why be jealous when you have been given no reason to be? Self-sabotage does indeed seem more accurate. Could it be that things are going so right that you are looking for something that may be wrong? It sounds like you've met a wonderful guy here, and he is lucky to have you too. Problems will rise, and problems will cease but don't pluck problems out of thin air where they don't exist. Look after yourself and know that all is well xx

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Even if you broke up- You are 30. The older the get, the likelier it is going to be that the people you would date are going to have a serious past.

 

This is exactly what I was going to say , I am 52 and it is pretty much a given that if I meet someone they come with not only *firsts* but possibly seconds and thirds ! I also come with my firsts already done and dusted a long time ago . So you just grow into not even thinking about it . Every thing you do with a new partner is a first , is fresh , is different , is new , because as we go through life meeting new friends and partners , each experience is totally new because it is with a new person .

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Thank you, and I'm sorry for seeming accusatory, I think I'm in a very fragile place right now. I appreciate what you said and I agree. I know the idea that he or anyone in his family would love our children any less is completely insane. I really do appreciate all the advice and it is forcing me to confront how outrageous my own behavior has been. I am embarrassed that I have even invested so much time making this an issue in a relationship that has brought me so so much joy. I feel stupid for making this a concern and I honestly am so determined to work on my issues.

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Even if you broke up- You are 30. The older the get, the likelier it is going to be that the people you would date are going to have a serious past.

 

If their marriage was so great, they'd still be together. They aren't. His ex isn't mean and the kids are great? You hit the jackpot!!!!

When he tells you he is happier with you, believe him. Your marriage WILL be special because it's the two of YOU.

 

I'm remarried. My current husband and I's relationship is MUCH different than either of our first marriages. But we are both SO much happier. So who cares if when we got married it wasn't the "first" for either of us? It was more meaningful than my first wedding because I was marrying the man I felt the deepest for of anyone I'd ever known. Not once during the day did I think- " Well, done THIS before"- it was a totally new experience. It's like taking a GREAT movie that you loved as a kid and re-watching it as an adult and seeing all the subtle meanings that you never saw before, getting all the "adult" jokes that you never understood before, appreciating it on an entirely different level.

 

I'll tell you something else- being the "first" isn't always the best. My current husband is getting the better version of me. Because I've learned. I've learned how to be more patient and understanding. I've learned from my mistakes in my first marriage. So has he. He's more equipped to be a better husband to me (and has said as much). He's slower to anger now, he's more empathetic than he used to be. We both are better communicators and aren't afraid to express ourselves the way we were in our first marriages. So, who cares if you weren't the first? First doesn't equal best!!!!!

Let me put it another way- Would you want to have ridden in the FIRST form of the airplane? Would you want to have been the FIRST person to ever have surgery?

 

Experiences aren't about the things we DO. It's about the PEOPLE we DO THEM WITH and OUR relationship with THAT specific person. Let me turn in on it's head for you, too. Would you want him to be upset if you took him to a restaurant you took one of your exes to? Would you want him to be upset if you watched a movie with him that you watched with your ex? And he got mad because he wasn't the FIRST to eat there with you or watch that with you? You can still enjoy it together and the experiences will be TOTALLY different. It's not how you start, it's how you finish. Take it from someone who knows, I'd rather be the LAST love of someone's life than the FIRST. Something to think about it. All the best to you.

 

oh wow thank you so much for this. This message made me cry. You are 1000% right and hearing about your wedding day and the feelings you felt really brought it into perspective for me. You cant know how much this meant to me but honestly thank you. You are right I may not be his first love but I damn sure will be his last! This thread has been so helpful to me truly. Sometimes you dont say things out loud and you get so stuck in your own thinking. You dont have anyone to tell you that you are wrong and give you another perspective. Thank you

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Thank You so much to everyone who took the time to reply to me. I'm sitting here balling my eyes out but this time its happy tears. It's really hard to have a mirror held up to you and to see where you have gone wrong but the beauty of life is that its never too late to change. I just texted my fiance a long mushy text message telling him how sorry I am and how much I love him. I told him that I'm sorry for anytime ive ever made him feel guilty for having a past for every time he struggled to make right what was only my own insecurities. I thanked him for his patience and his love and his undying support and he wrote me back the sweetest message. Thank you all so much. I am eternally grateful. I know its not just an easy fix but everytime this comes up for me I can think back to all your words and hopefully in time it wont even come up at all.

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I would understand this problem if he was a widower-he did not chose to marry someone else,she was taken from him but a divorced man left because he wanted to,he was not happy

My mom married a widower the third time. No issue. He was married to his first wife 25 years and had 3 kids . He and my mom will have been married 25 years this year too.

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I don't think it is a self esteem issue as others in this forum have (rudely) suggested. The issue that I am struggling with is not of self worth it is more about jealousy..

I don't think people have been rude at all. That said, you do realise that jealousy, in and of itself, stems from low self esteem, right?

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I don't think people have been rude at all. That said, you do realise that jealousy, in and of itself, stems from low self esteem, right?

 

I apologized already for saying they were rude. And I was referring to those initial messages that offered nothing but for me to seek counseling. I have moved on from that. And yes I am sure there are several thinks that I need to work on all of which I am happy to do. The messages since have offered me insight into why I was behaving in this way and I am going to work on it all. Self esteem as well. Thank you.

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I think one of the problems here is that you have an unconscious belief that love is rationed, that there's not enough to go round. So if your guy loves his kids, it means that there won't be as much love for yours. Because you're not his first wife, you're second best as she's already eaten up his love... as if loving someone with all your heart means that there's no love left over for anyone else... and so on. If you look at this from a here-and-now perspective, it's easy to see how irrational and untrue it is - but you're not unique in operating at this level! This kind of thinking doesn't come from nowhere, however, and it could be that as a child, over-committed parents didn't have time to pay you as much attention as you needed; or you felt neglected when a new brother/sister came along; any early experience of deprivation can have this effect.

 

You need to let that small person inside you know that love is infinite. You're his lovely lady now, and that other one's an irrelevance no matter how much he loved her at the time. Even if you go to exactly the same places as they went to, the experience will be a first for you both - because you're not her. When I first met my current partner, he lived close to an ex of mine, with whom I'd had a very traumatic breakup. For a while I'd feel physically sick if I saw someone who even looked like him in the street, all that - and I'd totally avoided that part of town for a couple of years. I talked about all this to my new guy, and he mentioned the importance of making new memories - so we went to all the nice places I'd been to with my ex. It didn't take long before all the associations in the area were with my partner, while my ex faded away totally.

 

So you also need to let yourself know that when you do things with your fiance, it's a first. You are creating another layer of memories, a new chapter in both your lives, a new history for you both. If you do the same activity he did with her, you are 'over-writing' the memory of her and making the experience your own. You really need to claim your place in his life on a profound emotional level and stop sharing it mentally with her - which, ironically, you are doing every time you compare yourself with her. She's an irrelevance. He thinks she's an irrelevance in your life, too. Now you need to take that on board for yourself!

 

Good luck!

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