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My Second Marriage Was about Love, Not Timing

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This is something I've spent a lot of hours thinking about recently. When we choose our partner, what matters the most? What seals the deal and makes us proclaim to our family and friends, "This is the one!"?

happy couple

Wife #2: Is it love or is it timing?

Here's what happened to me ... When I met Husband #1, I was in my mid-20s. It wasn't a lightning bolt of overwhelming passion. It was a friendship at first, colored by my attraction to his dark wit and brainy personality.

To explain my thinking then, I have to go back a bit earlier. Two years prior to meeting my first husband, I had my heart broken. Really broken -- for the first time in my adult life. Up until then, I was one of those girls who was generally on the other side of the relationship equation. I left men before they left me. That's just how it was. Though I had had several serious boyfriends and countless dates, I never really fell in love hard -- until suddenly I did.

I thought I would marry that blond boy, have a slew of children with him, and live happily in love and lust the rest of my life. Apparently, he didn't see it the same way. Our intense but very stormy relationship didn't work for him. I still vividly remember the day he told me, "I just can't do this anymore."

Huh? What about those kids, the happy ending, the decades of super-charged sex? Not happening.

So I retreated to my apartment, got really skinny, and read novels for months. When I finally emerged, I met Husband #1. He stood out in the pack of my endless dates. He was smart and funny. Not really my physical type, but handsome enough. And he adored me, something I thought would never change. (I was wrong on that one.)

I desperately wanted the opposite of what had broken my heart. Instead of crazy chemistry, I yearned for reliability and devotion. Instead of the drop-dead gorgeous guy every girl stared at, I opted for cute and clean-cut. More importantly, I think I just wanted to grow up.

Husband #1 was the best match for me at that moment in time. I know it's not a romantic explanation of how I ended up walking down the aisle. But it is honest. And probably not uncommon.

We made a life together for years. We had beautiful children. But we both changed. What seemed like a good choice in my 20s felt like a tragic mistake by my mid-30s.

And then I met Patrick, Husband #2. The cruel irony for me was I thought that blond boyfriend had taught me all there was to know about heartbreak. I figured the whole tortured, I-can't-eat-or-sleep thing was in the rear view for good. (Yet another mistake on my part -- pay attention to automotive wisdom -- objects in the mirror ARE closer than they appear!)

Blondie was child's play compared to the suffering Patrick and I caused each other.

If my 20-something self had known that Husband #2 was out there, I would have waited. But I didn't believe what we now have existed. So I made the best choice I could based on the facts I had.

So here's what I've come to: my first marriage was about timing. That's not to say I didn't love Husband #1 and care deeply for him. I did. I'll always value that chapter. But in many ways, I made the decision based on the circumstances of my life at that time. And the circumstances made it easy.

With Husband #2, the timing literally could not have been worse. We both had spouses and young children. Talk about inconvenient. Still, we chose each other and then moved mountains to get where we are, despite the circumstances. And trust me, the circumstances made it almost impossible.

As it turns out, my second husband is my first (and last) true love.

next: How Much Will You Pay for Convenience?
16 comments so far | Post a comment now
Cheryl January 29, 2010, 6:13 AM

Good grief! How many different ways are you going to write this story before you realize nobody thinks that what you have done is noble? No matter how you paint this picture, it is the picture of ugly selfishness. Please give us a break.

Anna January 29, 2010, 6:33 AM

@Cheryl Agree completely! How many more times are we going to have to hear this woe-is-me BS?

Scott January 29, 2010, 8:33 AM

I appreciate that you feel a need to tell this story, it is interesting but I think for reasons other than you think. I think you miss the point that commitment is something that takes effort and sacrifice. As a gay man I hate to hear about peoples strings of marriages, that I am denied. Perhaps people should be allowed only one marriage. Don’t work out too bad, your done! My partner and I would love to marry just 1 time, after being together for 15 years and still committed.

b January 29, 2010, 9:11 AM

Do you like getting hate mail? Seriously, I think what you did was wrong and selfish, but you know what: i don’t have to live your life, and i don’t have to be accountable for it. So really, if you’re happy, go live your happy life and stop trying to win people over to your side. Just be happy and go on and write about something with substance and less about self justification. Unless you’re still trying to convince yourself…..

Mylissa January 29, 2010, 9:16 AM

Well, scott the only problem with is my husband has been married once before me. He is my first and last husband. But you do raise a good point. They say the more times you are married the odds of it working are slim to none.
Either way this woman is nuts, and needs something better to do with her time. Other than write about the same BS day and night.

B January 29, 2010, 10:24 AM

I am so sick of hearing this story, said in slightly different words every time. If you feel the need to talk about this again, PLEASE, do us all a favor and hire a therapist. You sound like you are trying to convince yourself, not just us, of the way you hope things really are

RamyS January 29, 2010, 11:11 AM

I have to admit, this is similar to my story. She’s not a bad person. If she was, she wouldn’t give a crap or feel the need to tell her story. Everyone has the same need. It’s to be heard and understood. Not to say she is a hero for leaving her husband for someone else, but you’re not a hero for staying in an uphappy marriage, either! Just because you signed a paper and think it’s the right thing to do, to stay together forever because the piece of paper says so, that is stupid. Anyone can do that, but can you be true to yourself and live the best life you know how and be a happy person if it means sacrifice and and the possibility that some ay not agree? Get off her back. She had no plans to do this, thing do happen.

Christina January 29, 2010, 11:21 AM

RamyS - I disagree. The need to tell her story (again and again and again and again….) has no bearing whatsoever on whether she is a bad person. In fact, I would argue that this incessant (and to us annoying) need to justify her actions indicates that she is well aware that what she did was pretty much reprehensible by any standard. No one wants to think they are a bad person - that’s what rationalization is all about. What she did was wrong. If she was unhappy, she should have divorced. Getting involved with someone else’s husband is never ok.

Anonymous January 29, 2010, 12:31 PM

So you met husband number two when you were both married with young children. What happend to getting divorced first! So basically this is another I cheated on my husband story and Im trying to justify it to the world.

SOCKS January 29, 2010, 1:31 PM

Wow this topic really does hit home for some people. Who are we to judge the author. Love is complicated. That is the reality of it. Sometimes staying committed to a person means that you will not be in “love” all the time but at the same time both parties have to meet each others’ needs in some way or another. However if that is not happening it would be quite sad and eventually very lonely to stay with a person just for the sake of staying. There are no guarantees in life and or in love. You can choose to wait for your spouse to meet your needs or find someone else. Either way, life is too short and we should all be brave enough enjoy it.!

tennmom January 29, 2010, 4:46 PM

I was almost finished reading this before I realised it was written by the poster who so often tries to justify having an affair instead of divorcing first.
Anywho, I was a widow for four years before I married again. Although I seriously doubt husband 1 and I would still be married if he were still alive, I wouldn’t “take back” that marriage. My 2 daughters would not be the same people they are today if their late-father hadn’t been their father.
I would love to have a child with Now Husband, but I don’t wish he was the bio of my (our) daughters.
He was 46, never married, not a bio dad of any children when we married. We are a much better match than Husband the Late, but I can’t regret the first marriage because of the 2 wonderful children who resulted from that marriage.
At least the poster is happy now. I can’t begrudge anyone for being happy.

sharongilo January 31, 2010, 11:34 AM

At this point in this marriage, the most important goal you can have is to make this relationship the absolute best it can be for your children, step-children, yourself and your husband — it needs to be the constant priority no matter what kind of ups and downs you will go through … for a little help and inspiration: “A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage” (Boston Globe #1 pick) —- come by and visit and follow my Thursday blog @

Sweetly1 February 6, 2010, 4:59 AM

Life is Too short to be miserable, but adding misery to others just isn’t my idea of happiness. No, you shouldn’t stay with someone just because, but you shouldn’t leave someone simply because of great sex either. With her actions she has already told her new husband that commitment doesn’t matter only happiness, so when this marriage becomes boring for him he also has a right to his happiness I am sure she will understand.When you start off with deceit, you shouldn’t expect honesty,death do us part, and all of that good stuff, it is only about right now. You have now lost your right to say foul. Don’t cry when the chemistry weakens, just find someone else’s husband and move on.Remember no woman owes you respect either. Your marriage is fair game too. Open season on all relationships. Is that what we all are suppose to believe now.

Black Iris March 12, 2010, 3:05 PM

Well, if we really don’t want to read her story, we can stop reading and commenting when she writes…

Anyhow, Wife #2 - try writing this from your poor husband’s point of view. You broke his heart and left him because your marriage was only based on good timing? Except you did love him.

The more you describe it, the more it sounds like you were having troubles in your relationship and left for lust and infatuation.

If your teenaged daughter came to you and said she’d found her first and last true love, what would you say? Your way of looking at love is about that mature.

Anonymous March 12, 2010, 3:07 PM

Well, if we really don’t want to read her story, we can stop reading and commenting when she writes…

Anyhow, Wife #2 - try writing this from your poor husband’s point of view. You broke his heart and left him because your marriage was only based on good timing? Except you did love him.

The more you describe it, the more it sounds like you were having troubles in your relationship and left for lust and infatuation.

If your teenaged daughter came to you and said she’d found her first and last true love, what would you say? Your way of looking at love is about that mature.

anonymous! April 10, 2010, 9:47 AM

Well I am wife #2 and I completely get her articles. My ex and my husband’s ex were already in the process of divorce before we met. That being said it did not make it much easier. His ex-wife cheated on him yet she wanted to keep him on a string until he met me. My ex-husband was an abusive man with an alcohol problem, and I woke up one day and said that I can not take it anymore. My husband now is a blessing to me and my children and I hope his children feel the same about me. His ex-wife does not speak to me, but I do step back out of respect for her, and I pray for her too. We will never be best friends, but I will respect her feelings because she is still their mother, I am a guardian to her kids and I try to protect and love her children when they are around just as my own. This is a difficult adjustment for all parties involved, so I would not judge anyone unless you walked in that person’s shoes. My second husband is the love of my life and I know my place with him and his children. Sometimes I am first sometimes I am last, but my life now is so much sweeter than being in an abusive relationship being a door mat. I love my husband, his children, my children, and the days are not picture perfect, but we make the best of it, and all I can hope for is that we keep being there for the kids when they need us and give them our continued support and understanding. And I remind myself when the kids act up that they always want their parents back together, that never goes away. However in the mean time I am going to be the best Mother, Wife, Step-Mother, and Person that I can be always, and hope I can make a positive difference in all of their lives.

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