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The Same But Different

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This is going to make some of you Wife-Number-Two-haters smile.

couple arguing

Wife Number Two: I had a big blowout with Husband Number Two this week about disciplining our kids. And then I had a revelation.

One of the biggest problems between me and Husband Number One was parenting. He thought I was indulgent. I thought he was absurdly strict. We undermined each other constantly, as I tried to protect the kids from his rigid temper and he tried to enforce the household rules. I remember one time in particular: He threatened not to come to our 5-year-old's first soccer game because he was furious at me over a discipline dispute. It was a weekend morning. He was hollering at the kids for not dressing quickly enough. One of them was in tears, struggling with a shirt button. I told my ex to back off, unequivocally and in front of our children. At that moment, I thought to myself, I'd do better at this alone. Much better.

Fast forward several years. Husband Number Two and I have an amazing partnership. We support each other. We approach life, love and family the same way. We rarely argue.

But there are times I find myself thinking that my beloved is -- dare I say it? -- too permissive with the kids. He's too quick to dole out presents and gloss over inappropriate behavior, even when I'm rolling my eyes on the other side of the room, clearly signaling my frustration. And let's remember, I'm a pretty easygoing parent myself.

I understand why Husband Number Two does what he does. We don't get nearly as much time with his kids as we'd like. So there's immense pressure to make the time we do have happy and fun. Neither of us wants to spend those precious hours giving time-outs. But the kids need parents, not playmates.

So here's my revelation: Husband Number Two and I are not so exactly the same, at least not all the time. And I suddenly have some empathy for Husband Number One. Did he feel like the constant bad cop? The parent who always takes away the ball before the glass windowpane breaks? I want to be fun, too, but some days there just isn't room for that.

Still, it's different this time around. The blowout this week -- which would have resulted in a multi-day cold war in my first marriage -- is already resolved. Within hours, we'd talked about it. We both apologized. And more importantly, we tossed around some ideas about how to parent better -- together. That would never have happened with Husband Number One.

Another thing that's different now? I actually look forward to the makeup sex.

next: When Kids Discover Gay Marriage!
13 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous March 11, 2010, 8:58 AM

Why is this blogger still writing articles for MomLogic? Someone please answer this question.

Anonymous March 11, 2010, 9:07 AM

I just commented that I don’t understand why Wife #2 is a blogger on this site…I guess MomLogic are now censors…

Michelle March 11, 2010, 2:18 PM

I’m a little tired of seeing you get assaulted everytime you post. I wish my mother had left my father while I was younger, rather than staying married to him (still married). He was abusive. I think she stayed with him for our benefit, but we would have been better off on the couches of family members than at home with him. I may not fully approve of the timeline of which the events in your life happened (none of my business anyway), but I do understand that you and the kids are probably much much better off.

tennmom March 11, 2010, 5:05 PM

I am not saying that I agree with the fact that the poster entered another relationship while still married but I don’t think any person should stay in a relationship, marrried or not, that makes them unhappy and miserable.
Mental, verbal or physical abuse is not okay.
I loved my late-husband, the father of my children, for almost 20 years but if he were still alive we would not still be married. I should have stopped his verbal and mental abuse when it started before we married. I can’t regret the relationship,really, because our daughters wouldn’t be the same people they are otherwise.
My “now” husband does tend to be more lenient with the girls. This is his first marriage (we married when he was 46) and his only children. Most of the time everything balances out, but I get irked at him when I wake on a Saturday morning and find him net shopping with one of the girls for things they do NOT need.

Black Iris March 11, 2010, 5:19 PM

I don’t think people are upset that Wife #2 got a divorce. They’re upset that she took down another woman’s family with her.

If your marriage isn’t working, get counseling. If that doesn’t work, get a divorce. Don’t have an affair and don’t go after another woman’s husband.

Black Iris March 11, 2010, 5:31 PM

I think you still sound a little starry-eyed about your new husband. Seeing everything the same way and rarely arguing is romantic, but it’s not deep love. Deep love comes when you know each other’s faults and still are in love.

And I think that if you want your new marriage to last, you should move past the idea that you had the wrong husband and replaced him with the right one. What are you going to do differently to make it work this time?

My personal opinion is that you need to watch out with a married man who suddenly falls in love with another woman. Is that how he deals with conflict? Does he keep things hidden and then go off without warning? Or does he fall out of love if you have any arguments?

This is book knowledge, so use what fits, but stepfamilies with kids on both sides have a hard adjustment (and high divorce rate). You don’t get the same kind of honeymoon other couples do. You never have the nuclear family model, your exes are part of your family. You have a lot of work to do in the first few years to figure out how to parent together. If I were a stepparent, I think I’d get counseling.

Anonymous March 11, 2010, 10:23 PM

I enjoy reading these articles and like I have said before what’s done is done and she obviously is learning from her mistakes with husband #1 and applying them to husband #2. You have to make mistakes big and little to become a better person. No ones perfect people need to remind themselves of that more often

B March 15, 2010, 2:12 PM

I taste vomit. It would be really nice to see someone who has something genuine to contribute blog on this site, rather than this chick. I love how she continues to attempt to paint her ex and her husband’s ex as such bad people to try and justify what she did. The only post I ever want to read from this person again is “MY KIDS HATE ME AND CAN’T HAVE NORMAL RELATIONSHIPS NOW! WHAT DO I DO??!!!!????” Wife number two? Your ex is happy you are gone, I’d bet any amount of money on that

Dina March 17, 2010, 8:36 PM

Being a wife #1 who was left for someone she already knew, I thought I could add something of value to this “discussion”. The first article I read by “wife #2” was the new years resolution post. After reading some of the comments I decided to go back and read all of her posts before I made a comment.

First of all I must say of coarse each of her posts have some new information. You cannot tell a whole story in one little blog.

When my ex left I hated him, her and myself. I was miserable and had a habit of wearing my pain for all to see. Because of that I lost my relationship with my oldest daughter for a year. It took us two years for the divorce to be final and by then I had somehow learned to let go. The divorce freed me from the hate I felt for him and a year later for the other woman as well. Four and a half years after our split (we were married for 20 years) I am in a good relationship and will be getting married in the fall.

Wife and Husband #1 need to find a way to let go. I know more than most that this is way harder than it sounds. What I know now that I didn’t know then is that when you let go, you find yourself again. Yes, what they did was so wrong on many levels, but I was not entirely blameless and no one is ever truly without a least some fault. My ex and I are now able to co-parent our 3 daughters and even help each other from time to time. I now consider the other woman a friend and she is in my life not as his wife #2, but because her son and my grandson are best friends. Life is strange and what kills you today can turn into something good.

Wife #2 and her new husband were wrong. They made mistakes and their exes have a right to be angry. But their anger can turn against them. I lost my daughter’s entire senior year because I couldn’t keep my anger in check. My oldest had a son just over a year after the split and if my anger could have cost me his early years.

Give wife #2 a little bit of a break. Of coarse she wants to feel better about how she found the man she loves. She isn’t evil or necessarily a bad person. You may not like what she did, but I think what she has to say is important. There are many people on both sides of the equation and we benefit from the stories on both sides. Her story is not one that should be overlooked. There are things that can be learned from “the other woman.”

Dina March 17, 2010, 8:45 PM

Oops, comment must have been too long. Here is the rest:
Give wife #2 a little bit of a break. Of coarse she wants to feel better about how she found the man she loves. She isn’t evil or necessarily a bad person. You may not like what she did, but I think what she has to say is important. There are many people on both sides of the equation and we benefit from the stories on both sides. Her story is not one that should be overlooked. There are things that can be learned from “the other woman.”

Cece April 13, 2010, 3:37 PM

The ex husband and wife should think about this: They are better off. Because their spouses did not really love them. And now everybody knows the deal.

There are people out there who are going to love the man and woman left behind so very much. They are waiting for the rage to clear so they can find their way. And if wife #2 and husband #2 had not gotten together, then the spouses left behind would still be marriages with people just tolerating them. Their soulmates, too, are out there looking for them. It is just a matter of time.

Dana October 20, 2010, 2:22 PM

OMG - you and I have the same issues with our ex’s. My son is 16 years old and my ex is now taking me back to court to get custody so that he does not have to pay child support. My new husband writes software and wrote a program for me to document my ex-husband’s daily stupidity. After reading what you have to deal with with your ex, you may be interested in it as well. It’s called Partner Diary - just type it in Google. Hopefully it will help all women dealing with moronic ex’s. BTW - Love your blog!

LogHomeMom December 17, 2010, 6:58 PM

would love to see new posts from Wife #2! its been quite a while and i know there are others that would love a new installment!
There are those of us who found her blog interesting and insightful, and found HER to be an extremely courageous woman for blogging about this topic. Writing is therapy for some, myself included.
Everyone has their critics, even the so called “critics” who comment here.
All of us need to remember this.. “Judge not. lest thy be judged”.
I am in no position to ‘judge’ anyone. Whether you agreed with Wife #2’s situation, she has a story to share.

If you read this Wife #2, please give us an update!

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