The other night a couple of friends popped by. This couple is responsible for me getting a fiance and having a baby with him. They were the couple that first set me up on a blind date with my soon-to-be husband and father of my second child. Both have been divorced. Over dinner and vodka, my girlfriend announced that she is never going to get married again. Her boyfriend (and soon-to-be roommate they are moving in together) does not want to get married again either. I can see why. Once you’ve been through a divorce, even one that wasn’t nasty, marriage can leave a sour taste.
However, someone said to me not long ago that she always wanted to be a ”second wife.” This is funny because, well, it’s funny, but also because she is still married to her first husband, and happy, with two children. But I get it. I’m excited to be a ”second wife.” In fact, to the handful of single friends I have now, who refuse to date divorced men, I yell, ”There is so much positive about being The Second Wife!”
I am thrilled to be a Second Wife and I sell my single friends on divorced men like I’m a used car salesman. ”Being a second wife is great,” I protest. ”You need a divorced man.”
Why am I so excited to be the ”second wife?” Well, I could see exactly what type of guy my man was in many ways because he was married before and had children with his first wife. People learn a lot about their own character flaws during a marriage and for a second marriage, you can bet your ass that if the guy is smart, he won’t repeat his mistakes. In fact, he’ll go out of his way to not repeat his mistakes.
For example, my fiance told me he rarely did anything together with his ex-wife. They rarely traveled together or just hung out together watching movies on a lazy afternoon. They also rarely did things as a family, including not eating dinner together and not even doing chores together. He knew that was part of their problem. So now we do pretty much everything together, including but not limited to, going to bed at the same time and making dinner together.
Don’t get me wrong. He still goes and plays soccer or poker with friends and I go out and see my friends alone, but my fiance is my best friend and I’m his. Most divorced people I know who have met someone new always say that their new partner is their best friend and their ex-wives weren’t. As one divorced man told me, ”I never felt like we were on the same team.”
Also, I know what my fiance is like as a father, too, because I get to watch him in action with his own children. I wouldn’t have had a child with him if he weren’t a good father. I can see how committed he is to is children, which is something that rarely happens in a first marriage. You can’t tell how someone is going to really be as a father unless they are a father.
Divorced men know they want to get married again or have more children or they don’t. In many first marriages, men want to stop having children after one or two, and usually I find that their wives want more (I know this because I have two friends right now who are in constant battles with their first husbands about having more children).
You can also tell how divorced men manage with life skills by the way they are dealing or have dealt with their divorce and ex-wives. To see my fiance and how he deals with his ex wife makes me want to be his second wife. He’s calm and collected and fair. If he was bitter and spoke meanly, well, I probably wouldn’t be with him. I know from what he has told me what he didn’t like about his first marriage, so I know what he expects from a relationship and he knows what I expect. He knows what I think went wrong in my first engagement and works hard to make sure that doesn’t happen to us, just as I know the mistakes I made and will never repeat with him.
To be a second wife usually happens later in life, when you’re more mature and really know what’s important. When I was in my 20s and engaged, I didn’t think about things like how to make someone else happy or how I want to retire. My fiance and I talk a lot about our long-term goals and we will work together to attain that.
You get the best of both worlds when you are The Second Wife. You get the man you love PLUS someone who knows that marriage is hard and works maybe a little harder at the relationship, so he won’t go down the divorced road again (the same goes for women).
Because I write a lot about having children and not being married, people assume that I’m anti-marriage. I’m not. I’m thrilled for friends who get married. I’m also sad when they get divorced. First marriages are hard. And you don’t really want to be the Third Wife, because maybe that says something about the guy. So being The Second Wife really is the best position to be in.