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Second Marriages and Blended Families

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Blended families are faced with the same issues as original families, but with additional stressors involved

Blended families are faced with the same issues as original families, but with additional stressors involved

Why Are Second Marriages and Blended Families More at Risk?

The statistics for second, and subsequent, marriages are discouraging. Nearly 70% of them fail. Statistics vary slightly depending on sources, but one thing remains true: Second marriages face a lot more issues. In fact, they are more likely to fail if they involve step-children (blended families) as well.

Why are the statistics so bleak? It's more difficult. That's the simple answer!

Lack of boundaries, unrealistic expectations, and poor communication are just a few of the culprits contributing to many of the issues.

Expectations: Most people beginning a new marriage and/or family have unrealistic expectations. Getting married a second time is not really a fresh start- if you've ever heard of the term baggage...yes! You've got it if you've been married before. If you or your new spouse believes there are no residual issues, if only psychological, stemming from the first marriage, you are sadly wrong. People want to leave it behind them, but that's not the way it works.

Boundaries: If children are involved, prepare for a lack of boundaries. Step-parenting is difficult, but without pre-determined boundaries it can turn ugly. Sometimes there is not a mutually satisfying co-parenting plan in place, and this can consistently cause issues to arise. Sometimes there are no clear boundaries between a spouse and former spouse or their families, leading to and abundance of negative emotions.

Communication: Communication ties it all together...or not. If a former spouse is still involved due to shared kids then a plan or agreement helps, but if a lack of communication is evident on either side, it can make everything more difficult even for the best laid out plan. Most communication should happen before a second marriage, but too often it doesn't. With various people and individual needs that must be addressed in different ways, the familial landscape and dynamics are constantly changing.

There is also a risk, and more reasons, for increased negative feelings to come between everyone involved. Feelings like anger and guilt. Jealousy for instance, can come between a step-parent and a child from the previous marriage. Also between the children themselves (from various prior marriages), and of course the current spouse with former spouse.

There are no perfect guidelines for blending families well. The best tool is preparation and establishing guidelines prior to the new marriage.


Blended Families: Responsibility To The Kids

Most parents will agree the kids come first. Co-parenting can be difficult, and a former spouse can leverage the kids to manipulate things in their favor.

Step children involve:

  • how the child personally adjusted to the divorce of their parents, and how those feelings and adjustments affect the subsequent/second marriage.
  • financial issues with child support.
  • guilt parents feel if they don't put children first.
  • additional family members who are related to the step children (and still part of their lives).
  • rivalries between step siblings
  • time spent shuttling kids from one parent's house to another, weekends and holidays, etc.
  • step-children using their own manipulative tactics between parents.

I wouldn't be writing about this if I didn't have experience too. I'm in a second marriage, but not my second marriage- it is my husband's second. According to statistics, we're still likely to fail.

Responsibility to a first marriage (spouse and children) continues even after the marriage is dissolved. What is frustrating in the second marriage is the question about how the priority of responsibilities should be assigned. Does it lie with the first family or the second? Are there rules to this? These are real choices that must be made. Eventually lives will collide. Which children do you put first, and when?

Reality is second families often come in second place and a big part of why they are more likely to fail.

Besides basic counseling after divorce and parenting classes, nobody teaches a divorced person how to transition into another marriage and family or how to deal with balancing the two simultaneously.

Men are more likely to remarry much quicker after a first marriage according to statistics. The first family doesn't just go away though. It's as if the problems have just begun.

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In my situation of never being married, I was not prepared for the turbulence of past marriage and child issues. My husband and family are first in my world so of course it is natural to expect this gesture in return, but it's not reality in many cases.

It was honestly one of the toughest times in my life to navigate. While his first child is an adult now, I reflect on all the issues that nearly tore us, and our family, apart. Of course, we had extended family involved as well.

Many women leave a marriage with majority of responsibility for the kids so this leaves dad in limbo- not knowing where his responsibility lies. Usually it's whenever and wherever the ex spouse wants him to be, leaving an unhealthy balance between current family and first family priorities.

Sometimes my husband had to drop everything, including us (his current family) to tend to a crisis situation with his first family. Is this responsible and the right thing to do? Yes and no. Sometimes it's during a crisis within our current family and priorities are blurred.

Sometimes the ex wife made everything into a crisis, especially through the teen years with his first child. The boundaries were never clear. And how much of the first family do you have to sacrifice to make the second one work?

Many first marriages suffer because of financial arguments, but in second marriages there are usually additional financial obligations to the first family, such as child support, alimony, etc that take away from the second family's income.

My husband and I have two young children together, but for years he paid child support, additional money towards custody amendments, and flying his daughter halfway across the country to visit. This is only one example, but several other examples include giving grown children from the first marriage money for cars, college, and young adult living expenses. While this is not obligatory, it is a reality.


Family and Everyone Else

In a blended family situation, there are numerous extra family members; step-parents, step-grandparents, extra aunts and uncles, step-siblings- I'm going to stop there before I get dizzy! A second and/or subsequent marriage and family walk into this mess and as statistics show, walk right out.

There are dynamics in place as well as loyalty and history among relatives from the first families that haven't been established yet in the second family.

Somehow things get stirred up, like an aggravated bees nest, in the first family when one or both of the ex spouses get remarried. It seems that the first family suddenly requires more time and money.

For instance, in my situation, my husband and I had saved up for many years to finally buy our first house. Suddenly when the ex spouse found out, she demanded more money.

People tend to ride through their first marriage with a notion of 'if it works, it works and if it doesn't, it doesn't'. It's not until the second marriage comes around that they discover it actually takes work, but by then they are learning they have unresolved first family obligations. It's also in the second marriage they figure out they are still tied to the first marriage if kids and co-parenting are involved.

Some things to think about before or while being in a second marriage are:

The statistics.

Boundaries. Are there some in place already? What needs to be changed when one remarries? Can you communicate about boundaries? I know a woman who can't hold a steady boyfriend because they get frustrated that her ex (father of her two children) stops by to see their kids unannounced. That is an example of very poor boundaries.

Special needs. I was once told by a marriage counselor that a second or subsequent marriage is to be treated as a special needs relationship; extra communication, nurturing, etc. Also, step children will fall into the special/high needs category too. Dealing with divorce and feeling replaced by a new family brings up a lot more issues.


Secret to second family wedded bliss?

Some ingredients for a successful second marriage are:

  • No idealistic, Brady Bunch notions. Be realistic! Work out the details now!
  • Discuss the important stuff like finances and parenting plans/discipline decisions ahead of time.
  • Make sure communication of major issues is between adults, not involving the children
  • Decide on priorities. If you're just getting into a step family arrangement, decide whether you are a priority. Many situations involve one person's first marriage and another's second. Don't hope that having a baby in the second marriage will prioritize it.
  • seek a counselor with experience in these dynamics.
  • Reflect on what happened in the first marriage. Unresolved pain or anger can wreak havoc in a new marriage.

Suggested Reading

  • Marriage Contracts, Ultimatums, and Divorce
    How would you feel about a contract arranged after you were married? It doesn't seem to make much sense. You dated the person, got to know them, talked about the important stuff, agreed or compromised (right?), then got married. So why is a post


Takako Komori from Yokohama, Japan on October 28, 2018:

Very insightful advice and points. My mother grew up in a blended family. Her biological mother(my grandmother) passed away when she was 7 years old. My mother had one younger sister who was 3 years old at the time. Her father (my grandfather) remarried rather quickly, without determining whether his second wife was a fit partner. My grandfather and his second wife had two more children rather quickly and they became my mother and aunt`s half brother and sister. My grandfather`s second wife never really had a grasp of how to treat her step children (my mother and aunt) and the arrival of her own children made things more difficult. She consistently favored her own children over her step children, always buying clothes or other material possessions for her children only. My grandfather never really had a say on how his 4 children were being raised as he was always busy running his own business. His second wife also took control of the family finance and spent the money on her own excesses. That was extended to her biological children as well, such as hiring a nanny or a tutor. My mother and my aunt were considered baggage from the beginning and I imagine it was a stressor for my grandmother, as she had a drinking problem for a time.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on October 16, 2017:

Don't make yourself ill over this relationship. Sometimes making a drastic change is the best answer. and you know that something needs to change!

crazy for getting involved on September 21, 2017:

I am divorced and he is divorced... it is getting worse I don't demand anything and I don't ask for extra I work hard and still nothing is satisfying to him anymore. I feel sick sometimes. I'm calling it quits I know this is the reason why. I am better than this , and I know it. screw him

Nicole Austin on September 14, 2015:

Thank you for sharing this article. Second marriages can be scary, especially if they have step kids involved. Me and my husband are a blended family, we share open communication and we always put the kids number one and we have our date nights to keep our spark there as well :) It seems to be working for us! Oh, don't forget, counseling is the best option!

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on May 30, 2015:

Winon- well you almost had a pint but I have two friends who never had their own kids and both married guys with two kids each (from the first marriage). Their relationships still suffer.

I think it's undeniable that it's neither party's fault because nobody has prepared anyone for this type of relationship.

But you are right, it's a very sad situation all around and not easy to find a happy medium.

no name on May 24, 2015:

I hate my husband. He married me, but only wants what he had with his ex. he had two kids with her and would not even consider looking into having a child with me. he said he didn't want anymore children. he did things she wanted, but only says no to everything I ask him to do for me. He doesn't care what I want, it's always no, no, no.

Winon on May 18, 2015:

I have read most of the comments and what I see are two things.

1) Women who get involved with a man with children who say that they are open to it and accept those children until they have their own kids and now those children from the first marriage are a "problem"

2) Selfishness...from leaving a marriage, children to abdicating responsibility for those children for those that they see everyday. Out of touch out of mind. Very sad situation all around....

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on April 28, 2015:

Thanks for stopping by Cathy. There's more of a stigma in society against dads for being uninvolved or deadbeat dads (from the first marriage) and so that's why he (and other guys) can seem to prioritize the first kids and even the ex spouse.

The real overlooked issue is second marriages have a greater chance of failure and that marriage should then be prioritized. Although many might disagree with me there- two failed families is worse than one. Until this idea is acceptable second marriages will continue to suffer and of course it's very frustrating for us second spouses and families.

Cathy on April 25, 2015:

I know I am late to this but wow! You really alleviated a lot of doubt from my mind. My daughters father and I are not married, but we all live under one roof as the second family. And oftentimes I feel the absence of her and I being priority. He forgets to alert me of schedule changes but is on point with plans for his son and sons mother. I am falling apart as I can't seem to sort out how to tell him what it's like to sit in the shadows of a previous life that seems so very much alive and well. We are the failed marriage as far as I see it. We have no hope at this present and seeing how this may never end, I don't see any reason to believe we will ever marry or become a unique, and thriving unified home. At least statistically speaking I feel less like it's all me. As often as I express to him, he doesn't understand how lonely it is being home with our child while he's out saving his previous life.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on November 16, 2014:

To address some of the points made here in the comment section, a person does have a "right" to start a second family. For example a woman is being abused but moves onto a better husband and has children with him as well. There ARE deal breakers that end marriages. My husband's first marriage was with a bipolar woman- he didn't know this when he married her and it only got worse as it usually does. She cheated on him, left him with their only child. When she had additional issues, with herself and the child, she contacted us to smooth things over. Of course that's a big problem- men usually have less say in their kids lives and the women control that area so men are left to float in the wind and pick up pieces. While he may have created a child, he may not have controlled the way the child was raised which is a huge factor.

If you can seek marriage counseling, it is a life saver. It is having a third party neutral objective viewpoint involved. It saved my marriage. Even if you're not religious many churches offer discounted counseling.

Ashica on July 25, 2014:

I am glad you wrote this article. I am married to a man that has 4 children with his first wife. I was never married, but I have a child with an ex-partner. My issue is the ex-wife, she depends 100% on my my husband. My husband always makes excuses for her of why she depends on him. When she wants something, she makes sure she puts her self into a situation that involves their kids together, so he drops to her beckin call every time.

I am at my whitts end. I love him. He is great to my son. He is wonderful. When we have all the kids, they don't treat me as the step mom. They are all well mannered and behave like kids. You cannot even tell they could be my stepkids. My son blends in perfectly with them. Luckily, I do not have problems with his children.

However my issue is his first wife. She is still in love with him, and tries her best to come between us. But when she really wants something and knows she will get it by using his kids. As you said you guys saved to by a house. Well, she does the same thing to us, but always asks him how come you are more romantic with her than with me?

This is where we bump heads because I am blunt as well. I call him out on it, each time their is an excuse. When is enough, is enough? I married him, not him and her.

Like a few weeks ago, she took a drive with 2 out of the four kids at 1am to travel to a friends house. She calls blowing up our house phone, my husbands cell phone, my husbands parents house, trying to get him to come get her and her two kids to either ... she had the nerve to ask to stay at our house or for him to take her home. Luckily, he didn't do either of them, but she was able to go across the street to get a hotel room, and he paid for it. Then, the next day she asked him because of her car broke down, if she could use his suburban to use until she was able to have a car. Again, good thing is my husband said no. Or another situation, she went camping and she asked my husband at 10pm to come out to her camp site and party with her....

This is the crap I am going through. What do I do? I don't want to divorce him, but would marriage couselling help ? I confront the issue but I am looked at as the jealous wife.

SC on July 18, 2014:

For me, I have always understand my husband supporting his kids, but when it was family support (allowing ex, new husband, his kids and their new child to live in his home free after he moved in with me plus giving extra money) thus began the rub, especially while I naively allowed him to go rent free in my home-such the enabler I was!

The kids always got nice things like new Mac laptops while I got the Walmart special. We kept our finances separate after we married so we each took care of our own expenses, but somehow since he made more plus I didnt make him pay much in rent so he could pay off his past debts, I wasnt aware that almost all of his income was going to his ex wife's new family as family support. He shoveled money to her debit card without a second thought so as to not rock the boat with her. Once I found out what was going on, I was told it was none of my business and that I didnt understand. This has caused resentment over the years of which I should have just walked away. I have kids too, but I dont parent from guilt and spoil them silly. He has always felt my kids had a better life than his kids, but only because their father had an extremely high income that he cant even compare to what his kids should have. But he sure tried!

The oldest daughter at 23 hates me and the youngest at 20 does now too even though we have never really had any exchanges besides telling them I was disapointed that I had stumbled upon horrible tweets about me. They think their dad spends all his money on me which is absolutely not true (I buy my own cars, gas, clothes, salon visits, etc. It feels like they/bio mom try to destroy him financially with trips to ER he has to cover along with other medical/dental issues that have been a little out of the norm as compared to most families I know. The youngest is out of school now and dad is still paying many expenses while they have no respect for me. I will no longer go to visit his family and his kids are not welcome in our home. I feel like this is just over. I am 41 and feel like I need to eradicate this pain from all of our lives. I hate to make my husband choose but this just cant go on. I cant buy a house with him in good faith, knowing his kids will be like vultures if he dies first (I dont want to deal with attorneys to protect it all either as it is almost all my money anyway from before I met him). Its all so frustrating, I had no idea it would be this hard.

Jamie Van Denburg on July 14, 2014:

I am in a second marriage and have not had issues until his daughter moved in permanently. She makes no effort to be part of the family despite how we have attempted to include her. I also have a daughter and they are a year apart, both teenagers. My step daughter has said rude things about and to her. I feel as if she wants her dad to herself and the bigger the wedge the better. He sees it somewhat but still has his head buried because he expects it to get better over night. My daughter wants her to leave and I sort of feel the same way. My husband has said if it doesn't get better then him and his daughter will get their own place because the stress caused so much illness last year including pneumonia. I don't want him to go but I know they are a pair. I asked him when he agreed to the change in custody if he was aware of this possible outcome and he answered yes. I feel as if he sacrificed us for her.

Akbar on June 30, 2014:

You notice that there is a first family and etc. Point is everyone has the right to a first family. Anything beyond that is selfish. No one has the moral right to make a family and move on. Divorce is bull. You should know whom you are marring and wait to have children. Once this is done both partners should be sterile to ensure no half families.

Heather on June 23, 2014:

My thing is, a woman who is marrying a man with children from a previous marriage knows full well the situation she is getting herself into. It is ridiculous to me that any woman would go into a marriage thinking that she is the new number 1 and she should be the priority while the children should just get brushed aside because they are not 'relevant' anymore. It is not as if the man is tricking his new wife and hiding the fact he has children. When you have children, you are committing YOUR LIFE to taking care of them and putting their needs above even your own. So let me ask you this izettl, you say you have a child. If your child was in her/his teens and YOU were the one getting remarried, how would you feel if your new husband went into the marriage saying that your focus is now completely on him and your child needs to be put on the back burner in order for the marriage to work? Would you lower your child's needs for his? The children have no choice or say in remarriages, whereas the new wife has a choice to get involved with a single dad or not. I am 20 years old and my mother passed away when I was 12. My father remarried within a year afterwards and immediately my two older siblings and I were put on the back burner for her. My dad even said to me, "the wife always comes before the children". Now, 7 years later, my brother, sister, and I have little to no relationship with my father and he and my step mom have an awful relationship and are looking into separating. He is already living in the basement. From the very beginning, my step mother hated me and my siblings and my dog(a chocolate lab that my mom told my dad to get me after she died). My step mom has tried a few times to give my dog away, going as far as posting craigslist adds for a "free dog". She also convinced my dad to kick my brother out of the house. So, tell me, what gives her the right to be put at the top of the priority list while we fall to the bottom?? I believe the needs of the children should always come first.

ana on June 19, 2014: A second family needs to be put first. He needs to focus on his current family, if not, they will get divorced for what? His ex relationship? Im not saying to ignore his other children. If the mother allows him to see his childrwn, then good. But a talk is in order for the children as well, explaining to them that he loves all of his kids equally. But the current relationship needs to be PRIORITIZED. Otherwise it will fail.

Many ex wives from fist families seem to believe otherwise, but they need to accept that they will not continue to be first. If thats what they want, then make it work with him. Otherwise, get used to it.

someone on June 06, 2014:

The best thing you can do is to openly favor your own children over the extras.

taryn on May 27, 2014:

Lyn Stiles - scripture about your spouse being priority over your children is based on a first marriage. all bets are off when you're moving on to another spouse. Jesus even brought that up with the woman at the well- if you are a parent going into a marriage and had those children before that marriage, the new spouse in your life does not take the priority. your commitments prior to that marriage do. you enter into a new marriage with that full awareness that it's not just the TWO OF YOU. that's what remarriage with kids is. more than 2 people entering into a bond. you know?

lilian on May 26, 2014:

what i do not understand why is it that men/women who have troubled children due to the ex-spouse/divorce, keep deciding its okay to have more children????? Take care of that first children and make sure they are emotionally stable before deciding to go off and have even more kids which would put even more of a strain on the limited financial resources. Having more kids when your first children are in such an unsafe environment is extremely selfish decision since it adds to the pain of the first child seeing their siblings in such a safe environment while they are stuck in such a shitty situation. And if your too old by the time the situation is resolved to have more kids, tough luck. Some things in life, you only get one chance and you only have one shot to make sure that your kids grow up healthy, and if that means putting your life on hold untill their an adult, tough luck.

TarynH on May 26, 2014:

such an interesting post and great to hear from your perspective! my husband and i the kids of "first families' whose parents have moved on to 2nd and third families. my biggest question in the tension i see our stepparents having is if you wanted to be "first" along with your child/children, then why marry someone who had a family before you? if your current husband moved on one day to a 3rd marriage, would you want that new family to take presidence over the child you now have together? the toughest spot to be in every divorce is the child of it. spouses get to be spouses again but kids of divorce never get to have their parents again. i wish you well in your blended situation and hope that those reading this will take a long look at their willingness to walk away from a tough marriage for greener pastures. what appears easier is often just more hellish in many ways....

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on April 21, 2014:

Curly Sue

In my opinion, with all the divorced and/or blended families out there now, there should be some common knowledge on this, some guidelines, some better info out there for the general public. But there simply isn't. That's strange and sad to me.

In your situation, and mine, as time goes on things get more tangled, more complicated. It isn't fair. Society has the stigma out there about dead beat dads so they feel as though they must put the first child (ren) first, but usually the second children are younger and have more immediate needs, especially helping the new spouse with them while they are young. When this doesn't happen, it's obvious with the low statistic, the second marriages suffer.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing. My only advise, if you want it, is counseling. Counseling at a church is cheap and usually has nothing to do with religion. A mediator of some sort is best. I know the feeling of both my husband and his entire family against me sometimes and all I'm trying to do is give a voice to our two small children. I'm not against his first child at all.

Curly sue on April 13, 2014:

I met my husband several years after he had a child to his ex-girlfriend. Although I did carefully consider that I was entering a relationship not only with my now husband but also a young child, there was no way I could envisage experiencing the feelings and frustrations that would develop from this set up.

I have a brilliant relationship with my step son. I also realise that I do not want to step into the shoes of his mother, as he already has one and I try to actively engage him in conversations from his other home whilst he is with us so he feels comfortable talking about his two home environments. My husband and his ex do not get on and only talk to each other regarding their son. In many ways I feel that it would be much more beneficial for their son if they were to get on better as he is obviously aware of the animosity between the two of them.

But my problems lie with my husband. I very much feel that his priorities of family only come into play when his son from his previous relationship is with us. We have two young children of our own and I often feel that I am flying the flag alone for them. Matters which may seem trival to others really do grate on me and have left a scathing mark on our relationship. I feel that he mainly only prioritises family time when his son from his previous relationship is with us. He will take time off work to be with us then but will work seven days a week when it is just me and our kids. He will only consider going on holiday when he has his son, causes financial implications as we have to go during school holidays which is much more expensive. We have just had this discussion as he has suggested going away this weekend, and when I explained that he had only suggested this as we have his son for an extended period as it is the Easter break and he would never have considered this at a time when it only involved our two children he was not happy.

Now whilst I agree that it is very important that we do things as a whole family, and of course he is always going to think of his son, it does very much feel like my and our two children's lives are dictated by his access requirements. This has left me feeling very resentful towards my husband, (I do not blame my step son in anyway), and that our two children are on the back burner as a result. I understand that it must be very difficult for him to incorporate everyone's needs but it does not seem fair to me. He will criticise our children much more, and often states that he does not want his time with his son to be negative so often let's things pass by regarding his behaviour or areas which could do with some improvement. When I try to discuss issues with him he makes me feel like I am the one with the problem, implying these relate to my step son which it does not. I have just ended up feeling that there is a complete lack of equality in our family.z

I do not have any answers as to how incorporating such an important part of someone's past life into their new one can run smoothly, I'm sure there are lots of examples out there. After four years of marriage and two children of our own things seem to be getting worse rather than better!

Lyn Stiles on March 27, 2014:

Hard when ex wife gets to manipulate the children and husband believes in showing love by materialism. I say undivided kingdom is not healthy for any second marriages. The stepmom gets to be the bad person at all times when all I want is peace, harmony and respect with both sides of the family. Having to raised your children in materialism are not good at all. No children are perfect but these are no win win games. I still believe in: When you look at the Bible as a whole, you will find that the order of priority is this:

1. God - God comes first before all else. We cannot be whole human beings without Him.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

2. Spouse - Your spouse comes second only to God, as you are one flesh and each half of the whole. However, neither can be whole without God.

As the scripture says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.” Ephesians 5:31

3. Children - Your children come third. They are a big part of your family, and are the fruit of your marriage. Nothing else comes before your children, except your spouse and God.

4. Everything else - Everything else, including school and your job take a back seat to your family and God.

While there is no one scripture that outlines this priority list, it can be found when you study all of scripture. Each element is mentioned in some fashion in some scripture, either Old Testament or New Testament. Some of these passages have been posted already.

Thank you so much whoever posted this in the website

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on March 13, 2014:

Good husband,

Well said. You can't expect it to ever be the same relationship for everyone- it will differ. It's like putting two people together no matter what. Some will just get along, others will not. The step daughter has two lives while the other kids (the second one) will just have one.

Mean mama on March 05, 2014:

Good husband, I dont know if you still check in with this site but wanted to say a few words. As a 1st time wife and mother with my husband who has a 7yr old son from an old relationship, I can tell you that you should have a relationship with your daughter outside of your marital home. Your wife married YOU not this other child and you can't expect her to love or even like your child let alone be forced

to put up with your ex. I'm not being

harsh I'm being real! All these men who remarry seem to EXPECT happy families uniting children from a previous relationship with new wives and babies. You can have both relationships- but separately. Both families don't have to be connected and speaking from years of hellish experience......your 2nd wife and child should come 1st as your teenage daughter has an established and settled life without you being there full time. Please trust me if you want a happy wife and marriage!!

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on February 17, 2014:

The point of this article is to bring a voice to what's going on behind closed doors. Every situation is different. I'm not some scheming woman who took someone's husband. My husband was divorced 7 yrs before we met. His WIFE left him. Could care less about him until he gets remarried and starts another family. I think you might have taken an extra large bite of bitter. This is not about mistresses like your husband's younger affair. This is not about second women, its about when one family ends and another begins but has to be balanced somehow with the first family. I wrote this article so that some women might know what they're getting into.

diane on February 15, 2014:

I left my home country to be with my husband.23yrs later i found myself so broke i couldn't afford to even visit.all this while he jets around visiting a 32yr younger(!)b**** from dom. rep.we have an 18yr old teenager who he wants to lure into working in his uncles seedy bar,sun,sea,whatever(he's greek).and a who's early 20's with pronounced adhd who finds many aspects of life challenging.he's made sure he's shuffled his money away and now the jist of the matter...I DO NOT FEEL SORRY FOR ANY SECOND WIFE ON THIS PLANET-YOU KNEW WHAT YOU WERE GETTING INTO

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on February 05, 2014:

Thanks Nicole.


There really isn't any competition. 30 yr olds have an adult life and can provide for themselves while minor kids can't fend for themselves in the least.


I totally agree. Some things that have been added to my own story since writing this now make me thankful I stood up for my own children's welfare. It sometimes goes against society's rules to be accepting no matter what or the family's expectations, but we have to follow our gut in this. As in my case the damage has been done to my teen step daughter and not even by my husband or I so I am not willing to sacrifice my young children to hope to save my step daughter. It's a tough choice that nobody unless faced with it would understand.


Thanks for stopping by. Your story is frustrating to you for I'm sure. There isn't an easy solution. You have to realize a newborn takes up so much time and nearly all resources. But you can share special times (quantity vs. quality in this case) with your 13 yr old. Often times the dad isn't there raising the first children so this makes a new wife and mom nervous and upset. In my case I didn't trust my step daughter because my husband had only seen her yearly since she was a baby so neither of us truly new her. Your wife is trying to set boundaries and while they may never have a relationship, you can still have one with your 13 yr old. Establish a set time and/or days that you can have time with your 13 yr old. Try not always doing something that costs money, but it just sounds like your wife is agitated that you haven't set boundaries.

GoodHusband347 on January 27, 2014:

As a man and husband it is wonderful i found this site. I am the father of a 13 year old and my wife and me are going through the same problems you guys speak of. Her mother is the main problem and my wife can't take it anymore. I would never want to break my marriage but my wife keeps going off on me that i don't discipline my daughter enough and that they used me only. I keep telling my wife that she is my priority but i just want to keep a relationship with my daughter. Now i have a newborn baby girl with my wife and i am in love with her. It breaks my heart seeing them all not getting along. I will keep fighting for our union and my daughter well being but it is very hard being in the middle.

Fan on January 10, 2014:

Someone, what can I say about your comments? For the same reason as the author,I forbidden my husband's previous daughters to see my child, therefore, they are not allowed to step into my house. It is a tough journey, constant fights due to my husband being a guilt parent and can't say no to them.

I'm proud to say that my goal is to keep them away from my family as much as possible. Their mother cheated and left my husband, why should I and my child get punished for that.

Ex family and former kids, stay away from other people's bright future please.

smag4 on December 16, 2013:

My husband has 2 adult children from his first marriage. We have 2 young children together. His adult children were spoiled like crazy until we got married and had our young children. We can no longer afford to give money constantly to these adults who are in their 30's because we are trying to provide for our 2 children who are under 6 years old. His adult children are very angry that they have to "compete" (their words) with these little kids and expect these young children to do with out so they can continue to suck money from their dad until he has none. Yet they see nothing wrong with how they act.

Nicole Nguyen on December 07, 2013:

Izzettl- thank you for taking your time sharing your life experience with us. Please excuse those hatred in this world. They have their points, but fear to mention their identity and of course it was just a tiny bark.

Izzettl, it is hard to be a good person or being someone "step" when you are almost have a life to live and mouth to feed. I totally understand your path and at least knowing that I am not the only one walking on that tough yellow brick road. There will be Sun tomorrow, won't it ?!

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on November 19, 2013:


Is your husband resentful toward you about the situation? I know mine would sometimes get moody toward me when things didn't work out for us to have his daughter visit. The first wife often retaliates in some way. We never heard from her unless something was going wrong so that may come up in your situation as well. Give her time to cool down and focus on what you have now. It's the worst feeling to try and control the situation and often you have no control anyway when it comes to the mom and the kids versus the dad. I don't think you're being selfish and I don't think you or your husband should beat yourselves up. I remember my mom playing games with me during the divorce with my dad. Seeing that selfishness should help you realize the mom is being selfish. Kids should have some contact with dad. Moms are usually the ones in control of this and hopefully when the time comes the kids understand this. Hopefully you get to see them soon too.

Bigheart28 on November 14, 2013:

sorry my comp entered it before i can finish, well my kids have grown and its been over a year and a half and we still have not seen my step kids, (The first wife) has packed up and moved away and we cannot find them anywhere no matter how much we looked, and my husband yes we are married now, still sends her child support. I dont agree with it since we dont see the kids and have no contact at all, am i being selfish now? I never wanted it this way, i always wanted his kids to be in our life and grow up with our kids.

Bigheart28 on November 14, 2013:

well its been 13 months since ive been on here, We are now married our girls have grown big

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on November 12, 2013:


I'm not seeing any statistics supporting what you're saying. All stats I'm looking up, including (which is usually current) on topics, all state second and third marriages have a higher rate. I bet step children involved in a second marriage trumps the "age" factor...easily.

I think what you may find is a range, if you're lucky, from study to study and generation to generation.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on November 12, 2013:


Do your sources account for second marriages with children. Yes, my hub was written 4 yrs ago but I'm still looking up statistics and second marriages face more challenges than first...still. The situations have not changed. The step children have not gone away, the replacement notion of the first partner hasn't gone away, the disagreements over discipline and prioritizing of step children and spouse have not gone away, financial issues of child support has not gone matter if it's 4 yrs ago or 20. None of these factors have changed and yet you state the data has. Well we both know you can find a study to support anything you want. I just happen to represent this side.

These are all still problems second marriages face. If you factor out things specifically like age, then the study is based on one variable rather than the multiple that second marriages face. No matter how old you are, you're not immune to tough realities of marriage itself. The stats I looked up consider for children and step children being involved. I didn't see any of that in your comment.

While I appreciate your detailed comment, "academia" is a bubble. been there, done that. It's not real.

Violet on November 05, 2013:

In searching for links to provide for you to consider I realize this "second marriage" myth has only been recently debunked through more specific and thorough research so it's understandable if you hadn't realized that that the general consensus had changed. I recently graduated with a sociology degree and took a course in family law where this lower rate of failure in second marriages was discussed thoroughly so I assumed the information had been widely available for a while. The previous research into second marriage divorce rates didn't account for things like age and other factors. These and many other modern studies have shown that age is one of the greatest signifiers of a successful marriage... so because age is widely considered the best predictor of marital success certain controls need to be in place to ensure non-bias. The studies done by The Marriage Foundation actually show that when making the playing field even in regards to age and religion only 31% of second marriages end in divorce, while 45% of first marriages do. One reason for this is that second marriages tend to happen later in life, which is again another indicator of marriage success. So yes, there have been a lot of articles written in regards to this 75% failure rate every modern study that has been meticulous in controlling the variables have shown the exact opposite. Just some food for thought... it obviously in no way diminishes your experiences or your thought provoking insights. Just sheds light on the current understanding of second marriages in academia.

Violet. on November 05, 2013:

Hmm... While I think your article is an interesting insight into certain dynamics of a second marriage the vast majority of data available, (at least in the US)... shows that second marriages have a very small rate of divorce... around 33%... nearly the polar opposite of what is stated in this hub article. Maybe you read your information wrong? --- sincere question... not meant to be rude or rhetorical. :)

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on October 18, 2013:


I think you bring up some great points. Our American culture accepts children hating their step parents and that puts a burden on things in the family. At the same time there is such a negative impact on dads in society as "deadbeat dads" if they don't do everything their child (form another marriage) wants. There aren't many resources or info to help people realize what it takes to have a step family.

Thanks for stopping by and adding your comments.

ah on October 17, 2013:

sorry for my English I am not native speaker,and to add before I come to face with step thing I was really led back easy going and good

wot I am saying there are double standarts as a step kid UR ALLOWED to hate a step parent society show embathy for the poor kid ''he /she lost his parents that's why behaves bad and mind usually they treat him or her like gifts spoling .while the new wife has trashing from the ex wife intruding in every level a husband who take sides, in laws and yet she has ''TO LOVE THEM''she is the adultafter all, bull shit ,I have a friend she is 31 and she still hates her steps to the bone,and to be honest the step dad is nice!!!he gives her a lot of money!n she still wants to get rid of him so... it has not always to do with age feelings are mutualbetween skids n sparents 90% of times.bleh and wot I don't get people try to work on their broken marriage after divorce how crazy is that?i have seeing many ex wifes to do the best after they divorce, and gulty dads running for the kids more than when they were married and try please the ex duh??? and trying counseling and have good communication with the ex WTF??

better if they would have put all that energy before get a divorce THAT WOULD BE A HUGE FAVOUR TO the society .

ah on October 17, 2013:

well I would say stay away from men with kids..unless if ur purpose is to adopt and with the child u get a husband...honestly those situations are for people who have no back bone u know the servant tipe of wife, or its for people who really are working in the unicef or so...personaly I stay as far as possible than any ex factor including skids. I am amazed than not even one is blaming the exes for causing this to their own offsprings,and all the blame is on the second wife for her behavior!hell no call me selfish

but no!my mental health comes above any ones elses health despite their age! I don't take any responsibility to clean up the mess of a woman who spread her legs and put her own kids through this and then put me through hell.society has double standarts always the poor kids, I don't give a rats ass, and if those step kids complain, the first who should blame is their wh..e mother(that only in case she cheat),but yaa no the evil step mom is the bad guy while if their mother had brains they would be safe for us evil step moms,i am expecting a baby I would never divorce from my hub unless he cheats or he is threat,so as I can protect my own child that's my responsibility!i feel sorry for the second wifes and after that for the kids cause they are victims of those wicked bio mothers who happen to spread their legs on May 10, 2013:

why do you think second marriages fail? step moms give and give from day 1 ONLY to be snobbed by step kids exes and ex inlaws. No credit no pay off and cant even have kids of her own with husband/boyfriend cause ex and first kids ruiened all the thoughts and ALL FAMILY first for her and him! Used him up and spit him out for second wife to clean up and pay for the baggage! and wreaked dreams of a intact family. crumbs of left overs and scraps from any womans real family dreams. ex always on front door step and never a week without reminders without former kids and ex in your face in your home living space!

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on April 30, 2013:


I also mentioned he did stay for a couple of years and finally gave up after trying to see his daughter and she wouldn't let him at all. Call B.S If you like- He then lost his job and moved back in with his mom back on the west coast where we reside. Yes, he had a choice to live on the street and hope to see his daughter or get his life back on track, which he did. His ex had bipolar so it was not even possible, and still extremely difficult to co parent. We live in a perfectionist society that puts down people who don't do the right thing in their eyes or less than perfect outcomes are always our own fault but I call B.S on your self righteous attitude. How does someone remain a part of their child's life when she does not let all. I wanted to write on this topic more than give a full detailed explanation so perhaps your "judgment" changed once you knew a little more. There is a lot more to the story...

Okayed on April 28, 2013:

Stumbled upon this article today. I noticed that two years ago you wrote the following when referring to your husband's ex-wife:

"She kicked him out and cheated on him so he didn't have much choice about leaving his first child."

I don't know their story but I have to call BS on this based on what you wrote. Your husband had a choice. He had a choice to not leave the house and he certainly had a choice to not leave his daughter behind in another State. That's abandonment.

My wife cheated on me so I know the trouble that brings. And I am in her country far away from home. Leaving your child ... that's just wrong. Especially leaving her in the care of the cheating spouse. It's a double whammy for that poor girl. He should've stayed there and remained a real part of his daughter's life. Sorry for the judgement, but you don't shun your responsibility as a father just because your wife chose to cheat on you.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on April 27, 2013:


I am sure they are not the single reason, but I know two people right now having issues in their marriage due to their spouse's kid... and one is an adult child living at their house. So yes they can be a big aspect of issues. Sad, but true.

Chyna on April 16, 2013:

Can step children be the reason why the family unit is broken?

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on April 05, 2013:


this will obviously be a strained relationship. All relationships run into the same issues over time such as money and then a second or blended family has that extra strain on it. As you have pointed out there will already be stresses with him having issues with law/dui and then he has no permanent job so there are already obvious stressors. He has not run out on his kid so thats positive. When I married my husband we did not have an ideal situation but we've made it work. However, it really depends on you two as people- how much work you want to put in, etc.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on April 05, 2013:

sail realtvy,

if your child wants a relationship, I would do plenty of rocking the boat, not to cause drama but to be the voice of your child. It's tough on both first and second wives. Many of the cases on here portray the second wives opinions and in those cases you will see that first wives can certaily cause drama- if thats not you then it wouldnt apply to you. My husband's first wife did not let him be around their daughter until she started having problems with their child then we have to come to the rescue all the time.

unsure on March 25, 2013:

I was really glad to come across your post. I am currently in a situation that I feel unsure about... I am 28, dating a man for almost 3 years now, and I'm just not sure if I can take this all on. He was just getting divorced when I met him and he convinced me that he was ready to pursue a relationship with me. I didn't listen to my gut (or my brain) and I just really felt a connection with him. He's kind, caring, intelligent, and it sure seems that he loves and accepts me for who I am (flaws and all). He's terribly broke and getting a 2nd DUI last year really ruined the strides ahead he was making... he's learned so much since then and has been on a good path. He is a licensed teacher but no stable/permantnet job with benefits... just subbing, almost everyday, with less pay and no benefits. I should say that he's in grad school, too, but I'm worried about his record affecting him (he lost a job last year in a school district because of it). Well, I should also mention that he has a 7 year old daughter that he literally has 50% (sometimes more) of the time. There's no child support, but raising/supporting a child and paying for after-school care costs money!!! We used to go out and do more stuff but it's only gone downhill lately due to the money situation... haven't even gone on a vacation together yet. The ex lives only minutes away and plans change all the time...or she forgot something at one of her houses... or she misses mommy or daddy, so she is going to spend the day/night there instead. It has been a roller coaster ride so far! His daughter seems quite well-adjusted now but still, it's hard for me to feel like the "other woman." We did live together due to some unforeseen circumstances but now we live apart. I just don't feel as comfortable with all of this- and the thing is, he knows it! I am finishing up grad school and trying to get my career going, so marriage and family is not my #1 priority. All I ever hear is that his daughter "doesn't need another mom" which I completely get, but still, won't I be playing a role in her life, and have some sort of responsibility for her, if she is spending 50% or more of her time at "our" house in the future...? I know about stepfamilies all too well. My mom and dad divorced when I was almost 3, leaving my mom with full custody of my sister and I. My mom then met a new man when I was 5 and he moved and became my stepdad when I was 7 or 8 years old. Along with that came 2 older stepsisters and then my mom and stepdad had a baby. Wow! I went from being the oldest to suddenly being the middle child of 5 girls! My birth father nearly disappeared from my life, so my stepdad did become my "dad" - we called him that and treated him as such. But I get that this would not be the case. Well, also I should mention, that I grew up seeing my mom and stepdad CONSTANTLY FIGHTING about $$$ or my kids versus your kids (but never about "our kid"). It was awful and quite traumatic. It makes me have such ill feelings about relationships, marriage and having/raising children! I know many of you may shudder when I say this but if you knew what I went through, you may start to understand. My mom and stepdad are now divorced, hence my mom's second marriage failed. I know I'm not my mom and this is a different situation, but still... rather hard to not be stuck in the past when a stepfamily could potentially become a part of your everyday life again. And yes, I've seen therapists and continue to seek counseling to address these underlying issues I have. It's just tough when you love someone but you just don't know if it's "right." I feel like a terrible person (or that people would treat me like I am a terrible human being) if I say that I can't be with a man that is divorced with a child. As mentioned, I'm still unsure about having kids myself- both as a personal desire as well as if I can physically have children? I have my own baggage and issues too, obviously, so then I think maybe I am supposed to take this on... since I have some experience with it and it may be hard for anyone else to love and accept me for who I am. But yet, I'm still not sure... thanks for letting me vent & thanks for posting!!

Sail Realvty on March 25, 2013:

I stopped reading when I realized all of these posts are from second families getting second billing. I am first wife and have his only child. He has allowed her whining, pouri g and all on all bad behavior to all but allow the relationship to disappear between he and his daughter. It's easier to not rock the boat.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on March 25, 2013:

RavenBiker~ It's my first marriage, my husband's second. And actually I commend him for getting out of his first- she cheated on him, had drug addicitons, and bi polar.

Thanks for your comment and being honest and passionate yourself. I would see no point in getting married again if I divorced from my first husband. I wasn't sold on marriage anyway to begin with. And yes it was when I decided I would like kids that I thought marriage would be a good idea. My daughter, now 5, loves to look at photos of our wedding (it was a very inexpensive informal one) and think it's very special that we are maried when so many of her friends parents are not- I believe it is a sacred institution and my husband and I try and protect it. The issues arise many times because his ex wife has a mental illness. I would hope my daughter doesn't have anything to "see through". I truly love my husband and him, me. Our life is mostly drama free except the one time a year when his ex starts things- not sure why, but it's like clockwork. I think some don't like seeing some happy. Marriage wasnt about a license more than a promise and my husband, being ex military loves institutions of honor, such as the military and marriage. It meant so much to him that I bent my attitude about marriage in favor of him.

RavenBiker from Pittsburgh, PA. on March 25, 2013:

izettl, I have a lot of empathy for both you and your readers who tell of what seems to be insurmountable difficulty. Only empathy because I've never been married or had children of my own. What I know, I freely without prejudice see other people go through.

My question is: why get married a second and successive times in the first place? I wrote a series of Hubs about marriage and, quite frankly, marriage in America today makes no sense at all...for most people. I'm just pondering if successive marriages (let alone first marriages) are better off without the marriage license? ----and please don't say for the sake of kids. Kids are pretty smart and they too can see through that too.

Thanks for the Hub. It was impassioned, real, honest and to the point.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on March 24, 2013:

sfchick~ If I had another person in my kids life that my ex was marrying hell yes I'd want to know who that person is. It's strange she doesnt want to meet you! I have a step daughter and I wanted to meet and talk with her mom just to know who raised her most of her life and where my husband's daughter is coming from.

I am sad for your situation too, but if you would like kids it would be best to leave- we run into complications in life I believe because we're not on the right path. I left someone who didnt want kids even though I was unsure, but I didnt want to say no- we were engaged too. But I had no idea of the difficulties involved in being with someone with an ex and kids- it's tough no matter what because somehow not only are the kids' problems your, but the ex's problems are too. It's like they are also the kids that need taking care of after the divorce.

Nick~ I agree with some of your message about a lot of hard work and more! My situation right now has turned into my husband's first daughter has become aggressive and social worker doesn't want her in home with small kids (we have two kids 5 and under together). So my husband has to do everything to make his ex happy because other than foster care that is his daughter's only other option besides mom- we are no longer an option. And I agree it takes men forever to heal- my husband still gets so mad at his ex he can't talk to her more than a minute. I often act as mediator.

I don't agree about everything being perfect before dating because thats not reality. For almost 2 years that I dated my husband he had visited his daughter a few states away where she lives only a couple of times- his ex rarely let him see their daughter. He said there was no chance he'd ever get custody...and two months after we married the ex wife has a mental break down and suddenly we have an 8 yr old girl in which my husband was never allowed to be around much since she was 6months old. So perfect usually occurs right before the storm. I also thought I'd avoid drama if the ex and his kid lived a few states away- wrong about that too!

Nick on March 03, 2013:

This is an awesome article. Indeed, if two people trying to build a second /third marriage want to be successful, they both have to contribute an enormous amount of attention and compromise.

I am writing this message for sfchick. I believe you were a smart woman, and made the right choice for yourself!

I have been the third wife of a man with two boys, for 9 years. I have had no children prior to this marriage, and we have a daughter together.

My life prior to this relationship was focused on building a career. He came into my life with a lot of emotional baggage, very early after his separation from his prior wife. I dated him a little bit and started to be concerned due to a couple of negative signs. I have no other family around me and very few friends. I had to go to Europe for a few weeks, and asked him to take care of my house and pets during my leave. When I returned, he was moved in my house with his two kids. I ended up living with him and raising him and his two boys for 9 years. I have had a much larger income than him during this time. Life was not easy for me these 9 years. He didn't treat me well and fair. He also brought me to financial disaster. We are now separated, and when he left he told his boys by himself and took them out of my life the way he brought them in. I feel like I was the slave of 3 lazy men. I worked, cooked, cleaned, bought them everything, paid for vacations. I even cut the grass more than him. I tried all my best. But, for the prior 3 years or so, I also gave up and didn't pay much attention to him, as he was not paying attention to me, and silently controlling me.

Taking onto a second, third marriage requires a lot of commitment, a lot of emotional investment, and strength of mind. In addition, I believe no one should jump into another relationship until they are completely healed, which is not generally the case for men, they need someone to give them roots and take care of them.

I would not try this, unless I have dated the guy for at least 2 years and all went perfect. Once you see signs which you dislike and make you worry and feel uncomfortable with several aspects of the package such as dealing with his kids, division of attention and commitment between the new family unit and the past one, he becomes less and less attentive and more and more comfortable in the new situation, please get out of it, it will not get better, it will get worse. And no one is perfect... Find a better match, the world is full of people.

sfchick on March 01, 2013:

You have no idea what a blessing this article is. I was going to (until today) marrying someone with two kids. It would be our second marriage for both. I don't have children and he has two. Two lazy boys, who play video games, and don't talk. He also has an exwife, who follows every dime he makes...and the way their divorce works, is, whoever makes more per quarter , has to pay the other one. Well, somehow she never quite makes more, and the more he makes, the more she makes but sitting back and cleaning toilets, and doing under the table cupcake baking.

That being said, I'm expected to go into a marriage, buy half of a house, in a City that I hate, that is double the size, (because of his kids) (If it were the two of us, we could afford something smaller, and more affordable) , and watch him sit back and put these kids through college.? Child support, spousal support, college, and possibly having them in the house until they are 30?

How much love does a person need to have for someone to take this on? We've been together for 2 years...and his ex wife, won't even acknowledge me. I have attempted to introduce myself, but she hides, gets on the phone, goes to the other side of the auditorium if it's a school event, and is fearful of God knows what. I would HOPE if I had kids, and were divorced, I would have the balls to meet the new person, who is spending 50% of their time with my kids.

That is another thing...ex wives....yeah, big deal. You got married, you had a few kids....and now you have your hand out. What about those of us, who chose careers, and no kids? You see us a a money machine...

If we had our own child together, it would be different. We don't, and frankly he is so sick of paying for his other two kids, he doesn't want anymore, and unless he gets a reversal, cannot anyway.

So, I'm REALLY sad, and pissed off that I lost and am leaving the man I love because he has these two kids and an ex. It ruins a LOT of things for a lot of people....

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on February 15, 2013:

Carol~ Mabye you've never had to choose or he has never had to choose. The tricky aspect of second marriages with kids is when somebody (one of hte parents) need to make a choice...and it happens. Some people have young kids and older ones and they have various needs. In my case, I have two little ones with my husband and he has one teen form first marriage. At one time he had to make a tough choice- his daughter wanted to be with us to live full time but she had issues and was deemed by the state to not be fit for our home, as a danger to the younger children. It was ultimately his choice and it has been tough.

You seem to be referring to his first marriage and why or why not he should not have been with her. THat's not really the issue- if you don't have ex issues then consider yourself lucky. If you aren't number one, it leaves some room for error in his judgment or even yours. Kids need a stable relationship so the relationship should be number one and in turn benefits the kids.

Carol on February 12, 2013:

Hello I am Carol I have a.daughter I am fixing to enter my first marriage the man I am marrying is amazing to mr anyways but this isn't his 1st marriage this is his2nd. He has a son as well. So basically your saying being married a second time isn't all so great even if they have kids. I mean who knows maybe he thought hey she is the one for me than over the years realized it's not what he expected or he wasn't truly in love with her like he thought he was. He and I seem to maintain both baby daddy and baby mommy. I mean just cause I am number two doesn't mean that it's going to lead to diaster. He realized who he should of married the first time aka me but hey sometimes first marriages are meant to be sometimes they are. But already as a mother I have no issue have step child I will just treat him like if he were my own plus baby mommy is moving to new York. I know this guy wants me or he wouldn't b with me everyday. But I did read messages in his phone from his email and he asked her to get Yahoo so they could start talking like they use too kinda leaves me wondering ok why go wondering to your past why would you wanna talk to your past unless if it's regarding the kids I mean hello am the future but I came to realize he is here with me that's better than not being here I guess

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on January 14, 2013:


Experts in family therapy and psychology will all say that a couple should come first- you two will be married soon so this is true for you. If you have children with him, this is even more true. Does he have prior obligations to his first child? Yes. If you require time and your relationship requires effort as well then you are an equal obligation. Many of these men do not know how to juggle and there's no resources available for them either. a marriage will fail if it is not the priority. You should be of equal importance. Here's why: in your situation it seems he is not respecting what you have to say about his child- he is keepng you out of a very big part of his life. If you two have children together you need to know where you will be on his list. Because I said before a relationship needs to be first before kids (even your kids) or it all falls apart. Problem is a man is looked down upon for putting a woman before his first child. It's not a matter of who is first really, it's whether you are respected in the relationship and he devotes time and effort to you as well as the child. He is not with the child's mother so there will always be a part of him absent- he needs to know he can't make up for that by putting himself on call for the child or the child's mother's every whim. As a soon-to-be step mom, you will have to work on an agreement. You need to know how he prioritizes in his life so that if you two have kids they will be as much a priority as the first child. Society tends to look at it like the first kid is always first. Shouldn't be that way. If you two have a child, he will need to be there for support because a baby needs the parents even more than a 7 yr old. Babies take a lot of effort....from both parents. So you better get an agreement between you two about what it will be like if you two have kids. You will not likely get support for wanting to be on his list of priorities. I've experienced people, even in our fmaily, saying that I'm selfish for (the most recent of my situations) sending the step daughter back to her mom early this last summer because she is cutting herself and my baby got a hold of one of her razors (it was in his play area). I just looked at it as safety first. But you need to realize what you are walking into. My step daughter is 14 yrs older than my youngest and 9 yrs older than my oldest so her needs are different and as she's become a teen (which you may go through with the first child) she has been causing problems, which suddenly when anything comes up, the mother just goes to my husband to do something. This enables the mom to not "deal" with anything with the child, placing the pressure on my husband (even though he was not the one to end their relationship in the first place). So you need to watch for any of those types of signs right now...does the mom call every time there is a problem?

It will not pass. Kids have different needs at different ages. And the situation always changes too- such as if you two have kids. if you feel you're not worth much, tell him and see how he responds. If he only responds with I love you, well that doesn't solve anything or make a relationship work. It doesn't need to be a confrontation, just a plan Before you are married.


Thanks for your support and coment. Very true.

Tiff on January 14, 2013:

Hi, I read this article in search of some form of self soothing. My Fiance who has a child from his previous marriage and I are to be married in 5 mo's. Well, we were watching the movie "Friends w/ Kids" last night and it posed the question in my head "Will the kid always come before the spouse b/c she came first"? So I asked my fiance and all he had to say was "I love you." Him being the shy type, I knew exactly what that meant. I was like are you for real. He said well what do you want me to say? (did not tell him this part ) but I personally would have thought maybe he would have said that his daughter (7yrs of age) and I were equally important to him and were his whole world. Don't get me wrong I do love his daughter like she was my own, but most of the time I feel that he sides w/ his ex-wife and daughter when he doesn't say a word (only cause I know he hates confrontation) when the ex dyes his daughters hair red or doesn't take her to school or is teaching her to lie. I just feel like him and I are not on the same team alot of times cause I'm always the one to say something or have to deal w/ the school. I feel i'm not worth as much to him sometimes. Is this normal ya think? I hope so. And I hope it passes. Sorry for ranting, but do need advise.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 10, 2013:

You have done a great job on this topic and is so true, but marriages first or second can be complicated at times, but even more when there are kids involved in second marriages.

kellywwalker on January 01, 2013:

My husband and I have been married for a month. We have been together for 2 years. I have 3 children. Two grown and doesnt live iwth us. the other 16. When we met, I was ging through a very dangerous divorce where my eldest son came in between my ex from trying to beat me. He not only had seen what I had endured in my first 21 years of marriage but also endured some himself. So I was having to deal with many court cases to deal with this. My new husband gladly was there for me. He has a son of his own whom I was told was a surprise that neither wanted children . He is 14 and has the mentallity of a 10 year old. Any way, where I am going with this is that I am totally left out of the dark when it comes to his son. I know nothing that goes on in his life unless I am needed to take him to the doctor. With this being said he lives with his mom. My children have a no contact order with their father so he is not in the picture at all. When we first bought a home together his ex would call him or text him about how to do stupid things, like how to clean the pool, or yes, even make a house payment. Her new husband lived with her!!! HELLO!! Then when his son is at our house, he gets away with murder. My children have to do everything. If they leave a light on they get fussed at but not his son. I even gat an email from his ex after our wedding warning me not to do anything with him she wouldnt do. OK rules at my house are just that. But my husband would not stand up for me on that. He just lets her do it. If I fuss at their son for something, hes immediately on the phone with his mom like I did something wrong. Nothing is said to him. My husband feels as he should know EVERYTHING that is going on in my boys lives but I shouldnt know anything that goes on with his. Its none of my business if his ex calls him or what they talk about....Really? What through me over the edge was New Years midnight when we should be kissing each other as newlyweds he was busy texting his son. I am 2nd place to him and dont feel as if I should be. We are to be partners and equal in everything not just what he wants me to know.

If anyone has any advice please let me know...I just need a friend.


Dee on December 07, 2012:

I was never married and married a man with 3 kids who was divorced way before we met. He was military & married young. Anyways, I think time is the key. He had time to deal with his divorce and the kids had time to adjust before I was in the picture. I have been in their lives now for 6 years and they are all teens. We have had time to grow together as a family and I truly love them so much. We get along well. But my husband and I are now looking to start a family together and I am concerned that they may feel hurt as I know they felt that way when their mother got pregnant and married her current husband. I love his kids and dont want them to feel they are being replaced. Due to our limited time with them-every other weekends and split vacation time....we dont have an opportunity to parent. We are just so happy when we get them and just get reaquainted with them every visit and its sad to see them leave. I want a family and sadly, we feel empty at home without them. I just hope that when we do, they will feel a part of it and want to be a part of their siblings life. The point I am trying to make is sometimes, just have to give it time. I am glad I had the time to get to know the kids and grow our has helped our family be happy together.

ER on November 21, 2012:

I am in a second marriage, but what I find awkward is that my hubby takes care of his x's kaidsof anot her man I get upset but he sees this as selfish

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on November 18, 2012:

Ritzi~ If it is the other family members who are giving the party and your step daughter has no involvement, I would ask them how you can help. If they say they want no help then do something a little extra special for your step daughter to show how special she is and maybe mention how you would have liked to be involved in more of the marriage preparations. Ask her if you can help with any of her plans. Be honest and say 'I'm not sure I know where to fit in here so if I can do anything let me know'. If nobody takes you up on it, like I said do something special for her in some way. Best of luck...

Ritzi on November 18, 2012:

I would like to get anyone and everyone's advice please? I am in my second marriage, and my husband's daughter is getting married next month. Today was her wedding shower/pamper party. I know I am the "step mom" but: I was not informed about anything about this shower except the date, time and venue. The mom (ex-wife) and groom's mom organized everything and did not include me at all. I know it might sound touchy (!) but I am involved in the daughter's life and wanted to do something for her shower. More than just sitting there! And, what is my role? Do I have a role at all at the wedding? Or do i just sit and smile and be nice and good enough? Please help?

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on November 09, 2012:

2ndonetoo~ I agree families should put God first, but not everyone does and that is a reality. In my husband's case, he was/is dealing with an ex with bi-polar. So mental health is an issue in this. Not all circumstances are ideal and what your comment is based on, doesn't even happen part of the time. I wish it were that simple, but as you can see from other comments here., majority people's situations are not ideal.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on November 09, 2012:

f3dup~ I really feel for your situation. Men think they have to appease the "first" family in order to look good or not be a dead beat dad in our society's view. Unfortunately it's why second family's have a harder time making it work. And is why I want to bring attention to this subject and write more about it.

There need to be times when you and your family take priority. Undermany circumstances like yours, it is usual for the dad to spend every other holiday with the firs tchild, giving your child with him the opportunity to be with him during holidays and that is extremely fair. Perhaps having a day function for part-time function with his first and night function or visit with you guys.

I came from divocred parents. My parent did not have any other children but I did not mind that I only had every other holiday with my mom and dad. It's not harmful to have that arrangement- most courts insist on that. Good luck. I would just insist on that type of arrangement.

2ndonetoo on November 02, 2012:

If our main goal was to put god first and teach the children to put god first.....everyone, including the stepparent and second spouse should be loved equally, though the ex should have boundaries sufficient enough for the new spouse to be honored as god intends and the children to be loved and taught right. God hates divorce, because he hates what causes it, unloving division. If the second spouse had nothing to do with that division, the biological parent needs to make it clear to the children that step parents are people too and can show just as much love toward a child that is not their own as they would their own. The children should be taught to respect their elders and honor their mother and father, but that doesn't mean to mistreat a stepparent as the ex desires. Why is it so hard to teach that to our children or our spouse? I grew up in a step environment and I was just glad when noone was fighting, glad my parents divorced and had no vendettas toward any of my stepparents. We all have needs - to be loved, treated fairly and we should make sure noone feels left out. Not sure how someone who wants to put god first can't understand any of this and teach their children the same things they should be taught in the first your neighbor as yourself, stepparents included.

f3dup on October 30, 2012:

My husband and I neither were previously married, however he does have a child with another woman. The thing that gets to me the most is not financial troubles, it's holidays and special occasions. There is no custody deal and there is no child support arrangement (and I can applaud her for that being the child is with us the majority of the time.) However, my husband and his ex get along and he thinks that he has to drag his second family to his EX'S family get togethers just to spend time with his first daughter. Now mind you, if I put my foot down and say no, that we do not wish to go, that we would rather spend christmas at my family's house. Then he still goes to his EX and blows off his wife and OUR child. Therefore, not only do I miss out on having him around for holidays his SECOND daughter misses out on having her daddy around for holidays. I do not understand why his first daughter cannot attend our family get togethers and him spend time with her there, instead of his ex's house.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on October 23, 2012:

Joan~ my motto as far as love and relationships has been 'Why would I want someone who doesn't want me'? I personally would not suggest people go to a spell caster to get their partner back. I'm not a believer in focusing my attention on how to get back someone who doesn't want me. And now you will probably always worry when your man may run out on you again.

joan on October 20, 2012:

i just want to share my experience and testimony here.. i was married for 6 years to my husband and all of a sudden, another woman came into the picture.. he started hailing me and he was abusive..but i still loved him with all my heart and wanted him at all cost…then he filed for whole life was turning apart and i didn't know what to do..he moved out of the house and abandoned the kids.. so someone told me about trying spiritual means to get my husband back and introduced me to a spell caster…so i decided to try it reluctantly..although i didn't believe in all those things… then when he did the special prayers and spell, after 2days, my husband came back and was pleading..he had realized his mistakes..i just couldn't believe it.. anyways we are back together now and we are case anyone needs this man, his email address his spells is for a better life. again his email is

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on October 11, 2012:

bigheart~ you have a great point- often the ex wife causes a lot of problems and involves the children as well.

bigheart28 on October 11, 2012:

i didn't mention that the jealousy and conflict from his ex first wife is because me and my fiancé knew each other for 17 years and before my first relationship, we were first loves. first for everything. and after having a failed relationship for both of us, he came found me again. now with two baby girls we have together and a wedding comeing up the only thing missing is his children.

bigheart28 on October 11, 2012:

kayytee ~ its not always that the second wife is jealous . I am a second wife and has two kids from a previous relationship and two from my second.. my fiancé also has 3 kids from his previous. I dont have a problem with my step kids. I Love them and would love to see them more. the problem is there mother ( the first wife) shes makes it impossible to let my fiancé see the kids. she wants money. then changes her mind after she recieves it.....she doesn't allow him to call or contact the kids. she blames me for everything. when i send her money out of my own pocket. she was the one who kicked him out all the time. once a year she threw him out for 6 months during summer. let him come home in the winter. she was the jealous one because yes, he does put our family first not second.... i do admit i feel guilty for it. but she shouldn't complain when she is the one being the way she is. I feel for the kids in this.i want what's best for them...i want them to have the best of both worlds. she doesn't understand we can give them a good life if we work together. I would never want him to forget his first kids .or erase them.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on September 22, 2012:

Perspycacious~ yes this seems to be a heated topic ranging in comments, but I'm glad I can bring this topic forward because honestly there is nothing to prepare people who get into second marriages with children from a first marriage. And while I can't exactly prepare anybody, I can certainly get them to think about it.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on September 21, 2012:

It looks as if your "straight talk" got a lot of empathy and struck a lot of sensitive nerve endings. That's good topic selection and writing. Congrats!

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 22, 2012:

kaaytee~ its all in the perspective. In my husband's case, the wife left him for another man months after their child was born. So to say the men quit- very one-sided perspective.

You're well-versed in studies, etc correct? Well tell me why the first marriage has about a 50/50% chance of ending and the second has a 70+% chance of failing...if the husband is so into the second family more than the first that doesn't make sense the second suffers more.

I'll have some compassion when the first wife does. It's odd to me that my husband's first wife never had any issues until her second husband left her now she's come back to torment us. Other commenters here have similar stories that when first wife is happy with someone else then she's fine but if not she can't leave ex hubby alone.

I know what it's like to be quit on (my dad left my mom for another woman) and trust me the kids move on a lot quicker and adjust than the ex wife. My mom played so many games and used me in the middle.

Vanessa on August 22, 2012:

Kaayttee ~ ur comment really made me laugh. I guess u r a "first wife". (well ur comment sounds that way). U know, I hope u will have a husband who has got a crazy ex who broke up with him and after he found somebody else she will get so desperate that she tries to win him back with dirty tricks. Not for the child's sake. Oh no.. For herself. And me as a third wife with 8 stepkids and 1 step grandson I don't have jealousy problem. I'm just sick n tired of a part time husband. First marriage did not work out. The divorce happened. That means wife n husband don't exist in the first marriage anymore. They r exes. The father should keep in touch with the child/ren. And if he wouldn't u can't consider him

as a good father. and as a third wife, don't want sabotage anything, but it would b nice to be priority in. Ur own marriage!!!! Yes marriage takes effort, and we all give our damn best to make it work but being second for ur husband and ur husband is first for u isn't very nice feeling. Have u ever been in second place to ur husband??

kaayttee on August 21, 2012:

I disagree. The second family always comes first. The first family is discarded. The conflict is when the second wife wants to erase the first family. I don't how or why it is you think it's the first family. They "quit" the first family. The second wife is a jealous one and often tries sabotaging whatever little contact the first family is allowed. Just read some of the commenters here and numerous studies and books. Relationships take effort. So does marriage. If you are in a second marriage have some compassion for the ones that are left behind and no longer have any worth.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 20, 2012:

I have to be thankful at least my husband went to counseling with me and he could get a different perspective, not just mine. That's what many men, well people need, is a different (objective) perspective because people get wrapped up in their lives and think many things they do are "normal" when it's not, or at least not healthy for their relationships. Counseling helps a lot but getting a man to go to counseling is tough.

What did I start doing to change some things around? I told my husband that I loved him but would have to leave him if things went on this way. I told him I wanted him to be happy and I knew he wasn't (neither was I but I had to make it about him for him to take in what I was saying). I told him so that he would be happy, I would leave. He asked what he could do and if your husband ever asks what he can do, make sure you have a game plan- like a counselor- we went to three. THe third helped because it was a guy that my husband could relate to- a manly man so my husband listened to him.

Also...what I tell my mom (but she never listens) is stop doing things for him. Stop putting him first in all those small little ways. I also did this with my husband...then he finally realized all those little unnoticed things I did for him.

Vanessa on August 12, 2012:

Yes. I know where u are coming from. I keep telling him, if he keeps on doing whatever he is doing he will regret it and his kids will take advantage. Especially the youngest one. But when I tell him about it, he then says I am jelous of his daughter. What the hell? Me, jelaous of a seven year old who thinks the sun shines out of her @ss? R u kidding me? So I left it the way it is. And watch in the background how will she destroy him slowly. If there are women out there, who are dating men who got kids with another woman, I would suggest to run as fast they can from that relationship. I know it sounds cruel and the women love them kind if men, but with my experience as third wife with 8 step kids, I wish I didn't met my husband. I love him as no one else, but this marriage is a lost cause. Ok here is the thing, if your husband is unable to listen to you when you are explaining your feelings, then you are doomed. As u said izettl, your mom is probably putting up with the pain of being the last person in her husbands priority because she loves him so much. I really feel her pain. The thing is, I am asking myself, and I urge other women in the same situation to ask themselves is it worth be second all your life for this man because you love him? I don't want to be miserable all my life... My husband comes first for me, and it would be right if I would come first for him. But it's not happening. Izettl, at least your husband is trying and he is not ignoring you. That is one good thing. But your step daughter... I just don't know what to say. If I could I would tell my sd how things are. But I can't... Is there anything I could try with my husband izettl? To make him feel the pain I'm feeling? So he understands me better? I wish things could be easier...

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 11, 2012:

i can idtentify with what you're saying- I have two small kids that require a lot of attention and work and my husband's first daughter is a teen...more work so there often seems little time for us. But kids will take over if you dont show your spouse as a priotrity. In fact, you're (actually your husband Vanessa) is setting an example for his kids on how relationships work and if they learn to not focus on the relationship with their spouse then they will likely end up in divorce someday. If he does not give you attention then he is showing that women are too be ignored by their men, etc. You get where I'm going, but its true. He is showing his daughter how women are treated in relationships.

My mom is remarried and her husband has 5 children who were all spoiled and now in their 30's and 40's. They still take priority in his life and my mom is a tag-along. Often she goes without necessities so he can help his kids buy homes, go on vacation,etc. Couple of them have gotten bankrupcies because they charged to live a spoiled life they were accusotmed to.

Vanessa on August 11, 2012:

Sparkle and izettl ~ i guess all of the "pre" - experienced men are like that. It is weird because the kids with the exes got to be spoiled to a high standard to impress the ex in some certain degree. It makes me so angry, when his daughter starts to whine and gets everything what she wants. We are not rich and my husbands business is not doing very well. But the ex and daughter don't care. We still gotta pay for her drama lessons( even though she creates enough drama in our house). She costs us a small fortune when we have her, but the rest of his kids don't get nothing. It is wrong. I don't know if it will help u guys, but I read on the Internet, to make your marriage work, you got to put your priorities right. "5. Make your spouse your first priority over your parents, boss and even your kids. Every day, you are presented with several choices that either will or will not reflect your priorities. One of my favorite quotes (by Stephen Covey) is, "Anything less than a conscious commitment to the important is an unconscious commitment to the unimportant." Your marriage is important, so make sure to protect it by making wise decisions. If your mom invites you to visit for the weekend, but your wife already has other plans, have the courage to ask your mom for a rain check instead of ignoring your wife’s needs—if your spouse doesn’t get along with your parents, it probably has a lot to do with your behavior! If you’re tempted to postpone a date with your husband because you feel guilty for not spending enough time with the kids, go on the date anyway. There’s nothing better you can do for your kids than have a loving relationship with their father! Don’t focus so hard on being a great parent that you forget to be a great spouse. " I have even read it out for my husband but I think he didn't grasp it.. Sometimes I just lose hope in this marriage and feel like giving up. Hope you all can cope with the second marriage. Good luck to u all.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 09, 2012:

Sparkle~ my husband gets the same way, very defensive if I speak about his first daughter. I do not tolerate her treating my kids poorly. I use dicsipline if needed and that is taking away something, going to room, etc. If your husband does not support discipling them then you two need to sit down and discuss how you discipline the kids and what kind of disciplining he thinks is necessary. My husband was also trying to be seen as the favorite parent and take his daughter to do things and buy things to a point we'd be broke at the end of summer when she was with us. if you bring it up and your husband then deal with the kids yourself, don't take them anywhere- let him do it. i did this with my husband- i am not going to drive his other kdis around for everythign she wants and I started a savings account for my daughter and put money in there for her things.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 09, 2012:

Vanessa~ ys I plan to tackle the many sides of this topic. What is amazing to me is that the law and people in general side with the original family- the ex and first children. Part of which could be the issue why second+ marriages have an even higher failure rate. Even if only one of them has been married before. I plan to do some research as to how this is best dealt with. maybe a topic on 'dealing with exes'.

When I had my first chld with my husband he hadn't seen his daughter in 4 yrs and had stated his ex had kept the daughter from him. Suddenly she hears we get married and she is in our lives and the child as well. Of course your husband's ex is probably doing this same thing. If it didn't work out between them, she doesn't want it to work between you two. I'm willing to bet she'd make it worse if you had kids with him too. But if you really want kids, you must evaluate your situation.

Sparkle on August 03, 2012:

I also wanted to add.. do you think it is acceptable that everytime we have them we have to constantly take them to swimming classes, brownies, kickboxing, football and whatever else they fancy doing? Our daughter never seems to get taken anywhere because of this.

Sparkle on August 03, 2012:

I am also in a marriage with a man who has been previously married with 2 kids, we also have 1 child together and i have found that my husband certainly treats our children differently. All we seem to do is run around after his previous children, dropping them here and there, buying them clothes and shoes when we have already paid child support. It's even got to the stage that he lets them shout at our daughter, who is only 1 year old for god sake (they are 7 and 9) everytime she makes a noise yet they are constantly shouting and craving their dads attention. I cant speak to him about it as everytime I say something about his children he gets really defensive! Its getting to the point where i will walk and not come back - it just doesn't feel worth the hassle at the moment.

Vanessa on August 01, 2012:

I can't imagine how hard it is right now having a baby and dealing with the crazy ex. I was thinking of having a baby together would make us really happy, but I am happy that I don't imagine things, as you said that the ex and the kid is a threat to your own children. That is the only thing which is bugging me, and I won't have children with him.( even though we would love to have kids). I am also thinking of leaving him sometimes thinking he will be happier and he could go back to his 'perfect' family. But what is helping me right now, is focusing on me. ( I know it sounds selfish) but if I improve my career nobody can take that away from me. It will help me be more independent and feel more confident that there is something which the ex can't control. It's obviously different if u got kids. Then I would focus on keeping the family together for the child's sake. Why does it have to be so hard? I think these exes need to get to know the other side if us which isn't the nice, friendly and compassionate side. If I could I would have sorted it out long time ago but I don't think hubby would have approved of it. Lol oh well. I just hope u will post something new regarding this topic to give us second wife's strength to deal with the ex's issues.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on July 28, 2012:

Vanessa~ I appreciate your honesty because yes i do feel sometimes that i was in over my head when I married someone with a child already...and not knowing the ex at all before we married. It is tough. I deal with it every summer when his child visits and sometimes during that summer his ex threatens to do something to us or some sort of revenge. One year she put my husband in jail for a day- because she reported their kids missing yet she knew and agreed to let us have her for the summer.

The problem now is starting to be their kid who is now a teen and because of all this has her own issues so add that on top of everything else. Anyway, you are dealing with this every day and I know the husband thing too because my husband wants to look good in the eyes of his family who all blame him for being out of her life. It is frustrating to be the observer of things that are going on in your life and you can see what's not normal but they can't so I know your fustration with your husband.

Society tells these dads their deadbeat dads if they don't bend over backwards to accommodate their exes and their "first' children. Most of the exes are crazy but no one ever blames them for anything. The exes are always in control too and often use the children to control. Your best hope is she gets some other guy in her life and gets the focus off him. I really feel bad for you because she lives so close- I think I'd go nuts if my husband's ex wasn't states away.

I've almost left my husband twice because i just don't want to endure the ups and downs controlled by the ex and first kid. And it is too bad, but I feel someday it could come to that. You will probably feel this strongly too if you and your husband have your own child. Our first daughter together was one month old when his ex put him in jail and pulled that trick. That's when I saw both the ex and having the child visit as a threat. I have constant nerves when their cihld is visiting like right now and we just got a letter from his ex today that she will call child protection services on us if we don't send the kids home by a certain day. We have our second kid together, our son who is 5 months old, so I don't need these issues with a newborn...again.

With your husband getting irritated easily, you must seek someone else to help you two talk through this. That is the only way my husband and I can discuss it.

Vanessa on July 28, 2012:

Btw u should do a forum here. There are so many second or more new wives around who need advice for evil exes and difficult step children. Does anybody feel like they made a mistake marrying a man who already had children and a horrible ex? I feel horrible sometimes when I feel that way even though I love my husband. I can't cope with it...

Vanessa on July 27, 2012:

This is my problem, my husband won't get any restraining order against her with me for some unknown reason. Maybe he wants to stay in contact with her or

something. It is very hard when your husband's ex can't let go of him. I just cant understand these kind of women, and I think it will be a good idea to see a professional about this as my husband seems to have issues to try to be the perfect daddy and ex husband. I would like to start a family myself, but we are living 3-4 miles away from his ex( it was my husbands decision to move here) and it freaks me out a bit. He takes his daughter to school every morning because she can't take it herself because her neck hurts or something. At one stage he used to go there 7-8 pm to put his daughter into bed. What the hell? Things like these bother me a lot. I got no problem with the child, it's just abnormal to do these kind of things i think. I told him how I feel about it but he gets very irritated about it. I feel sorry for ur husband because 6 years to miss out if a childs life because of their mother is honestly really sad. I thank u so much for reading and giving me advice as I am completely helpless, depressed and feel like my husband don't even care about me anymore. I will look into more advice regarding this. I just wish exes (bad ones) could disappear for a while. Life would be a lot easier. Btw what did your husbands daughter say about that 6 years if not having a dad around? Did it affect her a lot or does she know it was all because of her mother?

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on July 26, 2012:

Basically I've said this to my husband that osmehow i do not ever want to meet his ex in person- this should be avoided by all costs expecially if you know the person will be violent or a little nutty- my husband's ex has bi-polar and we have two cmall children so I don't ever want her near us. Things must be kept neutral.

For about $70 he or you can get a protection order or restraining order- I don't think she could even text or call either.

The problem with step children is the recommended advice by counselors and such is that they usually leave the biological parents to discipline and even in that scenario it rarely works. No easy solutions, but you have to decide what your boundaries are and state them to your husband- see how he reacts and if he's willing to comprimise. If he isn['t and you have these issues then take a look at the marriage all around- handling difficulties is part of marriage.

I'm not a big fan of drama in my life and unfortunately that part of my husband's life is always drama. realize, because I didn't, that his exes and children will always be a part of your life together. which is also unfortunately why second or more marriages tend to not work out. You must decide how you two will handle this and into the future. Keep your distance from the ex at all costs- restraining order for yourself maybe against her. But tell him you require little or no contact with her. My husband didn't see his first daughter with his ex for 6 years because she played these games and used it against him if he didn't do as she wanted. I would keep doing research on the internet on this topic and definitely seek a mediator mabye in the form of a counselor, pastors at churches will counsel for cheap or nothing sometimes even if you don't go to the church. That's what we did- it helped. Except now my husband's mom is saying she won't talk to him if he doesn't get full custody when that's not even up to him anyway. Sometimes women can be vengeful and manipulating- too bad.

Vanessa on July 25, 2012:

Well basically I'm 20 and my husband is 41. People asked if the age gap was a problem for us but we always said that age is only a number. Anyway, this is the third marriage for my husband and first for me. He has 8 kids 22 years old the oldest and 7 the youngest. I have no problem at all with the kids whatsoever, but his last ex wife is a psycho( who he has the youngest child with). When we fell in love, he was separated from his then wife and the divorcing was already been discussed and agreed with them. But after she have found out that we wee dating, she wanted him back. She attacked me in the middle of street, screaming at me for no reason when me and my husband went to pick his little one up. I kept calm, and done nothing. But when it happened the third time I freaked out. I started screaming at her that she should mind her own business and the rest. She started sending him absurd sex texts and he even kept a video of her pleasing herself. It made me very upset, why would he keep that? Anyway he said it was for protection against her because she was known to be absurd and make false allegation to the police. After 6 months things started to calm down. We got married a few months later. Now he is still worried about his ex, what will she say if we do this or that. Basically he is scared of her because she can control him when he can see his daughter and stuff. I keep telling him to put his foot down and don't let her get into our own life. Now I am scarred by her, keep having nightmares about him cheating on me with her and whenever his child is here in our house I get irritated easily. I got no problem with the child, but she's spoiled, because as I said before he is scared of his ex that she will cause a problem because his child didn't get the star off the sky... I don't know how to handle this situation. I keep telling him to teach his daughter some manners and don't let her get away with stuff. But no! It's his little angel she is perfect and don't upset her because the ex will kick off. It is ridiculous. He thinks I am jelous of his child and his ex. When this is not the case. I just want to help and keep some order in our life. It is weird for me the way he acts around his child and ex. We have been together for almost 2 years. He just completely don't want to do anything with me these days, it's like he lost interest in me. But he says this is not the case. Hmm.. Sorry it got so long, but had to share the whole picture so u understand the situation.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on July 23, 2012:

Hi Vanessa~ if you read the article and especially my comments in the comment section it will give you a good idea about how I've handled my own situation and how others do as well.

I need a little more info about your situation before I could give you my point of view on your particular scenario. I like to keep things on here or I'd be getting a hundred emails a day answering specific questions AND I feel if we discuss on here then others can learn from you as well- I feel it helps more people this way.

Vanessa williams on July 21, 2012:

Hi izettl! Your article says everything that I am feeling right now. I am married to a man who has been married 3 times now and also has kids. We are having a lot of difficulties and I really need your point of view of my situation. Here's my email

I hope you are going to come back to me as I need advice from a person who understands what this sticky situation is like.

Nmbb on June 15, 2012:

Yeah its frustrating..we will see!!

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on June 09, 2012:

Elvira~ People/adults divorce knowing the consequences of what it will do to the kids. In mine and my husband's mind his ex left the marriage as soon as she cheated- that was her decision.

So you speak of DNA, does that mean all sperm donors should be a part of their biological kids lives.

I don't think she was at a disadvantage because up until 2 years ago, her mom was with the guy she cheated on my husband with 14 years ago so there was a good male role model around - now that he's out of the picture, the ex is falling apart.

My parents got divorced when I was 9 and i went on to graduate 4.0 from college (B.S in Psych) and nearly finished my graduate degree if I hadn't a had a cancer scare and decided I wanted to have kids because life can be short. So I guess i failed and live in poverty. Actually I was laid off at the beginning of the recession and went onto write what I love to do and make money. Too bad my parents divorced...

So based on that as well...should we let the second marriage fail (my husband and mine) which involves two kids versus his first marriage which is one child? Not an easy choice but the way you put it do we save one child or two? I believe her own mom failed her because she refused to let my husband be a part of her life until she was 10.

How gallant of you to ride in with your novel opinion, but actually has nothing to do with real life. It sounds theory. I don't accept the whole package and I don't have to. If i have to choose to put a child in my home that has past infractions and is known not to be good with small kids, you think I'm going to use my kids as sacrifiial lambs for the greater good and sake of the poor first child. So let's save the first child and mess up up the next two.

In psychology, it is widely known that the first few years are most important and she had a man and mom in her life...and everything supposedly was fine. THat's a bigger deciding factor than what's going on now.

I think you mistake me for someone else...have you read my profile page? I dabble in tough topics so you're not the first person who has disagreed with me on something....probably not even under the hundreth. If I let them all strike a nerve, then I wouldn't be writing anymore. I just know I'm right and you're wrong. Does that strike a nerve? This is a difficult subject and I side with the second marriage point of view because I have lived both- one as a product of divorce and one as marrying into one. I happen to believe it's not worth ruining two marriages and even more kids effected.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on June 09, 2012:

I really feel for you Nmbb~ I go through the same thing. My husband hears about the latest argument between his daughter and her every weekend- I've got to say it spoils the weekends. I was never part of that marriage but I feel like the ex is part of ours.

Ironically his ex and their daughter started having problems when I got pregnant with my second. SO needless to say that pregnancy was stressul, but I now I have to focus on the baby and it gets my mind off worrying about their issues. It always seem so dramatic at first but it never really gets anywhere- your husband will have a newborn again soon and it will keep you guys busy. I really hope for the best for you.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on June 05, 2012:

Elvira8~ semantics- you're arguing semantics. You don't like the term 'current family', but in reality it's the family he is dealing with on an everyday basis when his first daughter is a few states away.

Here's the BIG point! Second marriages are more likely to fail so I believe need more attention. Have a I jolted you there?

I just had a baby and I've realized that he takes up more time and attention than my 4 yr old- this is just the way a newborn is. Has it been so long for you? Well I'm sleep deprived now so maybe I'm talking out my a**...according to you.

You stated 'You should have considered the possibility of it happening'. That's like saying we need to stock up now because the world could end- we should have known it could happen. Nobody is prepared for what they are not taught or informed by or experienced- unless we are fortune tellers.

In my circumstance I don't want his daughter full time because she has been in foster care (without our being aware of it) but later found out she was not to be placed ina home with small children (I have a 4month and 4yr old). She was never raised by my husband and the other child his ex raised (from another dad) is now in jail for 10 yrs so no I don't believe the ex should keep their daughter away from him and whn she starts having problems with the girl, to want us to take her. Fact is- it's not as black and white as you preach. But thanks anyway.

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