Second (Place) Marriages/ Step Families

"Happy families are all alike--and every stepfamily is complex in its own way."

Responsibility to the kids

For second marriages, the statistics are a bit more gloomy. Nearly 70% of those marriages fail. Statistics waver depending on sources, but one thing remains true: second and subsequent marriages face a lot more issues. In fact, they are more likely to fail if they involve step-children. There has to be something to these statistics and not just because step mothers are evil- get your head out of the fairy tales.

Step children bring into a marriage:

  • Children's personal adjustment to divorce and subsequent/second marriage
  • financial issues with child support
  • jealousy (and other negative emotions) of parents' priorities among children and the marriage itself
  • guilt parents feel if they don't put children first
  • additional family members related to the step children (and still part of their lives)
  • whether or not children are the glue that holds the marriage together at least somewhat
  • rivalries between step siblings
  • time taken to shuttle kids around from house to house, weekends and holidays, etc.
  • step children using manipulative tactics to set up stepparent and biological parent against each other.

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. I have recently given a lot of thought about why a second marriage is nearly doomed. One answer is there are more things and interferences to disagree and argue about. Priorities in life are hard enough to figure out if you're single or in a first family situation, let alone in a second marriage.

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 have to made sometimes- dad can't be everywhere all the time. Eventually things will collide. Which children do you put first if you have to? Reality is second families often come in second and a big part of why they are more likely to fail.

Besides basic counseling after divorce, nobody teaches a divorced person how to transition into another marriage and family or how to deal with balancing the two. Men are more likely to remarry much quicker after a first marriage. The first family doesn't just go away. At the risk of sounding selfish, I honestly wish it would sometimes because the priorities never coexist, they always collide somehow.

I'm brutally honest about the toughest things in life so don't hate me for it. In my situation of never being married, I was not prepared for taking second. My husband and family are first in my world so of course it is natural to expect this notion in return, but it's not reality.

I've never had to compete for a man before, but I often feel like I'm competing for importance between the ex wife and their child together. He seems to be their representative and voice in all our arguments, whereas I am the rep for myself and our daughter. It seems he is almost more responsible for them than his current family. Reason is for fear of being labeled deadbeat dad or irresponsible dad.

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 has 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. Sometimes the ex wife makes everything into a crisis. As in most life's situation's, the boundaries are not clear. And how much of the first family do you have to sacrifice to make the second marriage 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 he also has a child from his first marriage and he pays 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 or the ex spouse to keep up their way of life.


What ever happened to the old fashioned nuclear family? It's common place to have one family from your twenties, one from your thirties, and well into your 40's. Now there are numerous extra family members; step parents, step grandparents, various aunts and uncles, step siblings- I'm going to stop there before I get dizzy! A second and/or subsequent marriages and family walk into this mess and as statistics show, walk right out. Who can blame them? More family members can equal more trouble- bottom line.

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. There are "your" children and "our" children, and various feelings coming from everyone. Grandparents of the first families still have loyalty to first family grandchildren as well. I witness this personally.

Time and efforts taken to deal with the loose ends from the first marriage take away from the family life and establishment of the second family. Those second families with new/young children need a lot of time and attention while the first family kids are older, but also need time and attention that may go unforeseen because younger children's, and baby's, needs are more demanding and immediate. In my situation there are two under 6 in our new family together but a teen from my husband's first family so these are two high need groups of kids.

All families are incredibly busy just with the daily grind so add in additional time taken away from them and it can spell trouble, especially for the marriage.That leaves less time for second family overall. Make no mistake that somehow things get stirred up in the first family when one or both ex spouses gets remarried. It seems that the first family suddenly requires more attention, money, etc from the remarried spouse. F

or instance, in my situation, my husband and I saved up for many years to finally buy our first house at almost 40 yrs old. Now that the ex knows we bought a house, suddenly she thinks we're rich and is demanding more. Again, where are the boundaries?

As the number of relationships increase in one's life, complications arise. People tend to ride through their first marriage with a feeling 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 takes work, but by then they are learning they have to work on first family obligations. It's also in the second marriage they figure out they are still tied to their first marriage because those relationships need to be maintained, if only for co-parenting.

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

The statistics. Why are they stacked against second marriages? Lessons not learned, etc. There is a common factor that majority of our population is having troubles with in a second marriage and yet they are more prevalent than ever.

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.

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Comments 169 comments

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Izzetl, you made a lot of good points. Second marriages come second, because according to the family laws of most states, financial obligations from first marriage are not negotiable, even in hard times. First you pay child support for the children that someone else has custody of, and only after that can you feed your children who are living with you, with whatever happens to be left over.

I've met not a few second wives who talk about how they are waiting for their husbands' children from the first marriage to reach adulthood, so that they, not their husbands, can stop paying child support!

izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

other than financial responsibilities from first families, are there any other instances where first families come first and are there any instances in which second families come first? How does someone make a second marriage work if it comes second all the time?

The women you know who are waiting for first family chlidren to reach adulthood will be disappointed because nowadays children aren't reaching full financial independence, or any maturity, until 30ish.Parents still support adult children. My mom is is a second marriage with a man who has 5 children and their #1 argument is how they can support or give money to which 'children', who are all over 30.

shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago

Some scary facts... Hope I don't have to get into all these troubles someday.

izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

I wouldn't want anyone to have to go through the troubles that occur in these situations. Statistics say these troubles are inevitable too- that is scary!

Kelly 6 years ago

Money is only one of many worries. Huge problems arise when your husband can't say no to his exwife and daughter.

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

kelly~ I agree! I think men feel as if they'll be labeled dead beat dad for saying no to their exes,

Shannon 6 years ago

My ex (we were not married) went on to family #3 and I believe #3 probably got the best of it. #1 ex and son lived in another country and he came to the US after the divorce. #2 was me, and he never saw, acknowledged or supported my son although he certainly knew I was pregnant. In fact, I did not know where he was and could not find him until too late. #3 had a son from her 1st marriage and they have a daughter together. I believe these are the only 2 children he supported. But not anymore.. he died... He has an adult son, an 18-year-old stepson, a 15-year-old son, and a 12-year-old daughter. Now if I had found him before he died, and he had to pay child support I am sure that would have made it difficult for family #3. I wouldn't want to take food out of other children's mouths.. I would have been happy with a small amount a month. More important would have been that they meet. But bankruptcy? They went bankrupt all by themselves even though he never contributed a dime to my son. Because they were trying to live a lifestyle they could not afford. Bankruptcy files are public for 10 years, that is how I know.

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Shannon~ perfect example of how step families don't work well. It all becomes a mess.

n.g. profile image

n.g. 6 years ago from Oceanside, Ca

I am intrigued by your cynicism... :) And curious about the thirty percent of those that do work... good topic, interesting position you take, I like that our views are different :)

sureye profile image

sureye 6 years ago from Tennessee

Thank you so much for posting this! I am in the exact situation as you. I have never been married before but my husband has and has 2 children from that marriage. It is so tough and sometimes i feel like giving up but we have to encourage each other to keep going! Thank you for sharing! It is refreshing to know that i'm not the only one who struggles with this.

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

sureye~ I am determined to make things work and so is my husband. It's just with his first family and even his immediate family, they both think they take presadence. It's really important the man (if that's the case) defend hi current family and place them at the top too. That's where a lot of men get hung up.

Thanks for sharing yoru experience too.

lala 5 years ago

Second wives frequently try to make themselves a priority over existing children are often the reason men become permanently absent from their first families, emotionally, geographically and financially.

Not for nothing all those stories about wicked stepmothers .... I know my Dad's wife and my xhild's father's wife certainly fit into that category .... but then again that's how women are socialised, to compete for resources, ie., men. Classic divide and rule strategy!

Personally, I would never get involved with a man who has children. Shame more women don't feel the same .... sure would be a lot less kids growing up without their fathers around the world !!

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

lala~ That's funny, but never say never. I said I would never get involved with a man who has children too, but my husband and I were dating for a while when he told me of his first child with his ex wife. He said she lived in Nebraska and he visited her once a year out there. I saw no harm in that. What can an ex and first child do to us halfway across the U.S form us? Well, plenty. She kicked him out and cheated on him so he didn't have much choice about leaving his first child. There are many women nowadays who have several children with all different dads- now that's the real issue.

We don't necessarily pick who we love either. if you fell in love with a man, you would tell him goodbye because he has a kid? Easier said than done.

someone 5 years ago

I think that no, the husband should not put his current family 'at the top' and forget about his children from previous marriages. That would be extremely selfish and of course, the stepmother doesn't care because they are not her children. Child support is something CRUCIAL and it should be enforced. So, you have to SUCK UP TO it and accept the fact that his children were there FIRST and he is obliged to care for them no matter what. If you don't like it LEAVE.

someone 5 years ago

And the question "which children do you put first if you have to?" is one of the most ridiculous and stupid questions that you could have asked. How could you pose such a question? Seriously? You expect your husband to answer to that? Parents have to love their children equally even if one of them lives on the other side of the U. N. And his first daughter is not to blame about this....have you ever thought about it? Have you ever thought about the fact that maybe....just maybe....his other daughter is suffering just as much as you are if not more? wonder second marriages fail if there are women like you who expect their husbands to choose between their own children.....(By the way, I'm brutally honest too when it comes to tough situations)

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Someone~ just in this economy alone, it is hard to earn for two families- it's not an excuse, but yet a hard reality. I'm not by any means saying a man should skip out on child support, but the extra costs. Actually there are people trying to get a law passed that would ge them out of child support, stating a woman has a choice whether to have a baby or not, but the man doesn't. I don't know how I feel about this, but I have known women who try to get pregnant without the man knowing and take advantage of him.

So your suggestion is to "just leave" yet wouldn't that be another family he'd have to support especially if he started over with another one.

Let's take my circumstance for instance- my husband's older daughter has beat up her mom and is violent- actually stated in a foster care home that she can not be put with young children, but of course my husband still wants a relationship with her and I believe it is a choice between the welfare of my 3 yr old and his older daughter. These choices aren't pretty but to say they don't exist and condemn me for exposing it, you're not living in reality. Tell me you would choose to have someone known violent in the home with your 3 yr old. What's your choice?

someone 5 years ago

listen to me......hear my experience as a child of a first marriage (yeah, i am who i am): My problems are way worse than yours......First came the divorce, I was destructed, I didn't know what to do, feelings such as fear, HATRED and other ensued....IT WAS HELL.....then came court, days that didn't seem to end, then came the REMARRIAGE and the JEALOUSY, it controlled my life, jealousy was all I could feel, resentment for my half sibling who got to see her dad everyday whilst I could only see him once a month....questions such as: WHY DO I COME SECOND WHEN I WAS BORN FIRST?.........WHY Do i have to suffer when it's not my fault?.....And you know ? My dad did not pay child support, he definitely put his second marriage first AND YOU KNOW WHAT, PAL? HIS SECOND MARRIAGE FAILED ALL THE before blabbing(sorry for being harsh but i'm still hurting over this) shoul get your facts straight........comments such as 'I wish the first family would go away' are selfish and to tell you the truth they pis*** the hell out of me and other children of first marriages who are my yeah i think i'm living in reality, it's just that i'm on a different wavelength than you are....

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

someone~ we're definitely in two different positions. I understand some of your position- being a child of divorce- my mom remarried, no other kids and my dad never remarried.

I'm sure your story has much more details than what you say and so does mine. My husband's first daughter stayed with us for a great deal of time- I took care of her, being a mommy figure, but I can't force the feeling of being her mom- I am not. She had some issues with being violent in school and she stated she wanted to go back with her mom so after spending thousands of dollars to try and get custody of her, we forfeited her to her mom. Her mom left my husband for another man when their daughter was 6 months old so my husband didn't have a choice- he'd fly several states out to see her and mom wouldn't let him. She cut off all contact until she became too ill with her bi-polar. Now that the daughter is acting up (and 13) and mom can't control her, she wants to push everything on us. Now I have a little one that I feel like a mother bear about- I see it one way; take the first daughter in and endanger my own child OR protect my child any way I can. I never said this decision was easy and nobody can prepare someone for this- that's why I wish it would go away sometimes.

Now I don't suppose you've done anything to endanger the second family and your dad should be paying child support- I would never condone otherwise. There are consequences to his first daughter's actions right? If she is violent, she can't be around my 3 yr old. I believe this is fair and if you were a mom you'd protect your little one- in this situation there is no way I could reason to put the first child before my own child.

someone 5 years ago

I understand your position but i have felt anger and hatred like I had never thought I could feel. Only God stopped me from turning into a monster.......I am young but I feel like an eighty year old and though I did not hurt someone physically I have done things which I am not proud of. It's the selfishness of human beings that can cause so much pain on others. It's something that distinguishes us from other species. And the things I did, the emotional pain I inflicted on others was nothing but my reaction to somebody's selfish actions. So maybe you're justified in wanting the first family to go away but you do have to understand that something must have triggered the violent actions on the daughter's part. Is it her fault? Is it her parents' fault? Of course you don't care and you have a right to do so but though you have the right to keep her away from your daughter, you cannot keep her away from her father because you have no right to increase the pain she must be going through. I was lucky because i found persons who could help me but that's the only difference between me and your husband's other daughter...I was lucky whilst she was not.........

someone 5 years ago

And stepmothers, can, in fact be stepmonsters. I had the honour of meeting one. She couldn't accept the fact that I am her husband's daughter and she obviously didn't give a damn about me. All I can say is that the feeling was mutual and I was overjoyed when I heard that her marriage with my father failed. It's mean but it's the truth. I was also happy that my half-sibling would now suffer just as I had suffered. Again, it's mean but it's the truth.... (now I'm working towards building a relationship with my

And now here I am, 17 going on 83..... hoping that my future will be better than my past, and determined to make the most of my life.

Mamadrama profile image

Mamadrama 5 years ago from Upstate NY

I LOVE THIS! My husband and I are both on our second marriage. We both have two children from before and one shared. The first year alone took a while to get our "footing" as co-step parents, new divorcees and trying to build a relationship. You really hit on some awesome key points here! Learning to let go and move on together is what helped my husband and myself. Every relationship requires something special just like the people that are involved in it. It took about 2 years for my husband and I to find where we completely mesh, and although it's not always perfect, it is the right balance for us. Great Post! Thanks!

someone 5 years ago

It all depends on people's personality, attitude and character. Many people are monsters unfortunately, and the thing is that on the outside they act nice and have loads of's when you get to know them better that you realize that almost flat black persons do exist. Quoting Lady Macbeth 'look like th'innocent flower but be the serpent under't'.................. so yeah it would have been nice if my stepmother had learned how to be a 'step parent'instead of being a selfish, stuck-up ***** (begins with a 'b' and ends with 'itch')that didn't give a rat's *** (begins with an 'a' and ends with 'ss') about her husband's elder daughter). Cheers lol.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

someone~ we all have things we can choose to be angry over and they can steer our life path, but we need to realize they have life consequences for us. I am sure that this will have to be a choice for my husband's daughter. Our parents, and others do things that can mess us up, but it's still our choice.

I would have felt better if my husband had raised his daughter for at least part of her life, but he never really knew her. Her mom kept him from her and only wanted money. We pay for plane tickets only for her mom to not put her on a plane and he flies out there only for mom to not let him see her. She lived with us for over a year when her mom was in a mental hospital. I read all the books about how to be a good step parent, I comforted her because my husband is not nurturing type, I helped her with school work, then she ended up with her mom again and now I only hear the stories and read police reports about what she is doing. Now I have my little one to protect. If that makes me a better mom than step-mom, well that's the priority I choose. I am sorry for all she has had to endure, but that was between her parents.

We are definitely viewing this from different perspectives and you'll learn someday that you may have done the same thing. You'd be surprised. Life is funny that way. I thought at your age that what was happening to me was the worst thing ever, but boy was I wrong. Life had much more in store for me. After my parents divorce, I learned what selfish parents were like- my mom only wanted to find another man and my dad ended being a transsexual who spent all his time and money on surgeries and clothes. Teens tend to view parents as selfish because teens are naturally selfish themselves- it's a teen trait. Someday you'll learn to see things from others perspectives and why people do what they do. You'll also learn to forgive.

The best you can do is do the best you can do with what you have been given. This won't be the worst of it my dear, but there will be better too.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

mamadrama~ If you have found some kind of balance, you are certainly on the right path. It takes a lot more effort with 'his' and 'hers' and various schedules and working with 'ex' family members. Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

someone 5 years ago

izettl- If selfishness is a 'teen trait' as you call it and all adults are totally selfless as you seem to imply, then either you're wrong, or my father is still a teen. I personally think it's the former. And by the way I forgot to mention that I, together with other 'selfish' teens my own age, decided to go abroad and help children in need last year during the summer holidays. And these children in need cried when it was time for the 'selfish' teens to leave because they had become attached to us. So....I wonder....

And I've tried to put myself in my father's perspective but somehow I cannot justify the fact that he put my half sibling first and neglected me. And even my aunt who's not 17 but 40 cannot justify his actions. Perhaps one day, when I will grow up, I may begin to understand him better and hell, I might even end up like him one day! In that case, I'd rather remain a selfish teen, thanks!

And whilst I understand YOUR position of putting your daughter first, I think that you cannot force this position on you husband because as I have already mentioned, I see no reason why HE should put your daughter first. I am sorry but this is reality and if you deny it, then 'you're not living in reality'. A good father treats his children equally and is there for ALL of them. I am sorry, this may sound harsh but the fact that she's your daughter is not a good enough reason for her to be put first by your husband. And if your husband puts your daughter first he will regret it, just like my father did. But now it's too late for my father. So whilst he should keep his 13 year old away not only from your daughter but from other children for now, he should still be there for her, as well as for his three-year old daughter. That's reality and the first family will never and SHOULD NEVER go away because it is still important. The husband divorced his wife not his elder daughter.......

But I admire you for trying to be a good mum and for having tried to be a good stepmother. My stepmothermonster surely didn't read any books on how to be a good stepparent....I think the only books she read were 'cindirella' and 'snow white and the seven dwarves'......and she must have put the evil stepmothers as her role models. It took my 'enlightened', 'selfless', adult father 7 years to notice that which his teen 'selfish' daughter noticed after only a week.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Someone~ yes, adults can be selfish, espceially after divorce and in the 'mid-life crisis' around 40ish. Adults don't get a free pass either, but don't imply that because adults have to make tough choices that we are selfish because we don't choose the ones that best suit you or that you would choose. You have to get a few perspectives at once going on here and the difference is I have been 17 before but you have not been 36, as I am now. You literally haven't been an adult yet and you will detest your parents for certain things through your 20's then by your 30's you will realize why they did some of the things they did, you may or may not forgive, whatever. For my husband's daughter to be jealous of more time spent with our child, well, our child is 3 and requires more time, whereas teen is getting ready to be an adult on their own- much more independence required there. A 3 yr old needs their parents more than a teen. I've also already stated that it is impossible for a parent or anyone to everywhere at once. Adults are faced with tough choices and life isn't fair. It seems what you're screaming at me is everything should be equal and fair- that's an adult lesson you'll learn. And that is why adults make some big goofs. You can't get through life without them. All you can do is not make those same mistakes when you get older, but mark my words, you'll still make goofs that your kids, when older, will gripe to you about. It's the circle of life.

That is great doing things for others, and I think it's important nd sort of a therapy for you. If you've been hurt there is nothing better than helping others. I do want to add, helping others is also a selfish move. People do it to make themselves feel better and because they feel good when they do it. You'll get older and make many tough decisions and your heart will get softer. never judge unless you've been put in that position. You can not imagine that as hard as a woman tries it is difficult to treat a step child like your own if you have your own. It's the truth- it's ugly, but true. You'll never know this unless you've been there. I've just learned that I can never judge unless I've been in that position and did better.

I do think teens are very perceptive. My mom had a jerk boyfriend one time and I told her- she never listened to me and after a year she found out he was cheating all that time. So I believe that absolutely you picked up on your step mom not being a good person.

someone 5 years ago

Izettl……….again I strongly disagree. First of all, there are goofs and there are GOOFS, if you get what I mean. Making small mistakes is one thing, screwing everything up from top to bottom is another thing. Sorry but I found no better way to put it.

And I find it ironic that you’re telling me that I do not have the right to ‘judge’ my father for putting me second in EVERYTHING when you are doing exactly the same thing. You seem to contradict your own philosophy in your hub or whatever you call it.

Who wrote a whole article about how fed up she is that she comes second and that second marriages come second in everything? Perhaps when she grows up, you can tell your daughter the same thing you told me and make her understand the ‘tough choices her father made and will understand that her father is not selfish for not choosing the choice that best suited her or that she would choose’ (quoting you). Is that what you are going to tell your daughter if her father decides to put her second in everything?

On the face of it, you and I seem very different but I think that actually, we are quite similar. We are both fed up of being second the entire time.

And no, I did not help those children in order to feel better. I read to feel better, I watch movies to feel better, I play the flute to feel better but I do not help others to feel better. It did make me feel better to help those children but I made others feel better too….. and that was my intention. So my father is not selfish for neglecting and sacrificing me but I am selfish for helping people in need. Yeah, sure, whatever…..

To sum it all up, I think that your argument is, well, flawed (understatement). Because you’re saying that it’s ok for a father to put the child of his first marriage second, because poor daddy has to make some tough choices and it’s natural for poor daddy to make goofs and when I grow up I will understand poor daddy who cannot be everywhere at the same time….but it’s definitely not ok for a father to put the child of his second marriage second because…um………wait a sec……….um…….um……..because of a reason still obscure to me. Now that is an argument that is perfectly unbiased, logical and full of sense (Sarcasm).

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

someone~ I think we have to agree to disagree. You haven't lived long enough to make big goofs- so you can talk the talk right now.

Your father put you second and that's not exactly right from what I know about your story. However, I do not put my child second at all so how do I contradict myself? I would never treat my own child like my husband's daughter's mother treats her. I do put my step daughter second because I am a parent first to my own child- if I have to choose, like I sometimes do now, I have to choose my own. Those are those tough choices I told you about that adults face and you have no idea why they do the things they do until you are older. Like I said before, I've been 17 but you haven't even been an adult yet.

My own daughter does come second in things, my husband goes to work rather than spends time with her. I have to choose work over her sometimes too. We have to juggle life and choices all the time as an adult. Believe me, my daughter comes second and third depending on what is going on in our lives. She will know what it is like to be second when she has a baby around soon. You see, I am guessing you are older than your step sibling(s)- younger children tend to take up more time and effort than older- this is a hard lesson I suspect you are learning and don't want to let go of your adolescence. It's a good lesson because many people in the world don't care who you are and hiearchy (first and second places) aren't going to mean a thing.

We all do things for selfish reasons. So you can judge your father because you are totally void of all selfishness. I have not met one human being, perhaps a monk somewhere, that is not selfish in at least a few ways.

In my paritcular situation, I come second sometimes to the ex wife- everything is based on her schedule, her demands, etc. I feel extremely sorry for their daughter who has been along for the ride with her mom. Wish the courts would have let us have her long ago, but we ran out of money to fight it and now their daughter has behavior issues which I can't subject my daughter to. My husband wants to see her so she is coming to visit and I have to be on guard and worry about myself and my daughter when I am alone with her all day for a month. This is where I think my daughter's safety and even mine is compromised and takes second place to my husband's daughter.

I'm not saying its ok to put a first child second. I'm saying there is no good boundaries or any sort of counseling or groups that help dads figure out how to balance both. There is nothing in place to help them make these choices. I stated that in my hub so you don't agree with that? Also, there is a reason why second families have a higher failure rate than first (50% vs 75%)- what is your suggestion if it isn't because they are put second? I hope you do not think that you always come first because you were first. A first family deals with this when multiple children come along and they have siblings- do you have any siblings other than step- maybe you're just dealing with what many kids have to deal with when their younger brother of sister are born. You would come second regardless.

Tough choices out there- what would you do if you were my husband and you wanted to see your first daughter but have to put your little one and wife in a bit of danger to see her? What would you do if your first daugher comes to visit with permission of mom, but her mom plays a trick on you and puts you in jail saying she didn't didn't give permission? THis happened to my husband- he was in jail for the day until we could get our lawyer to straighten it out. In this case, my dear, the mom is a she-devil and me, the step mom is an angel comapred to her. But what od I know, you're a teen and you know everything right now. Get ready for that big wake-up call later.

The reason why second families should take a bit more priority is because that is his current family- in my husband's case, he didn't divorce his ex- he wanted to make it work so that was her choice she made for her and her daughter. The beauty is someday you'll be an adult and your parents decisions won't effect you so much, but when you're a kid, that's life. If he doesn't put some priority in us then we wil fail too and the only thing worse than one failed family is two or more. There's your reason. It is like you are saying that the first family is always his family and then what does the second family mean? What are they? If your mom remarried and you had a new dad that only had you and you got all the attention then would you put much pressure for attention from your first dad? Doubt it so could this be an attention thing. Choices come up- let's say his new child is in the hospital and broke her leg and it is on theday of your big h.s graduation- tough choice, but this is what adults face all the time. You'll eat your words someday and have a softer heart toward your parents.

someone 5 years ago

You're telling me that I'll eat my words someday and I'm telling you that I won't eat JACK SQUAT. First of all, no, I'm not an only child . I have two other full siblings and i'm the eldest so....again... you're half-siblings are twins and a bit younger than me and they realize what their father has done. I did not wish to involve them in this argument but you've left me no other choice....and no I don't think that you quite understand me when I say 'second'. When I say 'second', it means not paying child support, not visiting my half-sibling when she was in hospital, not visiting us, not giving a damn, that's what I mean, not some stupid thing like going to work instead of being with us or things like that......did you think that it was actually an attention issue? God, my lord......I feel like swearing at you right now.....(sorry, I'm not going to swear promise lol)

And if you had two daughters, would you choose one of them over the other ALL THE TIME, WHAteVER HAPPENS? So that's why you can't expect your husband to put your daughter first all the time and SPEND A WHOLE FRIKKIN HUB WHINING about it because just as you love your daughter a lot, HE loves BOTH HIS DAUGHTERs equally and a lot. Right now, his first daughter has issues and needs him and he has to put her that's were the contradiction're telling me to understand my father's choice (I won't understand JACK SQAUT by the way), when all you do is complain about your husband's choice of giving attention to his elder daughter.

And yes i am selfish, because when my dad came begging for forgiveness one year ago, and he told me that he would do ANYTHING, ANYTHING to earn my forgiveness, I told him "YEs, you can begin by paying the 10,655$, yes 10, 655$, of child support you owe mom." And unless, I see that money in my mom's bank account, I'm not going to forgive him soon. And I did this to ensure that my mom can continue helping not only me but my siblings as well.

You think you know everything and you look down on me because I'm 17 but YOU KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. And yes most of all, second marriages fail because as lala said in her comment, second wives try to "make themselves a priority over existing children". You don't seem one of these, however, now that i know you a bit better (that's a compliment, by the way). And the thing is that when second wives try to do that, they are THEMSELVES putting their marriage in danger. Because although it may take the stupid husband 7, 10, 20 or more years to realize this, A MATE CAN BE REPLACED BUT YOUR CHILDREN CANNOT. It's ugly but it's true. And there are many people who share my view, such as my uncle who happens to be 45, my father's brother and who is in his second marriage and is both a wonderful dad AND stepdad. So I think you will one day grow up, eat all your words and add many other points to your hub such as 'some second marriages, in fact, a lot of them, fail because the new wife or husband makes the stepchildren his or her rivals, domming their marriage in the process'.

someone 5 years ago


someone 5 years ago

*not visiting my sibling when she was in hospital.

someone 5 years ago

*my siblings are twins ...... sorry but I was so angry I said 'half-sibling' instead of 'sibling'..... my siblings are in fact twins and one of them was in hospital....

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

someone~ I've said all along that men should not skip out on child support- that's a given. so where do we disagree on that?

So now I'll ask what kind of dad was your father when he was at home and your full-time dad? If he changed when he remarried it could very well be because of pressure from the evil step mother. Why do you suppose your dad did this (put you second) you must have some theories. If he was a good man before the divorce then something happened to change that and it may be something you can forgive. But perhaps this is characteristic of him and he wasn't a good father to begin with. Not every person should be a parent.

relationships are about more than money- if your father asked for forgiveness, you should take that into consideration- that unforgiveness will eat you alive. Your parents aren't alive forever and the simple fact is why do you set adults and parents up to such a high standard- Good God is right! As a parent, you will always make mistakes. any job you have, you will make mistakes. This is a simple case of you just not having enough experience to know these things. I'm not looking down on you but rather form my own perspective of when i was 17 versus now.

You make very far-fetched statements such as "you know know nothing". Well, that's impossible- I'm writing you so it seems I know English and writing at least.I went to school for counseling and research psychology- 4.0 graduated with my B.S in Psych. From my viewpoint, if you believe in God, He will judge your father. I know people who were molested by their fathers and found it in their heart later to forgive if not just for their own peace. Perhaps your father had no money for you because step mom was a shopoholic. If he has a job, most states garnish wages- if he doesn't have a job then he probably can't afford the child support.

I'm not whining on this hub, I am venting and the Internet is a great place where everybody does it. I take my personal experiences and mix it with my education and I write something. At least your dad didn't spend the college money saved for you since you were a kid, on his sex change. I could sit around and be pissed, but I forgave. he obviously needed it more. Just think though, my venting on this hub allowed you to vent as well. Some people are bitter and judgemental all their lives so no you may not eat your words- i stand corrected.

Honestly, my husband whines about not being first to me because he feels second to my daughter so I'm not the only one thinking I'm second. He always takes his first daughter's side in our arguments and it would be nice if for once, he would take our side- at least my daughter's side. My view is he had sex with his ex wife, she cheated on him and had a baby with another man 1 yr after their child (my husband's daughter) was born so he basically donated sperm. Although he tried to be in his daughter's life, he wasn't from age 6 months to 8 years. I married him and he told me he hadn't seen his daughter and would never if his ex could help it. I did not know what I was getting into. Nobody prepares a woman to be a step mom and nobody prepares a man to juggle two or more families. Maybe something you could related to is try walking into a test, never being able to study and yet others' lives depended on the outcome of your test.

I see things from your perspective, but I also see wih a forgiving heart on the other perspective as well. To be so hard on someone like your father really puts you to impossibly high standards. Maybe you are not selfish at all and maybe you have your father to thank for that because you swear to yourself you will never do what he has done to you. You see, the bad things that happen in our life shape us and can make us better people- it's called chracter building. I think you will come out the better for it if you leave behind the bitterness and unforgiveness. i am telling you almost every adult will admit to the life pattern of teens rebel against a parent, in the 20's they bring up all their issues to their parents, and in the 30's+ after they've become parents (perhaps) they forgive and let some of those grievances go. eventually you'll realize life's too short.

someone 5 years ago

oh come on.....I meant 'you know nothing' as in 'you know nothing about why second marriages fail' not that you know nothing in that sense.

And although I'm young, immature and a hormonally challenged teen, I know something about why second marriages fail, because of my father. He was a good dad before the remarriage, and then, he changed. Actually, he didn't start placing us second....he started placing us nowhere at all. I mean com'on, my twin sister was in hospital and he didn't even come to visit her! I remember ringing him afterwards and swearing at him in my own very expressive native language (English is not my mother tongue). Who's to blame if not the stepdevil who manipulated lily-livered dad?

And then, after 7 years my father said that he couldn't take it anymore, he wanted to be there for us as well and so, he divorced her. So is the reason the second marriage of my father failed, listed in your hub? NO...and my father is not the exception, believe me and neither is the Mrs.Hyde (we call stepmother that - it's from Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.) There are bad stepparents out there who try to make themselves a priority over their spouses'children, and they end up putting a lot of pressure on their husbands or wives and on the poor children. It's not only in fairytales that this happens, unfortunately.

And I know that I have many weaknesses but I don't think that selfishness is one of them. I'm a bit bossy and proud(I wonder if you've noticed =D)....and when I was younger I was so bossy that when my twin siblings were born, I wanted to be the one to change their nappies and prepare their bottles (at five years old lol).

Actually, you're making me feel so lucky to have a good mum (who frequently rebukes me for being so 'relentless'). Your husband's ex is horrible but if she has, from what you told me, severe bipolar depression, then she shouldn't have married, because even with medication, the condition is still horrible.

And money is not everything but it wouldn't hurt right now. My siblings and I have great aspirations, I'm studying to become a doctor, and my siblings are both into planes and want to become pilots (they're so cute, they do everything together). And I believe in God, and although life is unfair, I believe HE is just and I have to trust in HIM, I guess.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

someone~ I know nothing about why second marriages fail- no, I never learned anything like that going to school for counseling. I'm also in a second marriage- not mine, but my husband's so give me some credit. I know what it's like to be in a second marriage and I know what our main issues are.

Your father probably was manipulated by your step mom. I ask myself why on earth my husband would marry and have a child with the lady who was his ex- men do crazy stupid things for crazy stupid women.I'm sure you know many guys whom you wonder why they're with certain girls.Your dad came to his senses but it was not on your timeline.

There are as many bad parents as there are bad step parents so to list that is just an overgeneralization. THat is not the main reason why second marriages fail- it may be on your scope because you lived it though. There are plenty of bad parents and people who should never have been parents. My husband has one of those- his mom. She has no interest in my daughter because my daughter is "second"- she doesn't come to see her at all and will only come to see us if we have his first daughter staying with us. My daughter was only born so what did she do to deserve to not see her grandma? The second family thing goes deeper than immediate family- other members of the family take sides, etc. It's a crumbling mess for more reasons than you and I can sit here and debate.

You can look at your situation as bad (certainly unfair) but good comes from it and the traits you speak about yourself it seems came about either because of your situation or in spite of it and that's not completely bad.

I told you my priority is being a good mom to my daughter and if that means I have to a bad step mom then that's a choice I have to make. THis simply puts pressure on my husband and our marriage- we have different priorities. His daughter did grow up with a step dad who was a good guy from what I hear. I know this is not a substitution, but it is better than being without completely.

Keep standing up for yourself and your beliefs, but they will change as you get older. Be open to those changes. I just remember myself at 17 and now at 36 and I would never have thought I'd have been through the things I have in that time. it would be impossible for anyone to get through life without making some wrong turns.

I finally learned I can't please everyone all the time- while it would please my husband and his side of the family (who hate me) to do everything for his first daughter, it would not be in the best interest of me or my daughter. THis all happened right about the time his daughter beat up her mom and was charged for it then put in foster care. I did convince my husband to not take her in at that time. I am glad I did because the foster care had to give her up because they had a 2 yr old that she was being aggressive toward and hurting. That could have been my daughter had she come out with us instead. Tough choice and it cost me my husband's side of the family, but I don't regret it. In fact I had my husband go see various specialists to get a second opinion besides mine at the time and he did- they all told him not to take her. Children of bi-polar parents are a special case and have different needs. My husband and his family only see her as an innocent child and I read the police reports- I talked to her principal out here when she got in a fight at school. I had a friend who was threatened by her step daughter with a knife- I take all this into consideration and I had to make a tough choice.

someone 5 years ago

Ok calm down, if she is violent than that's ok. I don't think you would have stopped your husband from visiting first daughter in a place where they could be away from you and your daughter, would you? Well my stepmother not only did everything to keep me and my siblings away from her house (and me and my siblings do not have the habit of beating the crap out of people,so she had no excuses), but also manipulated dad into not visiting us. And believe me, there's a lot of bad water under the bridge. For example, how do you explain the fact that my father bought our half-sibling a computer for her birthday whilst he didn't even send a frikkin card on my or my siblings' birthdays? Is that acceptable? No...and that's only the tip of the iceberg. I hope I can forgive him but although a wise man forgives, a wise man does not forget and he does this so that he will not do the same mistakes when he's older ......

When people grow older, they may begin to understand better, they will be able to forgive, they change and change is important if it's for the better, but 'thou shalt not kill' should remain 'thou shalt not kill'. Some values should never change izettl.....never.....and I may understand...I may forgive....I may get softer at heart....I may start condemning the action rather than the person who performs it BUT if an action is wrong, it is wrong, if what grandma does to your daughter is wrong, it is wrong now and forever. Me getting older does not change the fact that some actions are unacceptable and will still remain thus. Your friend has been threatened by her step daughter with a knife.......that's wrong...step might have had a thousand reasons for doing that but IT WILL ALWAYS BE WRONG.

And in your case, it was a tough choice and I think you've made the right decision but you had a valid reason: SAFETY. My stepmother was just jealous.....that's not a valid reason for doing what she has done. Your intention (I hope) was not to keep the daughter away from the father, not to cause her pain...but to protect yourself and your child.

I have loads of friends whose stepmothers do not have noble intentions. I have other friends whose stepmothers are great and they are mums too so it can be done and it has to be might say it's hard for a woman to do that but there are many hard things in life that have to be done, so that is not really an excuse....

Perhaps one day I will understand and forgive but that doesn't and will not change the fact that if an action is wrong, it's wrong, period. And I do believe that there are wrong and right decisions in this world....and that wrong decisions lead to dire consequences, 'reactions', which the decision-maker in question should accept, endure and hopefully learn from....

Hope that everything will go well for you, your daughter,your husband and his other daughter. Take care and take a break maybe.

And N.B.- No, I do not waste time wondering why certain guys at school are going out with certain girls....I do not have not time for that lol....totally not interested in love affairs and such bull crap.......i'm an old woman, remember =D

someone 5 years ago

*then not 'than'

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Yes, we do have very different experiences. I know you don't like my hub and it is written with my perspective which doesn't truly account for the bitches out there that have no reason to manipulate a man out of his children's lives.

Forgiveness, as cliché as this sounds, is for you- and not to forget (definitely not). I guess I practice mostly letting it go. That grandma's mom left her so she only about deserting people- not an excuse but it helps to understand her misdeeds and so I don't get pissed I got to let it go.

Yes, wrong is wrong. I don't think anything about your situation is right. That step mom must have felt very threatened by you and I do too (lol). You will be a strong woman and you are a strong young woman now. You've learned what not to do in any case you go through the same thing yourself.

In the aspect of it not being easy for a woman to feel the same about a step child compared to a biological- it's partly due to not being able to replace the real mom. I spent so many nights up talking with and soothing my husband's daughter, teaching her how to deal with mom when she had to go back, and I never felt like a mom doing it- I felt like an imposter because i could never give her what her real mom should have.

I hope you find peace about all this. Thanks for putting a different opinion on here as it may be helpful for others.

Someone 5 years ago

This has helped me understand my husband, although I do disagree that first "families" come first! His children(2)& my children(2)- (we don't have any together for obvious reasons) come first!! We both work very hard to make things even and fair, although both sets tend to get jealous of each other. The ex- wife in this situation is horrible and is jealous of everything I do for my family, they are my step- children, but I can love them- it is not the same love for the children I birthed, but I do the same for them, as if they where. It is very difficult to live together, but we manage. There are days that I think I can take no more. I love my husband and he loves me, our children are "our" priority. All 4 of our kids are with us every other week- and to their other parents, opposite. It's crazy, but works somehow. The only issue that we have is of course $$$!!!! Alot of kids = more bills& responsibilities. We often get manipulated into paying for things the other parents should, but in the end it's for the kids.I have had issues with our pre- teen girls( rivalry) and bad moods& defiance- can't say it's not normal- it all has to be taken in stride, it's not easy, but doable& if you really love someone- you work hard to preserve your commitment. Unlike in both of our previous marriages where infidelity where the demise, we both believe marriage is for life& you don't give up, unless the other gives no option. So, our children know our bond& their boundaries, and do feel stable while in our care. They always know what to expect& know that we are there for them!!:)

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Someone~ sounds crazy but it is working somehow so congrats on that. Communication is a big factor if the kids are going between homes often and my husband, many years later, still can't talk to his ex for than a minute without hanging up. But it's true, it should all be done for the kids, but marriage is the glue so that has to be a priority as well.

OfTheHeart profile image

OfTheHeart 5 years ago from New York

Thank you for voicing all the concerns and issues of marrying a second time. I am currently engaged after a failed first marriage and we are experiencing all the trials and tribulations of step-parenting, step-siblings and financial burdens. We are both entering our second marriage and both have children from previous so I know our potential success rate is extremely low. It's sad to know this and at times it is very difficult. You are not selfish to feel what you feel, I do too and I've been married before. It's something that takes work everyday.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Oftheheart~ marriage is hard enough let alone combining a family and everyone's needs being met. Thanks for confirming what I feel as well. It's odd when you think about it but there isn't a way to truly prepare for it so it can be a roller coaster. I wish you the best into your second marriage.

Naomi129 5 years ago

I'll be brutally honest too. I'm sick and tired of women demanding to be relieved of the confines of marriage, then stating to a woman who actually DOES want what she threw away that "he made his commitment to me first"...NEWS FLASH!!! YOU (usually the woman files for divorce) demanded the comitment be DISSOLVED! Secondly, I'm also sick and tired of women of first born children telling their ex-husbands "don't have kids if you can't afford it" then they THEMSELVES go onto have kids and divert the funds that are suppose to go to their prior born children to their subsequently born child from a second marriage or relationship...both from their own wallet, AND from the child support the man (she threw out) sends every paycheck!!! They know FULL WELL that they would not tell their second child from a second relationship that they're inferior and unworthy of the same treatment as the prior born child just because she said so, but she EXPECTS HER EX TO SAY THIS TO HIS SUBSEQUENT CHILDREN????! It's the first ex-wives who are truly wicked, and truly dispicable in nature, they prove it time and again with these kinds of statements. NO ONE SHOULD TREAT ANY CHILD OF THEIRS ANY BETTER THAN ANOTHER!!!! and First wives KKNOW THAT! but are so damned money hungry that they could care less if some child goes without basic necessities in life so their precious first born can have an F*'ing IPhone!!!! I bask in the struggles of first wives...I REALLY DO! I hope they are plentiful! and I hope any man they find simply wants her for her child support check and divorces her as soon as her kid is grown and the money stops comin in. Then and ONLY THEN will first wives know just what it's like to be treated like an EX HUSBAND! First Wives are DEADBEATS!

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Naomi~ your rant is all over the place and I can't really get a clear distinction of what you're trying to say. Of course there are very different circumstances but the statistics show second marriages are more likely to fail and for some of the reasons I mentioned and some of the reasons you mentioned. In my experience the money has always been more important to the first wife than anything else. Thanks for your comment.

second best 5 years ago

I am 8 months into my second marriage (his second too). My children are older, but his are younger. When his children are with him I am almost nonexistant. His kids are great and I have a great relationship with them. I just feel like I am not important to him when they are around. He doesn't put our relationship as a priority. How do I communicate this to him without making him feel like he needs to choose? I just want him to treat me like I matter even when he does have his kids.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

second best~ maybe you guys could find more things to do all together instead of him just concentrating on the kids when they're there.

You may have to deal with it as many fathers have to after a woman has a baby when HE is nonexistant. Schedule times for just you two to feel more important and realize they are young and this won't always be this way. I would mention you want a balance so you don't feel this way and hopefully you can tell him how you feel and together you can come up with some solutions. Best of luck.

cat 4 years ago

Well is it wrong for a father and his wife , well the step mother to have birthday party with out the ex , or am i wrong here . If the kid ask for here mother to be there what should the father do . Can the step mother ask to have a party with just here and here friends and his family and mine or would that be wrong ,. If any one can help me out here i would love it .

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

cat~ my opinion is do whatever works for you and the family. If everyone is in agreemen then that is what works for you. Every situation is different- some families and exes can get along, some can't. You do whatever works for you and yours. I personally have never included the ex in any parties- she can have a separate celebration or party- you do not have to include exes if you don't want. Nothing wrong with that. I don't know your situation in depth but the kids can celebrate with the ex away from you. The celebration should be enjoyable, not walking on egg shells.

Lost 4 years ago

I've been married for nearly 8 years. My husband has 2 kids from his previous marriage and we have 3 kids of our own. When I met him his ex would never let him see or take his daughter. When he had to collect her she would make her cry for her and make the daughter so upset to leave her mother. The second child she put as father unknown on the birth certificate so we never have had any contact with him, only see him at family gatherings.

After the time I have been with him I have tried to make friends with the ex. I even went to pay the daughters school fees one year at her school as the mother did not pay anything towards the fees even though we pay her a huge amount of money for both chidren every month.

My argument or point now is, that we have started a new family and our business does very well now and after all these years of my husband always wishing his daughter a happy birthday and sending presents for christmas etc. She not once could even phone never mind send a card to her father. She is now 18 and all of a sudden obviously needs a car etc and now wants to make contact with him.

A few times we would collect her and take her shopping for her birthday and it was as if she was briefed by the ex-wife to ask for the most expensive presents around.

My husband had even bought her a cellphone in case she wanted to call him and see us but after all these years nothing until she recently saw what cars and how well we are doing.

Is it so bad for me now to be negative and feel upset that after so many years that at the age of 18 she know wants to make contact.

does this now make me a stepmonster?

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Lost~ I definitely don't see you as stepmonster. We have similar issue with my husband and his first daughter. She is now 14 and wants to live with us cause she is having problems getting along with her mom but we try and tell her that's normal. She has come to live with us before but then wants to go back to mom so I refuse to be in a bounceback siuation- she can't change her mind every time she gets in an argument with her mom.

My point is that we (you and I) are both feeling a bit used in our situations. Your step daughter may be using you guys...or something. My step-daughters mom found out we bought a house and thinks we are doing really well, but truth is the house we bought has same mortage as our rent we had for several years, but now she wants in on the "extra" money we are making. It's all super frustrating and you should have your guard's not wrong and doesn't make you bad. I hate the bad rep that step mothers get.

Alley 4 years ago

Having found the ex cheated, didn't suspect that he would have siphoned off millions and had always believed he would take care of the children and indeed myself. (20yr relnship) I was dragged through the courts; expensive delay tactic to ensure that assets which could be liquidated were. I had reputable lawyers.All assets still exist, just not on paper in his name. I really dont care about the second family, I have to worry for my own children which have been poorly treated, financially and emotionally. His children are a poor second to the new "wife" and her children. Listening to my daughter begging to spend time with him was heartbreaking!

Lost 4 years ago

Izetti- I must admit it is a tough situation to be in as after all it is his daughter. Sometimes I wish I had never gotten myself into a situation like this as in many cases just causes unnecessary fights in the house when discussed.

I do sometimes wonder how some people can get on so well with their stepchildren and I can't seem to.

Do you think it ever stops? Is your husbands ex re-married or involved with anybody else yet as mine has not been.

Ooh well will catch up shortly as I previously stated that the daughter after so many years wants to talk to her dad now, but knowingly wants something again. Probably going to happen in the next week or so, so we will see what the outcome is of that.

Have a great day!

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Alley~ yes this is a tough situation for all involved. One of the ex-partners usually don't play fair. But I see it from the "new wife" point of view that I don't entirely trust my step daughter because I didn't raise her...and can't discipline her so it makes a lot more work for me. Her mom (my husband's ex) kept his daughter from him for so long that I can't trust the daughter knowing that even my husband didn't have a hand in raising her. and now ex-wife wants to give daughter to us because she is a teen causing problems...of course I don't want this around my baby and young daughter. Tough situation.His ex reaped what she sewed and now wants us to pick up the mess.

In your case.. it truly doesn't seem fair, but you need to carry on and make best of it for your kids...I know that's what I'd do.

I also see it as tough on my husband- it's a constant anchor.

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Lost~ nice to hear from you again. I also wondered this to my husband the other day...will this ever stop? And I don't believe it will...I think his daughter will be grown and be asking for money...etc.

Recently my husband's ex has caused problems on purpose to try and make us take his daughter full time...but I simply can't trust a daughter who causes problems and has not been raised by my husband (because mom kept her from him until now...that she's a teen).

I think the important message here is a "new wife" never know what she is getting herself into especially if she has no ex or kids herself- we just can't comprehend how this will ultimately effect us.

Happy Mother's Day.

Alley 4 years ago

Izetti, No it isn't fair, had the ex done the right thing it would have been very different. In court even he stated that he had gone about things very poorly sentence from the judge .. do you still want to have the children and your wife out of the house ... "yes your honour" to get the last bit of equity to make sure I could not provide a home for the children and start again ... the judge stopped it... my crime was acting honourably and not lowering myself into the gutter that he lives and sleeps in.

He provides the exact same lifestyle, my children and I had enjoyed, for his new family, all on a supposed wage of just on $40K, a lifestyle that was over $15K a week. I found out later,he believed that"the wives get nothing".

What makes it worse is his total disdain for his own children while another womans children are having a wonderful life. I pray for his lack of contact with the children as I keep cleaning up his "messes" Three years now and he is continually wounding them.

The new wifey was a family friend of 9 yrs who watched the children grow up. A fact not lost on many who trusted their spouses with their friends ...

When a 10 year old works out that she is only there for the money it doesn't get any sadder.

Im sorry, really dont care about the second wife and her family, deal with it ... If a man has children, they are a package deal. So many things were stolen from the children ... ie father, role model, his family's support, blackmailed that if they lived with me that they would not see their cousins, forced to attend the wedding for appearances, listening to false wedding vows, lifestyle, inheritance ... should I continue? ... and the whole time ... the children are aware that the assets still exist and watch his preferential treatment for children who are not his... all the while he is crying poor that he cant afford child support for his own children ... Karma is a bitch and he will get it back in spades

PS: this "cheating" housewife knew exactly what she was getting ... a "cheating" new partner who would provide financial securityfor her and her children at the cost of my & his children. She will not be financially dudded like I was as she helped to orchestrate the removal of assets.

Second wives generally do know what they are getting but make excuses

Ellen J 4 years ago

What if your husband has 2 grown kids from first marriage? And they both disrespect him. Only call when they want something for themselves or for their Mom. He rightfully paid child support for one child till was of age and it stopped. His other is a parent of two and now getting married. The ex uses them and grand kids to get time with ex husband. I have always pushed for my husband to get a relationship with his kids. bu ex has control over them and their relationship with their father even with them being adults. He still say he has to have contact with ex for kids sakes. When kids are adults shouldn't ex be out of picture now? And shouldn't husband put his current family first?

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author I said ONE of the ex partners is usually to blame or acts unfairly. In my situation my husband's ex cheated- he was still willing to be with her and she wanted the new man who she proceeded to have 2 more kids with.

Now that my husband's daughter is a teen and causing problems with her and not getting along with mom, the ex wants her to come live with us. My husband flew half the country on several occasions for promises of seeing his daughter only for the ex to not show up or be home for him to see his daughter. Now that's not fair. And honestly now...I'm not in the mood to clean up her messes.

In your case you want your ex to see his kids and he isn't doing what he should. A new family- small children are a lot of work and take a lot of time. THe new wife only wants what's best for her kids and you can't blame her, but your kids need dad really this is dad's problem and unfortunately effects two families. Sometimes old wives like to blame new wives but as a mother you want what's best for your kids. So of course you don't care about second wife and her fmaily, and she doesn't care about first family. As a mother to my kids, I would never put my husband's first child first- I put my kids first- it's natural. You are doing the same too. Its what makes us good mothers.

I would be careful about how you act or what you say to the kids about their dad. If you put him down in front of them or have a bad attitiude with him then kids see that and won't want to be with their dad or blame him. My dad cheated on my mom and I hated him, he didn't want to come around for quite some time. I had to listen to my mom bitch about him and it took a toll out on my relationship with my dad. When he did come around and want a relationship with me, it was already damaged by what my mom said about him.

NO second wives do not know what they're getting into. How could they- they've never been a second wife before. I would say all new mothers don't know what they're getting into because they've never been a mother before. When I married my husband he said I visit my daughter a few states away- sometimes I see her other times not and my ex will never let me have her so in my mind it was done deal I didn't know ex would not want her daughter anymore and put pressure on us to take her. The evil stepmom has gone a bit too far in society, with the help of movies. Can you blame any mom who put their own kids first? You can blame a husband who usually doesn't know what to do...he's torn...and there's no manual for that either.

Just make sure as the ex you are not setting yoru kids up for a bad relationship with him- don't talk bad about him. My husband's ex talked poorly of him to his daughter and all that time he was trying to see her. Don't play's bad for the kids. It sounds like you have a lot of anger toward your ex and rightly so, but let the kids figure it out for themselves and have their own opinion of him.

In all fairness my husband didn't know what he was getting into marrying his ex who is bi-polar.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Ellen J~ I'm a little worried about this myself as my husband's first daughter gets older and on her own soon. I don't think exes are ever out of the picture. But yes I believe husband's current family should take priority if other kids are grown. I'm not sure who disagree with that. Parents of adult children can choose to help them out with money or not. Exes tend to play games if they've been hurt. I saw even my sweet mother do it. No its not right, it sacrifices all involved. I wish more people went to counseling after getting divorced. My husband's ex was perfectly fine because she got a new man and had new children. Now that he's gone and children are older, she is causing problems. It seems some first wives are fine if they get a "life" or new man and new family but when they don't they want to cause problems for ex husband. maybe they have kids best interest in mind but they go around it all wrong. Personally I wouldn't force my ex husband to see his kids if he didn't want to. THat would be something I'd have to explain to my kids as hard as it is, but nobody should be with someome if they don't want to. I think it's just as damaging for a husband to see kids despite wanting to than it is if he just got out of the picture, maybe not all together but for a while. Sometimes ex husbands don't want to be around kids because the ex wife is mean, nasty, or makes it hard for him to do so. I think most ex husband's figure the ex wife will talk bad about him to the kids and that's hard for a man to face. We see men as so strong yet they really aren't. They are more sensitive than women I believe.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Wooops! that last half of comment to Ellen was for Alley. "Personally I wouldn't force my ex husband to see his kids if he didn't want to. THat would be something I'd have to explain to my kids as hard as it is, but nobody should be with someome if they don't want to. I think it's just as damaging for a husband to see kids despite wanting to than it is if he just got out of the picture, maybe not all together but for a while. Sometimes ex husbands don't want to be around kids because the ex wife is mean, nasty, or makes it hard for him to do so. I think most ex husband's figure the ex wife will talk bad about him to the kids and that's hard for a man to face. We see men as so strong yet they really aren't. They are more sensitive than women I believe."

LOST 4 years ago

I am speechless as to how ex-wives can manipulate a situation to suite them. It is now even more dangerous when the eldest daughter is 18 and has got exactly the same attitude as her mother. You do not hear from them on birthdays, fathers days for at least five years and now that they want something guess what my husband gets messages. WTF. I give up I have now had enough and he is so stupid to fall into the manipulation act.

After reaing all the recent posts we are all stuck between a rock and a hard post. Our relationships with our own direct families are great till the rest come in the scene again.

Sorry for all my bitching but I could have predicted this weeks ago to the build up of wanting something. We are only good enough when the ex and the kids need something other to that if everything is all good you hear nothing.

Have a great day ladies!

Nmbb 4 years ago

Aggghhh...its tough for all involved. I HATE when people try to say "its harder on me than so and so." Eff that!!! Neither the first families child nor the second should be more important. The father needs to treat them all equally..which I know seldom happens. My boyfriend has two children from a previous relationahip Who he has 50/50 custody of and I am currently pregnant with a child of our own. Im worried about all these things and my boyfriends family isn't helping the cause. NOONE..(exes, parents, kids, other family members) have the right to claim higher importance even though we are human and jealousy is a real/unfortunate part of life.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Lost~ yes I know your frustration. I'm in beween a rock and a hard place currently. THe problem is there is not right or wrong and yet in society's views it's usually the step mother at fault (or the "evil stepmother").

Feel free to vent I know your pain.

Nmbb~ The issue, one that I'm in as well, is the first children are usually grown (my husband has a teen daughter) and the second family is usually babies or small children and they simply require more attention and more work, speaking from my husband's teen daughter all the way to our 4 yr old and 3 months old together- geesh babies are a lot of work. It's hard to care for my husband's daughter when she comes out to visit because I've already got my hands full. And as many step mothers will say the frist children usually fall into their responsibilty when they come visit. My husband is at work all day so its me at home with his first daughter all day, not him so if I put up a top sign to when she can visit, I'm the bad guy. Nobody is more important, but you'll see with a baby, it's survival mode and you could care less about the first child. Sad but true.And good husband doesn't have good relationship with his ex or his family so that might be part of the issue too.

Nmbb 4 years ago

Oh, I perfectly understand that believe me. My situation is going to be rough cause his two will only be barely 7 and not quite 2 when my baby comes along so all 3 will be pretty demanding for time. His family is very controlling and keep trying to convince him to ditch me and our unborn son which also doesn't help. Im afraid Ill end up resentful because as a first time mother of a newborn it will be hard enough to keep up with my little guy much less his two who dont behave or listen to anyone because when he has custody of them he lets them say and do anything they want. Im pretty sure my baby will be set on the back burner and of course like everyone else has said trouble will ensue..Im just saying noone really has the right to claim to be more important though I know it W will be easier said than done..!

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Nmbb~ At least you realize a ilttle of what You're getting into and I really sympathize with you not having his family's support and the other two kids being very young still. Believe me though, we had my husband's daughter living with us when my daughter was born and nothing compares to that love- I was not willing to put my daughter on the back burner. babies need so much love and spoiling and most will let you know with unpleasant crying that they need ALL of your attention.

Nobody has the right to more important- it's a constant juggling act. I have two kids of my own and neither are more important than the other but the baby needs more attention right now- it doesn't mean he is more important than my daughter but it would seem that way. And sometimes my daughter needs more attention and that's where it becomes a juggling act.

LOST 4 years ago

Just a quick question to you ladies. Remember I am in the same situation. Knowing what you know now would you put yourself in that situation? I love my husband and I would not give him up for anything, but I must admit if I ever had to give someone advice I would tell them to try not get into what I am in as it is a very difficult one. It is a continuous roller coaster ride. When the ex and kids aren't involved life is great but the minute they come into the picture it is close to divorce.

Alley 4 years ago

This site is a waste of time. He made his choice, you make yours .... deal with it! When you have heard your child begging for her father to spend time with her .... you will understand!

LOST 4 years ago

Yes if only that was the case it would make my life one hell of a lot easier, as stated before it does not help trying to collect the children and the ex wife makes them so insecure that they do not want to come visit so you can bond with them. It does not help 10 years down the line because it is a bit unfair to try demand now after trying for so many years. Yes I agree that it is sad but every situation is different. Ex's to me are wicked and then they want to blame the father for not spending time with the kids. When you given the opportunity to collect them and a scene was not made before hand trust me while you trying to spend and accept them the ex would phone and then make it unpleasant. So no I do not understand.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Lost and Alley~ I just had the second ever conversation I've ever had with the mother of my husband's first daughter...and it made me realize we both have something in common...we have the concern of our children first.

However, my children are still small, but I would hope I would not want to drop them and dump them after they turn into teens. For years the ex made sure he couldn't see his daughter and now that she is making problems and hard to handle, mom wants to dump her on us.

We have gone to counseling about this and the verdict is, it's not an easy discussion but one that people should know about.

Alley~ specifically to you...the post here is not a waste of time because I believe many women do not know what they are getting into when marrying someone with a first family. This information should be out there and I am still glad I made it available for people to ponder or discuss. I thank you for adding your experience but I don't think I can thank you for adding an inexplicable does of negativity.

The issue I have at the time is I deal with a disability and taking in my husband's first daughter as a teen (and having two small ones of my own) is of no consequence to him because he goes to work all day, but I stay home with kids and try to work from home as well so the responsibility falls into my lap.

I can call out two things exes should not do and that is say bad things about their father no matter what- kids are smart and they will figure things out for themselves. Also force either the kdis or the father to be with each other. My own daughter and husband butt heads all the time but that is their relationship to work out. Exes play a lot of games and many make everything on their terms. This isn't fair at all. THis is what my husband's ex has done...she wantd her daughter all to herself when she was cute and now that she's a teen suddenly she wants dad to step up. Very selfish.

Nmbb 4 years ago

Its tough all the way around..what REALLY annoys me is the pissing contest my man and his ex are involved in. They both want nothing more than to screw over the other and both are shooting for full custody. Im pulling out my hair because everyday consists of something his ex did or said about his kids that pisses him in essence hes never in a good mood anymore. June 4th we go to court. The mother of his other two filed to have his rights fully terminated or to set up supervised visits..idk what to think. Here in MI the courts USUALLY side with the mother but I dont know if she has any grounds to stand on. Either outcome will be BAD! If she wins he will understandably by devisted..and if she doesn't, the next day he will turn around and try to build a case against her. Im afraid now there will never be any peace! I dont need the stress and in two months my newborn wont either!

Elvira 4 years ago

I must say that I wholeheartedly disagree with the message that you're trying to put across. I would like to address the following points that you have made:

"But yes I believe husband's current family should take priority if other kids are grown. I'm not sure who disagree with that."

Well, I disagree. And I think many others do as well out there. You see, your current family consista of yourself, your kids and your husband. Your husband's current family consists of you, the kids he has had with you and HIS FIRST KID. If he's a good father his daughter IS and WILL ALWAYS be part be his 'current family'. I find it almost funny that you keep saying 'his current family' without realising that this also includes his eldest kid.

I can also argue that kids from broken marriages need more attention as they are going through one hell of a trauma. Conclusion : All kids need attention from their parents.

".......... but you'll see with a baby, it's survival mode and you could care less about the first child. Sad but true."

Wow. Do I really need to point out the flaw in this point? So according to you, when people have a baby they stop caring for their grown kids. Not only that, but they 'could care less' as you put it. Sad and in most cases, false.

"So of course you don't care about second wife and her fmaily, and she doesn't care about first family. As a mother to my kids, I would never put my husband's first child first- I put my kids first- it's natural. You are doing the same too. Its what makes us good mothers."

There is a great difference between putting your (BTW, I'm using 'your'to refer to stepmothers in general) own kids first and trying to convince your husband to put your own kids first. There's a great difference between putting your own kids first, and trying to push the husband's other kids away so that you can have your perfect little family with your own kids and husband, whilst not giving a damn about the stepkids. There's a huge difference.

What I'm trying to say is that you are not expected to love your stepkids as much as you do your own kids. You're not even expected to love them. However, you are expected to treat the stepkids well, not to try and hinder in any way the relationship between the kids and the father, not to put pressure on him to favour your own kids over his other kids etc. You said that you would never put pressure on your husband to be around his kids if he doesn't want to.How about also refraining from putting pressure on you husband to give up on his kid if he doesn't want to?

"When I married my husband he said I visit my daughter a few states away- sometimes I see her other times not and my ex will never let me have her so in my mind it was done deal I didn't know ex would not want her daughter anymore and put pressure on us to take her"

You didn't know, but you should have considered the possibility of it happening. Her father is just as responsible for her as her mother. Clearly, the ex can be manipulative and horrible but that doesn't change the fact that this kid needs a place to stay and preferably, a place with people that do not feel as though she has been "dumped" on them. If a father accepts a child under 18 in his house, he's not doing her a bloody favour, he's merely carrying out his bloody duty as a father. Regardless of his ex. This applies also to the mother of course. I thought this was common knowledge but apparently, no one seems to acknowledge this.

LOST 4 years ago

Nmbb- How long have they been divorced now? Just before my husband and I got married we had trouble from the ex with court cases. Just before my first child was born we had more trouble with the ex. You know half the time that if I was just given the chance me and his other kids might have been able to see eye to eye or even get along. I do not know what goes on in womans heads the whole time and like you say they play each other off and when the kids are older just the poor kids lost at the end of the whole thing.

Take it easy and try not let it get to you because that is exactly what she wants, I am not sure if it is jealousy or what, or maybe just the fact that he has carried on with his life. Know the feeling.

You going to have your baby shortly and once that little wonder comes along your whole life will change again. Good luck.

Vanessa 4 years ago

Someone you are too young to understand, while I was reading your comments on this topic, I could feel the hatred and childishness. Ofcourse divorce hurts, especially when u are a child, but u gotta think that it is better for ur parents to be apart and be happy( or at least trying to be) rather than screaming at each other. To understand what this post is about u gotta experience it first hand. Marry someone who has a child with someone and let ur partner's ex control the rest of ur lives.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

Nmbb 4 years ago

Yeah its frustrating..we will see!!

Vanessa williams 4 years ago

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.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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 4 years ago

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.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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 4 years ago

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?

Vanessa 4 years ago

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...

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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 4 years ago

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.

Sparkle 4 years ago

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.

Sparkle 4 years ago

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.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

Vanessa 4 years ago

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.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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 4 years ago

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...

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

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kaayttee 4 years ago

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.

Vanessa 4 years ago

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??

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

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Perspycacious 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

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!

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

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bigheart28 4 years ago

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.

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bigheart28 4 years ago

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.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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

joan 4 years ago

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

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

f3dup 4 years ago

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.

2ndonetoo 4 years ago

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.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

Ritzi 4 years ago

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?

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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...

ER 4 years ago

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

Dee 4 years ago

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.

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kellywwalker 4 years ago

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.


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DDE 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

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.

Tiff 4 years ago

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.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author


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.

Carol 4 years ago

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

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

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sfchick 3 years ago

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....

Nick 3 years ago

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.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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!

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RavenBiker 3 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA.

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.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

Sail Realvty 3 years ago

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.

unsure 3 years ago

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!!

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izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author


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.

Chyna 3 years ago

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

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author


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.

Okayed 3 years ago

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.

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izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author


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... 3 years ago

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!

ah 3 years ago

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

ah 3 years ago

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 .

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author


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.

Violet. 3 years ago

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. :)

Violet 3 years ago

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.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author


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.

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izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author


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.

Bigheart28 3 years ago

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

Bigheart28 3 years ago

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.

izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author


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.

Nicole Nguyen 3 years ago

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 ?!

smag4 3 years ago

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.

Fan 3 years ago

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.

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GoodHusband347 3 years ago

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.

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izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

diane 3 years ago

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

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izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

Mean mama 2 years ago

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!!

izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

Lyn Stiles 2 years ago

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

Curly sue 2 years ago

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!

izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

TarynH 2 years ago

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....

lilian 2 years ago

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.

taryn 2 years ago

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?

someone 2 years ago

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

ana 2 years ago 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.

Heather 2 years ago

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.

Akbar 2 years ago

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.

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Jamie Van Denburg 2 years ago

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.

SC 2 years ago

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.

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Ashica 2 years ago

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.

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izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

Cathy 22 months ago

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.

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izettl 22 months ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

Winon 21 months ago

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....

no name 21 months ago

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.

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izettl 21 months ago from The Great Northwest Author

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.

Nicole Austin 17 months ago

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!

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