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Hi BFSO Readers!

Just wanted to let you know that we’re settling in at our new virtual home! Come on over, take a look around and tell us what you think. Our new address is http://www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com. I’m hoping that you’ll still be able to reach us via this address, but I’m not certain that you’ll be able to. So, don’t forget to take note of our new address. Oh, and for all of my favorite bloggers who have us listed as one of their favorites, please change our address in your blogroll to http://www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com! It’s http://www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com – it’s still us, still insightful information, just a different look. We’ll see you there!

I just wanted to let you know that BFSO will have a new virtual address soon! Our new home will be located at http://www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com, but you will still be able to access it from the current address. Get ready for a more visually appealing site with insightful content to match. We’re so excited to show you around!

We’ve moved to www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com. Find this post and a host of new ones on www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com.

BFSO is consulting the Advisory Board once again. This time we need to help a reader figure out what she should do. Below is her scenario and my response. We know the best advice comes from those who are living or have lived it. Please respond with open minds and sincere hearts.
Reader’s Question:

I’m a Mom and my ex-husband (in which we’re both remarried) have 50/50 custody. However, we live in different towns and my kids go to school in his hometown.

My problem is that my exes new wife is my children’s primary caregiver. She is currently housesitting for her mother, in which her and my children are staying there, but my ex husband is staying at their house. This is strange to me because my exes wife’s mothers home is in the same town as my exes home. My ex said that he’s getting a lot of work done while they’re gone.

I work from home and want my kids to live with me and go to school in my home town. My ex will not give them up. he says that their home is there and that their school is there. Although I agree that stability in the same school is important, my kids aren’t being taken care of by him. They’re being taken care of by their stepmom. (who is very nice by the way).

Should I take this to court since obviously my ex isn’t the one primarily taking care of them and I have the circumstances and great desire to have them with me?

What’s your thought?

My Response:

Hi Jakki! Thanks so much for stopping by.

I am sorry that you’re in this position. It’s tough when you’re really trying to make decisions based on what’s best for your children. I am sure that your decision to allow your children to remain in your ex’s hometown was based on just that [doing what’s best for them]. However, being cared for, primarily, whenever possible, by both of their biological parents is equally important. My questions to you would be: 1) How many days of the week do you get to see them as you stated that you share custody? 2) How many times a week does your ex actually have them since his wife is caring for them outside of their home? 3) Is there a reason why your children live with your ex in the first place?

All of those questions would definitely influence whether or not I would take my ex to court. But, just from the information you’ve provided above, if my children weren’t being primarily cared for by me or my ex, then something would definitely have to change. While I’m sure that your ex’s wife is a great person (after all, she’s caring for your children), I don’t think it’s fair to you, to her or to your children to have her primarily care for them; especially when neither you, nor your husband share a residence with them.

Here are a couple of options to consider:

1. Take your ex to court for physical custody as it’s almost impossible to have joint physical custody when you both reside in different hometowns. I’m not sure how old your children are, but they will adjust to a new school. If one is a senior in high school, then it might be best to allow him to finish out the year in his current school. Other than that, kids move all of the time, and they adjust.

2. You mentioned that you worked from home, so how possible would it be for you to move to the town where your children reside? This way, they could live with you, stay in their school, but still have unlimited access to their father.

I hope I’ve helped in some way, Jakki. I’ll repost this scenario so that readers will have a chance to respond as well.

Grace and Peace,

*Kela*

 

We’ve moved to www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com. Find this post and a host of new ones at www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com.

For years the images of second wives have always wavered from one horrible image to another. If not the gold-digging young tenderoni that the man just wants as a trophy wife; it’s the much younger secretary that the man had an affair with. The woman that the ex-wife claims stole her husband, children and family. Or worst, the second wife is simply viewed as second choice and is perceived as always living in the shadow of his one true love and mother of his children. Perhaps this is the case with some second marriages, but these images shouldn’t be the only ones that we think of when we ponder second marriages. For many men, their second wives are hardly second best, but the true loves of their lives.

My Real Life Love Story

My wonderful husband often tells me that I am his one true love. He says that he didn’t truly know what love was until he experienced it with me. He calls me one of God’s most perfect creations – I love that man!! At any rate, our love definitely doesn’t mirror that of those tarnished images mentioned above.

Wedding Day

We met in high school. I was 14 and he was 15. He played basketball with my brother and some other boys from my neighborhood (he didn’t live in my neighborhood) on occasion. I also saw him everyday in school (between periods) and we would always exchange a friendly ‘hi’ and keep going. He undoubtedly possesed the sweetest, most gentle spirit that you’d ever meet. I immediately felt connected when in his presence and always knew that we would be [connected] in some way. I just didn’t know how and really didn’t give it much thought; it was just something that I keenly felt. We didn’t date in high school, but remained friends. We lost touch, however, for many years after that. I saw him again after college at a local pancake house. I was having breakfast with my mom, cousin and son and he, with his friend. He walked over to me and immediately, that same high school feeling returned. And, he was seemingly the same sweet, gentle individual that I knew long ago. We played catch up for a few minutes and then he walked back to his table. Although I didn’t see a ring and he didn’t mention it, I heard that he was married so that was it – so I thought. As he was getting ready to leave he came back over to our table. He said that he had a son who looked to be about my son’s age, and he would love to get them together sometime. I thought that would be a fabulous idea so we exchanged phone numbers. After playing phone tag for a few weeks, we finally got together, but without the boys! On our first date, he revealed to me that he had been separated for over 2 years and was going through a divorce. Anyway, we literally saw each other almost everyday after our first date, and it felt like we had never been apart.  Our boys got along great! They are only 3 months apart and soon became best friends. To this day, he is still the same sweet, gentle, loving man that I remembered in high school, and after 8 years, it only gets stronger. Our love is not one that was obtained by default; it was by design, God’s design. And, everything that we shared with our past significant others only prepared us to receive and appreciate the true love that we currently share. It’s funny because although I always felt that we’d be connected in some way, even back in high school, I never dreamed that I was passing my true love in those hallways.

I know that there are other second marriage love stories out there. We just rarely hear about them. I want to hear yours. Leave a comment or send me an email telling me about your second marriage love story. In February, BFSO will choose the winning story to post and the winner will receive a gift for sharing.

We’ve moved to www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com. Find this post and a host of new ones at www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com.

I have an issue that I’d like to reach out to the BFSO Advisory Board (that’s you readers, by the way) for advice on. It’s about my ex and his relationship with our son. Most of you know, by reading the blog, that my ex is an overseas basketball player and has been since I was pregnant with our son. As such, he’s been living out of the country ever since our son was born and he’s now 11. As a result, they pretty much don’t have a meaningful relationship. My ex wants to change that and so do I, but we clash on how to do so. He is only in the states about 8 weeks, maybe a little more on occasion, out of the entire year and has been since I was pregnant. Therefore, my son has never had the opportunity to develop a meaningful bond with him. It took my son a long while before he actually wanted to go over to their house, without being forced.  Over the past few years, however, it has gotten better; especially since his wife and son stay behind while he goes to Spain to play basketball. It has allowed my son to spend more time in his second home, with his second mom and little brother. Now, he loves to spend as much time with them [his second mom and brother] as he can, and I certainly don’t mind. As a matter of fact, my husband and I are both very happy that he asks to go over every weekend, holiday or whenever he has a break from school. It confirms that his second mom really makes him feel at home when he’s there.  I thank God for that…what a relief! The problems occur when my ex returns for his 8 week visit. My son almost instantly withdraws and doesn’t want to go over.  Last summer, he even said, “I’ll just wait until dad leaves before I go over there again.” When I asked him why he said that he just didn’t feel comfortable when his dad was there. He said that he’d like for him (his dad) to get to know him better.

Let me explain…my son is a highly intelligent, straight A student. He started booting up the computer (on his own) and playing educational games at age 18 months, putting together 100 piece puzzles before age 2 and reading, fluently, by age 3. He’s our brainiac who loves anything having to do with science. Some of our conversations are even over my head! Additionally, he’s the sweetest, most kind-hearted, compassionate, wise individual (not kid, but person) that you’d ever meet. Most people (his teachers, friends’ parents, etc) literally compare him to Ghandi. His bio-dad, on the other hand, is a jock. He’s the professional basketball player, who like most (I don’t mean to stereotype, but it’s true) are self-absorbed individuals, who think that world starts and stops around their schedule because they play basketball. Are you starting to see how the two completely clash??

With that said, I can really tell, especially since my ex is getting older and finally growing up, that he desires a more meaningful relationship with our son. But, he wants our son to do so on his terms. He thinks that by forcing him to stay the entire summer (the 8 weeks that he’s here) that their relationship will automatically improve. I told him that forcing him would potentially do more harm than good. By the time my son gets over the shock of being forced to stay in an environment that he’s not comfortable in, it’s time for the ex to skip town again, for a year, and they get to do it all over again the next summer. I explained to him that forcing him to be with him will not do any good until he decides to stay put for more than 8 weeks in the summer. Additionally, being a parent is much more than just having him in the house with you. You have to spend time with him and even do things that he wants to do at times.  And, because you’ve never had an opportunity to bond, alone time is essential as well.  My ex just doesn’t get it at this point. I will say, however, that I can really tell that he’s making a concerted effort to understand where I’m coming from. I’m so happy that although we don’t agree on everything or even always understand each other’s points of view, we both talk about it like adults and then attempt to work out an optimal solution. And, at the end of the day, we both really want what’s best for our son. What a blessing to have finally arrived at this point!

My question for the BFSO Advisory Board is, should I force my son to stay the 8 weeks in the summer, if he doesn’t want to? Legally, I am not obligated to do so because the judge ordered that he give 60 days notice prior to arriving in the states, which he has never done because he said that he just can’t. However, I’m always flexible with the parenting time schedule and allow my son to see his dad and/or second mom as much as he wants. My thoughts are that if dad were doing everything that he was supposed to do, we wouldn’t have to force him. I’ve told him to call regularly, not just from time to time. Use email to communicate with him on a regular basis. I even suggested a webcam for more frequent contact. But, he’s acted on none of my suggestions. Why should I be flexible and bend over backwards to achieve this goal [my son spending more time with him], and why should my son be forced to be uncomfortable, if dad can’t hold up his end of the bargain? Whether it be because he can’t or isn’t willing? What do you readers think?

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