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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.

Hi Readers!

September 16th is National Stepfamily Day, according to the Stepfamily Foundation. As such, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the bonus (I don’t like the word step) members of my family. Don’t forget to do away with the negativity on Stepfamily Day and instead, take this opportunity to recognize and thank the members of your blended families for what they are doing right!

  • My first thank you goes to my wonderful husband who is daddy all day, everyday to our son. Thank you for being the primary and prominent male figure in his life. We love you!
  • Next, I’d like to thank and recognize my son’s second mom. Every time he leaves your house he comes home talking about how much he loves you, and I can’t tell you how great that makes me feel. And, the fact that you still welcome him with open arms even when his father is out of the country for most of the year is also amazing. I love you for that!
  • I’d also like to thank my bonus son’s second dad. We appreciate you being the primary and prominent male figure in his life.
  • Finally, I’d like to thank my sons, K and M. They are two of the most wonderful kids I know. We have put them through a lot of changes, but still they remain, kind, honest, intelligent and thoughtful kids. How lucky are we?

Don’t forget to take the time to thank the special members of your blended family as well. Let’s forget about the challenges that we face in our respective blended families and instead, take this day to recognize the blessings that exist within our families.

HAPPY NATIONAL STEPFAMILY DAY!

Stepfathers don’t get enough credit, and because I know at least two that are exceptional, I feel obligated to pay homage to them in this post.

 

Some stepfathers enter into a second marriage trying to recover old wounds from his own past, build a marriage with his new wife, and settle into his new family with his stepchildren and often times, children from his previous marriage.  Although it is a difficult situation for them, it must be handled with care because their new role can affect many people and many situations. There are those who take this challenge seriously and use their new role to help heal fatherless children. Those individuals deserve praise for stepping in to help raise another man’s child/ren.

 

The first man that I must honor is my husband who has been in my son’s life since he was 4 years old (he’s now 11). He is “dad” to him in every way that counts, and for the first time since my own father, he has proven to me that being a father is much more than just playing with a child and disciplining him. You can often find my husband picking up and dropping off at school, attending parent-teacher conferences, coaching little league, knowing my son’s favorite foods, watching his favorite shows (even the ones he can’t stand), making him laugh and loving away his pain. He basically does everything a good mother would do. The amazing thing about these types of stepfathers, including my husband, is they are not bound by obligation. Instead, they are with these complicated families by choice. That, in and of itself, is powerful! They make a choice to love us and our child/ren.

 

The second man that I must recognize in this post is my stepson’s stepfather. Ok…did I confuse you?? Even through all the chaos and turmoil that our respective families face (mostly due to his wife, my husband’s ex-wife), I can not deny that he is a great father. Through numerous conversations with my stepson, it has been revealed to me how much he adores his stepfather. He’s told me about his favorite dish that his stepfather cooks for him. He often picks him up from school. He’s the excited dad in the stands at baseball games. He’s the father who is primarily raising him in his home. Although his wife (my husband’s ex) would like for him to believe that my husband is on some sort of ego trip because another man is raising his son, this couldn’t be further from the truth. My husband actually appreciates the fact that another man can be there, full-time (we live in separate states) because he can’t. I, too, have come to learn, through my stepson, how invaluable this man is to him. Additionally, I realize that it can’t be easy because his wife comes equipped with a lot of emotional baggage. This baggage keeps us bickering, in and out of court, on a regular basis. Yet, through it all, he remains completely devoted, by choice, to this child and his mother. That, alone, deserves a major pat on the back!

 

One definition of a stepfather is “the man who is married to someone’s mother, but isn’t their real father.”  It makes it sound like these men are more like boys/girls club mentors than they are fathers. Whoever created this definition obviously isn’t or has never had a stepfather because these men are real fathers in every way that counts.

 

Paula Biscare, Founder of Remarriage, LLC said it best – A stepfather is the man stuck next to you on the freeway on a Friday evening, relentlessly trying to get home to catch his stepson’s umpteenth baseball game this week. He’s the shopper at Wal-Mart at 4 a.m. December 24 trying to snag the last copy of the hottest video game. He’s the neighbor teaching his stepson to hedge the bushes, or his stepdaughter how to parallel park.

 

Stepfathers listen compassionately to their teenage stepchildren at the dinner table and skip golf on Saturday morning so they can take them to their SATs. They provide endless guidance and leadership, all while silently providing a secure and safe environment for their families. They often take on financial responsibilities, from medical bills, to college and wedding bills, and they do so without complaint.

 

Some stepfathers are unsung heroes that deserve honor, support, recognition and praise. I will continue to recognize them in my own way, and I hope that all you second and ex-wives and stepchildren take the time to show the stepfather in your lives just how important he is to your family.

 

 

 

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