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Date: October 18, 2018, 08:36:47 AM

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Why second wives seldom accommodate step-daughters: Family : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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Why second wives seldom accommodate step-daughters

By: dayan (M) |Time : October 06, 2018, 04:36:07 PM
By Bunmi Sofola

MY husband, Made, a surgeon, was 56 and at the end of a 27-year marriage when I met him five years ago,” recalled Susan when recounting her experience as a step-mother to three hostile children from her husband’s first marriage. “I was 43, with a 10-year old daughter from a previous relationship; he had three daughters ranging in age from late teens to early 20s.

“While we realised weeks after meeting that we had most definitely fallen in love, we knew we would face considerable challenge blending our domestic lives. Still, we kept saying to each other, with deluded pride,it would be a piece of cake. What I hadn’t realised, in my excitement, was just how demanding or complex becoming a second wife could be.

For the first 18 months of our relationship, our blissful high were punctuated by damning lows, raging arguments and periods of insecurity. I hadn’t envisaged I’d have to navigate such lonely and inhospitable terrain.

“Four years into my marriage, I now have a special empathy for second wives. It’s like a taboo club, particularly if you’re struggling to unite two families. When you meet another member, there is this sigh of relief knowing that they relate only too well to what you are going through. I believe mine and Made’s problem stemmed from our different family backgrounds and attitudes. With a grass-to- grace background, he didn’t place that much importance on education, and had never once encouraged his children to do their homework or even read school reports. His former marital home was chaotic and untidy. I, on the other hand; was upper middle class who believed in firm boundaries, discipline and tough love. As the daughter of a retired high court judge, education ranks highly amongst my list of parenting priorities. I’m also a house-proud neat-freak!

“Our different parenting styles became a sort of battle ground. I couldn’t believe that it didn’t matter to him if his daughters went to the university—or even strive to get a job. Worse, he would over-compensate whenever he saw or spoke to them. I soon realised this is common among men who’ve left the marital home to begin a new relationship. Some days they are so eaten up with guilt about choosing their own happiness at the expense of their children’s security, that they can become over-placatory and —often in the eyes of the second wife—weak.

“I remember staring at Made agape the first time his youngest daughter then 16, joined us for lunch, six months into our relationship. (To this day, the two older children have refused to meet me. I have some sympathy with this; they felt we got married too quickly). As we sat in the restaurant, I simply couldn’t believe his funny, dopey smile and forced jollity. I’d never seen this side of him before, and I was frankly stunned.

And for the first year, whenever he spoke to his daughters on the phone, he would adopt an ingratiatingly sugary voice I’d never heard him use with anyone else. He’s endlessly patient with them, never rising to anger. Yet in the rough and tumble of our domestic life, he will shout at me, eyes cold with fury!

“In fairness to him, he’s always been wonderfully inclusive of my daughter. I did not introduce her to him until we were engaged four months into our relationship, so she, like Made’s children, had to accept our marriage was a done deal!

“As things stand, there is a constant fracture between ‘his family,’ i.e., the first family, and ‘our family,’ the second one. I was so resentful of his first wife that I often broke the cardinal rule, criticizing his children. I asked myself how could he bring up children who according to him were never taught to say thank you or tidy their room.

And because of my attacking nature, we had furious rows,  and naturally he became defensive on their behalf. He began to creep out to phone his children on his mobile, speaking to them in his car, which created a sense of betrayal. If they rang when we were in the car together, he wouldn’t take the call. His older children never phoned our landline, as that would mean they’d have to acknowledge I actually existed, and lived with their father.

This is my warning to anxious second wives; take note—the secretive texting and furtive calls your husband makes are far more likely to be to his children than his ex-wife or any other woman. Recently, we were in the car when his daughter called. He was unsure whether to take the call, and I urged him to. But when he spoke to her, he said, ‘I’m in the car’ as opposed to ‘we’re.’

I felt insulted that I was not referred to—as if my presence was a guilty secret. When I share my experiences with other ‘second wives,’ I find the mobile phone scenario typical. One friend feels nauseated every time her husband speaks to his 27 year-old-daughter and goes all gooey and adoring, calling her ‘darling’ and ‘sweetie’ as if he’s speaking to his young lover. She also has to endure her step-daughter rearranging his clothes and patting his hair to shape while staring pointedly at her. Another friend is incensed every time her step-daughter waltzes into her kitchen and help herself to the choicest of meat in the pot.

“I agree such behaviour over steps a boundary, just as I believe children should phone and thank their step-mothers when they have been to stay. Yes, it’s their father’s house, but when you—as the eager-to-please wife—have put yourself out to accommodate them, trying far harder than with your most challenging and exhausting guests, it would be a generous gesture that the father could endorse.

 I’m not surprised statistics show that second marriages are struggling and increasingly ending in divorce. Third marriages are even worse.”

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Re: Why second wives seldom accommodate step-daughters

By: dayan (M) |Time : October 06, 2018, 04:43:16 PM

This story just gets you scratching your head if you are a man...
For me, what makes me scratch my head more is the fact that some divorced men with children are able to get into marriage relationships with women they hardly even understand.
They only wake up in the middle of the second marriage to start dealing with women who have serious mental and emotional issues.

Take the quote below for an example:

Quote
As things stand, there is a constant fracture between ‘his family,’ i.e., the first family, and ‘our family,’ the second one. I was so resentful of his first wife that I often broke the cardinal rule, criticizing his children. I asked myself how could he bring up children who according to him were never taught to say thank you or tidy their room.

And because of my attacking nature, we had furious rows,  and naturally he became defensive on their behalf.

Re: Why second wives seldom accommodate step-daughters

By: dayan (M) |Time : October 06, 2018, 04:57:41 PM
Whenever a divorcee with children starts talking about second marriages, all my alarm bells start going off.
I mean, there is a solid reason why the first marriage failed and the children now have separated parents.
THAT, is what any responsible human being should spend the rest of his or her life trying to figure out and patch.

Why do people simply have sex; get sucked in by sexual pleasure; rush into second marriage (dragging the children kicking and screaming  >:( ); and then wake up after the sexual nirvana has cleared to start sneaking around and trying hard not to kill each other (and the children)?

And women are worse culprits of this tendency...

BTW the title of this article is misleading. This is NOT about second wives.
It is about second MARRIAGES ;women in particular - who can't stand children of the men they plan to marry.

Any man with basic brains and not led by his d*$#k should avoid these types of women like PLAGUE.

Such women exist even inside marriages and inside monogamous ones, too.

They can't seem to accommodate other women’s children. They just can't.
Such women need to be shipped to lone islands where they stay alone with their kids and only be visited once in a while by men who like the purest form of wickedness.
Nonsense.  8)

Re: Why second wives seldom accommodate step-daughters

By: Ramjoe (M) |Time : October 07, 2018, 10:02:22 AM
Quote


While we realised weeks after meeting that we had most definitely fallen in love, we knew we would face considerable challenge blending our domestic lives. Still, we kept saying to each other, with deluded pride,it would be a piece of cake. What I hadn’t realised, in my excitement, was just how demanding or complex becoming a second wife could be.



This formed the genesis of their problems in the marriage. It's the man's second, he should have approached it better. There should be some discussion (even if it doesn't really lead to any conclusion at all at the time) about their children before they get married. Whether they want it or not, the kids are part of their union so they need to define the place of these children either they leave them out of reckoning totally (which I think will cause more harm than good) or they try to bring 'em together to form this new family (methinks it's a long shot but smells good if they come through)...

Children or not, no matter how young you think they are have minds of their own and you can't just make big decisions which directly impacts their lives without carrying them along.

"Sebi satide ti yoo dara, jimoh ni a ti maa n mo
" - A Saturday that will bring good tidings, you feel it from the Friday.

 Having such discussion before marriage (the second, third or whatever) is crucial as it gives you an insight into how your partner will treat your children, then you consider the pros and cons from there. At least you will know what you are getting yourself and your darling children into right from the onset.

Dialogue is key, before - not after marriage.

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