Women can be catty and women can be petty and even pretty mean sometimes, in fact we can be our own worst enemies. But, when you are the second wife and you are disrespectful or jealous of the first wife, it is what I call “The Second Wife Syndrome.”
What constitutes this syndrome? Anger, jealousy, judgment, lack of cooperation and communication and oftentimes stepping in the middle of the parenting of the husband and ex-wife, making it very difficult to co-parent without mishap.
I know women who have been a first wife with an ex remarried and a then a second wife. Many times, as the second wife, women stand in the background, trying to make as little trouble as possible, leaving the parenting and the plan making up to the parents who gave birth to those children. But, what happens when Second Wife Syndrome is an issue and you can’t co-parent?
Here is a letter for all of the second wives out there that have Second Wife Syndrome, and I would like to share it with you.
Dear Second Wife:
He’s all yours now, and I wish you the best of luck in your new life. I hope he treats you better and loves you more. I pray for you that he is a better step-father than he is a father and although I would love to tell you some of his habits and personality traits, I think it is best you find out for yourself, and don’t ignore those large pieces of luggage in the closet, you’ll be sorry if you do.
I realize from the way you are treating me you have problems with me. But, it’s a fact of life that I was married to him and am the mother of his children, and I don’t like it anymore than you do, so please get over it. By the way, I am sorry he is not trained yet. I’m sorry that he still makes messes on the carpet and sniffs other dogs, but remember these adages; a leopard can’t change his spots and you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Is he complaining to you about paying the child support? I’m so sorry to hear that! But, these are his children too, and you knew he had them before you got married, or did you?
We could have been friends, if nothing else, than for the sake of the children, but you have rebuffed all my offers of getting to know each other. It’s a shame, because I could have told you so many things.
I realize you think I am jealous of you, but I’ve been where you are, and know there is nothing to be jealous about. You do, however, have my blessing and my sympathy. I wish you the best of luck, and when he does to you what he did to me, please don’t knock on my door for sympathy. All I ask is that you treat my children well when they are with you, and please don’t take your insecurities out on them.
Wife #1 (or 2 or even 3)
If any of you are dealing with Second Wife Syndrome and would like to borrow this letter, feel free to do so.
Acknowledge, Accept, Empower and Heal.