During the almost 6 years I’ve been with my husband, only the first one – a few months actually- involved some (a lot actually) uncomfortable moments because of his ex. Thinking about it, I would say it was not actually because of her but because of my husband’s poor management after his divorce. He was, hiding in the pretext of the possibility of something happening to his kids, allowing people bother him (and us) calling at his cell phone for intolerable things 24/7. Yes, stupid calls woke us up in the middle of the night and questionable calls were made and carefully attended on weekends, dinners and conversations were mutilated, quite moments were disturbed, romantic moments were murdered. No, not a single one related to a reasonable need of his kids, not one related to an emergency (because Santa’s shopping list is not and emergency, and who was going to buy the cars when the kids reached 16 was ridiculously unreasonable (being the kids either infants, or 12 the oldest). Time washed out that stage quickly, reason why I just recall it with a twisted sense of humor. I know she existed, and does exist ( I know where my husband’s money goes, and is not towards nice clothes to me or house gadgets on demand). She definitively knows I exist; and if she is a bit of an observer, she should know my husband is a renewed man, and is doing fine, and growing as he would never had next to her (at his own credit… but not underestimating my part)
I have never had any kind of encounters and the only way I remember she exists is when I see her kids visiting my husband every other weekend. Meticulously, he has made all possible efforts to keep me away and unaware from any incidence coming from that side (of course, he still does not get that “sixth” sense one has and d thinks I actually ignore everything). But I have to recognize his efforts on the matter. I’ve had no hard times on those regards. I don’t even know how she looks. I do know she is not a good person though. Why? I’ve seen the deep rooted damages she’s left in my husband’s mind, soul, and skin. Someone capable to extirpate from a good human been any traces of trust, sensitivity, peace of mind and comfort, is not a good person. Someone capable to truly deteriorate the physical wellbeing of her spouse is not a good person to me. To be honest, I cry rivers every time I look at pictures of my husband back in those years, I look at him, and that person is not my husband, he could not have been my husband. To her disbelief probably, she must have been seeing the turn in his life (and I don’t think she’s happy about it, but who cares). She could not kill his vision, his efforts to climb goals, his desires to live better.
What I won’t do, is to criticize her “mother” side. I can’t, it would not be fair. Why? She may be doing what she knows, applying what she’s learned, living as she’s used to and displaying her own background. As my husband must have secretly recognized, his second wife is in the opposite place, 180 degrees from her and the life they had. Where I come from, who I am, what I believe, how I live, what I like is absolutely different, the opposite of what he saw, lived and learned during those years. Therefore, my roads, my sight and my north, clashes violently with the ways he was used to. Since that applies to my parenting style too, I know he must have a hard time understanding why the ways he applied with his other kids, and the ways he applied domestically in his previous household outrageously collide with my perspectives and goals. Yet I know that despite his resistance, his pride and toughness, he is now able to see things he never saw or thought before.
Where am I landing? I cannot be compared, because there’s no point in doing that, which is a good thing. It’s not that I think I am it, it is just hat you cannot try to compare the results of two completely different chemical formulas… there’s not constructive purpose. But for looking at the faces of her kids, I would forget her existence; thanks to my husband I have not had the hard times other second wives experience. But for that former legal contract and the living consequences of that, I can proudly say, it is as if I was his first wife in many ways. However, unfortunately, that regularly inexistent shadow happens to interfere like a shadow in the light in the most important life experience one can have: motherhood. It is when I became a first time mother that my shoulders felt the weight and precedence of the adjective “second” as in “second wife”. I’ve never experience trouble because of the shadows of the ex, she was an invisible harmless ghost. Yet the hardest fight I’ve had has been defending my rights in life to live the experience of being a first time mother. Weird isn’t it?
This is why, I did not live my pregnancy the way I would have wanted, because it happens that my husband's previous experiences where far distant from what someone like me would have expected. And since he went through that several times before… I was the unreasonable, pure inexperience maybe… his way was a proven one apparently… I still question that. I could not have clear skies the day my son was born, and the days after… because his worries were somewhere else, and even though I knew he loves me and he was beyond happy… his actions showed me the door to a second place (no, not behind my son which would have been more reasonable), by ignoring everything I said about how I wanted to live that experience, yielding to other interests related probably to his sense of guilt towards what he left behind. I’ve not been able to peacefully be who I am and peacefully do what I want for my son, since my road bifurcates from the road he had in terms of parenting, instead of learning and growing, it is easier to attack my ways when colliding with that other side of his life. Yes, things are getting done, but a lot of sweat is on the floor and a couple of tears on my cheek some times. Since he has always been in the middle of a kindergarten, and I have not, it seems I cannot freely and comfortable decide how to introduce my son to interact with other kids, because nothing has happened with his way, which is not the point: the dis-authorization and overruling of my attempts as a first time mother with my own beliefs and ways (which seems I cannot develop because they are interfering with his regular course of parenting business and the precedent rights of his side, or they turn offensive towards his side’s interests). I do know things will grow in complexity as my son will get older, and new challenges call at our door.
By now I know it sounds like pure complaining. But he’s the amazing positive effect of my struggle and discomfort in this motherhood battle overcoming the shadows of being the second wife: I became a warrior, motherhood wise. I’ve been prompted to analyze over and over the kind of parenting I want for my son, evaluating and re-evaluating my applicable principles. I became more than committed to raise my son with the full extension of the knowledge I’ve amounted and the knowledge I would seek every single day of my life. I know that as a wife my priority is to promptly and adequately take care of my husband and house, and I would fiercely do it every day of my life. Likewise, as a mother I will defend my son’s formation and my rights as his mother to exercise all the efforts I may find proper for his development and his steps in this life’s road. I methodically and consistently inform myself, I am my toughest critic, because I want to learn from my own mistakes, and grow from them, I want to grow as a mother, by the hand of my son’s growth. I could take any positive critic, but I will not subsume my right to experience motherhood my way to the comfort of anyone out of my household, nor will I subject my expectations to the shadows of the pattern of past times and their results. Every day is a new one, every day the past is one more step behind. Unexpectedly, the darkness sometimes threatens, but it happens to build a stronger me, and a stronger commitment towards my son’s future.
Furthermore, I have to give my husband some credit. Whether he wants to openly recognize it or not, I know he’s growing as a father too. He has the heaviest part. He’s aware now of things he never considered, he has seen over horizons he never considered, he’s realizing there was a huge and demanding world out there (parenting wise), he has to bare the pride and pain of being conscious of his own faults or lacks. It has been hard for me, I surely deserved easiness on the matter, but I’m aware it has been harder for him. I’m just developing my life project, so I was to expect some detours and obstacles to overcome; but he thought he had mastered those life stages, and the human soul does not easily accept the change or the hand’s mistake. He will have to learn to set aside guilt, which has no room in this subject matter, and take advantage of the lessons given by the roads that were not taken, and the new perspectives.
I’m proud of him, because despite it all, he always moves forward, whether he openly accepts it or not. When the anger dilutes, he becomes a better individual, a better husband, a better father. When the anger dilutes, I become a better wife, a better mother, I grow in patience, and harvest more than what I would if things would resulted the easy way. And as a couple, we learn from each day to be better the next one.
At this point, through difficulties and imbalances, life has offered me so many opportunities to grow, that beyond wondering what if, I look for the next step, because my son so deserves from us: stay looking for one step forward every day. He deserves a daily growth from his parents, because he is a unique experience for BOTH of us, he is beyond every one’s past experiences, he was blessed with new opportunities, and he does not have to stay in the same place others are just because of an irrational equity remedy based in a twisted idea of what equality means (equality calls to treat different those who differs, and equals in an equal manner) If God gave him a whole new set of roads, a whole new set of parents, further is the only way. He is beyond what has been done; he is future, something no shadow will take away from me, light which no shade will block its brightness. I’m not second in line; I’m his only mother, and my husband’s sole source of personal support. The two of them are my life, and they are worth all efforts.