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The Second Wives Cafe : Secrets for Becoming Lovers for Life
The authors, a husband-and-second-wife team, use clinical case studies and informative vignettes to highlight distinctions between a healthy second marriage and one tarnished by what they term "ghostly intrusions" from a prior marriage.

 Personal Essays 

Top Ten Things I've Learned as a Second Wife

bridal couple by "janetb"

  1. All people are created equal, but we don't remain so. At some point, some people become more entitled than others. And remain so.
  2. The "justice system" is misnamed. There is precious little justice in our system. Politics, bribes, self-aggrandizement, and agendas are everywhere. Justice is hiding in the closet from them.
  3. "Firsts" are priority. Not in every case, no, but no judge has ever cut alimony to the rich first wife, so the innocent children of the second marriage can have a fighting chance. My own children were used as a liability to my husband when his ex-wife decided she only wanted to work part-time.
  4. Guilt is a terrible justification. "How could you leeeeeeave me?" and the like has cost men more money than all monster trucks combined.
  5. "Judicial discretion" is the broadest term I've ever heard. There is nearly infinite judicial discretion in our system, yet no judicial accountability. Judges and courts are "rated" by how many of their decisions are overturned, so the appellates will decline to overturn in the name of "judicial discretion."
  6. Nice guys often do finish last. Everyone else tramples them.
  7. If anyone gives a damn, hang on tight to them. True friends and loved ones — people who will stand by you — are precious beyond words.
  8. It's not the first marriage that's for love. That was his practice run. It's this one, that's withstood so much, that was for love.
  9. You don't marry for money; you divorce for it. Dr. Sanford Braver, as quoted at MenWeb, says, "on average, mothers are more satisfied with divorce settlements than fathers," and "75 percent of fathers thought it [the court system] was slanted in favor of mothers — and more than a quarter of mothers agreed!" In an informal survey here at SecondWivesCafe, 63% of the ex-wives had more disposable income than the ex-husbands.
  10. Finally, I didn't have A CLUE what I was getting into! 'Nuff said.


Talk About It! "Top Ten Things I've Learned as a Second Wife"



"janetb" is the forums name for a second wife in her first — and last — marriage. She, her husband, and their two children have been "bulldozed by the court system," she reports. His millionaire first wife was awarded more in alimony than her husband earns. An arrest warrant has been issued for him for contempt of court, caused by his inability to pay the alimony.

Janet says, "I am trying unsuccessfully not to become a bitter old hag like my husband's ex."

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