Second Chances by Jude Urbanski
The words Isaiah 43:18-19 are inscribed inside my second wide, gold wedding band. That verse tells me to forget the former things and see the new thing the Lord is doing. In other words, I have a second chance in a second marriage.
Now, I feel I’ve been married all my life! Twenty five years the first time and almost 25 years the second time. Yes, I like to think I am a sage woman still with dreams. Our original family is never replaced, but to forge a blended-family takes a bunch of all-around courage, civility and cheers.
I happened on to a little book by Harry H. Harrison (H to the third power!) called 1001 Things Happy Couples Know About Marriage. His chapter on Second Marriages sang to me. I will paraphrase and bullet some of his words of wisdom and words of humor as well as some of mine. I laughed out loud as well as took some deep breaths when thinking of these. May it be so with you.
• Being married a second time means we are blessed to find comfort and companionship again, but that we can screw up royally the first time and get a beautiful best fit the second time.
• Any marriage is a sacrament. Even second ones. Even fourth ones. Even fifth?
• We often feel like teenagers in a second marriage, when we have teenagers.
• An emotional divorce is needed from our first spouse in order to really connect with our new spouse.
• We need to know all the kids involved may dream of their parents getting back together. So proceed slowly.
• It may take more than an overnight to fall in love with your partner’s children.
• Over time both sets of children can learn to respect and tolerate one another, but it will take time and be on their terms. I personally can attest this can happen.
• Your new spouse probably wasn’t looking for a new mother or father for the kids, but a partner and companion. In fact, my husband said these exact words.
• Whenever possible, think in terms of ‘our kids.’ Period. Not easy, but do it.
• We have found that separate personal accounts, but a joint household account, works well. We can still borrow from one another! The rich and famous do this I hear.
• Accept that step kids may like the first set of grandparents better. Normal! In reality, we should shine at this and be more than glad.
• Whatever the custodial arrangements, it is important to spend time with your own kids.
• In my opinion, joint custodial arrangements are hard to accomplish. Maybe the parents should move from house to house and not the kids.
• Think long and hard on why the first marriage failed, so this one won’t.
Whatever our story or our unique set of circumstances, we must go forth from where we are and make the best decisions we can. We know that all things can be made new; we can forget the past if needs be and see happiness ahead. Viva la Second Chances!
Jude writes both non-fiction and fiction. Her ebooks, The Chronicles of Chanute Crossing, come out this year in print by Desert Breeze Publishing. She and husband are working on a small, non-fiction book of vignettes when he was a single father of five. They are approaching 25 years of a blended family with eight kids and 20 grands, who live from coast to coast.