A phrase people love to use when you're planning a wedding is, "You only do this once." We know that's not true based on divorce rates, but it's especially true in my case - Hi, I'm going to be a second wife. I'm engaged to a man who was married previously for 3 years, together for 7.
There are 2 ways people look at second wives. One is we are incredibly lucky. After all, a divorced man has learned his lesson and doesn't want to go through that again, right? Someone actually said, "You get him broken in, like a puppy." No, I didn't slap her. Not with my hands at least. Or I get hit with a pitiful, "Oh, he's been married before. That's okay. You know, that doesn't mean you can't celebrate" A real life SATC-Nina-Oooh-face moment. Neither quite sums it up.
I'm not bothered by being a second wife, so much as I am conscious of it. For example, his first wedding was in a fancy country club, where she wore the grandest of ball gowns and they posed for lovely pictures on top of a hillside. I would sooner die, but even if that was what I wanted, I'm not sure I would do it. (The optics of it.) And anyone who knows us, his ex wife and I, knows that we couldn't be more different. I've met her once, while they were still married. She was quiet, reserved, thin, worked out every day, and wore only designer. An overall girl about town. I, on the other hand, only stop talking when I'm breathing, my chewing muscles are the only ones that get a daily workout, I love H&M so much I decided to work there, and I never have greater joy then when I find out my plans are canceled, so I can stay home and enjoy my rent. Not only are she and I different, I think he's different: more adaptable, more open, and more focused on us having a good marriage than the optics of an amazing wedding. He's also experienced and I do get the benefit of that experience. Plus, sometimes I like being the "upgrade" cliche. One of the compliments I give my girls when they look amazing is, "You look like someone's second wife!" Cute yet mocking.
So much goes into a wedding that added pressure around someone's single or divorced status is the last thing I want to worry about. That being said, here are a few things that second wives want you to know (We discussed it at the meeting, yes Bette & Goldie were there. We kicked Diane out after the standing by Woody thing.) -
1. We don't really care what you think about us having a large, or minuscule, wedding. We also don't care if you think it's tacky to have an insanely expensive blowout with him having been married before and all. And we definitely don't care about your opinion in regards to anything regarding our relationship or our life. Really. Unless asked, zip it.
2. Husbands are not puppies. It's not as simple as once house trained, they never pee inside again. Happy couples know you need to be a great partner to your partner. Specifically, based on them. Don't tell me how he's going to be so much better now because he never did this for her and he does it for me and you can just tell. Go drink some water.
3. Yes, every now and then (about once a week), when we don't get our way, we use the Sophia Vergara quote: "I am the second wife. Why do you treat me like the first?" It helps move things along.
4. Just ask about the dress. Always ask about the dress.
More About LaToya Lewis
LaToya Lewis is a second wife to be, cupcake connoisseur & Beyonce believer. She's currently obsessed with nail art and zucchini lasagna. Read about it at upclose & epic.
Photo Credits: Ring photo by L-house/iStock /Getty Images. All others courtesy of LaToya Lewis.