The Indian experience of a second marriage is still relatively uncommon. One blogger shares her experience with her second marriage.
This is my experience with second marriage and it may not be true for everyone else. Ever so often, I find myself falling into the trap of “being owed happiness”. I waited long enough for this man, ergo, he must be the answer to all that ails me. Why must I still be expected to work on finding my own happiness or put forth the effort to make this second marriage a happy one? It is as if the long, frustrating and often hopeless waiting to get to this state entitles me to happiness without any further ado.
The insecure child
We have only one child (mine) between the two of us, so I have it a lot easier than couples who marry for the second time and need to bring many kids together. Even so, there are challenges and complications due to the presence of a child. Mine was acutely insecure for several months into our marriage. On the one hand, she had this compulsive need to ensure that my husband had what it took to keep me happy but on the other, when she saw us happy together she grew afraid of losing her mother to a relative stranger. The two forces worked in equal and opposite directions bringing a great deal of stress into the family. It took a lot of reassurances from both of us and demonstrating to her that her position in my life had not diminished in any way to alleviate that insecurity.
On the one hand, she had this compulsive need to ensure that my husband had what it took to keep me happy but on the other, when she saw us happy together she grew afraid of losing her mother to a relative stranger.
Both my husband and I have shed several friendships in the wake of our marriage. On his end, this were friends that felt compassion or pity for him because he was floundering partner-less without direction in life. By inviting him into their families, they got an opportunity to feel better about themselves and rejoice in their superior standing in life. This pity-fest had been going on for years and all at once my presence post his second marriage ended it.
I had been a feel good project for several of my girlfriends – married and single. They could do little things to help me out, reduce the burden of my responsibilities as a single mom without inconveniencing themselves seriously. By ceasing to be single, I had taken away their opportunity to be Good Samaritans and they were quick to dump me as well. The result is that we are relatively friendless, in need of building a social life all over again and the very idea is irksome.
The parental equation
We have found out that parents get used to us being single and dependent on them a lot more than we would have otherwise been. As much as they would like for lives to return to normalcy and for us to find a life partner, they are often unable to relinquish what they had from us in the years past. My mother for instance ran my household like it was her own, without any interference from anyone. I was too desperate (and grateful) for the help to question her authority. She is now failing to recognize that her role has changed and she needs to play a very minor part in my family.
We both expect the other person to communicate clearly what they want. Yet for the smallest things to take so much back and forth tires us out. We have the social roles and responsibilities of a couple with a ten year old child, when the second marriage is not even two years old. What would come naturally to a couple of our vintage, takes a lot of doing for us to accomplish. With that, small tasks become Herculean efforts and we are both left emotionally exhausted. With so much energy expended in setting appropriate expectations for mundane things, we have none left to work on cementing the relationship – it inevitably gets pushed to the back-burner.
We have the social roles and responsibilities of a couple with a ten year old child, when the marriage is not even two years old.
I never subscribed to the idea that a single person or a single parent is any less or different from a married person. I would go out of my way to prove to myself that I was alright and that my child was not being deprived of a “normal” life. Yet, there was always this nagging sensation of being an outsider to normal (in my case suburban) society. I had nothing in common with the stay-at-home PTA moms. I still have very little in common with them but having a husband affords me a small entry into their world.
Similarly, having a child makes it easier for my husband to be the “regular” daddy when they go run errands together or play tennis. He does not have to be the guy that comes alone to brunch every Sunday – he has a ten year old to take along if he wanted to. Suddenly the waitresses are all smiles and friendly – he is welcome into the “normal” fold. Normalcy is a pretty big deal for someone who has been on the fringe for as long as we have.
*This author has used a pseudonym.
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