Monday, July 16, 2007

The "New" Wives Club

As most of y'all know, I was married before as was my husband. We both have children from these marriages. We married each other almost 6 years ago and it's been RAD. But let me tell ya, the first couple of years were a huge adjustment. It almost seems that the people who had the hardest time adjusting weren't the kids or Seiuli or myself. It was all the outside people- extended family and whatnot. Divorces and remarriages happen in almost every family at some point, so as a public service I am going to name a few things that the family and friends of the newly re-married should and should not say or do. (I'll be giving it from MY point of view, as the woman marrying into a family, but it can work both ways.) I'm not bitter (anymore) and none of these things have taken place in years and some never actually happened to me. I just thought it could be helpful. :)


  • Do not introduce me to people as the "new wife" as I stand there with 5 kids. I'm not a car. He didn't trade in the old one for a new one. I'm his wife. If you're going to add an adjective in front of the word "wife" just say "beautiful" or "hot" or "thin"...

  • Do not say things like "You don't need to have a big reception because he had a big one last time." Um, ok. Should we just hang up pics from our other weddings and call it good? I guess could ask No Cool Story to Photoshop them. And while we're at it- why have children? Why have $ex? We've both done that before too...

  • Do call me by the correct name. For example, do not call me his ex's name or by my old last name. Try hard to address me by my married name. It will show us that you have moved on just as we have.

  • Do not constantly compare me to the old spouse. Even if you're trying to compliment me. And no, I don't want to see pictures or old videos!!!

  • Do not tell me my children with my husband look like his children from his other marriage. If this is the case then most likely his other children look like him. Just say our children look like him. No offense to anyone, but I don't want to hear my kids look like another woman's- unless the other woman is my mom. Guys don't care quite as much... in fact, Sei thinks I'm totally retarded. Hell, Maybe I am...

  • Do not keep an old wedding picture hanging in your living room for your daughter's husband to see. In fact, do not leave any pictures of the ex hanging anywhere for your daughter's husband to see. (and vice versa)

  • You are not required to remove all pictures of the ex in photo albums, etc... as it may be years and years of pictures. (Although my sister in law did remove all the old pics. Or actually Sei did with his niece's help.)

  • Be respectful of the children in a intergrated family. Do not ask in front of all the children "Ok, so which one are yours??" This doesn't refer to every case, but in my case Isabel was 2 when I married Sei. She's never known anyone as her daddy but Seiuli. So when people ask him "Which girls are yours?" he always replies "They all are." If you don't know how integrated the family is or the circumstances of the "step" children and their biological fathers, then don't ask things like that in front of them. Isabel always gets a little more clingy to Seiuli after situations like this. She wants to be "his" too.

  • Unless you're actually a close friend and you know all the crap that has gone on with exes, don't constantly ask what's going on with his/my ex. We try not to think about them if we don't have to...

Man, I know there are so many more things I could list. I'm just drawing a blank... I'm sure I'll have more to add by the end of this reunion... hee hee;)

23 comments:

wendy said...

A terrific list of tips. I get a little twitchy when unclose friends ask sneeky questions about our family set up. So, on the "what not to say to a young mom" go ahead and add "she's 13 years old? Well, how old are YOU?"

Hope the reunion is great!

Lauren said...

Wow I love the list. You would think everyone would have enough common sense to NOT say and do such stupid things.

No Cool Story said...

About Isabel wanting to be "his" too: Thta so totally melted my heart :)

Some people, sometimes, ask really questions. Most of the rudest comments I have heard have come mostly from DH's teenage kids and his lovely ex. Ah, I'm so loved everywhere!

PS: I wish I had known (13 years ago) that I would someday be able to use Photoshop.
But not having to ever see his face again: Priceless.

Charles said...

I love this post. I wish I could print a copy and leave it in every in-law, out-law, scoff-law, aunt, uncle and every little old ...person that I know.

It's funny, sad and true all rolled into one.

Thanks

CHEL said...

AMEN SISTAH!

s--max said...

People are so dumb. Especially w/things they say in front of the kids. That kind of stuff is hard on them.
From the mouths of babes....when my dad adopted my brother when I was 5, I cried & cried b/c "Daddy didn't love me enough to adopt me too."

annie said...

Well, Tori, I'm so glad you found such a great man to share your life with and that your family has blended to become one happy family. I never thought about all the annoyances that would go along with that, but it sounds like you handle it perfectly.
blessings~
annie

Dana said...

Oh, don't even get me started on ex's and in-laws!

melmck said...

I have in-laws who've been married and remarried with different kids and it's all a little confusing but I at least had the common sense to ask my husband the circumstances before talking to any of them about it! You don't know me but I read your blog from time to time from stephanie's. it's cute and so is your family.

Amanda said...

Great list! It is hard to believe some people can be so ignorant to actually say stuff like that!

Mel said...

I'm sorry that you or anybody has to put up with such comments. It's a great list!

Kayelyn said...

How rood! (Jar Jar in Star Wars II) It makes you wonder where some people left their brain some days. Of course they are all his! Who is putting the roof over their head and the food in their mouth, not to mention the clothes on their back. And they were part of the package with you so if you are his then they are, too, and vice versa.

Great list. You and Sei are really awesome. I might have started throttling folks by now! But you are too cool for that!

Suzanne said...

It's so weird. Everything you mentioned in your list should just be common sense. Do people not have common sense anymore??? I admire how well you have handled all that. People just need to stop and think before they do things.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

I'm guilty of some of those things. :( I also once asked a non-pregnant lady if she was expecting and accidentally referred to a customer's sister as her mom instead.

I'm a Trial And Error Conversationalist. Mostly error.

Liam's Mom - Gina said...

Great post. I hope none of us learned anything from it, except that there certainly are folks out there with zero tact or awareness of their surroundings.

Sorry you guys have to deal with that crap... I am sure it comes up now and then still to this day.

aubrey said...

tori this is awesome. thank you for the tips. i will be aware. though, i don't think i'd ever really do or say anything that insensitive.

Nancy Face said...

You are NOT retarded! I can hardly believe all that stuff! Here is how my in-laws cope with potential picture problems: when all 5 of their children are together at one time, they always take a precious picture of the 5...minus their spouses. That way, when one of their children gets divorced, the picture is still perfectly good! I love my in-laws dearly, but that bugs the heck out of me. I will NEVER do that to my children and their sweethearts!!!

Stepherz said...

Awesome post! I totally agree with all of that! You're awesome, so creative, and as funny as the day is long!

Jenny said...

That is a great list! I have experienced many of them myself. People can be so rude...

Special K~ Toni said...

AMEN!

PJ said...

You must have developed thick skin, enduring through all that, but look at that family in the above picture...you guys rock:D

David said...

Can I add one? My dad asked me if I was OK with marrying a non-virgin! That was his response to Terry being married before. Hello?! Your issues aren't mine!

p.s. My dad does love my wife.
p.p.s. He and my mom read Terry and my blogs so please don't mention this there.
p.p.p.s. There are people my thinks it is important to hide her divorce from-so please only reference it in e-mails to us, not on our blogs.


Thanks.

OneFullHouse said...

Amen to that! Having been married before as well (both of us) I couldn't agree with you more.

(by the way, I borrowed your letter writing format, and gave credit for it to you, on my blog)