When you first meet someone, all you see is that person standing in front of you. He’s the one you’re falling in love with, the one taking you out for romantic dinners, the one telling you he loves you and wants to marry you and spend the rest of his life with you. What you don’t see is the village of other people connected to that person, standing right behind him.
This may come as a surprise to you, as it did to me. I wasn’t ready for all the different dynamics of relationships and friendships that were entangled in my partner’s life. I like to use the metaphor “tip of the iceberg,” because you only see what’s on top. You have no idea what lies below, or how long and deep that iceberg goes. As you go deeper, you start to realise it’s not just about the two of you anymore. A lot more is going on below the surface.
When you become a second wife or a stepmother you become part of a village, where you may be viewed as an intruder or trespasser. It may seem difficult, I know, but your partner or husband is a big part of this village and if you want to be accepted, then you need to figure out how to assimilate into this village without upsetting anyone. Sometimes the people can seem very hostile and you may need to approach with caution. Don’t start running for the hills yet, though. This is the reason I’ve written this book, from my own experience and that of others, to help you become a part of this village.
Wherever you are right now, remember: this is the partner you’ve chosen, it’s your life, and your worthy of love, a fabulous marriage and a beautiful family. When you become part of a family dynamic like this one, you need to know that not everyone will accept you straight away. It may sometimes feel like a lonely road you’re travelling, but you’re not alone. Millions of second wives all over the world feel just like you. As more and more women are becoming second wives and step-parents every day, it’s also becoming more accepted and respected. The more we can embrace our blended families and understand how to manage the situation, the better off we will be.