(Closed) Boyfriend doesn't want to be "second" husband

posted 6 years ago in Encore
Post # 46
4232 posts
Honey bee

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No divorce, no kids, not even an annulment. These were just non-starters with me. We all have our list of requirements when we look for potential mates and these were on my list. It’s part personal, part religious. 



Post # 47
2697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

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NFLwidow:  Fair enough, i appreciate you taking the time to get back to me. I’ve often read your posts and think they’re great!

Post # 48
2127 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

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xveronikax:  when you cheat (on anyone, past or present) you have to live with people questioning your trustworthiness. And rightly so. My boyfriend was married before and I don’t care, but if he’d cheated on his ex wife then that would be a red flag.

I wouldn’t give up on him. I don’t think an ultimatum is a good option to go with here. Something must be bothering him rather a lot. Find out what it is and work on it together.

Post # 50
1907 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

So is he just going to be your boyfriend indefinitely? From what I understand, a time machine hadn’t been created yet so nothing will change the fact that you’ve already been married before. He needs to go ahead and build that bridge and get over it.  If not you’ll need to accept being his girlfriend until he’s ready (which may not happen), or move on.

Post # 52
1900 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

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xveronikax:  “In fact, I was still “separated” and wasn’t technically divorced yet when we started dating.”

hmm…he doesn’t want to be your second husband but is OK dating you while you were still married. I think he’s hiding an issue. 

Is it possible he feels if you dated him while you were still married maybe you’d do that to him? HOWEVER, IF that is the case he’s the pot calling the kettle ….he was ok dating a married woman.

Totally agree with Pp… There is another issue he’s not stating.

Post # 53
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Him not being willing to work of the relationship or himself at all is a big problem from my perspective. Relationships are hard work, plain and simple. They’re worth it, but they are hard work. That’s probably why he didn’t get married the last time. He’s afraid of not having an easy out, not of being the second husband.

Post # 54
3163 posts
Sugar bee

I agree with one thing; a 24 month old relationship shouldn’t be that much hard work IMO.

As far as your original post, while I agree with a lot of the valid points PPs have made, I also think you sometimes look at things differently when you first start dating someone to when you are assessing whether this is the person you are going to build your forever with. Well, at least some people do – me for one. As a PP mentioned, I also thought long and hard about my FIs “baggage” before taking the next (to me, huge) step. So, I would welcome your SOs honesty as I don’t think it’s totally crazy for people to look at things in a different light as relationships progress. Things might not feel like a deal breaker until “push comes to shove”.

I would focus on what you can control, which isn’t your SOs feelings, it’s your reaction to them. You need to think about whether you are prepared to work through them, or whether you even think there’s a chance to. Your recent post highlighting other issues makes me think, from the VERY limited info we have in this thread, that it could be time to part ways.

Post # 55
312 posts
Helper bee

I didn’t want to be the second wife, but I fell in love with someone who has been married before. He matters more to me. It has put a bit of a damper on the wedding planning, etc, but whatever, I am marrying the man, not the day.

Post # 56
2170 posts
Buzzing bee

This is a tough situation bee, sorry you are going through it. Sounds like you are doing your best to approach it in a mature, responsible manner having learned from your past mistakes. 

My question for you is, if he isn’t or won’t seek couseling for his issues, how does he expect to work through it on his own? It doesn’t usually just magically happen. It takes talking, thinking, journaling, arguing with a licensed therapist trained in dealing with peoples emotions, and sometimes training your brain to work differently. 

If he is also not putting any other effort into the relationship, while you are, that is very telling. It takes two people committing to each other, marriage or not, to make a relationship work. It sounds to me like you are doing loads of work and he…well, isn’t. So sorry bee, this really sucks. 

I also undertand how hard it is to break up with someone after living together and possibly merging your whole lives with each other. My advice is start saving as much money as you possibly can ASAP. If things go well, you have a little set aside for something special. If it goes the way of a break up, you have something to help you with deposits for apts, utitlities, phone, whatever you need. I also recommend pulling that band aid off as quickly as possible. If any accounts are in both of your names, cancel them. make him start a new one. If you are both on a lease, talk to the management about getting off of it. If you share a phone plan, get a new one. Dragging it out will only cause you stress and prevent you from moving on. 

Again, so sorry bee. good luck. 

Post # 57
823 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017 - Sea Cider

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xveronikax:  when I met my Fiance, I had just come out of a nasty break up (8 year relationship in a state where common law isn’t a thing – division of property was a NIGHTMARE), and she was in the middle of getting divorced. I thought they WERE divorced when we met, and was okay with that – but a few months later, I found out that they had actually just been separated, and the divorce was finalized two months after we met. I felt sick, like I’d been a mistress.

my Fiance had not lied to me, but she had not pulled me aside and laid out the details of her divorce, either. I don’t blame her – she’d been the victim in a nasty, abusive relationship, and her exW had invented a sob story to bleed her bank accounts dry, had manipulated family, and has ruined my FI’s relationships with most of their mutual friends. they were married for less than 8 months, thank g-d, and there were no children, but still.

when we started talking engagement, I went to see a therapist for my feelings about being a second wife (it will be my first – and last) marriage. I felt like I had been cheated of getting to share all these firsts with her, that we would not get to be excited together, that everything would be old hat and a chore for her. My therapist gave me a FANTASTIC book titled “Second Wives”, and I strongly reccomend that to anyone entering a second marriage. I went through the book with a hilighter, cirlced and made notes on everything that rang true to me, and then sat down and shared that with my Fiance.

after she was done reading, she told me, “you may not be my first wife, but I know you will be my BEST wife. and you may not be my first marriage, but you will be my BEST marriage.”

she went on to explain how with her previous wife, she had almost no involvement in wedding planning, hadn’t gotten the venue she wanted, didn’t pick out any of the music, didn’t get to dance to any of the few songs she liked, and the more time went on, the more she couldn’t even remember what had happened. today, when I asked, she said she remembers walking up the aisle with her father, disliking the food, and wishing the marriage wouldn’t happen.


maybe he needs therapy.

maybe you do.

maybe you both do.

but it sounds to me that his issues are not like mine. I think you’ve idealized your romance, and it might be a good one, but it doesn’t sound like your forever romance.

I would leave when you are ready.

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