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In divorce and remarriage situations, should the ex wife come first, before the new wife?
Family & Parenting / 12:32 PM - Wednesday December 17, 2008

In divorce and remarriage situations, should the ex wife come first, before the new wife?

I'm asking the question one of the responders of the top ten question asked?

Why is it that in an intact family situation everyone expects the husband to put the wife first, but in a divorce situation, it is the "ex" and/or the kids who come first?

And then if the man and his second wife have kids together, should those kids take second place to the kids from the first marriage?

- Asked by Female, 22-25

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Every situation is different. It is my opinion that the second wife must have a priority in the life of her husband, but that does not mean he can sherk any responsibility to children he had with a previous woman. I don't believe he owes the ex wife anything, except court mandated support, etc. Any children that come along in a second marriage, or that were brought into the marriage with the second wife, should be treated equal to the children he already has. Unfortunately things rarely happen that way. Someone usually gets neglected. From my own experience, I didn't expect anything for myself, but have not gotten what was ordered for my kids, forget about anything extra, or any type of relationship. I don't know what your position is, but I would assume you are the second wife with children by your queation. I would say verbalize any issues you have, and choose your battles. Don't make him choose between two people or he will be bitter, and you will ultimately lose. Good luck and Merry Christmas.

- Response by kasinkathy, A Cool Mom, Female, 56-65, Tampa, Medical / Dental

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The kids - any and all of the kids - should always come first.

This is within reason of course. The current romantic relationship needs to be nourished and requires much attention, plenty of alone time and plenty of romance. But the safety and well-being of all the children should always come first - esp. above petty hurt feelings from the adults during events that are more imporant to the kids than should be to the adults. This usually means that the ex's need to maintain at least a cordial or working relationship. They are parents together - whether they like it or not.

Childhood only comes once and all the grown ups need to be sure to act like the adults and leave the childish behavior to the kids.

- Response by missingaz, A Married Girl, Female, 46-55, Artist / Musician / Writer

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i don;t think there is a right or wrong answer to this question, i think it all depends on the different situations and variables involved

if it was just an ex wife, i would have to say that the Wife comes first, then the ex, but just cause a man is not married to a woman anymore doesn't mean he doesn't love them, like a sister,

if there are kids, the kids come first then everybody else, if there are kids in both marrages, then they both need to come first, but the kids in the new marrage more than not should be primary for that is his current family, but it is not as easy as that, like i said its a juggling act, everything depends on the situations and people involved and the most important needs

tis not easy thats for sure

but EVERYBODY has to realize that they are going to have to make adjustments/compromises /give and take in these situations to make the best possible senerio


- Response by beautifulloser, A Rebel, Male, 36-45, Detroit, Executive

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This is a tough call. I don't think the ex-wife should come firt. However, I do think that if an individual cannot afford more children, no matter how much they want a "normal" life, they should not have more. The kids that came first are owed something, I am just not sure what. I myself only had two kids. I paid support so that was all I could afford. My ex went on to have two more.

- Response by keldog4511, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Philadelphia, Managerial

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ex's shouldn't even go on the same scale as current spouses and kids. as for current spouses and kids, they should be treated differently but equally at the same time. They are different but equally as important.

- Response by beanielou, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Who Cares?

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His kids SHOULD come first - they were his responsibility from the day they were born, before he even knew wife #2. The ex-wife shouldn't come first before the current wife.

The kids who where there FIRST come FIRST. If he can't afford to take care of his FIRST kids - financially and/or emotionally - he shouldn't have had kids with wife #2.

- Response by justpassingthru, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Financial / Banking

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I think a truly creative and intelligent man can ccompartmentalize these situations...and with love and understanding...everyon e can be flexible to meet the needs of others... They are all his children and a mature woman wants him to have peace in his soul and will welcome them all into her home...When you feel at One with him..these other issues will dissapate...When you and he have a close bond you will easily want to find reasonable and loving solutions for each others peace of mind and own good..It will cease to be a struggle... It takes alot of love ,trust and security to get there... He needs to strenghtehn that bond with you by taking the time to build it...
Best Wishes...

- Response by lady4u, A Married Girl, Female, 56-65, Cincinnati, Who Cares?

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Is there such a word as "remarriage" lol.

Uhm...let me tell you something....I have been been divorced before...and now I am re-married...and let me tell you.....

I come before anyone.
In a second or subsequent marriage with children from the previous really depends on the situation...some people put their kids first...others ALWAYS put their spouse!

- Response by divatoonami, A Trendsetter, Female, 36-45, Administrative

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It's a brutal fact of life.

Yes. The first set of kids come first. Always. They were there first, and it's not THIER fault their father left.

Would you have him abandon those kids? Would you have him only see them once or twice a month? Would you have him only be a name on a check?


Then do the world a favor and never ever EVER date a man who was married before.

- Response by hnygrl, A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, Managerial

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In a perfect world, people should never get divorced, and if they do, it should be after the kids have grown, right? Well, we do not live in a perfect world, we have war, disease and natural disasters. I have been reading some crazy stuff like "He shouldn't have more kids" "Don't date or marry a man with kids" "He shouldn't have abandoned his kids" Bla Bla Bla. Ok, my husband did not want to divorce his ex-wife, she asked for the divorce. He was perfectly willing to be miserable, but she wanted to be happy, filed the papers and got the good lawyer. Along with that came primary physical custody, which in the majority of cases, the woman gets. Is a man not entitled to remarry and be happy? To have more children that he can actually see everyday (not every other weekend and Wednesdays for dinner) and have a say in how that child is raised? Human nature is what it is, it cannot be changed. If a divorced man with kids remarries a woman of childbearing age who has no kids of her own, chances are she will want her own children. You cannot stop love or basic human wants and needs. Firstly, how on earth can an ex come first? In what context? This whole kids come first mentality is ridiculous and nonsensical. Ok, I understand that if there is a food shortage, the children should be the first to be fed, take priority in getting a flu shot during a pandemic, get the warmer blanket at night in an unheated house, etc..... If the child has a really important dance recital or championship game at the same time the new wife has her company Christmas party, or her dads 60th birthday party, or her big art gallery showing, then the father should go to the childs event. Other than that, what does it mean that the kids come first? The truth is, the marriage needs to come first. If it is neglected, another divorce will result, leaving the father with 2 visitation schedules to juggle, and where will all of the kids be then? He'll be paying support to two households, has even LESS time for visitation, and the kids from the first marriage won't get anything extra whether it be time or money from their dad because he has nothing extra to give! Kids need to be in a stable environment and see a healthy relationship, otherwise, they will end up in a broken home. They will not know how to have a happy relationship themselves that is based upon mutual respect and understanding when they become adults. Unfortuately, in the court system, first family is first when it comes to child support. Nothing can be done about that. But nobody should dictate that a father should treat the children of the first marriage better or differently than the children of the second marriage. I wonder what children of second marriages have to say in this thread? People were always teling me when I was about to marry my husband that I should love my stepchildren "as your own" These comments exclusively came from women who had their "own" children and NO stepkids. Walk a mile in our shoes, the second wives and new children, and everything will be clear.

- Response by wifenumber3, A Thinker, Female, 36-45

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