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Combatting Insecurity in a Second Marriage

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
March 25, 2021 2:00 am

Combatting Insecurity in a Second Marriage

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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March 25, 2021 2:00 am

As a second wife or second husband, have you ever felt second best? Today on the broadcast, Ron Deal talks with Lore Ferguson Wilbert about how to combat the insecurities that naturally arise in second marriages.

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COVERED TOPICS / TAGS (Click to Search)
second marriage
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Finishing Well
Hans Scheil

Whether other people know what or not Lori Ferguson.

Wilbert says she carries with her the knowledge that she is a second wife.

She's married to someone who's been married before. She says there's a stigma that's attached to that church. In particular, I think there are some unfortunate narratives around divorce and remarriage and I think I feel acutely aware being a second way depending on who I'm around and what their thoughts about it are what they suspect to be my husband's story but don't know to be true in summer might have maybe a traditional here in the way that I got to Maryland. This is family life to the hosts are Damon and Wilson bumping you can find some on the family life to what's it like to be a second wife. In a second marriage carry that with you will hear more about that today from Lori Ferguson, Wilbert stay with us and welcome to family life to. Thanks for joining us. I think all of us in this culture. In particular, wrestle with the whole issue of comparison social media fuels.

This we look around and we go into its why is everybody else's married. I never told you yes we do have, given we compare II think daily. Just every article every talk about it as much as women do. Because women talk about this. I didn't do struggle with this. I will confess that we've done interviews are on family life to wear to the husband and wife M and the wife has been a she's just been the biggest admirer of her husband and me.

She's just said you know he is so this so that I love his preaching or his and I'll go home and go you never rave about me the way I hear otherwise these later think I've I've had that conversation with Harry and for I've just said to do you how do you think I'm special. I think all of us think, why doesn't he look at me the way that other guy looks at his wife ran. Why doesn't my wife hold my hand the way that that woman's holding her husband so so where you going with this. Ron Diehl, who gives leadership to family life blended didn't interview recently.

Very interesting interview with Lori Ferguson, Wilbert Lori is a second wife. Her husband has been married previously and she wrote an article in fathom magazine where she talked about what it's like to be a second wife, and the constant sense of comparison. See that would be even harder and we should mention by the way, that in four weeks. Family life's blended and blessed event that we couples will be watching it in their home will be groups that are getting together to watch Adobe thousands of people all across the country. Times are considered yeah absolutely I get more information online. The blended and blessed event is the premier event every year for couples who are in second marriages, blended marriages, you'll get real help for your family for your marriage by attending this event. And again, there's more information online a family like so let's listen to the first part of Ron Diehl's conversation with Lori Ferguson Wilbert about what it's like to be a second wife in a marriage. Here we are still in the middle of the covered crazies as I've come to call them and you know were in two different places in your at your home and that's certainly not a life we ever expected, or counted on or anticipated, and yet we find ourselves living in this and trying to make the best of it isn't that sort of an experience is that of good parallel for you.

Yeah I think they're the experiences that I like. This isn't what I want head and send can estimate begrudgingly find contentment in it and understood of the surprising experiences I think of you Famous book surprised by Joy. There's things were not looking for things were not necessarily paying attention to you and suddenly God drops in our lives and we think, well, that was totally unexpected, but I can see God's goodness and faithfulness and it's a little bit different than me because I wouldn't convey direct comparisons that were walking through right now, but I think there have been moments maybe spread out along our marriage or have felt like okay this is harder or difference and I think those moments get less and less as time goes on. Okay, so pulling together a couple of dots there.

I heard you say little while ago you really think about it very much be the second wife until something prompts that and it comes up. Maybe somebody refers to you or says something from the outside that kinda remind you, oh yeah that's true and then I just heard you say there's moments where that just kinda resurrects. I'm curious, is there any pattern to those moments.

What are those moments about when and and then what what happens in you when you go oh yeah that is my life yeah because moments come most frequently semi husband was married for and they lived. They were together for 12 years living together for 10 of those years and separated for two years and I think I and most acutely aware of the that's being a second wife.

In those moments where something is tender for my husband and am aware that there is a wound there that I didn't cause and yet is a big part of his story and I called to care for that wound as his wife and called to be invested in the healing of that wound.

Even I didn't cause it, even though I devastated that there must aware that that's there.

I think another way that comes up is in the church.

In particular, I think there are some unfortunate narratives around divorce and remarriage and I think I feel acutely aware of being a second wife depending on who I'm around and what their thoughts about it are or what they suspect to be my husband story but don't know to be true so we don't share this the specifics of his divorce with everyone. Even though there are biblical grounds for a it's just hard story to be careful.

But I am reminded gets uncomfortable subject for some people and in some reminded of I'm not. I don't have maybe a traditional route here in the way that I got to Maryland I want to come back to the wounds in your husband that you see that's a good one Staleness church narratives for a minute.

Yeah, conversation the way we teach and preach dialogue and the assumptions that people make.

Those are big right and and what to bind for you to want to gently handle the circumstances around husband's divorce and yet people almost demand an explanation we do with that yet, so that I am he he he decided to story primarily my story to now because I made to him that it's his tie primarily and he he decided early on that he wanted to comfort others with the comfort he been given the current and talks about that and so we are very, very openhanded, and how we share about the story were very careful to as much as he can cover a multitude of sins, and to not be specific about since then against him.

He is a very specific though that sins he committed and so he leaves. With that in his sharing of the narrative. He meets with his brokenness in the marriages failures in that marriage. So it yeah we decided as a couple working at the time comfort others with the comfort we been given and be open about that. We have taken the posture and this is the pastor for everyone. We can take the posture that nothing is off limits. Someone asks will tell them we can't control the outcome. We can control what said about us. We can't control the narrative that people make up in their minds about us, so we just have to be faithful to the story that got given us to live and we have to be faithful to stewarding that story and how we can do is be honest and truthful about it and be honest and truthful about where we think that's healing and where were waiting for God's healing and where were praying for God's healing this walk in faith. That way is not easy right right right but I so appreciate that because it is somebody who has spent close to 30 years ministering to people in circumstances that they didn't always choose or want to be in. And sometimes they did choose, it was their fault. They did bring it about, but nevertheless it's the how do we as the church respond to others, and your courage and willingness to be open with the story this blog that you wrote us is just so insightful and so revealing it just for you guys to do that publicly in writing.

For example in in privately in conversation with people. I think that is where redemptive moments happen for others and to the listener. Right now I just want to say you know you might never have thought that you had a ministry if you will. It was felt like he had to be the one ministered to. But you underestimate the power of your personal story the hands of somebody else who is also struggling wrestling with some question and how that brings encouragement and courage to people who feel second-class units, not just the second wife thing but it's that second-class thing.

I think you said a little while ago secondhand and I was struck by that like yeah right you feel secondhand almost gets a demotion or something to be the second wife to be, even in church circles like there's just those messages that make people shrink and I see you saying no, we don't have to do that we couldn't. We can stand up think the whole to me the whole point of the gospel is that we are all fractured jars, you know, we are all broken in some way. We have all experienced brokenness in some way and God wants to make a soul he wants to take what's been broken and he wants to. He wants us to be a letter that he is written to the world and so Paul calls us and so how do I how do I take what is and what I expected and choose to be the letter that got us is using my life to the world to preach the gospel, and also it's just a good reminder to me of the gospel that like our marriage is not anymore special to God than their marriage was God was for their marriage. He was in their marriage even though sin fractured it to the point of divorce.

God was so for them in that marriage and God is in our marriage needs for our marriage. She's working through our marriage and I might have to compare our marriages to one another and that's so good in why compare it it's okay to say. Of course God was for that marriage like keys for your marriage. That was actually I will say that is one of the most freeing concepts that I have had in our marriage. I think when we were just newly together. I had questions about his past eight questions about his sexual pass questions about his conflicts that they might've had her specifics in their marriage, and I found somewhat of a reticence in him to talking about some of those things. At first I thought long and be your wife. Like why won't you talk to me about these things but the more time went on, the more I thought you know if I'm walking into covenant if I'm in covenant with this man. That means that our marriages is precious in the eyes of God into is to be protected by God and its wrong of me to assume that I am allowed to know everything that happened in Derek covenant that was protected by God and that freed me up to just say you know what I'm in a trust that if my husband need to tell me something he's going to, but if I don't need to know something or it's not my business. I don't need to know and I can be free to just say God was in that list. Drill down on it's not your business like if you had another couple come up to you right now.

It wouldn't be your business to be probing into parts of the relationship that they're not opening to you that same sort of thing. There's there's moments you know when we need to probe in our friends lives in essence yeah yeah yeah but I think that when I am if my motivations and probing arts you feel better about myself or to compete with a previous marriage in any way or to put down someone else or to excuse my sin in the way that it might be wounding my husband to sort of put that on her. That's not a good motivation.

So I think when I'm probing with a couple if my motivation is just to sort of dig up dirt. That's not good motivation but my motivation is to care for and shepherd. That's a good motivation and so I want to probe in those moments is I hope that the helpful distinction it is. It's a very good distinction and I appreciate that wisdom only step in here we been listening to the first part of a conversation between Ron Diehl and Lori Ferguson. Wilbert talking about what it's like to be a second wife. I think the point about what your motivation as you dig into these subjects. That's a great question to be wrestling with.

I can remember when I was in middle school. My stepmom who was my dad second wife asking me questions about my mom and I could tell, even as a 1314-year-old she was comparing my cam funny and your mom was right.

It was a little awkward.

I mean I can remember this.

Decades later him, but I you know now realizing she was comparing was wondering about that because the first time I met your stepmom. She was cooking she was asking me questions like what kind of cook is Dave's mom and because she was an extraordinary cut that I remember feeling like oh she's feeling some of that comparison will end in part two of this conversation between Ron and Lori. They talk about how a healthy sense of your identity is necessary to know who you are in Christ.

That's so critical. When you face these kinds of issues of competition. Let's listen to the conversation as it continues here we dial down we use the word competition a couple of times and I think is great you saying hate from God's point of view, he was for the first marriage. He's for this marriage. Let's look at it from your point of view from Get earthly about this. Doesn't every woman want to be first in her husband's heart and what you do with that thought that your second yeah it's so I'm just going to be clear, I know we don't have children. I think that if there were a lot more strict ties to his previous marriage, I might feel that differently but this is my story.

Yeah, I feel that what helps me is to know that I am my husband's first. Right now he has chosen me, he is not thinking about her. We have open conversations about these things, but there been times where you know we we moved away from our the city where we lived for a while because there were just some bitter memories for him here because of their previous marriage and then we we had to move back a few years later and that was a really really difficult for him to just imagine thing on the same streets around the same grocery stores in and out all those things and he had to really kind of dial down and wrestle with the Lord over like am I going to honor and please, and love. My current wife or my going to be continuing to think about my previous life and he chose to come back here.

He chose to come back to the city because he knew it would be better for me to systems where community was and in that choice. I was able to see how he laid down his life for me and he does that every day, lays down his life for me and so I don't feel that sense of competition. I think there are times when I know we don't have like pictures of her around our house that there've been times I have seen a picture or you know they they had, I would say less like Christ centric marriage and they they spent a lot of money on vacations and the houses and renovations and things like that and so there are times where I can think why are we living the life that we you know we just we live much more frugally and carefully, and in crisis more the center of her marriage, but yet other times are like I want to go to here.

I want to go to Scotland.

But then I just remember me and my husband is a different person than he wants when he was married previously. He he has different priorities are money goes to. I think better things than expensive vacations and are time goes to better things than partying and get you, so that's so interesting because your processing your life in light of his old life, even where you live in the reminders for him some hearings. The wounds, you made earlier. The places and circumstances kind of bring up wounds and difficulties, all of which reminds you that all romantic notion of your the one and only you know all of this remind you that that's not your narrative, and yet you are first in his heart.

At this point in time and you and you really latch onto that. Yeah, I think part of being first-hand part of being his continental wife right now is deciding to actually not overlook those wounds when they come up.

But to step into those places. So for instance if we drive past the location that has a specific better memory attached it for him and he gets quiet and I instead of just letting that happen. Stepping in and saying I am the way, he has now. I am the partner with him and with God and healing, helping heal these wounds to step into that and say hey what's going through your mind right now past that place where you thinking about how can I love you through that and you know the more time goes on and were talking that we do about it the more God heals us places and so he can drive past places that he couldn't try passing three years ago without a better memory coming for just a memory coming. It's a longer, better memory, it's just a memory that he has this sort of a life that is lived say I really appreciate that attitude because I could see somebody listening going yeah but when when my husband drives by that old place in a reminds him of that thing and that he has a bad attitude and brings up bitterness and resentment of him, then I'm better that he's better and I have to deal with the fact that she hurt him in that way. Yeah, I mean what you're saying not been given an opportunity as his wife to help minister to those wounds. Rather than be resentful of them. Does that ever get complicated in your head or your heart. It doesn't for me, but I can see how it went for many people. I think part of that is probably just my personality.

I am leaning toward just capacity and peacemaking and so I generally imposter tour that also know that's not always a good thing. I think that's can sound good, but it can also lead to passivity which is not a good thing to letting things probably fester for too long, both in him and in myself. I think I echo my husband now and we as the echo pond to say want to comfort others at the comfort of being given, and I think if the gospel will has truly changed our lives.

And if the spirit of God truly lives inside of us were going to be bearing the fruit of the spirit in our first thoughts in moments like that aren't going to be about herself. They're going to be about the other and I see the way that my husband chooses means it makes it a lot easier for me to choose him in those moments. I know that that's not the case for everyone, and so I can see how to be really really difficult in that moment to not make it about him but to make myself come here and you talk about identity identity is in Christ, number one, number two, my identity is his wife. In fact, in your blog that I've referenced you actually say these words I am fully his wife is only wife today. She is one wife and that's that's such an identity statement like yes somebody else proceeded, but know they're not here now, it's me and resting in that identity obviously empowers you to then be grace filled towards him with his difficulties as he is to my my difficulty is I don't want to be better for you. He's full of grace toward me as well. One of the things I've ordered about second wife reflecting on your your blog is that your husband has to maybe unlearn some patterns and some rhythms of the past. You talk a little bit about sleeping on a different side of the bed when you guys got buried in food you like versus foods they ate together and you like going out and she likes day and it you know so clearly are different people, and your husband has to adapt to that. So that's a part of creating your marriage in the way that it needs to go there been some ripples in there where you go okay this is a leftover from the past and again this is just an adjustment or what your attitude around those things thing again you have the more time goes on. Those ripples are. I think in the beginning it was around things so I actually prefer to stay and she preferred to go out. It was around things like that like I'm a just much more of a homebody than she was and they took changing.

He ate how he drank a lot of soda and a low sugar got married and I was like I can't live like that. I don't have her body different body and I can't eat those things.

And like keep the body that I have and so it took sort of a change of diet and just saying I am not we are different people that she bears the image of God she has intrinsic value and intrinsic identity.

Given her by God. I have a different identity and different value given to me by God and that doesn't make her less than me or me more than her. It just makes us different and so we have to figure out how to navigate those differences in marriage.

I am a night person.

She wasn't in a person.

And so, like bedtime and wake up time has been an area where we just have to learn to adjust to one another over the past you know there's something else you reference in your blog. It was a description but I think it's a prescription just could be your words and have you comment on them.

You said walk with patients, endurance, and lose the expectations that lead mostly to resentments of there been any expectations you had to lose. Everyone comes to every marriage with expectations even if you didn't know you had a life teaches you. Oh, I guess I just expected that that would help. Yeah, I think, and I think life is a series I like learning whether or married with everything over there were second wife are sick and hasn't I think life is a series of learning to put our expectations back on the Lord and so yeah I think I had expectations. My husband made a lot of money.

When we got married and I just expected.

We are going to be able to take occasions to Europe because I thought let's what he did with his previous life and what I've learned is that my husband is a different man that God disciplined him through that divorce and he does not value the same things that he valued before does not spend his money in the same way that he spent money before hand and said that has been such a good thing for me to just realize think if I wanted to husband who is making these decisions it with a different heart before that's the husband that was not a good husband and not obedient and submissive to the Lord in the way that he needed to be and said I have a husband who make different decisions with his money and get honors the Lord and loves me and cherishes me and so I'm to take that second which of those two qualities is worth more. How is money or how he honors God. That's that.

It feels a different bank account. Each one of the girls in a different direction. And you're right. You're better off. The man that you have what we been listing to a great conversation between Ron Diehl and Lori Ferguson. Wilbert talking about what it's like to be a second wife for her second husband.

If you're in a second marriage, how you deal with expectations and adjustments on the fact that there are undoubtedly Gobi things about your first marriage that you go. I liked it better with that other person just you saying that because this insecurity in my life like that would be self removal but it's got to be the case. I made sure different people you go shattered that other person did this better than you, but the insecurity that comes out of that. That's where I think Lori's point about where is your identity and and how do you then maturely adjust your expectations so you go okay. My first husband did this but just as Rob set up the I am where God has me today that I need to learn to be content in where I am and I think it's the greener grass syndrome we all struggle weathered your first marriage or thinking I was better off when I was single.

Now you're in a second marriage thing is better off and I think as Ron is a as I got to at the end.

It's like you have to look at what you have.

That is good in actually realize it's the best I would add, and who you are that your enough yes because that's the identity piece. There's actually a lot more to this conversation. I would hope our listeners would first of all subscribe to Ron's podcast go online a family like and start listing, especially if you're in a second marriage or in a blended family family like blended is all about how you can try be in the relationship you're in today. That's where God has you. That's where you can grow and expand and thrive. Go to family life there is information there about this particular podcast episode about the family like blended podcast where you can subscribe to that is also information about an upcoming event called blended and blessed. This is an annual event will be a live stream about this year. One day, Saturday, April 24 online all around the world folks are to be joining us for a day where we focus on the issues that are facing couples in second marriages were in blended families are bronchial gives leadership to this were to hear from David Meg Robbins Ray and Robin McKelvey a whole lot more.

It's an online event.

By the way, it's also available being screamed in Spanish this year.

You can watch this with the group from church with a small group watch it just by yourselves all the information about how to sign up for the blended and blessed one day live stream is available on our check it out and plan to join us on Saturday, April 24 for blended and blessed them.

Let me just that there are a myriad of resources to help blended couples, blended families with the issues you're facing.

Available for most your family life to day.

There are links on our websites to books and articles again. Ron deals podcast is available. So much we have available to family life to check it all out family questions about the one day live stream give us a call at one 800 FL today for number one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today was a quick word of thanks to those of you who have book called us for going online to make a donation. This week we been hearing from family like to day listeners saying we believe in what you're doing and want to help support the ministry of family life to the I think one thing that may be motivating folks as we been offering a book called the negativity remedy.

We talked about earlier this week.

That's our thank you gift to you this week when you donate to support the ministry of family life to the course. Your donations are vital for the work that we do here were listener supported and without your financial support. We could not continue the work of this ministry. So thanks in advance for either making an online donation or calling one 800 FL today to donate and again when you do ask for your copy of the book, the negativity remedy. It's our thank you gift to you when you support the work of family life to day and we hope you can join us again tomorrow. Work to hear more from Ron Diehl and Lori Ferguson, Wilbert, about the reality of being a second wife marriage can be with us for that I will think our engineer today. Keith Lynch, we got some extra help this week from Bruce golf course our entire broadcast production team is involved on behalf of our host Steven and Wilson on Bob looking we'll see you back tomorrow for another edition of family life today, family life, to Davis, the production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas. Accrue ministry help for today hope tomorrow

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