I don’t care who you are, if you get remarried then you will compare your spouses….it’s only natural. Whether it’s a second marriage by divorce or you are widowed, you will compare. Just trust me on this.
When you have spent a majority of your life in a relationship with someone (for me it was 20 years) they become all you know. Your normal. You don’t even think about or notice your partners shape of their hand, the way they walk, their clothing choices, how they order their food, or even the way they breathe when they sleep. However, when you have a new partner all of these things become highlighted.
I’ll never forget the time when Matt and I were newly married and doing a project around the house that required a trip to the hardware store. We left the kids at home and it was just the two of us for this car ride. About 10 minutes into the ride I noticed we hadn’t really said two words to one another. We were driving in silence! The thought immediately came to my mind: Cameron and I never drove in silence unless we were arguing. In fact, I kept books in my car that Cameron would ask me to read to him as we drove places long distance. I tried stirring up conversation with Matt but he was quiet. Maybe he was deep in thought? This was a new experience for me.
Oh no! What was happening! Is this the way my new husband and I would always be? I am not sure I like this! Part of me was panicking and yet part of me was mourning Cameron again. Some of my best memories with Cam were our car rides and deep conversations we had. This situation with Matt was another reminder that I would never enjoy that again with Cameron. I was so sad at that moment.
How am I supposed to handle this? What do I do?!!! Should I be feeling like I want my new spouse to have a quality my previous spouse had?
All I could do was reach my hand over to Matt’s and hold his hand as we drove. He embraced my hand and smiled, not knowing what was going on in my head, and we just quietly drove to the store. We enjoyed our time together and returned home in a quiet ride as well.
I never brought up the fact that I was sad or how I was feeling to Matt that day because this is just a reality of moving on. Your second spouse will never be like your first. I’m sure there have been countless times that Matt has experienced these same feelings and have longed to have Amy back or wished I had a quality she had.
It takes time to get to know a new spouse, grow together, and adjust to each other’s personalities. Now, after almost 3 years of marriage, Matt and I rarely travel in silence. Actually, we can’t stop talking in the car because we have so much going on in our lives. To be honest, a quiet car ride sounds wonderful–haha!! Imagine that!
Comparing your first spouse or wishing you could have a the same type of life with your second spouse is just unreasonable. You will never have the same life. Ive learned to enjoy creating a new life together and that over time a new “normal” is created.
There is another form of comparison that is dangerous and I’ll address that in my next post…
Here is a picture of Matt and I:
Here are pictures of us with our previous spouses: