This post is for you first time wives giving up your single life. Were you surprised by some of your grief and loss around marrying a man with children when you became a stepmom? Marriage is supposed to be a positive and an exciting, significant life event. So why would loss and grief be part of it? If there’s a positive event it’s almost taboo to talk about the things you have to let go of- the loss. It’s more than letting go of the freedom of single woman life where you could go and do what you please when you want to. Or you could spend half your paycheque on that matching purse and shoes. That’s a normal part of grief and loss as you move into partnership and coupledom. But it’s the extra sharing of that sacred space and that sacred time that becomes a political mine field of making sure everyone feels important and included. But it can sneak up on you. Not until you are in the moment of lamenting the loss of what you hoped or thought it would be do you realize it’s a loss.
A vision of firsts gets put aside when you recognize the loss. The big ones are the first walk down the aisle and the first honeymoon. Heck you may have even had to share your honeymoon with the step munchkins and that can be really hard. That time is meant to be sacred. It is meant for a couple to privately celebrate their new union. Although it is physically “just a piece of paper” it means something on a deeper, spiritual kind of level. It’s a huge adjustment that requires some head and heart space -alone. If you move in with your partner there is very little or no space to create your own soft spot to land. You may not even have couple space- there are kids stuff in every room of the house. If you are moving in with him you are moving into a family home-not a bachelors home. If he is moving in with you then you need to give up some closet space for him AND that extra bedroom you have set aside for your wardrobe with the closet allotted to purses and matching shoes. Either way kids can feel like an intrusion on your newly wedded bliss. (I won’t even go into the potential political pitfalls of having YOUR life dictated by an ex of your partner!) You have to get used to the idea that private couple time maybe very few and very far between. Then comes another REALLY significant first for you: first babies and all the magic (and fear) that first experience brings! But maybe you can take solace in the first born son, or the first born daughter.
It’s hard to try to find solace in the lost of firsts, unless you know someone going through similar circumstances. If you can share the grief with others in similar positions it’s good to know it’s normal to have these feelings. Because it’s important to acknowledge these losses are real and that can be validated by these women. Don’t just dismiss them and think you are being selfish or silly because you know you’re not. Try to focus on the positives and the firsts you get to experience with your partner. That can help take the sting out of it.