Churches that want to begin divorce and remarriage ministries are wise to learn how complex the dynamics of a new marriage can be. Marriage Partnership editor Ginger Kolbaba, in Surprised by Remarriage: A Guide to Happily Even After, writes about one unexpected emotion she experienced. An edited excerpt from her book:

I remember how surprised I was when I discovered I was mourning my loss in my marriage. I thought, How can this be? I'm not the one divorced; my husband is. But I realized I grieve for several things.

First, of course, I grieve for my husband and his loss. I love him and don't like to see him in pain. I see when he's feeling sad. I see the distress he carries because his daughter has lost a dream and the innocence and security of an intact family. I try not to feel insecure, because I know he loves me, yet I realize our marriage wasn't his ideal. It has become that now. But it was not his first plan.

Second, I grieve for me.

In high school, I was crowned Miss Akron TEEN and went on to become a semifinalist in the Ohio state pageant. But I didn't actually win the Miss Akron TEEN pageant. I won first runner-up.

Then, a month or so later, the dream came true. I received a phone call from a pageant representative who said the winner had relinquished her title and I was now the "it" girl. I became Miss Akron TEEN.

I received the crown and all the privileges that came with it. Parades, photo ops, and a chance to go to the state pageant. Free modeling lessons. A college scholarship.

There was only one small problem: I never got to hear anybody announce my name as the winner. I never heard the applause. I never had the opportunity to walk down the runway, bearing the falling crown over my bouffant hair-sprayed coif, wearing ...

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Runner-up Wife
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October 2007

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