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Runner-up Wife

And other resources that give insight into remarriage.
2007This article is part of CT's digital archives. Subscribers have access to all current and past issues, dating back to 1956.

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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