Foreword Review — Nov / Dec 1999
In the book turned film, The First Wives Club, three spurned women plot to take down the husbands who wronged them by seeking different (and younger) wives after years of a first marriage. Wife and husband team Lenore and Stephen Millian, a clinical psychologist and a recognized virologist respectively, explore the sometimes rough terrain that second wives must traverse in order to live happy matrimonial lives, giving a fuller picture of second spouses than the aforementioned movie’s tightly dressed, gum popping trophy wives.
After becoming a second wife herself, Lenore was blissful in the marriage, until Stephen came out of anesthesia mumbling his first wife’s name. After that moment, the marriage took a turn toward honesty, and the pair focused on exactly how an ex-wife can still be very much a part of a man’s life and, by extension, his new wife’s.
This self-help work should bring comfort to second wives everywhere who may feel jealousy or resentment about “their” children or friends versus “ours.” With a jaunty, upbeat tone, the Millians focus on six attributes that they feel are vital to a second chance relationship: loyalty, openness, trust, empathy, respect and stability. They take the reader through common situations that have arisen in Lenore’s clinical practice, explaining how deeply past relationships can affect a present marriage, especially during its first years. Self-diagnostic quizzes at the end of each chapter help bring a sense of positive focus, artfully giving readers practical advice and comfort.