Un­der one roof

The cou­ple who mar­ried twice. Plus A let­ter to my used-to-be son

The Guardian - Weekend - - Contents -

A new se­ries that cel­e­brates all the dif­fer­ent ways we now choose to live to­gether – with ex­tended fam­ily, friends and even strangers

Jen, 44

We had our first son when I was 16. We lived with Da­vide’s mum and step­dad be­fore rent­ing our own place. We mar­ried in 1992 and had our se­cond son a year later. But just be­fore our daugh­ter ar­rived, in 1995, Da­vide left me for an­other girl.

I wanted him back, but fi­nally gave up and mar­ried some­one else, and had my se­cond daugh­ter. I re­alised I’d never get over Da­vide while he was in my life, so I did a ter­ri­ble thing and made it dif­fi­cult for him to see the chil­dren. But when my se­cond mar­riage ended, we be­came friends again.

The cru­cial mo­ment came in 2009, at our daugh­ter’s par­ents’ evening – we didn’t stop talk­ing. A few days later, he told me his mar­riage was over. When we kissed, the past didn’t mat­ter any more. We re­mar­ried on what would have been our sil­ver wed­ding an­niver­sary. Da­vide, 45

I knew we shouldn’t be split­ting up the first time, but I was too young and stupid to re­alise what I had. Jen was my first love and she’ll be my last.

Nei­ther of us was happy with the other one’s new part­ner, but we felt we had to let each other get on with life. I had no right to say any­thing: I was the one who’d messed it up.

Over the years, I’ve changed: I’ve grown up and want to be more in­volved with the kids. I know I will never love any­one the way I do Jen.

I’m so glad I had a se­cond chance and we both had the strength to say we wanted to be to­gether again. The chil­dren were very sup­port­ive – I even gained an­other child, as I adopted Jen’s se­cond daugh­ter. Jen’s my best friend and my wife. We know more about each other than any­one else

If you have a story to tell about who you live with, email fam­[email protected] the­guardian.com with Un­der one roof in the sub­ject line.

Nei­ther of us was happy with the other one’s new part­ner

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