Category Archives: Ex’s Family

STEPMOM LAMENT: TO NAG OR NOT TO NAG…THAT IS THE QUESTION.

stepmothers, mothers, stepmom, stepfamily, stepchildren, remarriage, divorce, parenting, gossip, ex, ex-wife, Stepfamily help, Barbara Goldberg
TO NAG OR NOT TO NAG?

To nag or not to nag, that is the question:

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous family members,

Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,

And Set a Boundary that no one can Penetrate.

Or, opt to sleep and stay in a state of silence.

And opt to Internalize my Frustration and Resentment.

I wonder if I am a Coward.  I wonder if I will lose Myself forever to the Whims and Guilt of parents and children who are caught in the mires of a Divorce.

Oh, Woe Be to Me.  ~  Barb Goldberg, inspired by Shakespeare.

It is always the best and the worst of times.  How many times do we ask this critical question: “Do I pick this battle and set a boundary?  Or, do I continue asking for the same support over and over again, i.e. nag?  Actually, there is a third alternative: the one we choose the most.  “Silence.”  If we all thought about it, this is probably our most common conundrum. Let’s try to figure it out.

Rule #1:  You can’t pick every battle. 

If you find yourself going crazy over every little thing, stop now.  Time to find that book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”.  Now, if your brain is telling you that everything is big stuff, that’s another issue.  Your brain is tricking you.  This is fear and anxiety overwhelming you.  It says that you fear many things and it is time to get that under control.  (That’s another blog.)  Chances are that you tend towards anxiety and you know this.

Rule #2:  Pick One or Two Core Values

Think about how you want to be treated.  What do you value?  Respect?  Kindness?  Politeness?  Write it down.  Write down the behaviors next to each value and clearly define what that looks like.  Prioritize those behaviors.  For example, your #1 value may look like this:

I value respect.  I expect to be defended by my husband in all cases in front of the children and ex.  My home is my sacred place and I cherish my privacy.  I do not want my husband/partner to talk about our private lives.  I expect the children to listen when I speak.  I expect the children to adhere to the rules of our house (as the rules that my partner and I have established.)

Only pick one or two items and one or two behaviors.  Do not use a broad value as an excuse to pick everything.

Rule #3:  Focus on Your Relationship

With so much going on, it is easy to start blaming the ex and/or the children for your own angst.  Focus on your relationship.  Men can only hear one thing at a time.  Do not talk about an important issue until he can focus.  Do not talk as he is doing other things.  Nagging often is characterized by the repeating of the same thing over and over at times when they cannot focus.  Men cannot physically hear us.  Talk about why you love him as often as you can.  Your partner needs assurance from us more than anything else.

Rule #4:  Know What You Don’t Know

It may feel as if we know everything, but we don’t.  We are not parent experts.  We are not relationship experts.  We do not know the ex well.  Usually, we only know what we are told.  Let it go.  We do not have to tell everyone what to do.  When we do that, it is our effort to control and make us feel safe in our homes.  Tell your partner the exact things that will make you feel safe.  We feel safe when we are defended.  We feel safe when we are consulted before final decisions are made. We feel safe when we are not contradicted in front of children and other family members.  Safety is how we quell the anxiety, which leads to less nagging and less unhappiness.

The ultimate answer is no nagging as defined in this article.  Look upon nagging as a reflection of our fears.  Remember that your partner is frightened as well.  If you show faith in him, he will respond in kind.  Trust him.  The strongest boundary we can build is the one around our relationship and around the fears in our brains.

To be afraid or to be afraid, that is the question.

Is it nobler to give complete trust to our partners and not take on the burdens of all? ~ Barb Goldberg

4 Tips to Avoid the Summer Divorce Schedule Blues

Oh, boy!  The school year is ending and for many of us it means that the children’s schedules are changing.  We may have the kids for half the summer or camp schedules are starting.  First tip is to remember that every time there is a change, even if it is minor, it will get exaggerated… Continue Reading

How to Resist Terrorism at Home

When you are at war, you feel alone, isolated and as if no one cares about you. Think about it.  Have you ever argued with someone and found yourself repeating the story over and over again in an effort to get people to be ‘on your side’? This is your effort to not feel alone… Continue Reading

Stepmoms: Are We Too Harsh on the Ex?

Haven’t we all said it or thought it.  Here is the rant. That ex is insane! I mean it. Really insane. How can a mother treat her children that way? That ex is so mean to my partner.  She is completely unreasonable.  What the hell, Bitch? The question is whether or not we are being… Continue Reading

The Stepmother Who Blames: Is That You? (Yup!)

Do you find yourself blaming others for your life situation? See if any of these ‘stepmother’ statements strike a chord with you: “These kids are a nightmare because their mother and father don’t discipline them. It is their fault. Our marriage is a nightmare because the ex tortures us. It is her fault. I cook,… Continue Reading

Twas The Night Before Christmas for Divorced and Remarried Families

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Scott T. Taylor of UnderAppeal.com ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Courts, Applications were piling, with time running short; Frantic parents consumed in a flurry of faxes, With lawyers and spouses all arguing Christmas access. No stockings yet hung by the chimney with care, Doubt children… Continue Reading

Best Stepmother Advice! Ever Been Tattled On? Do You Live with a Tattletaler?

Ever been tattled on?  You know what I mean.  Someone tattle taled on you.  Remember tattletaling?  Let me refresh your memory.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a tattletale is an informer.  Here are the synonyms listed within the dictionary definition: Synonyms: betrayer, canary [slang], deep throat, fink, informant, nark [British], rat, rat fink, snitch, snitcher,… Continue Reading

What Would I Have Done? – The Stepmother’s Answer

I got divorced when my son was an infant.  In the very beginning, I didn’t hear from my ex’s family.  Understandable.  Through the creative love of a family member (Read my blog, The Best Book Ever Written), I reconnected with my in-laws and a love affair ensued between them and my son.  My son proceeded… Continue Reading

10 Tips to Find Joy in Stepmotherhood-Stepmother Help

Joy?!  What is she talking about?  I’m just trying to survive this stepfamily thing.  Remember, it’s the simple things in life that really make a difference.  How many times have you wondered, “Did I make a mistake?”  Have you harbored thoughts that you may never be happy as a stepmother?  This class gives you 10… Continue Reading

What If Your Family Does Not Like You?-The Evil Stepmother Speaks

When you think about buying a product or service, your preference is the work with someone that you know, like and trust.  It is a basic tenet of business and it takes time.  When you think about businesses that you frequent, how long did it take you to know, like and trust that person? Tell… Continue Reading