Category Archives: Spouse

The Three Magic Words that will Save Your Stepfamily

stepfamily, stepmother, stepmom, stepkids

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Stepfamily life is tough. The only thing that is tougher than blending the family is keeping your marriage intact.  Statistics vary from a 50% to 75% divorce rate in a marriage where there are children from a prior relationship.  Anyone who is a member of a stepfamily will attest that they had no idea what they were getting into. Parenting and the relationship with the ex will often take the front and center role in your life. In fact, you may find that parenting and the ex are the only things you talk about.  Why?  Because both of these subjects are ones where we all have strong opinions.  We may not even realize that we have such deep-seated opinions until we are in a stepparent role.  Whatever we have seen or heard from our childhoods and the media mixes into a brew full of passionate opinions:  on both sides.

There is a secret that can stop the arguing before it begins.  Three magic words can avoid the entire heartbreak.  If you think it is ‘I love you’, you would be wrong.  The three magic words are:

I TRUST YOU.”

“I trust that you know your children and you will make the best decisions for them.

I trust you will protect me.

I trust that you know how to handle your ex.”
“I TRUST YOU.”

No truer or scarier words were ever spoken.  The truth is that living in a stepfamily means giving up control.  It means going with the flow, even if we think we know better.  It means giving the decision-making control to some people who we may not even know.  Or worse, it means giving up control to people that we think we do not like or trust. For those of us that have a deep-seated need for certainty in our lives, this is a terrifying prospect.  (Google The Six Human Needs) Even if we say that we trust our partners, actually giving up control is a whole other matter.  Is it possible that we dislike the ex because she has control over portions of our life?

The real truth is that the parents probably know what is best even if we have fantastic ideas on how to raise our stepchildren.  We may have objective, rational suggestions on how to handle the relationship with the ex.  In fact, we may be right.  Either way, it is none of our business.  It comes down to trust and faith in the future. When we lose the trust in our partners, we lose a key to our marriages.  When we think we know better, our egos take over and the heart is left behind.  When you let your partners know you trust them, their faith in themselves grows. Your relationship strengthens and you have more time for the things you want to do.  Resentment lessens as you take that leap of faith.  I trust that you can do it.

 

My Resentment is All-Consuming

When you feel resentful, do you feel disappointed in yourself?  Feel as if you are a bad or selfish person?  If you feel any of these things, know that you are not alone.  Resentment is that feeling you have when you are doing something that you just don’t want to do or that you feel… Continue Reading

I Hate Feeling So Resentful!

Don’t you hate feeling resentment?  Resentment is that feeling of doing things that you just don’t want to do, yet feel obligated to do.  When I feel resentment, I feel as if I am being childish. I feel guilty and I feel bad about me.  Usually feelings of resentment center around thoughts that we have… 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

Stepmother’s Lament: OMG! I’m a Nag!

Do you recognize yourself? When was the last time you pointed out a negative characteristic of your partner?  Their ex wife?  Their children?  If you do not have to think very hard, this blog may be for you. Nagging.  By definition, nagging is the pointing out of negative qualities to someone.  It is the ultimate… Continue Reading

Stepmother Lament: I Will Always Be An Outsider

“This family makes me feel like an outsider. I do all this work and I am still an outsider. When will I ever feel like I belong?” It’s a common stepmother lament. We cook, clean, run errands, pick up kids, buy them clothes and, yet, we feel like a third wheel. It is just this… 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

A Stepmother Asks “How Do I Stop Myself from Asking about the Ex-Wife?”

Do you ever find yourself asking your partner: “What did she/he say?” “No, really, tell me what happened.” “I don’t care what she does.” Next moment. “Tell me what she did.” Do you feel as if you can’t seem to stop yourself? Does it feel as if you are addicted? So, why are we talking… Continue Reading

STEPFAMILIES: CAN YOU REALLY CO-PARENT WITH HIS EX? by Holly Robinson

This is a guest post by Author and Stepmother, Holly Robinson There was a moment last spring when I poured a cup of tea, carried it into the dining room to read the newspaper, then froze mid-sip when I noticed the date above the headlines. At that very moment, my husband’s ex-wife was enjoying the… Continue Reading

Who is that Stepmother Woman?

It is easy to think of the stepmother as that woman your ex partner married.  If the stepmother is just that woman who is in the house, it lessens the pain of the divorce and the consequences that failed relationship has brought.  After all, the worst part of a divorce is the consequences wrought upon… Continue Reading