Category Archives: Spouse’s Family

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 fair.  Let’s think about a few factors that may play into our perceptions.

1.    Our Initial Perceptions
The foundation of our perception of the ex has been built by what we have been told by our partners.  Possibly, the foundation includes other stories provided by friends and acquaintances.  Either way, our sources are not the best.  Each person has their own prejudices and slants to the story.  Many of our sources have good reason to want us to agree with them.  Our friends and our partners may feel that our support is important to our relationship with them.  Also, it just may be fun to gossip.  Think about the friends that you like to talk to.  Don’t you often agree?  Isn’t it fun to agree?  In fact, agreement is a form of bonding with our friends and our partners.  In our heads, we have always been taught that people who disagree with us are on enemy territory.  The question that we need to ask ourselves is:  Do we want to agree with our partners’ perceptions in an effort to bring us closer and make us look like a ‘better’ partner?
2.   That Inbred Woman vs Woman Conflict
How many times in our lives have we been taught and shown how women fight over a man (partner)?  That story line is inbred in movies, TV shows and our lives.  It is repeated over and over again because it brings a comfort to us.  It is a story that we believe. “All women are on the earth to steal another woman’s partner.”   We are more comfortable arguing and finding fault with a woman, than with a male.  If we were honest, do you think that we avoid arguments with our male partner because there is a deep rooted fear of losing them?  The story of being left by a man and being left alone the rest of our lives is another story that has deep roots in our society.

3.   Everyone is On Edge: The Anxiety Factor
Do you feel anxious when it is time to spend time with the stepfamily members? Children? Exes? Extended family of exes?  How do you think those people feel when they are in our presence?
I promise that everyone’s answer is the same:  ANXIOUS
Our bodies and brains go right into flight or fight mode and all rational thinking goes out the window. The next thing you see and hear is just plain ridiculousness.  Right?  The bottom line is that our survival instincts and deep insecurities have kicked in.  Can’t we all relate?

Can we be compassionate enough to give the ex and ourselves a pass?  Can we be less judgmental and harsh?  None of us want to be mean or cause our children any pain.  We are all imperfect.  Maybe we all have more in common than we want to admit.  Take a deep breath, a long walk and let it all slide down our backs.

Amen

Stepmother Lament: When Will I Get Justice?

When will I get justice?  Have you ever thought about justice?  I know that I have. Does any of this sound familiar? “I do all of this work.  When will someone thank me?” ” I am always the one picking up the pieces.  Yet, I never get asked.  It’s just assumed I’ll watch the kids… Continue Reading

The Stepfamily Definition of Stupidity

They say that the definition of stupidity is doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result.  If we were to be honest with ourselves, do we do the same things?  Do we avoid the hard work associated with change?  Do we want to avoid any vulnerability to our stepfamily members? Do… Continue Reading

Celebrating Stepfamily Day: Why #Stepfamilies Are Better

If you are lucky enough to have a stepparent, a step-sibling and step-relatives, September 16th is your day.  It is National Stepfamily Day.  The purpose of this day is to recognize stepfamilies by taking a minute and recognizing the love, care and support the step-relatives provide.  It is the day for us to remember how… Continue Reading

The Boston Marathon Puts It All In Perspective

Today, April 15, 2013, will be remembered as the day that we will never feel completely safe when we participate in a marathon or other big community events.  All we know as of the writing of this blog is that two bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  At last count,… Continue Reading

A Step Family’s View in Review: Olympic Love, Celebrity Arguments and Tragedy in Connecticut

The Step Family 2012 Year in Review is a study of love, traditional step family frustrations and a lesson in step family perspective.  Three events come to mind. The Olympics where we all witnessed the deep devotion and love of a stepfather for his son. The gossip between Brandi Glanville and LeAnn Rimes continued.  Both… 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

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

The Forgotten Family Members, Friends and Strangers – The Grateful Stepmother

This week, our family gathered to celebrate the life of my father-in-law who passed away last year.  We just had a blast as we watched all of our children and grandchildren just have fun.  We ate and drank too much.  We celebrated another win from the Notre Dame football team.  (Our family lives in South… Continue Reading

Stepmother Help- NEVER DO THIS! EVER! – to yourself, your stepchildren or the Ex

Never do this. Period. The current Mrs. Kelsey Grammer, Kayte Grammer) dressed up as the ex Mrs. Kelsey Grammer for Halloween.  Thanks!  This is just the type of public relations all of us stepmothers need.  Damn! Hey, Kelsey and Kayte,  your costumes are not funny and shows such disrespect that I barely know where to… Continue Reading