The Ex-Wife and the Evil Stepmother Speak

Stepmoms and Moms Forget About Their Basic Human Needs
Stepmothers and Mothers Are Human Beings with Basic Human Needs

I always wanted to tape  a frank conversation between a stepmother and a Mother.  I always had this theory that if we could hear each other, we may think differently about the way we think, act and speak.  I am anxious to hear your feedback on the conversation.

This is a personal conversation between me and a friend of mine.  For years, we have been arguing about the stepmother vs mother views.  My friend, who is remaining nameless, is a divorced mother of three children.   I think the conversation speaks for itself.  Let me apologize for both of our behavior in that it does get a little dicey.  But, it’s real.

After we finished taping, a few thoughts came to mind.

1.  Sensitivity
I was amazed at how sensitive we were about everything.  It was very easy to hurt our feelings.  We were easily affected by any comments made.  It was as if our nerves were raw on the subject of our roles in our families and the feelings that people had towards us.  Perhaps, this is something that we need to keep in mind.  Are all stepmother and mothers particularly sensitive when the subject of our families come up?  If so, our words become particularly important.  Very little can set someone off.  Tread lightly and choose your words carefully.  Think about silence.

2.  Volatility
Our frustration over trying to be understood often led to volatility.  Voices get loud on this call.  I was so mad and you can certainly hear how mad Mom was getting as well.  I was searching for the right words to get her to understand what I was saying.  Doesn’t it get down to the core human basic needs? Look at Maslow’s Basic Human Needs Hierarchy as shown in this blog. The need for love/belonging is a basic human need that is third to only the need for safety and basic human pysiological needs.   Oprah Winfrey said in her final show that she had learned that all of us really want the same three things.  We want to know that we are seen, heard and what we say matters.  My guess is that our loud voices were driven by our strong desire to hear the words,  “I see you. I hear you. And what you say matters to me.”

3.  Jealousy
You will hear the jealousy raising its green head throughout the call.  To her credit, Mom admits that she is happy when the kids speak negatively about the stepmother.  She admits that she worries about her status in the family and doesn’t want to lose it.  I estimate that many stepmoms will admit the same thing.  They like when a child complains about Mom because it makes them feel more important because they feel better about themselves.  (Be honest, now)  It makes us feel needed.

The answer lies in empathy.  Empathy means you can walk a mile in each other’s shoes.  Listen to the show and see if you can find room to consider the other person’s point of view.

Listen to internet radio with Stepmoms Toolbox on Blog Talk Radio

5 Responses to The Ex-Wife and the Evil Stepmother Speak

  1. Thank you both for doing this. Please interview more women — I want to volunteer! My stepdaughter’s mother/monster looks right through me like I am glass. We’re 5 years in and nothing has improved, in fact, in some ways things have gotten worse over time. Please get a stepmom and a mom who don’t know each other on a recording to discuss some more tough topics.

    • It’s coming! I promise! August/September time frame. The Stepmom Toolbox Show on BlogTalk is going away, but the show will continue on Peggy’s Website and on mine. Of course, my show will be The Evil Stepmother Speaks. We’ll keep you posted.

  2. This call made me so steamy at points. There were even a few times when you said she was awesome Barb, and I just couldn’t believe it.

    As a SM who has had to watch my DH suffer through a BM who has withheld visitation, this idea that she’s doing the other family this HUGE favor by LETTING HER kids see their father so much, is the biggest crock ever and is a HUGE error in thought that leads to this nonsense about how selfless she’s been through all this.

    I think Mystery Mom has been HUGELY selfish at times by letting things go that she feels as a problem because it is more convenient to complain than actually take the time to resolve the issue.

    If she were really owning up to her own faults, she wouldn’t call her counterpart names so casually. She’s become comfortable with being the good guy.

    And I’m becomming more incredulous as I continue to listen, she’s bothered because she wanted her exH to help her financially AFTER the kids had become adults? Your financial situation is on YOU at that point.

    And getting snippy because they felt it necessary to establish a paper trail for CS? How is that deliberately mean? It seems pretty clear that other than watching other friends go through CS battles this woman did NO RESEARCH or official inquiry AT ALL, which if she really needed child support is downright irresponsible. Turns out reading local legislation doesn’t cost any money at all. Did it ever even occur to Mystery Mom that SM felt like she was looking out for her OWN household as well?

    I get it too, that SM has done some unclassy things as well, I do. But stepmom’s behavior doesn’t justify this bizarre train of thinking, and judging by some of the perspective here, I wouldn’t be surprised if SM wasn’t nearly as bad as we’re hearing.

    There should definitely be more conversations like this though, as much as they bother me to hear sometimes. Maybe eventually all of us will be able to find common ground with our respective BMs, and the longer you guys talked the closer you seemed to come to that. Now if only it was your own BM!

    • You got the idea of this whole conversation. It was to open up the conversation. As much as it may have pissed you off, the conversation was real. I plan on doing this again. I think it is important. My own BM? You never know!

  3. Hi! I just found your blog. I am a mother and not a step-mother but, I often try to find things to look at both perspectives. I love listening to this conversation because I felt like I could relate to mystery mom. A lot of the things she was saying like she felt like she was the “step-mom” and things like that I have often said to my closet friends. I had been wondering for some time now if I was the only mother who was going through this situation from my perspective because I feel so alone in this. So, thank you.

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