The missing link (a new direction)

thriving despite some challengesEver just get tired of talking about all the problems and conflict and drama between ex-wives and stepmoms? Between the two households?

So do we.

Although we’re strongly committed to helping women “deal” with the conflict between divorced moms and stepmoms, we realized something big this past weekend when we met up.

There’s something hugely important we’ve been missing on here at No One’s the Bitch.

And that’s YOU.

But let’s back up a bit before we explain what we mean….

Something that’s already working: we love seeing all of you INTERACT with each other. Seeing the stepmoms ask the divorced moms (or vice-versa), “Why on God’s green earth would the mom do this? Does her behavior mean A or B?”

And the moms will often say, “Actually, no, we think she might mean C. Or D. Or even G.”

And the stepmoms will go, “Wow. Really? We had no idea! Thanks!”

That kind of generosity and compassion between our readers is awesome and amazing and we’ll keep facilitating that as much as possible.

But there’s one other piece of the puzzle we started to forget. We started making this mistake ourselves and we were helping you make it too.

We’re talking about pointing ourselves in the right direction. Filling up our fuel tanks. Starting from a base of power, instead of being trapped under the avalanche, wondering if we can scoop our way out with a spoon.

The missing link: Before you can be truly happy – regardless of what is going on around you – you need to be “whole.”

So, we’ve decided to start focusing on how you can be the best YOU possible.

The truth is, we can give you the best advice we know how and you can have the best of intentions — but if the other woman isn’t ready and willing to work with you, you won’t be able to forge a relationship with her or fix ANY of the problems between the houses — no matter how hard you try and what’s in your heart.

Trying to tackle these problems without being really YOU is going to make you absolutely miserable.

Yup. To deal with the craziness in divorce-connected families, you need to love yourself. It sounds corny and cliché, but to those of us who have experienced it, we feel how much it’s true.

When you love yourself, when you value yourself, you are able to set limits without feeling guilty, you are able to show others how you will and will not tolerate being treated. You are more immune to hurtful and rejecting behavior.

Having that grounded core, that solid sense of yourself and your worth certainly won’t make these dual-household problems go away, but it makes slogging through the mud infinitely more manageable.

How much are you doing because you’re afraid what others will think of you? Because you feel obligated or because you think you should? How many times do you say “yes” when you’d rather say “no”?

How much of your circular thinking about the ways in which you’re being “screwed over” comes from old issues of insecurity and low self-esteem?

In what ways do you feel lost in this maze of dual-household problems, like you can’t even remember who you are and what you used to be excited about? What your strengths are?

These are the things that can happen, that we LET happen, when we don’t have a strong sense of self — when we don’t value ourselves and loves ourselves fully.

Focusing your efforts on feeling whole, happy and hopeful about your life, about who you are and what you can do is crucial if you’re going to survive. Otherwise, you’ll get eaten alive by the drama, as some of you already know.

When you make decisions that are in alignment with your values and self-worth, THAT’S what will lead you to true happiness, even when the cow patties are flying fast and furious.

Some questions for you to ponder:

What strengths of yours have gotten lost?

What are your passions? How often do you practice these passions?

Where can you forgive yourself? What can you let go of?

What makes you laugh?

What recharges your batteries? When will you next do this?

We’d love to hear your answers to these questions, so leave us a comment and tell us what you think about our new direction. Are you on board?

© 2011 Jenna Korf and Jennifer Newcomb Marine     All Rights Reserved

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  1. I love this new direction. This is the direction I’m headed in. I’ve done the obsessing, pushing and stressing which was a force against my soul. I’ve changed all of this. Stepped back and let go. Now I simply focus on myself and my family. I’ve handed all responsibilities of parenting SC on the appropriate individuals. SC’s mom and dad. This has alleviated all the pressure, frustration, and resentments I felt. I can’t control her or him, but what I can do is assume control ONLY of myself, and my life and let go the need for things to change with them and totally put it on THEM to take care of themselves, their relationship, and their son. Thank you for this because I don’t believe that the ideal situation of having all parties working well together and having a progressively positive relationship is acheivable for EVERYONE, and it’s good to see that there is an alternative that people can work towards. There was a moment where I felt guilty for not trying anymore and this made me feel like a failure. That feeling is what kept me fighting to create the ideal and in doing so, I put myself on the back burner, which created tons of resentment, which made the situation more difficult. There is an alternative and it’s a really good one if you are able to stop and steer yourself in that direction.

  2. Hi Celisa, the more people we can get to vouch that focusing ourselves and our families is the way to happiness, the more people (hopefully) will follow! Thanks for your comment and glad you’re on board and helping to lead the way :).

  3. Definitely!

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