We’ve gotten lots of new readers lately, so I thought it might be a good time to take a step back and summarize who we are and what we’re shooting for here…
Our best-selling book – and this site – focuses on how to create a harmonious relationship between ex-wives and stepmoms, or, in other words, traditional enemies.
What We’re About
And in December of last year, I was joined here by my business partner, stepmom coach Jenna Korf.
Our site fills a vital niche in the world of divorce and remarriage. There are plenty of books and sites that address the fears and concerns of divorced moms OR stepmoms. Some of them are excellent and we consider them our cohorts in this brave, new world of reconstituted family relationships.
Others… Well, let’s just say some of these folks might feel perfectly at home on a firing range.
This project was born out of personal necessity. About ten years ago now, Carol and I were living this situation in all its tension-wracked glory.
I vividly remember how gut-wrenching it was to not get along with my ex-husband’s new wife — someone who was going to be interacting with my children on a regular basis, outside my realm of control.
I hated feeling like there was an enemy in my midst, out there plotting against me (and I came to find out later she felt exactly the same way!).
I hated the environment of discord I was helping to create for my children, the lack of conflict resolution skills we adults were modeling for them.
But through trial and error, and sometimes with comical missteps, we went from bristling in each others’ presence, to becoming close friends and parenting cohorts. We have a shared bank account and consistent rules and consequences between houses.
We knew there were probably lots of other folks who could also use help with their divorce-connected family journey, because when WE needed help, there was nothing out there.
And so here we are….
There are some key principles we try to live by here at NOTB:
This means you own your contribution to the conflict (otherwise known as owning your shit); including ways your ego might be enjoying the drama or passively aggressively setting the stage for more.
We challenge you to hold BOTH perspectives in your mind at the same time – not always an easy task.
Most of all, we encourage you to tell the truth. If you fudge the story with others, you’re likely doing it with yourself too.
Lies equal victimhood.
And our readers are not victims!
Community and Support
We’re here to help each other.
You’ll find an amazingly collaborative group of women here, willing to reveal their vulnerabilities and brainstorm the solutions to your problems — all in the service of saner women and cheaper therapy bills for our kids in the future.
Our Facebook community is always hoppin’. You can post questions there and get answers from both sides. Where else can you find that? Many women are surprised at how much they can relate to “the other woman.”
Our private member’s community provides a more protected environment to bond with moms and stepmoms. It’s pretty special, seeing friendships form, playful ribbing.
We stand in awe of all of you….
Continual Growth and Learning
We’re all about sharpening our skills and resources. We learn from you and hopefully, you’re learning from us.
We emphasize creativity, collaboration and compassion here. And it’s heartening to see people making both breakthroughs and incremental changes that have them breathing a sigh of relief.
Face it, this shit is hard sometimes!
We’re all the ones at the front of the line, wading through the swamp, pushing past fear, confusion and the feeling that we’ve wandered deep into No Man’s Land.
We’re cultural pioneers, revolutionaries, figuring it out as we go along. And for that reason, we NEED each other!
Once you see how hard these divorce-connected relationships are for each person, you can start to depersonalize mind-boggling, hurtful behavior.
And that’s when you start to feel like there’s hope for your situation — and for all of us.
While we’re trudging along together, tired and bleary, it sure helps to be able to laugh at ourselves. I mean, look at us! Did ANY of us ever imagine this is how our adult lives would go?
None of us ever dreamt as starry-eyed children about our romantic relationships springing up or dissolving before our very eyes with another woman on board.
Too bizarre, isn’t it?!
While you’re here, it might be helpful to know that we have on tap:
Video and interviews – video snippets, radio interviews, Carol and Jen, Jen and Jenna, just Jen. Lotsa “J’s” huh? We get confused too.
200+ articles – these run the range from in-depth comprehensive posts to short announcements.
Before Jenna landed on the scene, I felt compelled to focus on the stepmom perspective in the spirit of fairness, but in retrospect, I believe I was overreaching, inadvertently leaving the moms out of the picture. (Sorry moms!)
Now that Jenna’s here, I have more room to speak for the moms. As a result, the community I always dreamed of creating has finally happened.
Facebook page – as mentioned, you’ll always find someone to gab with here. Ask a question, get it answered. (But remember, this page is public, so post accordingly.)
Member’s Community – a private forum where you can meet and get to know your comrades in arms. Expanded plans for this coming soon.
E-books – mini-support guides for the most common issues women are tackling.
Coaching – get some one-on-one help from either Jenna and I — or both.
Workshops – coming soon. We’ve got one in progress that will blow your socks off. A one-weekend crash course on the book, with in-depth exercises that will potentially transform your dual-household challenges.
Where We’re Headed
We want to change the world — or at least our little corner of it.
We want to put these ideas on the map of family relationships.
But if partnering with the other side seems like doing the do-si-do with a brick wall or a snarling tiger, then we advocate turning your focus back to nurturing your family and yourself.
Doing so will compartmentalize the pain that comes from feeling like someone’s out to get you and prevent that lopsided seesaw of obsession that can drive many a woman to drink in the afternoon.
We want people to know it’s not only possible for ex-wives and stepmoms to get along, there are some amazing benefits available to them if they’re willing to buck the traditional animosity that’s expected of them.
More stable second marriages (and step-families need all the help they can get, with a 73% divorce rate). Co-parenting partners, instead of feeling like the two sides are divided and working against each other.
Most importantly, our goal is to create happier children who feel protected and bolstered on all sides by a cohesive family nest.
We’re on the threshold of transforming the damage of divorce by re-inventing the new American extended family.
We hope you’ll join us!
© 2011 Jennifer Newcomb Marine All Rights Reserved
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