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Welcome to our monthly feature, where one of YOU shares your story with fellow moms and stepmoms.
When your situation was at its worst, what was that like for you?
Renee: It made me physically ill. I was so aware of her judging me, and I was afraid she would stop letting us see the girls if I did the wrong thing. I also spent a lot of time focusing on her, comparing myself to her and counting her missteps. It was really frustrating.
NOTB: Tell us a story about when something went comically wrong between the families.
Renee: Haha! I don’t know that anything’s ever gone comically wrong, but I still stand by my advice that getting drunk together is the best way to clear the air!
NOTB: When your situation was at its best, what was that like for you?
Renee: It’s really at the best it’s been now. It’s so much easier not being at each other’s throats. I can count on her for advice with her kids and mine. She’s been through it before. She’s even called me about things not related to the kids. I’m not from the same area as she and my husband are from, so it’s nice to have at least one friend….
NOTB: What changed?
Renee: It really was serendipity. I was looking for a more supporive support group when I stumbled upon No One’s the Bitch. The book promised to change things, even if she was unwilling, so I bought it and read it. I started looking for areas where I might have set her off — and found them!
At the same time she was getting serious with her now-husband, and I really think that changed her perspective, because she saw what I was going through in him.
NOTB: What changed in you?
Renee: I made a commitment to doing the right thing — for myself as much as my kids. I’m not much of a mother OR stepmother when I’m focusing on such an intense conflict. It’s easy to feel competitive when I’m feeling insecure, but it’s so destructive.
NOTB: What are you most grateful for now?
Renee: I’m grateful for peace and understanding. We’re both so understanding of each other now, and it feels so much better not judging and being judged all the time.
NOTB: What do you think other people might be surprised to learn about you? Hidden talents or crazy interests?
Renee: I can swear like a sailor from my years as a electronic technician, I have seven tattoos, and I’m trained in classical ballet and still practice sometimes!
NOTB: Best advice you can give fellow moms and stepmoms?
Renee: Be kind.
NOTB: What is your hope for other divorce-connected families?
Renee: I’d really love to see more families learn to communicate effectively inside and outside of their divorce-connectedness. It’s a quality that can make life go so much more smoothly!
NOTB: What prompted you to want to share your story?
Renee: I hope I can inspire other women to give each other the benefit of the doubt.
NOTB: Thank you for sharing your story with us, Renee!
© 2011 Jenna Korf All Rights Reserved
- Meet July’s peace pioneer: Katie Potter
- Meet June’s peace pioneer: Korina Jones
- Meet May’s peace pioneer: Holly Orange
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