Had Enough of the Mom or Stepmom? It’s Time to Move On

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Have you had enough? What if she never changes? What if she doesn’t stop trying to turn your stepchildren against you and accusing you of things you didn’t do? What if she doesn’t stop overstepping boundaries and trying to make you look like a bad mom? What if this is just how she is? I […]

Whadya know: being wrong feels like being right!

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One subject that we talk a lot about here is how difficult it can be to see the other person’s perspective. And because you can’t see it, you end up digging in your heels in a difficult situation, attributing intentions to them that may be wildly off the mark and stoking your own emotional fires. […]

How To Center Yourself When Things Get Ugly

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It’s hard to remain calm when you’re faced with threats of court, false accusations, bogus restraining orders and the defended ego of others. When you find yourself in the alternative universe of someone else’s truth , take a moment and remind yourself of who you are. The you beneath the constant state of defense, stress, […]

Stepmoms: You Are Not Alone (Part Two)

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(These are excerpts from an article that was originally published in the July 2011 issue of Stepmom Magazine) Stepmoms often feel very alone in their journey, but they’re not. Here are some common thoughts and emotions that stepmoms experience. 4. “I’m a great stepmom. I can take care of everyone and everything. I’ll show everyone that […]

Stepmoms: You Are Not Alone (Part one)

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(These are excerpts from an article that was originally published in the July 2011 issue of Stepmom Magazine) Stepmoms often feel very alone in their journey, but they’re not. Here are some common thoughts and emotions that stepmoms experience. 1. I FEEL LIKE AN OUTSIDER IN MY OWN HOME:  This is one of the worst […]

Are You Placing Too Much Value On the Divorced Mom Or Stepmom In Your Life?

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For those of you who are having trouble letting go of the stepmom or divorced mom in your life, this is for you. Do you find yourself obsessing about her? Stepmoms, are you feeling the need to show up at every event she’s going to be at so you can “monitor” her behavior? Afraid she’ll […]

This old suitcase? Why your old baggage matters more than you realize…

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As I begin decluttering my house in preparation for selling it and moving to Oregon, I’m struck by how many things I’ve hung onto over the years for reasons I can’t even remember. The things themselves are tied to memories, dreams, and old priorities. They’re also tied to “issues” I used to have and some […]

Inspirational Quotes To Motivate and Comfort You

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  “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson “We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions.” – Ian Percy “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at […]

Intentionally Bring Peace to Your Life

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“Our thoughts create our reality — where we put our focus is the direction we tend to go.” – Peter McWilliams – A  colorful sunrise. – Contentment. – Growth. – Family to laugh with. – Inner wholeness. – Peace. – Crisp morning air. – Nature’s beauty. – Health. – Opportunity to help others heal. – […]

To Divorced Moms and Stepmoms Trying to Make Peace

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There are plenty of divorced mom and stepmom “couples,” trying to make it. Hoping to find a way, at the very least, to be cordial to each other. Maybe even friendly. Peaceful. But this relationship is tricky at best. Just when you think you’ve made some progress, a rude comment or accusation comes out of […]

Top 10 Best Things About Being a Stepmom

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There are probably 100 reasons why the most common words out of a stepmom’s mouth are “this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” But why focus on the negative? Here’s a countdown of the top 10 BEST things about being a stepmom! 10. You get to have kids AND keep your kickin’ body. No […]

One-Way Compassion

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Many problems between houses start because someone is actually trying to solve a problem. A father desperately misses his kids. A stepmom is trying to find her place in a family with lots of history that came before her. A mom feels disoriented, sharing parental responsibilities with someone she doesn’t know. People struggle with their […]

Are you ready to release her? When to say “when!”

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(Register now for Jenna’s August Stepmom Bootcamp!) How much energy are you spending on the other woman? How often during the day do you think about her? Have you googled her lately? Complained about her latest antics to your friends? Your husband? Anyone who will listen? And  how does it feel to be consumed with trying […]

What are you resisting?

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(Register now for Jenna’s Stepmom Bootcamp!) “What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already IS?” – Eckhart Tolle Have you ever noticed how much you’re resisting your current situation? Start paying attention to your thoughts. How often do you catch yourself complaining about the way things are? How […]

NOTB Book #2 – Here We Come!

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(Join Jenna for Stepmom Bootcamp!) I just got the go-ahead from my agent this weekend for an NOTB follow-up! The book is tentatively titled, “No One’s the Bitch SUCCESS: What Worked and How to Do More of It – Even If She Doesn’t Change.” I’ve learned a lot over the years since writing the first […]

Meet July’s peace pioneer: Katie Potter

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Welcome to our monthly feature, where one of  YOU shares your story with fellow moms and stepmoms. Let’s welcome, stepmom and soon-to-be-mom, Katie Potter! NOTB: When your situation was at its worst, what was that like for you? Katie: It was so horribly stressful. (I just didn’t realize how much at the time!) It felt […]

How I survived this stepfamily “stuff” – Part 1

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The discord in our families is reflective of the discord in ourselves. So when we heal ourselves, we will heal our families. That’s what Jen and I came up with while we were discussing why we’re compelled to do this work. Why we spend hours a week interacting with you on Facebook and in the […]

How expectations affect us

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Unmet expectations can be our greatest source of disappointment. Moms, did you expect your ex-husband’s new wife to take a back seat in the co-parenting car? Did you expect your kids to miss and need you when they went to your ex’s house, only to find out they had a great time and even…gulp…liked the […]

Meet June’s peace pioneer: Korina Jones

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(Did you read Jen’s recent article in the Huffington Post? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!) Welcome to our monthly feature, where one of  YOU shares your story with fellow moms and stepmoms. Meet soon-to-be stepmom, Korina! NOTB: Welcome Korina! When was your situation at its best and at its worst — and what […]

Meet May’s peace pioneer: Holly Orange

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Welcome to the launch of our new monthly feature, where one of YOU shares your story with fellow moms and stepmoms. Meet Holly! Her family tree is pretty wild, so we’ll let her describe it to you: “I qualify as both a mom and stepmom. When I was 19, I became a stepmother to my […]

Do our thoughts cause us pain and suffering?

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What thoughts keep you company at night? Thoughts about how wonderful, beautiful and bright you are? Or thoughts about how you’re not skinny enough, smart enough or good enough? Thoughts about what an awful person the stepmom or ex-wife is? Or thoughts geared toward understanding, curiosity or acceptance? Our thoughts are so powerful, that they […]

Top Ten Reasons to Forgive the Stepmom, the Ex-Wife, or Your Ex

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1. Your grievances live inside you long after the event has passed, which feels terrible. 2. Your grudges don’t actually improve the outcome of future problems. 3. You’re inadvertently “leaking” your resentment onto innocent bystanders. 4. It’s possible to forgive… and still create healthy boundaries that protect you from future pain and unhappiness. 5. When […]

Jenna’s story (video)

Relationship and stepmom coach Jenna Korf talks about why she’s here, her own journey as a stepmom, and how she’s hoping to connect with all of YOU here on No One’s the Bitch. Jennifer’s version of her story can be found here. And stay tuned for another video this week, where Jen and Jenna describe […]

I’m done trying to make peace with the other woman. Now what?

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  Some of you have already done this, and some of you are considering it. You’ve reached a point in your life where, for whatever reason, you’ve decided to take a break from trying to make it work with the stepmom or ex-wife. You’ve taken back your olive branch and tucked it away for safe […]

Stepmoms, is it time for you step back?

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Many stepmoms enter into their new family, and before they know it — without warning — find themselves providing transportation for the kiddies, cooking for the family after a long day of work, making sure homework gets done, dealing with their husband’s ex, and doing many other energy-draining tasks. Unfortunately, when they come up for […]

Are we sabotaging ourselves?

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Credit: anankkml The other day, during our webinar with the super insightful publisher of Stepmom Magazine, Brenda Ockun, she said something that struck me. Something that I would like to shout from the mountain tops and that I wish someone had told me 3 years ago: If you and the other woman can’t have a […]

Why we created our new Member’s Community

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We are standing at the edge of an unexplored frontier in family relationships… and we have an unprecedented opportunity to create a new paradigm for our children that heals the damage of divorce. And did you know that, according to the census, only a child’s primary residence counts as a stepfamily, even if they live […]

An exercise in compassion

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Who wants a break from all the ugliness you feel when you think about “the other woman”? OK, put your hands down. Since we all know we can only change ourselves and not others, the key is to find a way to calm ourselves regardless of what the other woman is doing. And one of […]

Thanksgiving Day Tango Tips, Part 4

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One very easy way to increase your feelings of gratitude is to TAKE CARE OF YOUR BLESSINGS. So often, we take for granted the things that are working well and assume they will always be there. Kids that still reach out. A reliable partner. Your job. Your health. The place you live. Your car. Friends […]

Thanksgiving Day Tango Tips, Part 3

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So far, it’s not about you and you’re going to be the peaceful, powerful presence in the room. It’s also a good time to be reminded…. YOU ARE NOT A VICTIM. That’s right. Even though you have your “story” about how all the things that have been done to you are so wrong and unfair […]

Thanksgiving Day Tango Tips, Part 2

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Yesterday’s tip was about how inconsequential you are — in a good way. Today, the focus isn’t on your belly button, but the spotlight does swing all the way back around to YOU. Think of an oak tree on top of a hill, buffeted by wind and rain. Hail. Bird poop and scorching sun. Gloomy […]

Thanksgiving Day Tango Tips, Part 1

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Each day this week, I’m going to dole out a short tip on how to deal with Thanksgiving for dual-families (where you’re “stuck” with the stepfamily or the divorced family). So here’s the first one…. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. No, really. It isn’t. I know most things are, but this actually isn’t. If you’re having […]

New videos are out!

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But first, Happy National Stepfamily Day to all the stepmoms and their families! Thank you for all you do to love and care for our children. We’re all brave pioneers in this day and age, navigating a very different world when it comes to parenting and marriage. Did you know that 1,300 stepfamilies form every […]

Free group call with Becky Lippett on how she created her breakthrough with the ex-wife

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(If you’re in the U.S., our show with Dr. Phil will be on as a rerun tomorrow. Tune in if you missed it before!) We’re going to have so much fun, talking to stepmom Becky Lippett from La Belle Mere about how she recently transformed her formerly nerve-wracking relationship with the ex-wife in her life. […]

Success Story: Jesica and Mayra

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What does it look like when the “bio-mom” and stepmom transform the ex-wife/stepmom relationship from hell? Here, we talk to two women who were formerly at war for years, but have suddenly made a breakthrough into a whole, new world of cooperation and promise. Mayra (the mom) and Jesica (the stepmom) from the D.C. area […]

Could you SPEAK to the ex-wives of America?!

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Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith were on Oprah today with their children—ALONG WITH HIS EX-WIFE. Fascinating stuff. Will was married to Sheree Zampino for four years (1992-95) and they have a 17 year-old son named Trey. She is now married to former San Diego Chargers player, Pastor Terrell Fletcher. Will and Jada also have […]

Why I sometimes want to give up too

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Most of our readers are stepmoms. This makes sense to me because it’s the stepmoms who are locked out of the house, waiting outside in the snow. The dads have a lot of power, because, hey, these are their kids and they get the final say. And the moms certainly have a lot of power […]

Taming the cobra – Part 2

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(New here? Subscribe to our RSS Feed or via email. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Check out excerpts from our book or audio book, and join us on the forum. “Since emotional processes can work faster than the mind, it takes a power stronger than the mind to bend perception, override emotional circuitry, and […]

Taming the Cobra – Part 1

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(New here? Subscribe to our RSS Feed or via email. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Check out excerpts from our book or audio book, and join us on the forum. One essential element that needs to be in place when you’re dealing with a high-conflict situation—or trying to change it—is self-love. Okay, so the […]

Are you afraid of being mugged in your own family?

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(New here? Subscribe to our RSS Feed or via email. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Check out excerpts from our book or audio book, and join us on the forum. I’ll be part of a panel for StepMom Magazine’s Ask the Expert Day on Facebook this Wednesday. Drop by and join us!) “…An epidemic […]

What you and I have in common – Part 1

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I’d painted myself into a corner with my writing here recently and felt less and less able to really be myself. What popped me into clarity was reading about how stepmom Becky Lippett of La Belle Mere transformed her previously wretched relationship with the ex-wife, while on the cusp of divorce. Look at what she’s […]

Who’s in YOUR extended family?

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Who’s in your extended family? How often do you see them? Who can you call when you’re in a pinch? Most families are spread far and wide these days, so when you need a parent, sibling, grandmother or grandfather to step in, you’re out of luck. But sometimes, the two linked households after a divorce […]

What your stepchild’s mom wants you to know about her life

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Mutual understanding is one of the most important ingredients in the ex-wife/wife coalition mix. This post is in response to a guest post from the stepmom’s perspective by author Wednesday Martin. Let the dialogue begin! It’s not easy to feel judged and misunderstood It’s not easy for me to be constantly seen at “the enemy” […]

Guest Post by Wednesday Martin: What your child's stepmother wants you to know about her life…

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Please note: If you tried to leave a comment earlier and couldn’t, please try again, as comments should be working now. Host issues – we’re working on it…. Thanks! (Like it or not, the two women in your child’s or stepchild’s life are typically the hands-on parents. Gender roles die hard! With both sides vying […]

Dr. Phil episode on conflict between moms, stepmoms and dads to air Dec. 1st!

Fire up your recorders! The show we taped last week in L.A. will be on Tuesday, December 1st. We're on the first half of the show (including David, Carol's husband and my ex – poor guy) and then there's another mom/stepmom/dad combo on during the second half of the show. I had big plans to […]

Tender underbellies

Conflict with another person can be so painful… Particularly in these situations where you're so at once intimately tied to another person, and yet, still don't even know them, it's easy to get your feelings hurt. And to feel attacked. Judged. And then, on the heels of hurt feelings — anger and self-defense. If only […]

Raw stepmom/mom honesty and how we got over the hate-hump

I just listened to a really in-depth interview Carol and I did with husband/wife team Phillip and Lisa Mulford over on Communication 360 and I hope you'll give it a listen too. It's raw and emotional and extremely honest. However cringe-y it is to hear your own recorded voice (I always think I sound like […]

Weighing the benefits and costs of getting along with the ex-wife or stepmom

However new or weird the idea of getting along with the stepmother or bio-mom might seem to you, the benefits of doing so are probably annoyingly obvious. Yeah, you've probably heard this all before (do I hear yawning?): less stress better communication smoother flow to life in general brainstorming help with the kids = better […]

Top 10 Reasons for a Mother/Stepmother Relationship Revolution

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(Angelina Eberly* / photo by Alan P. Van Dyke) 1. While our overall divorce rate has dropped down to 49%, a staggering 75% of remarriages involving children end in divorce. 2. Moms and stepmoms are desperate to escape the feeling that a perfect stranger is constantly trying to undermine them. Who IS this person, really? […]

My fault? Your fault? It’s GOT to be someone’s!

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Check out a lively conversation taking place over on The Step Mom’s Toolbox at the moment. Peggy Nolan wrote three posts (One, Two and Three) about the element of self-deception and how it plays itself out as a stepmom, and just extended family relationships in general. A funny conundrum: if you’re unwilling to consider that […]

Erasing the enemy – Part Two

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(If you missed Part One, it’s here.) The stepmother clicked the button to end the call before it started ringing. Then she took a deep breath and began to dial again. She stopped halfway, remembering some of the worst verbal insults that had made their way back to her, some of the angry and hateful […]

Erasing the Enemy – Part One

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Once upon a time, there was a mom and stepmom, stuck with each other in their lives, like a splinter in their thumb that couldn’t be removed. Thumbs get used a lot, so this was a bad thing, this constant, wincing reminder of the splinter as they went about their days. It was a pretty […]

Always a choice….

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I’m reading a fascinating book that I wish EVERYONE could read about the nature of conflict between people called, “The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart with Conflict” by The Arbinger Institute. I was prompted to seek out an in-depth analysis of the nature of tough problems between stepmoms and moms because, I must admit, […]

"No One's the Bitch" book official launch day!

Like a little gremlin that escaped from the attic, our book is officially out there in the world! If you'd like to help us obsess over our Amazon status on this holiest of launch days and reach Bestseller status (however briefly!), you can buy the book at Amazon. Just some of what you’ll find inside […]

Raffle Prizes

We’re running a promotion from May 6- June 15! On May 6th, we’ll start collecting email addresses from everyone who signs up for our mailing list OR buys the book at our site and enter your name into a weekly raffle drawing (one drawing a week, for a total of four weeks) for the following […]

"Inhale, then–yup, yup– HOLD it!"

When you're in a situation with a fair amount of intractable conflict, it can be helpful to step back and see what you're contributing to it. 'Course, we always like to think there's nothing WE'RE possibly doing wrong. After all, we live each day believing we're doing our utmost, acting from of place of earnest […]

Happy Holidays!

Some early Thanksgiving quotes for you, courtesy of Interlude Retreat's Thought of the Day archive, since we'll be out of town. May you feel blessed by abundance and realize all the many, many ways in which you are truly lucky! To have courage for whatever comes in life – everything lies in that. -Saint Teresa […]

Some favorite quotes

New, long post coming tomorrow. For now, here are a few quotes I like: What is important is not what hurts and pleases, but to see what is true. And then that truth will operate, not you.-Krishnamurti He who fears he shall sufferalready suffers what he fears.-Montaigne It is not the perfect, but the imperfect […]

How do you regroup?

Man…. Have you ever just gotten to a point with the mom or stepmom where you're about to tear your hair out? Or you feel like you're melting into a tiny, hopeless, muddy puddle? Or like you're going to catch the curtains on fire through the sheer power of your anger alone? The chapter we're […]

Book release: May 2009

Just wanted to let y’all know, “No One’s the Bitch: Ten Steps to Strengthening Families, One Ex-wife/Stepmother Partnership at a Time” will be published by Globe Pequot and out in bookstores in May of 2009. I know it’s been a bit quiet around here. Carol just got back from a pretty intense two-week workshop in […]

When the mom puts up a wall: an interview with Morocco

A few weeks ago, we talked about how sometimes you have to make some big psychological adjustments when you just can’t get anywhere with the other woman, whether mother or stepmom.  Here, we talk to Morocco of The Ommy Diaries about how she’s coped with both progress… and roadblocks.  See if you can relate to […]

The Fragile Bridge of Trust

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When Indiana Jones threw sand out into the precipice, suddenly revealing an invisible bridge, he found the magical solution to quickly getting across, away from his enemies. But… he still had to actually cross the narrow bridge without falling off. Trust between you and the stepmom or mom is like that same skinny bridge made real […]

A Tiny Bridgemaker – Part Two

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I watched David and Carol go through the emotional rollercoaster of trying to adopt with one agency and my heart softened, even though I could tell the girls were nervous about the possibilities of such massive, looming change. I witnessed Carol and David’s intense heartbreak from afar when their efforts fell through; growing in sympathy, […]

A Tiny Bridgemaker – Part One

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“All I know is, when we have a baby, I don’t want her to see it, hold it, or have anything to do with it. She just needs to stay away!” Those were the sentiments of Carol, my children’s stepmother. Luckily, I wasn’t around to hear this. Because “she” meant… “me.” But now, here I […]

One thing you can do when the other woman makes you go "Grrrr…"

How’s it going with the ex-wife or stepmom in your world? On a misery scale of one to ten, with ten being the worst, are you pushing an eight? A 9.5? Is the dial turned to eleven? When it comes to pick-ups and drop-offs, does your stomach clench up within two miles of their front […]

Do you make these mistakes with your ex-husband?

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Relationships between ex-husbands and ex-wives are minefields fraught with potential explosions. Toss a few kids, a stepmother or second husband, and plenty of strong opinions about the way “things should be” into the mix, and it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll be doing lots of tiptoeing through the tulips. Or cowpies…. Even in the most amicable […]

The Guilty Pleasure of Gossip

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Gossip always comes back to bite you in the ass. And with stepmothers and ex-wives in particular, there seems to be plenty of it to go around. Think about it. The set-up is perfect. You’re probably privy to the odd personal detail about each other, and yet, if you’re like most women in this situation, […]

How to Stop Hating the Ex-wife or Stepmom in 7 Simple Steps

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You may have read in Friday’s post about how Carol (the stepmom) and I (the ex-wife) went from cringing in each other’s company to cackling happily over coffee. As promised, here are some (long-ass!) tips for creating such a bridge yourself — and reducing some of the angst and anger in your own ex-wife/stepmom relationship […]

It’s Not All Perfect Here Either…

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A question someone asked me before about these modern arrangements: how can anyone relate to our stories if everything seems so hunky-dory? If the average reader is struggling with their respective “other woman”, how the hell are they supposed to gain any solace from reading about our touchy-feely, slow-motion moments of perfection? The answer is… they’re […]

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Why does it even matter if you get along with the stepmom or ex-wife in your life? Can’t you just go through the rest of the days, weeks, and years (that you’ve got the kids), leaving things as they are? Your motivation to improve your relationship is even lower if things are bad between you.  Like […]

Drunk Buddhist clowns?

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In “Peace is Every Step”, Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh suggests periodically checking in with loved ones and asking, “Do I understand you enough?  Or am I making you suffer?  Please tell me so that I can learn to love you properly.  I don’t want to make you suffer, and if I do so […]

The Joy of Being Judgmental QUIZ!

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Thanks to everyone for visiting during Eric Maisel’s recent visit. We loved hearing both the public and private comments. By now, hopefully you’re starting to realize how much your own internal thoughts influence your external actions and contribute to however things seem to be going with “the other woman”.  Here’s so more food for thought…. […]

Ten Seconds to Peace Between Divorced Moms and Stepmoms with Eric Maisel – Part 2

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(This is part two of our conversation with therapist and writer Eric Maisel PhD, author of the book “Ten Zen Seconds: Twelve Incantations for Purpose, Power and Calm.” Part one is here.)   The relationship between mothers and stepmothers is traditionally considered to be helplessly antagonistic, but it doesn’t have to be. How can the Ten […]

Ten Seconds to Peace Between Divorced Moms and Stepmoms with Eric Maisel – Part 1

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Eric Maisel, one of my favorite authors on creativity, just came out with a little gem of a book on centering techniques that only take a few seconds to implement called “Ten Zen Seconds”. Since stepmother/mother relationships often involve lots of potentially tense moments where you’re flying by the seat of your pants, I thought […]