Your Mind is Effing You Over – Not the Ex-Wife, Your Ex or The Stepmom


Have you ever thought about how weird it is that so many people are divorced now?   I remember when my kids were in elementary school and I was still married, we were surrounded by other nuclear families during drop-offs and pick-ups and school events. In junior high, not so much. In high school, neither […]

Who gets more “emotional authority?”


One day while we were talking on the phone, we realized: one reason these relationships between households can seem so impossible is because we have the two most important relationships of our lives competing against each other: parent and child vs. husband and wife. This creates a dynamic in relationships that we like to call […]

Whadya know: being wrong feels like being right!


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. […]

Never-before-seen Carol and Jen videos!

ex-wife and stepmom video

I’ve had these three videos of Carol (my kids’ stepmom and co-author of No One’s the Bitch) and I hanging around in a tech vault somewhere and completely forgot about them!They’re Part 2 of the following topics: The most common problems between divorced moms and stepmoms What to do if “the other woman” doesn’t want […]

Guest Post: What Makes a Bitch?


By Kat Kernohan It’s easy to dismiss a stepmom or divorced mom we are in conflict with as simply being a ‘bitch.’ In one simple word, we can shift all of the blame and responsibility for the conflict situation on to them – because they are the one at fault, they are the bitch. The […]

Can You Stop Making Demands?


I’m sure divorced moms experience this as well, but this complaint seems to be more prevalent among stepmoms, probably because moms hold more power when it comes to their children. Pick a situation, it could be anything: you think things are going well and then you get a nasty email or text telling you how it’s going […]

Repost: No One’s the Bitch – A Primer

Lone surfer at Morro Rock - Big wave day in Morro Bay, CA, 08 No

What are we shooting for here? How can we help you? Our best-selling book – and this site – focuses on how to create a better relationship between ex-wives and stepmoms, or, in other words, traditional enemies. We’re unique in that our perspective is informed by BOTH sides – a divorced mom and a stepmom. The […]

Divorced Moms and Stepmoms: We’re Not That Different

wits end

We’re all women. We all struggle. We’ve all had thoughts and feeling we wish we didn’t. We’re all in situations we wish we could change. We’re similar in so many ways, yet we continue to be separate. Mom has to struggle knowing her children are part of another family, one that doesn’t include her. This […]

What We Can and Can’t Change


Do you think you’re able to change someone? I’m guessing intellectually you know you can’t. After all, how many times have you heard “The only person you can control is yourself”? Yet you continue to think: “Maybe if I’m nicer to her…” “Maybe if I appease her…” “Maybe if I ignore her…” “Maybe if I […]

What’s under the surface?


I caught the tail end of the Little League World Series (Japan vs. the U.S.) today…. I stopped mid-channel-surfing because I thought–wait–what are these little kids doing playing such an intense game of baseball? And why is it on TV? I was reminded of, many years ago, living in Spain as a child and my […]

Impossibly High Standards

balanced rocks

When it comes to how you expect the other woman to behave, could you meet those same standards? Never say a single bad word against you. Always do what’s best for the children (according to your private interpretation). Never be late (come hell, high water or bad traffic). Never get angry, be snippy, play the […]

One-Way Compassion


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 […]

Meet August’s peace pioneer: Renee Stone


(Register now for Jenna’s August Stepmom Bootcamp!) Welcome to our monthly feature, where one of  YOU shares your story with fellow moms and stepmoms. Let’s welcome a popular voice on our Facebook page and in our Member’s Community private forum, stepmom and mom, Renee Stone. (You might know her as “Lucky.”) NOTB: Welcome Renee! When […]

What are you resisting?

Lone surfer at Morro Rock - Big wave day in Morro Bay, CA, 08 No

(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 […]

What’s your foundation?


(Register for Jenna’s Stepmom Bootcamp!) I took my two big dogs for a walk down at the greenbelt for the first time the other morning. I had to admit, I was nervous. New retractable leash. A German Shepherd (Lucy, almost 12, still going strong) who’s rarely, but nevertheless potentially fearful and aggressive. A Siberian Husky […]

Apologizing 101


“I’m sorry…” Two very powerful words, when spoken from the heart. Why? Because you’re acknowledging that you’ve caused another pain, whether it was intentional or not. It’s an opportunity to express your regret about the way you behaved, the words you spoke, or the intentions you held. Without an acknowledgement of wrongdoing, how can the […]

The Power of a Name: Just-A-Stepmoms and Bio-Moms


I sometimes like to think of weird things that might have extremely large numbers assigned to them. …How many breaths each and every creature that’s ever lived has taken, all together. …How many times the clouds have passed over the sun as someone looked skyward. …How many times you’ve eaten lunch. …How many times your […]

How I survived this stepfamily “stuff” – Part 2


Last week, I described how my strong sense of self is partly responsible for me surviving my stepfamily journey, sanity intact. The other crucial part of this is my husband’s support. I don’t think men know just how much influence and power they hold. After all, they’re the whole reason we’re here, right? We fell in […]

The Invisible Drivers in Your Life


The other woman is out to get you. Everything she does is motivated by an intense, burning desire to see you fail, to make you suffer. Her life revolves around making you miserable — and miserable you are, despite yourself. Although… something about this feeling seems familiar. You can’t quite put your finger on it…. […]

How I survived this stepfamily “stuff” – Part 1


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 […]

Why Owning Your Own Crap Empowers You, Instead of Takes You Down


Most of us are reluctant to turn the flashlight back on ourselves and look at the ways we might have screwed up. After all, who likes feeling like they’ve messed up? Like the balance of power has shifted in the story and all of a sudden, instead of the other person being so predictably wrong […]

No One’s the Bitch: A Primer


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 […]

What divorced moms should know about stepmoms – a stepmom’s perspective

Lonely tree

(Disclaimer: these descriptions don’t encompass all situations. There are outliers and extremes and hundreds of different scenarios. But these are the most common experiences for many stepmoms.) Buy the Book Now! Skirts At War: Beyond Divorced Mom/Stepmom Conflict now! 1. She isn’t playing house with your child and your ex-husband. Stepmoms are trying to build their […]

Jenna takes the “Just meet her!” challenge


As some of you may already know, Jenna has had a less than ideal relationship with the mother of her stepchildren. These relationships are contentious! But in the spirit of  showing women what’s possible with our Just Meet Her! Challenge this month, she agreed to serve as a guinea pig and issue an invitation. Lo […]

Painful stereotype, meet reality!


Over the weekend, we learned a valuable lesson. Jenna shared a link to an article on our Facebook page that she thought might be potentially inflammatory, but also stimulate an interesting discussion — given the fact that some stepmoms do indeed wrestle with this kind of behavior with the mom in their lives. All hell […]

Jen in NYC and Jenna in Outer Space!


(Jen is seeking 15 collaborators for her next book! More information here. Please help spread the word!) If you live close to the Big Apple, please consider joining Jen and good friends Brenda Ockun from StepMom Magazine, Paula Bisacre of ReMarriage Works and writer Joel Schwartzberg (a remarried father of 3) at the Peace Summit, […]

Who’s that jerk driving that car?!


Funny thing about us and driving…. When we cut someone else off in traffic because we have a lot on our mind that day — we’re tearful, or pissed, or stressed out about a gut-wrenching problem with no end in sight — we cut ourselves some slack. We’re really not THAT kind of driver, we […]

Repost: First, do no harm…


Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. -Philo Here’s a little experiment to try this week…. If you’re wanting to create a friendlier relationship with the mom or stepmom and aren’t sure where to start, first, consider doing something simple and stopping any subtly combative behavior. Is your voice tight when […]

Do our thoughts cause us pain and suffering?


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


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 […]

Co-parents: Are you keeping the kids out of the middle?


Since none of us would be here if it weren’t for the kids, I started thinking about how some parents can’t help but put their children in the middle of their mess with their ex. And every time I think of it, I’m reminded of an extraordinary book my husband and I read, called “Keeping […]

Beyond counting your blessings


Let’s say some prayers for our friends and neighbors in Japan. The earthquake and tsunami have once again reminded us just how easily everything can be taken away from any of us in an instant, and now, a terrifying nuclear crisis is unfolding before our very eyes. May they find a way to cool the […]

How to deal with a defensive person

Photo credit: graur razvan ionut

A common theme in my stepmom support group is how defensive some husbands get when their wives attempt to address an issue regarding the kids. Most of time, the issue never gets addressed, because defensiveness usually leads to one, or both, parties shutting down. If someone gets defensive when confronted, it’s usually because they’re taking your issue as a […]

What to expect when you weren’t expecting… a stepmom


Maybe you experienced a long, slow slide towards divorce. The communication dwindled. The awesome sex became lost in the tidal wave of daily life demands. It was always one thing after another with the kids. Or perhaps you were unlucky enough to be blind-sided by the sting of infidelity. However you found yourself in the […]

Moms: you are the crux


At 46, I’m certainly not one of the greatest rock climbers around, but it’s a obsession I truly love that has changed me on many levels. Just like any sport that attracts die-hard followers, it has its own lingo and insider terminology. “Beta” are the tips and inside scoop to help you successfully complete a […]

Happy Valentines: six secrets to communicating with men!


The relationship between mom and stepmom is a tense one.  Add a dad into the mix, and all effective communication can get thrown right out the window. Not because he’s not good at it, but because men are wired differently than women. Ever notice when you’re talking to your husband or ex-husband that a few […]

Confessions of a(n enlightened) stepmom


I consider myself pretty successful in my transition from single girl to stepmom and I’ve always had the best of intentions when it came to my husband’s ex-wife. And yet, I’ve made some moves that seemed right at the time, but weren’t. Here’s one of them: I won’t get into the details for privacy’s sake, […]

The dangers of certainty


(Burnt Forest photo credit: Ramsey Kunkel) We have an interesting opportunity to learn something, after what happened in Arizona on Saturday. As many of you know by now, 6 people were tragically killed (including a nine-year old girl born on 9/11) and 13 were critically injured when a 22 year-old man opened fire at Democratic […]

The Family-Family Meeting Blow-up


For a while there, whenever our dual-family family was ironing out some major issues—like which kid was living where, and for how long—we’d have these really intense family meetings. We’d all sit around the kitchen table after dinner, or in the living room, half of us sprawled on the floor… and we’d talk. One of […]

Two very different kinds of momentum


If you’re a mom and you’re going through a divorce — or you’ve already been through one, where you are couldn’t be more different than where a stepmom is. Divorce makes you feel like a tornado just tore through your life. It ripped up all your dreams for your family, for your children, for your […]

New videos are out!


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 […]

Which boat are you in?


Many of you come to this site because you’re looking for information that might give you an advantage with your difficult mom/stepmom relationship. You want something extra to help you create a shift. Movement in the right direction. A breakthrough out of nowhere. You’re the only one who knows what it’s like in your particular […]

Success Story: Jesica and Mayra


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 […]

Why I sometimes want to give up too


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 3


(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.) Feeling like there’s an enemy in your midst can be really stressful. This is what a lot of stepmoms and ex-wives that are stuck […]

Taming the cobra – Part 2


(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


(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 […]

What you and I have in common – Part 1


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 […]

The best defense is some ugly truth (revised version)


(This post originally appeared in a slightly altered version last week, before our host blew up. I’ve revised it and included some important links as well.) It’s a normal human impulse… when you can’t escape ongoing conflict with another person, you often feel compelled to prove who’s more at fault. Surely it can’t be you! […]

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


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” […]

High Heels in the Dung Pasture (or Further Adventures in Taking Responsibility)


So I have a moment at the end of the Dr. Phil Show that we did a few weeks ago that I’m hoping no one will see, but that my ex-husband David assures me is the one moment they will probably be sure to include (air date: Dec. 1). Great… Just what I wanted to […]

A new direction (or, sometimes it's good to be lost every once and a while)

It's been too long!As a writer friend of mine sometimes says, sometimes the fields need to lie fallow before they're ready to be planted again…. I needed to take some time to rethink some things about what I talk about on this here blog and now I'm eager to jump back in. I'd like to […]

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 […]

The power of being naked


Imagine a medieval battlefield (perhaps you’ve seen Braveheart) where two lone warriors are fighting, wounded and bloody. At some point, they realize the futility of their struggle and know if they don’t stop, one — or more likely, both of them are going to end up dead. Who puts down their weapon first? And THEN […]

A Rant: Painting the New American Family Landscape


Here’s a crazy image for you: picture a hay wagon, careening along a bumpy road, strewing bits and pieces of straw in its wake. On one side of the truck, you have a stepfamily — the father and stepmother tersely yelling at each other to hang on tight and make sure Little Timmy doesn’t go […]

The Unit: A book review

I was recently asked to review a fascinating novel that got me to thinking about some of the powerful, unspoken issues that create tension and conflict between moms and stepmoms. It's called “The Unit” and was written by Swedish writer Ninni Holmqvist. The set-up: when men and women reach a certain age (60 and 50) […]

Top 10 Reasons for a Mother/Stepmother Relationship Revolution


(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? […]

Shoring up against potential (family) erosion…

I was talking to my friend Bernadette yesterday from Slow Family Living about putting together a panel for next year's SXSW — and was surprised at her surprise by a part of our conversation. Context: she has four kids under the age of 11. My two girls are 14 and 18, with one already out […]

Cold Hard Facts

Welcome to our first guest post! It's by Katherine Shirek Doughtie, one of the co-authors of a "sister" site, the fabulous, but sadly currently dormant The DHX: The Doughtie Houses Exchange — which is also about creating cooperative mom/stepmom relationships. (Katherine is the mom and Jill Doughtie is the stepmom.) The post is actually a […]

A chain reaction

I've written effusively before about a book I recently read on resolving the heart of conflict called "The Anatomy of Peace" by the Arbinger Institute (yes, odd for a book to be written by an institute, but whoever wrote it, it's brilliant). I was contacted a few days ago by their Director of Community Relations […]

Dudes and daddying

Our meeting for moms and stepmoms at BookPeople was small, but impassioned, and one of the things we kept circling back to in conversation was… the dads in the picture. We talk a lot about the friction between the moms and stepmoms on this site, and sometimes allude to conflict with the kids… but what […]

Deciphering self care: an interview with Peggy Nolan

You know those people you talk to on the phone that you've never met before—and in the very first few seconds, you hit it off? Peggy Nolan is one of those people. I've been intrigued by a wonderfully stubborn optimism evident in her writing on The Step Moms Toolbox and decided to dig a little […]

Sample Chapter

Tired of trying to figure out who’s at “fault” when it comes to the problems between you and the mom or stepmom? Here’s some food for thought! Chapter 6: Be Accountable (No One Else to Blame) From No One’s the Bitch (Globe Pequot Press), © Jennifer Newcomb Marine and Carol Marine, used by permission.

No One’s the Bitch: A Ten-Step Plan for Mothers and Stepmothers is a revolutionary, new approach to diffusing the traditional animosity between moms and stepmoms — and creating a brand, new version of an extended family that’s healthier and happier. If you’re ready to move forward and are curious about how to start resolving some […]

Digging up the dirt to plant flowers


One of the weirdest things I’ve ever had to do was something I did while I was writing this book on creating mother/stepmother harmony last year. As some of you may or may not know, Carol’s an artist (a very busy, successful one). We collaborated on the outline and topics for the book. And I […]

Top 5 War Zones between Stepmoms and Moms, Starring Gisele Bundchen and Bridget Moynahan

  By now, you’ve probably heard all about the public catfight going on between supermodel stepmom Gisele Bundchen (left) and actress mom Bridget Moynahan (right). Moynahan dated New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for three years and discovered she was pregnant soon after they broke up, at which point Brady and Bundchen were already dating. […]

On not even peeking behind the curtains, because there are no curtains…


Sometimes I struggle with tone on this blog. I want so much to inspire people – to show them a different vision of what’s possible between families (originally I typed “bision” instead of “vision” which reminded me of “bison,” but I’m not up much on buffalo, so clearly, that wouldn’t have worked) after a divorce. […]

One big, weird, happy family…

What are some examples of celebrities that have gotten divorced, remarried, and then created a brand new extended family that works? Here's what Rumer Willis, daughter of actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, said about her father and step-father Ashton Kutcher in Us Magazine… "We all have so much fun together. I’m so lucky," she […]

Monday Maybe: Be stubborn about the truth!

(How did it go last week? Did you refrain from any unhelpful behavior, even once? Did you stop some of your negative thoughts mid-train? What did you discover?) Question for you, moving forward…. First, let's assume that you do indeed have some changes to make when it comes to creating a better relationship with the […]

The Power of Simple

Yesterday, I had lunch with my oldest daughter, who recently moved out of the house. I really miss her. It's hard not knowing what she's up to on a daily basis: what kind of mood she's in, hearing her sing around the house, seeing the books she's into scattered all over the table. It was […]

Are you feeling unsupported?

The ironic thing about working on your relationship with the mom or stepmom in your life is that the harder you're working at improving things between you, the less outside support you have. Just when you need it most, the cheerleaders have vacated the sidelines and are already waiting in their cars to exit the […]

QUIZ: Whose World Is This?

Sure, many mothers and stepmothers may not get along well, but they've got one very important thing in common. Neither one of them is ever going to be the "nuclear wife” in a family made up of Mom, Dad and the little ones. Perhaps an acknowledgment of the challenges and heartache associated with this fact […]

Who gets to be your mama?

There's a fascinating discussion taking place over on the Doughtie Houses Exchange (DHX) site about the weird feelings both mother and stepmothers struggle with when the children bond with the stepmother (up to 65 comments so far!). In "Other Women's Children," mom Kathy Shirek Doughtie talks about bonding with her new step-son and whether it's […]

Who gets to define reality?

Where should we draw the line with our links? This is a question Carol and I found ourselves discussing in-depth the other day, after a recent event that I can’t discuss publicly. It certainly led to some tricky questions for us, without clear-cut answers. Such as… To what extent are we responsible for the content […]

Stumped, but still serene? How 'bout an interview?

Here’s a recent comment from The Smirking Cat (a stepmom) on an older post Power: Struggle or Sharing between Moms and Stepmoms?.  You can see the post and comments here in its entirety, but for now, I thought I’d just address this one aspect. I find the intense negativity very sad, though, between stepmoms and […]

…you once liked him/her enough to have sex…

I enjoyed this short, but punchy post from The Smirking Cat on "Healing Families of Divorce." Here's an excerpt: Treat your ex at least as well as you would a business partner. Hello, you liked him/her enough at one time to have sex and have kids, so grow the hell up. The kids deserve parents […]

How to turn critical blog comments into corresponding clarity

Have you ever been sent spinning by negative feedback on your work? I have! Blogging can be exhilarating at times, can't it? There's the thrill of instant connection and rising page hits… the wonderful sense of being of service… and then, the sting of a verbal slap in the face. Recently, we received the following […]

Power: Struggle or Sharing between Moms and Stepmoms?

While talking to my friend Becca the other night, I idly mused on why the internets seem to be so chock-full of stepmom blogs, but when it comes to one written by an ex-wife/mom outlining her struggles with the stepmom, there's nary a blog to be found.  Becca thought about this for a moment and […]

The Fragile Bridge of Trust


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 […]

What impact do stepmoms have upon us? An interview with Kelly Gray

We’ve heard from teens about life with a stepmother. We’ve heard stepmoms themselves discussing what it’s like for them, trying to manage an instant family and competing loyalties, all while adjusting to a new marriage. I thought it’d be interesting to hear from someone who has the luxury of hindsight in this situation.  I met […]

Calling all ex-wives and bio-moms

I don’t get it. Where are all the ex-wives? I took a look around the ethers for other websites having to do with what I call blended families, or e-x-t-e-n-d-e-d families — and all I could come up with were sites for stepfamilies, or anthropological sites analyzing multi-generational families in other countries. I did get […]

Top Ten Reasons to Not Even Bother Trying to Get Along with the Stepmom or Ex-wife

Too often our coping strategy for the stresses of dealing with an ex-wife or stepmom revolves around… waiting it out. Somewhere in the back of your mind, you’re hoping to eventually gain the upper hand and then — once you do — well, it’ll be a cold day in hell before anyone will ever wrench […]

In the words of other stepmoms

I’m currently working on an article about how to reach out to the stepmother or ex-wife in your life — what it actually might look like; why you’d want to (or not); what’s in it for you; what could potentially go wrong (and you don’t need me to tell you, there’s lots).  Two posts from […]

The Guilty Pleasure of Gossip


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, […]

The Awesome Power of Thank You and Hello

good manners between stepmoms and divorced moms

They’re a social lubricant, a path through the thorny woods, an accepted mechanism for interaction in the world of people, sometimes very obnoxious people. Manners…. Remember those? No matter where you are on the spectrum of ex-wife/stepmother relations, you can’t go wrong if you use the basics. Let’s say you’re stuck with Annoying Aunt Edna […]

It’s Not All Perfect Here Either…

divorced mom stepmom jealousy

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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conflict or harmony for divorced moms and stepmoms

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?

problems between ex-wives and stepmoms

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!

ex-wives and stepmom conflict

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…. […]

The Bitch Has Left the Building…

divorced mom/stepmom relationships

It’s a nasty word, bitch. Fine, if you’re rightfully defending your kids against some injustice in the school system or you need to stubbornly not give up your seat on the bus or you’ve got a hellish journey ahead of you to do the right thing – then – who cares if anyone thinks you’re […]

Which house would you rather live in?


Consider two homes…. Same potential people. Totally different outcomes. Stomach-knotting relationship #1: The mother is running around, yelling at the kids to get their things ready, taking her anger at the stepmother out on her kids. She’s stressed because the house is a wreck after homework and school projects, too much to do at work […]

The Beginning, or… A Moment of Pause in the Wind Tunnel


So half the dog and pony show would be leaving the building. Fine. I could regroup — always do. Piece of cake, no problem. I stifled a rising sense of panic as I explained my dilemma by phone to my good friend Kim Lane (writer and publisher extraordinaire of Moments before, I had rewritten […]