Happy Mother’s Day!


Happy Mother’s Day! Thank for all you do for these little beings (and sometimes medium and big ones) who can be moody, uncooperative, whiny, over-sensitive and angry –- but also wonderfully innocent, vulnerable, warm, playful, all-accepting, and sweetly kind. Our children need ALL of us! They need as many adults to love them as possible […]

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 […]

An exercise in compassion


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 […]

Who are you and what do you want?


Took a bit of a break here to let the well replenish itself, let the fields lie fallow, let the sediment settle– and any other nature metaphors that might fit. I’m back now and ready to crank up the rusty writing machine and noodle brain…. In the interest of starting a conversation back up with […]

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 […]

The Transformation Lab is live!


From Chaos to Partnership… The Transformation Lab is a solution-focused, online course designed to move you forward by enriching your understanding of a healthy step-bio relationship. Class begins Tuesday, June 22nd. “This is a really interesting walkthrough; a ten-step plan that’s well thought-out and experience-based. You didn’t invent this problem — you’ve just taken a […]

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 […]

Happy Stepmother’s Day!


A happy day to all the stepmoms out there! Please know that all your efforts make a difference. All the time and taking care of the stepkids, all the things you remember to do (that others don’t even seem to realize are on the list), all the ways in which you try to be flexible […]

Happy Mother’s Day!


To ANYONE who takes care of our children, whether you made them or not, I salute you! Thank for all you do for these little beings (and sometimes medium and big ones) who can be moody, uncooperative, whiny, over-sensitive and angry–but also wonderfully innocent, vulnerable, warm, playful, all-accepting, and sweetly kind. Our children need ALL […]

Join me on the Stepmom’s Tool Box radio show Monday evening!


I’ll be gabbing with my good friends, stepmoms Peggy Nolan and Erin Erickson tonight on the Stepmom’s Tool Box radio show (Monday, May 3rd / 8:00-9:00 p.m. EST). Have a burning question you’d like to ask? Disagree or agree with a recent post? Please come join us, I’d love to hear from you! Any and […]

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 […]

Oprah to announce National Stepmother’s Day!


(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 just got a call from an Oprah producer at Harpo Studios, Heather M.! I had spoken to her right before our book came […]

Some great information from Ask An Expert Day on StepMom Magazine


Our Ask An Expert day for StepMom Magazine on Facebook was a great success! If you have a Facebook account, stop by and read the veritable cornucopia of responses (any chance to use the phrase veritable cornucopia) from all the experts that participated. I was in some esteemed company! Some very thorough information there that […]

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 […]

Who's minding your mind?

(Sorry for the lack of new content lately – busy trying to get some new projects off the ground. Why do things always take twice as long as we think they're going to?!) Peggy Nolan wrote a great post over at The Step Mom's Toolbox that I'd like to point you to, called "Changing the […]

StoryCorps is looking for mom/stepmom teams to interview!

Wouldn't it be helpful to have more stories of ex-wives and stepmoms out there, telling the truth about their lives, letting us take a peek inside? Well maybe YOU can tell your story… or eventually just hear some! I just got this very cool invitation from Eve Claxton of StoryCorps (they do the up-close, real-life […]

Need an hour of brainstorming and support?

Like our book? Has it given you some new weapons tools for your blended-family arsenal? Made you think? Prompted you to action? Created an actual change in your life for the better? Leave a comment on Amazon saying so and win an hour-long phone consultation with Jennifer Newcomb Marine (that would be… me) to troubleshoot […]

Latest press and new projects

Check out our latest coverage from The Huffington Post in an article called "Stepmothers, Mothers, and the 'B' Word" and the longest interview we've done yet — in Austin's own LiveMom, a great resource for local stepmoms and moms! We'll be taping an extended interview about ex-wife/stepmother issues with Communication 360 early tomorrow morning, so […]

Tuesday's meeting: Central Market, NOT BookPeople!

If you're planning on attending our free support group to create stepmom/mom partnership Tuesday at 7:30, please note, the location is incorrectly listed in the Austin Chronicle. It's at Central Market Cafe (north location, off 38th St.) and not at BookPeople, like our previous meetings. There was something about having to slip behind an author […]

Mom/stepmom this and that

Yes, you too could be a winnah!You've still got time to sign up for our mailing list and be entered into today's raffle. We'll also do one last drawing on Monday (everyone needs a little extra happiness on Mondays, right?). The mailing list may be used for announcements and new content that's not on the […]

Next support group meeting – one week from today!

Just a quick reminder, our next meeting hosted by Carol and I will be this coming Tuesday, June 16th at 7:30pm at the award-winning BookPeople. We've created a Meetup group here, if you'd like to join. Or you can always check our Events page…. We still have raffle prizes to give away too! Tonight, we're […]

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 […]

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 […]

Book signing at BookPeople!

If you're in Austin, come on out for our book signing tonight at the fabulous BookPeople! BOOK PARTY AND SIGNINGFriday, May 8 from 7:00 – 8:30pm BOOKPEOPLE603 North Lamar Blvd.Austin, Texas 78703events@bookpeople.comStore Phone: 512-472-5050 On the eve of Mother’s Day, celebrate your “Other Mother” with cupcakes by Hey Cupcake!, cocktails and conversation, hosted by actress […]

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.

We did it!

Wow! Yesterday was a whirlwind! We were flooded with emails, tons of hits, and the book soared to Number 2 on Amazon's Bestseller list in two categories: Divorce and Stepparenting!! It's still bouncing around from No. 1 to No. 9 in their Hot New Releases categories too. Very exciting! This book has been five years […]

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. […]

Our book is #1 on Amazon's Hot New Releases!

Woohoo! Our book is #1 in TWO different categories on Amazon: divorce and stepparenting!   This is so exciting we can barely stand it! The status is updated hourly, but it's been up there awhile now…. A special shout-out to all of Carol's readers who helped propel the book to the top of the charts […]

Monday Maybe: First, do no harm…

(Here’s a little experiment to try this week….) Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. -Philo 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 […]

Free book introduction!

Check out the Introduction to our book! It's available for download as a PDF here. You're also invited to join us on our wild goose chase as we attempt to get in touch with such folks as Demi Moore and Will Smith for a book endorsement. (The clock is ticking! We're running out of time!)! […]

Watch the characterization

Here's a thought-provoking idea from a blog (and newsletter) I really like called The Happiness Project. Are you jumping the gun and consistently characterizing the actions of the mom or stepmom in a negative light, before you really know her true intentions? Worth a thought!

The right names for the right meaning…

I just discovered the blog of a dear friend, Joel — one of my favorite people to climb with. I had no idea he was such a talented, closet scribbler! Here's a link to a thought-provoking post about how the names we have for each other in these newfangled family relationships don't really do justice […]

The No-Dollar Christmas

We’re doing something different this Christmas, inspired in part by a tight budget, but also but a desire to take our experience of Christmas into our own hands and out of the whole go-to-store/buy-gift/give-gift and get-gift formula. It’s an antidote to the state of the economy, but more than that, it’s a productive way to […]

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 […]

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 […]