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Christmas Traditions: The Sibling Tree

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Last night, after two days of insistent urging, we drew names for the Sibling Tree.  The Sibling Tree is a favorite tradition in our house (borrowed and adapted from a dear friend), and eagerly anticipated.  It works a bit like a Secret Santa gift exchange.  Each child puts his or […]

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Letting Go of Negative Emotions

Have you ever looked yourself in the mirror and thought, what is going on? What am I becoming? I started looking at a version of myself that I didn’t recognize. Have you ever felt outraged over someone else’s behavior and became obsessive with the injustices? That became the norm in my life. Have you ever […]

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Five Steps to Survive the Holidays and Save Your Sanity

I’ve fixed the holidays for you.  You’re welcome.  Read on.  Perhaps fixed is a touch overstating things, but the plan below will make you feel better – I promise. It involves half-assing and wine. Step One: Figure out the schedule early “What?” you say. “We have a schedule. It’s already defined in our agreement.” Of […]

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Why Your Husband Says “Yes” to His Ex

Do you hate it when your husband’s difficult ex asks for something and your husband jumps on the yes wagon? Or, even worse, when she wants something seemingly unreasonable – and even though you can tell from a mile away that he’ll regret it – he still complies? You’re probably wondering, why on earth is […]

Stepfamily hugging Read more

Your Unique Stepfamily

Just hearing the word stepfamily, or worse, stepmother can cause people to immediately respond by saying: “I’m sorry, that must be so hard for you.” Without much thought there is judgement already happening before knowing too much about your family. In my experience this is generally from someone who has never had any intimate connection […]

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Growth and Expansion in Stepfamily Life

Stepfamily life has its challenges and struggles. But honestly what family unit, relationship (personal or professional) doesn’t have its challenges. In these moments of challenge is where we have the opportunity to shed our skin and grow, but that’s usually easier said than done. Believe me I’ve been there. Over and over again and consider […]

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Stepmom vs. Stepdad: What’s the Difference?

I’ve read the books, I’ve read and written the blogs, I’ve talked to many, many stepmoms. Even those who have “a great situation” struggle with their role – a role which often shifts and changes. So what is it that makes this so hard? We talk about feeling like an outsider, negotiating an often complex […]

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An Open Letter to my Stepfather

To my Stepfather: Thank you for sticking with me. I was a teenager when we met. You came into my life at a time of change, attempted independence, and confusion over my parents’ separation. Anger greeted you for the first time. Rebellion refused to eat dinner with you and Mom. Loyalty didn’t speak to you […]

Keeping out conflict Read more

The High Conflict Ex-Wife

I talk a lot about dealing with difficult ex-wives, mainly because that’s often the #1 complaint of my clients and well, no one else is really addressing the issue. So, what exactly do I mean by difficult? This is what I mean: They only have one story; a story where they’re the victim and you’re the […]

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Coping with Narcissistic Stepchildren

It’s surprising how many stepparents find themselves faced with the challenge of stepchildren who exhibit narcissistic personality traits. Or perhaps – when you consider how narcissism develops – it isn’t surprising at all. The Narcissist: Nature or Nurture? A large proportion of my coaching career has been spent studying narcissistic personality disorder and helping those […]