No One's the Bitch: A Ten-Step Plan for the Mother and Stepmother Relationship

Overview

A down-to-earth guide for mothers and stepmothers struggling to get along “These straight-shooting, truth-talking, soul-baring women have their priorities right: When mom and stepmom are on the same page everyone wins, most especially the kids! If more parents could do as authors Jennifer and Carol have done, our courts would be far emptier, our kids would be far healthier, and all of our futures would be brighter!”—Benjamin D. Garber, Ph.D., author of Keeping Kids Out of the MiddleIn No One’s the Bitch, ...
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Overview

A down-to-earth guide for mothers and stepmothers struggling to get along “These straight-shooting, truth-talking, soul-baring women have their priorities right: When mom and stepmom are on the same page everyone wins, most especially the kids! If more parents could do as authors Jennifer and Carol have done, our courts would be far emptier, our kids would be far healthier, and all of our futures would be brighter!”—Benjamin D. Garber, Ph.D., author of Keeping Kids Out of the MiddleIn No One’s the Bitch, ex-wife/stepmother team extraordinaire Jennifer Newcomb Marine and Carol Marine take you for a straight-talking, hand-holding walk through what is typically a very lonely minefield. Whether you just want to create a neutral, “business” partnership with the “other woman” in your life—or actually, gulp, become friends—they show you how to reach your goal through ten powerful steps.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A really interesting walkthrough; a ten-step plan that’s well thought-out and experience-based...a giant step in resolving this problem"- Dr. Phil McGraw, on "The Dr. Phil Show" / December 1, 2009 “Bitch is a worthy, energetic workbook . . . Chatty and funny, it provides useful ideas (e.g., make small offerings) and sound how-to (e.g., greet each other when the kids swap houses).” - Library Journal"These straight-shooting, truth-talking, soul-baring women have their priorities right: When mom and stepmom are on the same page everyone wins, most especially the kids! If more parents could do as authors Jennifer and Carol have done, our courts would be far emptier, our kids would be far healthier and and all of our futures would be brighter!"- Benjamin D. Garber, Ph.D., www.healthyparent.com, author of Keeping Kids Out Of The Middle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762750931
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/5/2009
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 8.66 (w) x 5.48 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Newcomb Marine (the ex-wife) is a freelance essayist and editor who was a former columnist for AustinMama.com, an award-winning website. Her work has been published in the anthology Grrl Talk: Wit, Sass and Wisdom from the Austin Writergrrls and in the Farfelu Literary Review. She has worked as a grant writer, business staff writer, and presented creativity workshops based on Eric Maisel's book Fearless Creating. She is the mother of two teenage daughters. Carol Marine (the stepmother) is a succesful oil-based artist who has had her work featured in both local and national magazines. She is represented by the Wally Workman Gallery in Austin and the Twinhouse Gallery in Atlanta. Her blog (http://carolmarine.blogspot.com) generates over 1,000 hits a week. She has conducted workshops on painting techniques at a prestigious New Mexico art academy, and has upcoming workshops in New Mexico, Georgia, Florida, and Canada. She is the mother of a three-year-old son and stepmother to two teenage girls.
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Read an Excerpt

From the IntroductionIt’s a nasty word, bitch. It’s one thing if you’re standing up in the face of injustice to do the right thing—who cares if anyone thinks you’re a bitch? But being thought of as bitch in general is another thing altogether. No one wants that. And yet, here’s the setup between ex-wife and stepmother: The other woman, no matter which side you start from, is automatically a bitch. . . . And isn’t it irritating to know the other side is almost certainly calling you a bitch?! . . . We’ve figured out a way to do it otherwise. We don’t know everything, but we do know a few things. And we’d like to tell you about them.
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Table of Contents

Introduction xiii

Who We Are xiii

How We Got Here xiv

Our Goal xv

What to Expect xv

What You Stand to Gain xvi

Chapter 1 Survey the Landscape (And Get Your Bearings) 1

Going about Your Business 1

"And To Your Left..." 2

A Look Back from Us 3

Common Features of the Stepmom/Ex-Wife Landscape 5

Maxine and Stephanie Duke It Out, from Afar 11

What about the Man? 15

External Influences 18

United by Their Differences 21

Extra Reassurance 23

Resources to Explore 26

As We Leave the Chapter 27

Chapter 2 Own Your Own Crap (What, Me? A Dark Side?) 28

Turning the Flashlight On 28

A Look Back from Us 28

Disowning Your Relatives 31

Top Ten Reasons Not to Even Bother Trying to Get Along with the Stepmom or Ex-Wife 34

Shadow Self, Up Close 35

What about the Man? 43

Dude, Where's My Trophy? 51

Emotional Math: Payoffs vs. Costs 51

Extra Reassurance 55

Resources to Explore 57

As We Leave the Chapter 57

Chapter 3 Imagine the Benefits (Dreams Pull You Forward) 58

Lighter but Stronger! 58

A Look Back from Us 58

A Vital Fuel 61

What's in It for Me? 61

Two Parallel Realities for Maxine and Stephanie 63

Overview of the Specific Benefits 69

What about the Man? 73

Creating a New Kind of Family Structure 77

Stepping Back and Assessing 80

Extra Reassurance 80

Resources to Explore 82

As We Leave the Chapter 82

Chapter 4 Take Action (Stretching, Inside and Out) 83

The Difference between Sitting and Walking 83

A Look Back from Us 83

Things to Ponder Before You Act 85

What about the Man? 93

External Actions 96

What You're Going to Actually Try 96

Stuff to Keep in Mind Beforehand 102

Signaling a Sea Change 106

InviteHer for Coffee 107

Extra Reassurance 111

Resources to Explore 114

As We Leave the Chapter 115

Chapter 5 Collaborate (Lighten Your Load-and Hers) 116

No Singing, Just Drenched 116

A Look Back from Us 116

A Closer Look at Collaboration 120

Defensiveness 122

The Amazing Power of "Just Talking" 125

What about the Man? 127

Consistent Rules between Houses 129

Extra Reassurance 134

Resources to Explore 137

As We Leave the Chapter 138

Chapter 6 Be Accountable (No One Else to Blame) 139

Stay in Your Room! 139

A Look Back from Us 139

A Definition 144

The Benefits of Being Accountable 145

What Accountability Looks Like in Action 148

Some Additional Challenges to Practicing Accountability 150

What about the Man? 151

Extra Reassurance 152

Resources to Explore 154

As We Leave the Chapter 154

Chapter 7 Communicate (Or, Why Aren't You a Mind Reader?) 155

On the One Hand 155

A Look Back from Us 155

Communication 101 158

Consequences of Poor Communication 161

What about the Man? 166

Harnessing Good Communication to Increase Two-Family Harmony 167

Family Meetings 169

Extra Reassurance 170

Resources to Explore 173

As We Leave the Chapter 173

Chapter 8 Regroup (Dust Off Your Pants When You Fall Down) 174

A Pile of Fire Extinguishers 174

A Look Back from Us 174

How Many Kinds of Conflict? Let Me Count the Ways 177

Help for in the Moment 178

Help You Can Use Later 184

What about the Man? 188

Other Ideas to Try 189

Extra Reassurance 190

Resources to Explore 193

As We Leave the Chapter 193

Chapter 9 Strengthen (Bringing out the Best in the Kids) 194

A Common Horizon 194

A Look Back from Us 194

What Might Stand in the Way 197

What about the Man? 201

Why Do This? 202

Examine What They Need 203

Figure Out How to Make It Happen 204

One Last Motivator 206

Extra Reassurance 206

Resources to Explore 208

As We Leave the Chapter 209

Chapter 10 Celebrate and Acknowledge (Anytime is Springtime) 210

Shaking Hands over the Fence 210

A Look Back from Us 210

How Far You've Come 215

What about the Man? 216

Putting Current Problems in Perspective 217

Look for More Ways to Bond and Connect 223

Extra Reassurance 224

Resources to Explore 225

As We Leave the Chapter (and the Book) 225

Index 227

Acknowledgments 235

About the Authors 237

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