Entries tagged with “ex-wife”.
Did you find what you wanted?
Fri 4 May 2012
Are you ready to read another inspiring story about the love of a stepmother? Then meet Kaycee. She articulates the highs and lows of loving a man with a child and speaks to the complexities and insecurities that come with it. You can feel her heart for her family as you read her words. May you be encouraged by the relationship she now has with her stepson and his mother. Read on….
I began dating Jeff in June of 2009. When he told me he had a 3 year old son from a previous relationship, I didn’t really give it a second thought. I had plenty of experience with kids from teaching preschool and being a private nanny. I guess you could say I have a love and passion for children, which really helped me create a good relationship from the start with Jaxson.
We quickly connected and became good friends. I tried to be more of a buddy to Jaxson than a mother figure in the beginning, considering this was my first time dating anyone with a child; I was unsure how to navigate the situation, but I felt like I was doing the best that I could.
I was the first woman Jeff dated since splitting up with Jaxson’s biological mother. I didn’t know too much about his biological mom in the beginning of our relationship, I just knew her and Jeff had a nasty break up a little over a year before he and I met. There were always insecurities in my mind when it came to her; she was Jaxson’s REAL mother. She and Jeff had a history together, that in itself was a tad bit intimidating, but throw a child into the mix, and WOW. I struggled with my place A LOT. Especially when Jeff didn’t feel comfortable allowing me to go to hockey practices when she would be there or go with him to do the Sunday evening drop off’s at the end of “dad’s weekend”.
It was hard trying to figure out what I was even doing trying to make an effort to be a friend or role model to this little guy, when I couldn’t even be present when his mom was around. I felt like I was being kept secret or something. The first year of our relationship was NOT an easy one. There was a brief break up for about a month about 5 months into it, but it made our relationship a million times stronger. I will never forget seeing Jaxson again for the first time after our break up was over. I was getting out of the car and he just ran as fast as he could to me and yelled “KAYCEE!!!” and gave me the tightest hug. It was in that moment that I knew I had made an impact in Jaxson’s life. I can’t even describe how good that hug made me feel….
Fast forward 10 months, and the custody battle began. Over those 10 months, I discovered a lot about Jaxson’s mom. Let’s just say she was kind of a lost soul for a while and that had an impact on Jaxson. Jeff decided to take her to court to try and get joint custody. I remember getting some paperwork from Jeff’s lawyer in the mail, stating that Jaxson’s mom was trying to modify their arrangement and let Jeff have him every other weekend ONLY. We had the joy of having him 2 nights a week AND every other weekend per the terms of their custody arrangement at that time. Thinking about only seeing Jaxson 4 days a month broke my heart. How could she think that only allowing Jaxson to see his dad 4 days a month would somehow be beneficial to him? (Jaxson is a total daddy’s boy by the way…) Thankfully, we ended up settling out of court and now we have Jaxson every other week! I will be forever grateful to his mom for realizing what was best for him and agreeing to joint custody.
Standing by Jeff’s side during that whole ordeal, the arguments, the court depositions, etc. was just one of many bumps I know we will have to face in our lives together, but the bumps are what strengthen you in life.
After the custody issue was resolved, things quieted down and everything was smooth sailing. Jaxson’s mom and I were on better terms, which helped things tremendously. I coached Jaxson’s first soccer team, which was such a fun experience. Soccer was my favorite sport growing up; I played until I was in high school, so it was really awesome sharing my love of the sport with him by being his coach the first season he played. Jaxson also started kindergarten shortly after that. I am very involved in his school work, his teachers know me well, we all go to parent teacher conferences together, I am the one that gets him up and ready each morning during our weeks with him. It’s nice to have more involvement in his life now that he gets to spend more time with his dad and I.
This past December, Jeff and I had our own child together, another son, we named him James (Jimmy for short). I was worried about how Jaxson would react to having to share his dad with his little brother, but silly me for worrying in the first place. Jaxson has embraced the big brother role so well. He’s such a huge help and loves making Jimmy laugh. I couldn’t have picked a better big brother for my own first child. Seeing them interact and bond is by far one of the most rewarding things in my life.
Bottom line, being in a relationship with a man that has a child is no easy task. I never would have dreamed before Jeff that I would be a stepmom to another man’s child. It has been a blessing in disguise that these two came into my life. There have been a lot of highs and lows in the past 3 years we have been together, but the biggest high of them all will be our wedding taking place this June on the beach! I will officially have the stepmom title in less than 8 weeks, even though I’ve been playing the role for 3 years now.
I am head over heels in love with my future husband, I cannot wait to be his wife and continue growing together in our relationship and in our family. I use my love for Jeff to be the best step mom I can be to Jaxson. Jaxson is a part of his father, and when I made the decision to be with Jeff, that meant accepting and loving everything about him, Jaxson included. Jaxson may not be “mine”, but I will always love and care for him like he is. Our family situation hasn’t always been easy, but to me, it will always be worth it.
Kaycee and Jeff have been together since June 2009. They were engaged last summer and will be tying the knot in a beach wedding this June. Jeff has a son, Jaxson (Kaycee’s step son) who is 6 years old, getting ready to finish up his kindergarten year in school. They also recently had a son of their own in December of 2011, named James (aka Jimmy). Jaxson is involved in Hockey, T-ball, soccer and dirt bike riding. We enjoy bike riding as a family, going to the park, anything outdoors really. Kaycee and her family live in Indianapolis, IN. You can connect with Kaycee on Twitter.
Tue 14 Jun 2011
Posted by Heather under Guest Blogs
It is my pleasure to introduce you to Traci Whitney, Founder of Two Happy Homes. Traci is a proud single mama of an 8 year old daughter and twin 6 year old boys. A graphic designer living in Connecticut, Traci is shifting her focus to help fellow coparents through her new website Two Happy Homes which is launching soon. She shares her trials and tribulations of coparenting and everyday life at her Two Happy Homes Blog Page. You can connect with Traci via Twitter at @traciwhitney and/or via her Two Happy Homes FaceBook Fan Page.
You’re gonna love this post by Traci. Please leave her some stepmom love below.
Have you ever gone somewhere, say a grocery store, and looked at someone else’s kid and thought ”Gee, that kid is OUT of control!”? Or even worse, have you ever been at a restaurant, with your kids, who are fighting or whining incessantly, and caught someone looking at you, with that look on their face like “Holy cow, woman, get control of your kids!”? I have. Lots of times. I’m probably more on the receiving end of those glares, especially since I had my twin boys, and I dare not put someone else in that position. I mean, who am I to judge someone else’s parenting, or even their children?
But this is sort of how I feel as a “stepmom” sometimes. I say “stepmom” because I’m not actually remarried, I just have a couple of little princess sweet girls that I get to look after once in awhile. Now, I don’t get to see them nearly as often as I would like, but when we do get all of the kids together, it becomes apparent just how different our parenting styles are. I have found myself, more than once, looking at the girls thinking “Why on earth are they allowed to do that?”, or “Who taught them that?” And there it begins, that little voice inside your head that starts to pick apart the kids, the parenting differences, the relationship in general. From there it’s all too easy to spiral, so you find yourself standing in the kitchen thinking “How did I get here? What happened to my life anyway?” Ok, maybe a wee bit dramatic, but I think we’ve all been there (please say it’s not just me!).
As difficult as it can be sometimes to NOT criticize the behavior of a child, or the parenting behind it, as a smom, (or sdad for that matter) it’s absolutely essential. I believe there is really no way to have a happy blended family life if you can’t accept the children that are at the center of it. For me, that means biting my tongue (sometimes a lot). And sometimes even walking away when I feel like my children are the ones being criticized (didn’t you know they were perfect?).
I’ve come a long way though, and I have to say, those two girls have taught me more about acceptance than anyone else ever has. I have learned to just love them for who they are, and to be there for them in whatever capacity they might need me for, whenever they need it. For me, at this moment in our smom – sdaughter relationship, it’s more about being a mentor and friend, a “guidance counselor” of sorts. I want to be there to help their dad make decisions that are right for their family, and ours – not to judge, or lay down the law. And that is all I can ask for, in return, for my own children.
But I have to say, this is not always as easily said as done.
Being relatively new to this blended family life, I would love to ask the Café Smom readers how you handle acceptance – how do you cope when you do feel frustrated? When do you decide to step in (if ever)? Do you think your significant other and yourself are equally as accepting? (In my case, parenting twin boys is over-the-top in the world of accepting behavior, so this can be a challenge in my house!) And, if not, how do you handle the different levels of acceptance, or points-of-view, between you both?
Tue 12 Apr 2011
This is the third installment of my conversation with Brigette Lemos-Norman of In The Blender. Our conversation stems from the one we had on The Stepmom Connection which aired live on March 16, 2011.
The third taboo topic: Do I have to be friends with my stepchildren’s mother?
This question stirred a lot of comments in the chat room during the show. As with every stepmom issue, this one has many, many layers. Some stepmoms want to be friends with the mother of their stepkids but the mom says NO! While others seek to get along for the sake of the kids but have no desire to “be friends.”
Why is this topic taboo? Why do stepmoms feel guilty if they don’t want to be friends with the mother of their stepkids? Is it because, as women and mothers, we are supposed to like everyone and be nice to everyone. We are raised to nurture and care. The fact that we may not want to be friends with our stepchildren’s mother does not make us wicked and evil.
Being friends can often mean walking a very fine line for many stepmoms.
Having said that, I believe it’s every mom – stepmom duo’s decision how they want to craft their relationship. I do believe that it is in the child’s best interest that both women are cordial to each other and never speak negatively about each other in front of the kids. However, how friendly you want to be is up to each mother/stepmother team.
The truth is both women do have one thing in common: the kids. Leaving egos at the door is a healthy practice in putting the emotional needs of the children first.
And whether it’s right or wrong, typically the mom sets the tone for the relationship. If mom wants to be friends with her children’s stepmom then it can become a reality. If mom chooses not to accept their children’s stepmom then patience and grace will have to be a stepmom’s friend until mom changes her mind.
One stepmom, during the show, shared that she and the mother of her stepkids don’t like each other. She said that they keep their “dislike” between the two of them and don’t believe the kids sense it. If you can maintain an amicable relationship in the children’s presence and never speak ill of each other in front of the kids that is a blessing.
Personally, I can’t be friends with my stepdaughter’s mother.
It’s not because I don’t want to be but given the fact that we’ve never met and she lives multiple states away, the opportunity for a friendship is nil at this point. Actually, deep down I wish we had an amicable relationship but the reality of being a custodial stepmom is that mom is out of the picture and therefore no chance of becoming chummy.
The way custodial stepmoms can be “friends” with their stepkids’ mother is to never talk ill of her in front of the kids. My youngest stepdaughter asks me frequently, “do you think my mom still loves me?” First time that question was asked, I was nearly speechless. I answer that question the same every time. I tell her that I believe every mother loves her children. She always follows up with “then why did she leave and why did she have more babies that she is keeping this time?” I just give her a hug and tell her that I think her mom shows love in a different way than how my husband and I show her love but that I believe with my mother’s heart that her mom loves her. I also tell her that I am not her mother and therefore I am not going to guess what her mom is thinking or why she did what she did. I definitely don’t want to put words in another woman’s mouth, especially when it’s their mother.
In that way, I try to ease my stepdaughter’s anxieties and build a bridge with her mother. Because someday we may meet. Someday we may co-parent and if that day ever comes I don’t want there to be any ill will. I want my stepdaughters to feel comfortable in a situation where we would both be parenting them.
Like all things stepfamily related, there is no right and wrong way.
There is only what works for your family.
Some stepmoms I talk with are “Facebook Friends” with the mom of their stepkids and consider that a good first step. Other stepmoms I talk with, while friendly with the mom of their stepkids, don’t want their “two worlds to collide” by way of social media. They want to be friendly at events, on email, over the phone, etc…. But when it comes to Facebook, Twitter, etc…they want to maintain their own space.
Regardless of how you wish to define your relationship with the mother of your stepchildren, I would recommend the book No One’s the Bitch by the mom – stepmom duo of Jennifer Newcomb Marine and Carol Marine. You may agree or disagree with the book but one thing is for sure, this book will get you thinking and talking about the mom/stepmom relationship. And the ten step plan for cultivating a mother and stepmother relationship may just be what you are looking for.
So what works for you? Are you friends with the mother of your stepkids? Do you think you have to be? What are your thoughts about being “Facebook Friends”? Comments and encouragement are always welcome. Thanks for sharing.
Mon 28 Feb 2011
Stepmoms, how would you answer that question?
Is your partner’s Ex-wife a friend or a foe?
What type of relationship do you desire with the Ex?
Lots of questions, complaints, frustrations, and in some cases peace, surrond the topic of our spouse’s Ex.
Dealing with the Ex is a tough yet important topic. Like it or not, she is a part of the package deal when you said “I do!” When you committed to this relationship with a man with kids, you got your true love, his children and his Ex. She is the mother of our stepchildren and it’s vital that we learn to navigate that relationship regardless of how murky the waters seem.
The truth is that the Ex dictates the nature of our relationship with her but we have the power to control how we are impacted by her words and actions. As stepmoms, it’s so important to gain tools to work with the Ex for our sake and for the sake of our relationship and our stepkids.
Ron L. Deal and Laura Petherbridge, co-authors of The Smart StepMom, are addressing this topic in their upcoming Webinar: The Ex-Wife-In-Law: Friend or Foe!
Mark your calendar for this 90 minute Webinar. It is Tuesday, March 8th at 8pm EST.
I’m rewarding two lucky readers with a free ticket to attend this webinar.
Leave a comment or question regarding the Ex to win. I’ll choose two winners at 8pm, Sunday, March 6th. This gives those who don’t win a chance to sign up and attend. This is one Webinar you don’t want to miss.
So let’s hear it! What are your Ex stories, struggles, concerns, questions, comments????
Fri 7 Jan 2011
Closed For Business…. this is one of the mantras I want you to stick in your head and say to yourself the next time your partner’s ex or your stepkids (or anyone else for that matter) starts the crazy talk with and/or about you.
Something we all know but forget in the heat of the moment….You Can’t Fight Crazy!
Don’t even try. You’ll end up feeling emotionally, spiritually and physically exhausted because your words of reason are bound to fall on deaf ears when someone is hell bent on making you miserable.
In fact, I want you to get out two sticky notes right now and write down:
Closed For Business
You Can’t Fight Crazy
and put them where you will see them as a reminder to ignore any crazy talk that is sent your way.
You need your emotional energy. Those calls/texts/in-person rants at pick up time suck your energy levels dry. Don’t give anyone your permission to zap your emotional, physical, spiritual energy with negativity.
You can stand strong in the midst of a “hate” storm and the best way to do it is put up the umbrella of no entrance and let the toxic cocktail slide down your back without ever feeling or tasting a drop.
If your stepchildren’s mother is sending you infuriating text messages….block her.
If she is calling and leaving rude messages…..block her from your cell/don’t listen to the messages on your home phone.
When you cannot get along with the mother of your stepchildren limit or end any interaction. Allow your husband (who loves YOU) to deal with any issues relating to the kids.
But don’t just stop there. Don’t ask him what was said after he speaks with his ex. If the schedule impacts you, then you should know about the schedule changes and only the schedule changes. If it doesn’t, then you are emotionally better off not knowing details of the conversation.
Let’s face it. If you and/or your husband have a tumultuous relationship with your stepchildren’s mother then the less you know, the better. You’ll never be pleased. You’ll get angry at the “fakeness” if she’s “all nice” to your husband on the phone or you’ll get frustrated and angry if she is trying to manipulate your man and/or the situation.
This same philosophy holds true for your stepchildren and actually for any relationship in your life.
If someone is bent on being a certain way or thinking things you know aren’t true then don’t listen. Remember, you can’t fight crazy! but you can go crazy trying!
One of my fav quotes is “he who angers you, controls you!” Do you really want to give someone that type of control over your thoughts, your day? Because that is what we do when we respond to ridiculous comments aimed to hurt us.
I can’t say this often enough…You define You! Don’t let any toxic words tell you who you are.
And don’t spend precious mental energy trying to figure out the Why’s behind it all. You don’t think like they do and you aren’t in their shoes so you’ll never be able to reason the Why’s.
It’s hard not to respond BUT it is possible. One of the best ways to do it is to not listen or engage! You need to close down for business so to speak. You will reopen when an amicable relationship is possible. Not until then.
I know this post is a little in your face. But I’ve felt the pain in many Smom’s calls for help lately. Holidays can be hard for many and often it’s as if the stepmom has a bullseye on her back and she is the target for a lot of pain that others are feeling.
Stay strong my friends. Press on. Close for business when needed.
Mon 1 Nov 2010
Posted by Heather under Guest Blogs
It’s November. A time for giving thanks. A time to reflect on the blessings in our lives. This month I want to pay it forward to all of my readers. I will be sharing some wonderful Smoms I have met on my journey and their stories. Personally, I’ll be focusing on the blessings of being a Smom and of having an attitude of gratitude. Putting our focus on the positives in our lives and the things we can change is essential.
So without further ado, please welcome a person I think of when I count my blessings, Deesha Philyaw, and her witty take on extending a special Thanksgiving invitation. Enjoy!
If You Invite His Ex To Thanksgiving Dinner…
If you invite his ex-wife to Thanksgiving dinner, she’s going to ask you if you’ve lost your mind.
When you reassure her that you haven’t lost your mind, she’ll want to know if you’re planning to give her a pox-infected blanket.
When you promise her that there will be no blankets, just turkey, she’ll tell you she’ll think about it.
Then she’ll call all her girlfriends to get them to weigh in on your invitation.
Her girlfriends will remind her of the stuff you wrote about her on your smom blog, and she’ll wonder why she’s even considering your invitation.
But one girlfriend will have a different take on the situation; She’ll say, “Maybe this is her way of offering you an olive branch. Besides…you’ve blogged some snarky stuff about her too.”
All her girlfriends will have strong opinions.
So she’ll chew on it for a while and realize that there’s no single “right” response.
She’ll imagine what it would be like for the children to have their parents and step-parents seated around the table together.
When she’s done imagining, she’ll give you a call.
When she hangs up the phone, you’ll either be relieved, nervous, frustrated, excited, angry or some combination of these. You’ll need to take deep breaths.
You’ll sit down at your computer, and log in.
And chances are, if you go to her blog,
You’ll find a post that reads, “If His New Wife Invites You to Thanksgiving Dinner…..”
Stepmoms, would you (or have you) ever extended such an invitation?
Have you ever received such an invitation? What would you do if you did?
Deesha Philyaw is a freelance writer; an adjunct writing professor; a wife; a stepmom with two bonus daughters; and the mom of two daughters who have a stepmom. While the above piece, inspired by If You Give a Pig a Party by Laura Numeroff, is a work of fiction, Deesha does spend Christmas with her children, their father, and their stepmom. She is the co-founder (along with her ex-husband) of CoParenting101.org; the co-host of the “Co-Parenting Matters” online talk show; and the co-parenting columnist for The Faster Times.
Wed 18 Aug 2010
Yes, I admit it. I was living in fantasyland when I envisioned what being a stepmom would entail. I thought my journey would be different from the vast majority because my story was missing the ex-wife that everyone warns you about when you date a man with kids. I foolishly thought I would never have those horrid ex-wife situations that I had heard so many stepmoms complain about when I said “I do” to my husband and his two girls.
You see, my husband’s ex-wife lived two time zones away when we met. She had left the family and started a new life. Yeah, she called a few times while we were dating but the calls were so short and infrequent and my soon-to-be stepdaughters didn’t seem very interested in talking with her. They were so excited to get a mom again who would live with them and do girly things with them. They were excited for our marriage and to gain four new siblings that I would bring with me into our new family.
Life was good. I was marrying the love of my life and the most genuine and compassionate person I had ever met. I loved being a mom to my four kids and embraced the idea of gaining two more children to call my own. Since loving my soon to be husband was so easy and I loved being a mother, I assumed being a stepmom would be a cake walk for me. Cue the theme music from Jaws……
Bam! Reality hit hard and fast. It swallowed me whole. How could I be so stupid? I had looked at my new family situation through love goggles. My love for my husband and my love of being a mother clouded my thinking. My delusions that I wouldn’t have to deal with an ex-wife were so incredibly wrong and unhealthy. My cloud with the “no ex-wife” silver lining quickly vanished once I became a stepmom.
You see I learned a very valuable lesson:
The ex-wife is always present in your life whether she lives down the street or across the country.
There is no denying it; I am reminded of my husband’s ex-wife and her legacy on the girls each and every day. She is alive in the hearts and thoughts of my two stepdaughters (ages 9 and 12). She is alive in their conversations. Early in my marriage this was especially true when my cooking, cleaning, clothing and basic “doing” were compared to her. My stepdaughters were understandably examining me through lenses that were built by their mother. I cannot, nor should I, deny her presence.
Many stepmothers endure the emotional challenges of having a physically present ex-spouse who calls their husband daily, changes visitation schedules, tries to overthrow their authority in the home, bad mouths them to their stepkids, etc… Those are painful, ever present issues that frustrate and tear at a stepmom’s marital security and emotional sanity.
For me, and for other custodial stepmoms, we also deal with insecurity and emotional distress from our husband’s ex-wife but for different reasons. My anxiety and frustrations stem from watching my stepchildren struggle with the loss of a relationship with their mother. I also have become the target for all their suppressed anger towards her and their fear of being abandoned again.
Custodial stepmoms endure the presence of their husband’s ex-wife in the brokenness and rejection we see in our stepchildren who don’t have a positive relationship with their natural mother.
I have two stepdaughters who cry themselves to sleep at night wondering why their mom never called on Christmas. I deal with the question over and over “why doesn’t my mom want to see me?” “After four years, I think she’s forgotten about me.” When we go on family vacations, the youngest one always asks “will I recognize my mom if I see her here?” And just recently, we were at the community center and my youngest stepdaughter saw a sign that read “IF IT’S LOST, YOU’LL FIND IT HERE”. We were walking out when she tugged on my arm and said “Stop. Look at the sign. I need to check to see if my mom is in the lost & found bin.” Even though it’s been over 4 years since she’s last seen her mom, my stepdaughter still looks for her everywhere she goes.
This spirit of rejection can be all consuming to children and it has definitely impacted my youngest stepdaughter’s ability to focus and learn in school. All she can think about is her mother and what made her leave their family.
Custodial stepmoms also endure the presence of an ex-wife in the anger, resentment and bitterness misdirected at them from their stepchildren.
Shortly into our marriage, this sweet little girl who used to tell me “I love you” and follow me around like a shadow was screaming at me, calling me names, breaking things and even once spit on me. These were unprovoked events in my mind. I would ask her to change her shirt before school because she had outgrown it or pick up her toys before bed. These simple requests would often send her into a rage. I had become the target of all of her pain.
I used to get so frustrated when I felt rejected and mistreated by my youngest stepdaughter. I knew what their mom had done to them and I thought how can you still love a woman who can leave you yet reject a warm and loving mom who is right in your home willing to care for and raise you? I kept beating myself up and asking over and over, what am I doing wrong??? I was focusing on me and not on them and how they are naturally wired to love and want love in return from their mom. My stepdaughter’s counselor helped me to see that I was dealing with transference from my youngest stepdaughter.
In my situation, my 9 year-old stepdaughter transfers her anger, confusion, resentment and bitterness that she actually feels towards her biological mother onto me – the mom in the house.
Psychologists refer to transference as an unconscious redirection of feelings from one person to another. According to The Source published in June 2001, “During transference, people turn into a ‘biological time machine.’” A nerve is struck when someone says or does something that reminds them of their past. This creates an “emotional time warp” that transfers their emotional past and their psychological needs into the present.
I am working on identifying triggers of rejection and abandonment for my stepdaughter. I have come to realize that requests to change something set off her transference. She internalizes my comments as a rejection of her personally. This rejection triggers the feelings of abandonment she still harbors from her mother and she transfers all of that emotion on to me. This has helped me make sense of how a simple request of “Can you please pick up the cornflakes you spilled on the floor?” turns into her screaming “You hate me. Why don’t you drop me off at an adoption center? I know it would be easy for you to give me up!” Even though I only asked her to pick up some crumbs, in her mind she heard me say ‘you are worthless so pack your bags for a one way trip’.
Even though my stepdaughters haven’t seen their mom in over 4 years, every time she calls or sends a photo of her two new children, it’s like ripping the scab off an old wound – it is never allowed to heal. I recognize the transference and am actively working on not taking things personally. It is not easy but I am really trying my best. And I also understand that many stepmoms must deal with transference from their stepchildren whether they are custodial or not.
I am happy to report that I am no longer delusional about the presence of my husband’s absentee ex-wife in our stepfamily. While it’s true that I do not have the drama of the ex-wife as it relates to my husband, I do have the dramatic effects of maternal abandonment on my two stepdaughters. I am thankful to be married to my wonderful hubby and to be the mom of four and stepmom of two more. The journey of a stepmom is not an easy one but it is one worth taking. I have no regrets.
Remember your love and commitment to your husband when your love goggles fall off and you see your new family for what it is and the work that it requires.
This article of mine first appeared in the April edition of StepmomMagazine. You can subscribe to StepMom Magazine at www.StepMomMag.com