If you’re a stepmom you’ll agree with me that you may not have been prepared for the confrontations you’ve had with your husband’s ex. She seemed to brace herself for war even before she met you. Even if this is someone you knew before, they may tend to change and bring out the worst in themselves and others when you get married to their former spouses. Unless you’re careful, an ex can push you to severe depression or a continuous confrontation with your spouse. Given the opportunity she can cause jealousy, bitterness, anger, strife and competition between you and your spouse which needless to say will bring unnecessary strain on your relationship. So, how do you ensure that not only is your family united but you are sound and stress free?

• Hope for the best but expect the worst.
Truth be told, this lady doesn’t acknowledge you as a co-parent and no matter what good you do, there are chances that she will twist it to make you look bad. If you expect her to appreciate you for your good work, forget it, she may never do it. In that case you are better off doing what you are supposed to do and not mourn when she doesn’t appreciate your efforts.

• Leave your partner to deal with her.
The worst you can do is to involve yourself with her and try to arbitrate between your husband and her. Since she is your husband’s former wife, allow him to deal with her. Although you may not agree, allowing your husband to deal with her gives you the peace and strength you need to keep your family afloat. Come up with ways in which he will communicate with her without you feeling left out.

• Don’t push yourself down her throat.
Although you may mean well, don’t try to form a relationship with her if she’s not interested. While this doesn’t mean that you become her enemy, it will be a waste of time trying to be close to her if she views you as an adversary. Keep your distance but make sure you respect her, after all, she is the mother of your stepchildren. By the way, there may be issues that she hasn’t dealt with and unless she deals with them herself, she may never accept you. In that case, give her time and space.

• Don’t allow yourself to be her doormat.
No one wants to be disliked or set aside. Because of that some of us are willing to do anything to be loved and appreciated. However, your strong desire to be loved and cherished may well lead you to being discouraged and hurt. I encourage you to be yourself and learn to voice what you dislike to her especially if she directs it to you. Never pretend that all is well when you know in your heart it’s not. Love yourself enough to respectfully voice your concerns and dislikes whenever the need arises. Remember, people tend to treat you the same way you treat yourself.

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it with others. Want to learn more about building strong relationships, going from surviving to THRIVING, one STEP at a time, go to www.stepmomcoach.com and sign up to get updates of all teleseminars and workshops Claudette offers.  Plus you’ll get her free report on “8 Steps from Conflict to Harmony”

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