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You may be thinking, “how can we have these expectations and be realistic too?” This is a good and necessary question. Switching to many of these new expectations requires a new level of self-awareness, time to grieve and the acceptance that no matter how hard we try, we can’t force others to get along with us. As enraging as that can feel, we can use the energy of that anger to fuel our new expectations. We can be realistic AND optimistic by placing a higher value (and more attention) on what we can do to hold onto our self-esteem and stay connected to our husband as events involving our stepkids and their bio-mom occur. [EXPERT]
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Ideally we start to focus less attention on the specific details of how our desired future will look and how others have to act in order to accomplish those goals and instead put more attention on how we’ll interact and stay connected to our loved ones whatever happens. We can be realistically optimistic because our expectations are now about how we’re going to respond to and handle whatever happens to us. We have control over that. We can prepare and be alert to the actions of others and still be true to our own values and the loving connection with our husbands. This good news gives us confidence and makes us feel good about our future and therefore better from moment to moment in our daily lives. As we take control of our ability to meet our expectations, we give others less ability to destroy our dreams. This is empowering at a very deep level. [EXPERT]
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Unlike what so many books say, I don’t think it’s about raising or lowering our expectations. I think it needs to be less about the exact specifics of the destination we seek within our new stepfamily situation and more about our choices and the experiences of the journey from day to day. While we may not get to live the “happy family dream” exactly as we imagined it at the beginning, with all anticipated joy of stepkids and bio-moms getting along and treating us with respect and kindness, we will have the awareness, the ability and the energy to create expectations that lead to a happy, hope-filled life with the man we so dearly love. [EXPERT]
For more stepmom specific articles so to SMOMS.org
2012 Copyrighted by Cathryn Bond Doyle