Can't we all just get along?
Leann Rimes is making headlines again. This weekend, she and Brandi Glanville engaged in a Twitter war, which begs the question: Why can't mothers and stepmothers get along?
Here are three suggestions to make the inherently tense stepfamily dynamic work better for the sake of your kids:
1. Remind yourself again and again that you are a grownup. Grownups interact with those they need to deal with in a respectful business-like way independent of whether they like them or not. So whatever the other woman does, it's up to you to mind your manners.
A generally reliable test for which behaviors are grownup behaviors is whether they pass the okay-in-the-business-world test. If what you are about to do would not fly at the office, do not do it in your interactions with the other woman in your husband's life. Would you act that way with your banker? With work colleagues?
Emotionality and meanness are both out of bounds in the business world, the world of grownup interactions. Talking in an irritated, angry or excessively emotional voice does not fly. Nor would sarcastic, critical or constantly complaining attitudes. Talking disrespectfully about the other to a third party (worst of all, to the kids) also would be out of bounds.
2. Remind yourself that changing the other woman is not your job. Punishing her is not your job either. Interacting in a respectful way, a way that enhances your own self-respect, is your job.
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