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

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 5/5/2009
  • Publisher: GPP Life
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One of three Americans is today a stepparent, a stepchild, or a stepsibling. That means there are lots of stepmothers and ex-wives out there wrestling with resentment, jealousy, anxiety, anger, and despair over their relationship with the "other woman" in their life. That's where stepmother/ex-wife team extraordinaire Jennifer Newcomb Marine and Carol Marine step in. No One's the Bitch is their straight-talking, handholding walk through what is typically a very lonely minefield. Whether women just want to create a neutral, "business" partnership or actually, gulp, to become friends, this book shows them how to reach their goal through ten powerful steps, with chapter titles such as "Own Your Own Crap," "Collaborate," and "Communicate." The authors also recount their own journey, providing ample hope and reassurance to all women struggling to keep a blended family together.

Author Biography

Jennifer Newcomb Marine (the ex-wife) is an essayist, editor, and a former columnist for AustinMama.com, an award-winning Web site. She is the mother of two teenage daughters.


Carol Marine (the stepmother) is an oil-based artist who has had her work featured in both local and national magazines. She is the mother of a three-year-old son and stepmother to two teenage girls. Both Jennifer and Carol live near Austin, Texas.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xiii
Who We Arep. xiii
How We Got Herep. xiv
Our Goalp. xv
What to Expectp. xv
What You Stand to Gainp. xvi
Survey the Landscape (And Get Your Bearings)p. 1
Going about Your Businessp. 1
"And To Your Left..."p. 2
A Look Back from Usp. 3
Common Features of the Stepmom/Ex-Wife Landscapep. 5
Maxine and Stephanie Duke It Out, from Afarp. 11
What about the Man?p. 15
External Influencesp. 18
United by Their Differencesp. 21
Extra Reassurancep. 23
Resources to Explorep. 26
As We Leave the Chapterp. 27
Own Your Own Crap (What, Me? A Dark Side?)p. 28
Turning the Flashlight Onp. 28
A Look Back from Usp. 28
Disowning Your Relativesp. 31
Top Ten Reasons Not to Even Bother Trying to Get Along with the Stepmom or Ex-Wifep. 34
Shadow Self, Up Closep. 35
What about the Man?p. 43
Dude, Where's My Trophy?p. 51
Emotional Math: Payoffs vs. Costsp. 51
Extra Reassurancep. 55
Resources to Explorep. 57
As We Leave the Chapterp. 57
Imagine the Benefits (Dreams Pull You Forward)p. 58
Lighter but Stronger!p. 58
A Look Back from Usp. 58
A Vital Fuelp. 61
What's in It for Me?p. 61
Two Parallel Realities for Maxine and Stephaniep. 63
Overview of the Specific Benefitsp. 69
What about the Man?p. 73
Creating a New Kind of Family Structurep. 77
Stepping Back and Assessingp. 80
Extra Reassurancep. 80
Resources to Explorep. 82
As We Leave the Chapterp. 82
Take Action (Stretching, Inside and Out)p. 83
The Difference between Sitting and Walkingp. 83
A Look Back from Usp. 83
Things to Ponder Before You Actp. 85
What about the Man?p. 93
External Actionsp. 96
What You're Going to Actually Tryp. 96
Stuff to Keep in Mind Beforehandp. 102
Signaling a Sea Changep. 106
Invite Her for Coffeep. 107
Extra Reassurancep. 111
Resources to Explorep. 114
As We Leave the Chapterp. 115
Collaborate (Lighten Your Load-and Hers)p. 116
No Singing, Just Drenchedp. 116
A Look Back from Usp. 116
A Closer Look at Collaborationp. 120
Defensivenessp. 122
The Amazing Power of "Just Talking"p. 125
What about the Man?p. 127
Consistent Rules between Housesp. 129
Extra Reassurancep. 134
Resources to Explorep. 137
As We Leave the Chapterp. 138
Be Accountable (No One Else to Blame)p. 139
Stay in Your Room!p. 139
A Look Back from Usp. 139
A Definitionp. 144
The Benefits of Being Accountablep. 145
What Accountability Looks Like in Actionp. 148
Some Additional Challenges to Practicing Accountabilityp. 150
What about the Man?p. 151
Extra Reassurancep. 152
Resources to Explorep. 154
As We Leave the Chapterp. 154
Communicate (Or, Why Aren't You a Mind Reader?)p. 155
On the One Handp. 155
A Look Back from Usp. 155
Communication 101p. 158
Consequences of Poor Communicationp. 161
What about the Man?p. 166
Harnessing Good Communication to Increase Two-Family Harmonyp. 167
Family Meetingsp. 169
Extra Reassurancep. 170
Resources to Explorep. 173
As We Leave the Chapterp. 173
Regroup (Dust Off Your Pants When You Fall Down)p. 174
A Pile of Fire Extinguishersp. 174
A Look Back from Usp. 174
How Many Kinds of Conflict? Let Me Count the Waysp. 177
Help for in the Momentp. 178
Help You Can Use Laterp. 184
What about the Man?p. 188
Other Ideas to Tryp. 189
Extra Reassurancep. 190
Resources to Explorep. 193
As We Leave the Chapterp. 193
Strengthen (Bringing out the Best in the Kids)p. 194
A Common Horizonp. 194
A Look Back from Usp. 194
What Might Stand in the Wayp. 197
What about the Man?p. 201
Why Do This?p. 202
Examine What They Needp. 203
Figure Out How to Make It Happenp. 204
One Last Motivatorp. 206
Extra Reassurancep. 206
Resources to Explorep. 208
As We Leave the Chapterp. 209
Celebrate and Acknowledge (Anytime is Springtime)p. 210
Shaking Hands over the Fencep. 210
A Look Back from Usp. 210
How Far You've Comep. 215
What about the Man?p. 216
Putting Current Problems in Perspectivep. 217
Look for More Ways to Bond and Connectp. 223
Extra Reassurancep. 224
Resources to Explorep. 225
As We Leave the Chapter (and the Book)p. 225
Indexp. 227
Acknowledgmentsp. 235
About the Authorsp. 237
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


From the Introduction

It’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 abitch? But being thought of asbitch in generalis 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, isautomatically a bitch. . . .   

 And isn’t it irritating to know the other side is almost certainly calling you abitch?! . . .

 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.

Excerpted from No One's the Bitch: A Ten-Step Plan for the Mother and Stepmother Relationship by Jennifer Newcomb Marine, Carol Marine
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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