Help! I married a Disneyland Dad!

I know what’s going on with your Disneyland partner. 

Let me be the first to say I know it’s not fun. 

 

And I know it can seem like no matter how hard you try, or how many times y’all talk (or fight) about your parenting approaches- you can’t get through. 

 

Nothing changes. Disneyland mom or dad is here to stay….maybe. 

 

So let’s talk about what’s going on with Disneyland mom or dad. 

 

The truth is that the way your partner parents has nothing to do with you. 

 

And it has everything to do with your spouse’s unresolved emotions. 

 

The Disneyland mom or dad doesn’t like confronting the kids, because it’s uncomfortable to have your kids talk back at you, or get upset at you. 

 

The disneyland mom or dad may feel guilty about the divorce – and is now trying to make it up to the kids by fulfilling all of their wants, and never setting up healthy boundaries. 

 

You don’t need to condone the behavior. 

 

But maybe there’s another way to address it with your Disneyland partner  – a way that may make forward momentum much more likely. 

 

Instead of discussing the rules you want to enforce, you can ask your spouse questions about what’s going on for him or her emotionally. Because the rules are a cover for the unresolved feelings. 

 

Why does he or she find it so difficult to enforce rules and dole out consequences? How is he or she feeling, truly? 

 

If asked with kindness, the answer may be freeing for you and your spouse. And it may bring you guys closer together. 

 

It may just help you reach a compromise. 

 

I can’t promise you that your partner will ever change – and no one can force another adult human to change. 

 

But if you change your approach, you may just be pleasantly surprised by what happens next. 

 

And hey, if you try it out, and make no traction, you always have a choice of whether to love and accept your partner anyways, or leave. 

 

You always have control over you, and your happiness. 

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.

I was miserable. THIS changed everything

Does this sound like you? 

 

“My situation isn’t even that bad…. So I shouldn’t even be this miserable. I should just suck it up and deal with it.” 

 

Here’s my confession: this used to be me too. 

 

But one day I realized just how mean I was being to myself. And that by being mean to myself, my family dynamics were only getting worse. 

 

After all, misery loves company – and I was constantly miserable around my spouse, and my stepkids. 

 

Something had to change – and it started with me. 

 

I started to accept myself for being miserable – instead of beating myself up.  

 

I was a stepmom of 4. I was miserable – AND it was OK. I didn’t have to suck it up. I didn’t have to judge myself for being miserable. 

 

Just admitting that brought such a sense of relief. 

 

And once I dropped my self-judgement, I realized I had options: stay miserable or seek help.  

 

I choose the latter. And it was the best decision I ever made for myself and my marriage. 

 

I’m not miserable anymore. My marriage is easy. I adore my spouse. I repeatedly get to experience peace as a stepmom in all the chaos of virtual schooling with 4 children between the ages of 7 and 12. 

 

But no matter what, if you ARE miserable right now,  I want you to know it’s 100% OK – even if your situation isn’t anything like the horror stories you read in all those stepmom groups. 

 

Your feelings matter. Your experience right now is valid. 

 

And, with the right tools and support, more calm and loving relationships (and way less misery) are absolutely available to you.

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.

Feel better around your stepkids (without becoming a doormat)

Remember Katie? 

 

Last week I shared how she transformed her marriage, without trying to change her partner. And now I need to tell you what’s going on with her stepdaughter – let’s call her A. It’s too good not to share. 

 

When Katie and I first started working together, she really struggled with A. She felt like A was too whiny. Her stepdaughter reminded Katie of the other bio-parent, whom she really didn’t like. 

 

And ultimately, Katie felt like A didn’t actually like her. This made Katie reserved around her, and less patient. Katie wanted to love A more, but didn’t know how. 

 

And I totally get it – I let Katie know it’s not natural for us to love people who are difficult, who we think don’t actually like us. 

 

But, I also told Katie that loving A was always a choice. No matter how whiny A got. 

 

And so I helped Katie sell herself on loving her stepdaughter more. Because loving A more is something that actually benefits Katie just as much as the rest of her family. 

 

We talked about how loving A more would improve Katie’s marriage – because Katie wouldn’t complain so much about A’s behavior to her partner if she loved A more. 

 

We talked about how Katie’s relationship with A would improve too – because Katie would be softer, more patient, more understanding with A when she misbehaved. 

 

And now, Katie doesn’t struggle so much with A. She is a calmer and more understanding parent. She doesn’t condone A’s misbehavior but handles it with more patience. When A’s not around, she actually misses her. And her partner is thrilled. 

 

And the best part – A didn’t change one bit. But Katie’s entire experience as a stepmom and wife did.

 

Any one of us can enjoy more peaceful, loving, and authentic relationships with our stepkids – just like Katie. All we need is the desire for something better, and a willingness to make it happen. 

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.