“I don’t want to keep competing with her ghost anymore,” one of my most recent clients lamented to me.
She’s married to a widower – and was feeling insecure in her marriage and in her role as stepmom.
And, no matter the situation with your partner’s ex, I’m sure so many of you can relate –
You may also feel insecure, not good enough, and like you don’t always belong.
And if this is you, feeling insecure when you are wife #2 is a totally normal human thing to do.
But, the problem for so many of us – and my current client – is that we try to get our security from our partners and our stepkids.
For my client, she kept trying to get her stepkids to appreciate how much care and attention she put into the meals she made for them.
She packed unique lunches for each specific stepkid – spicy almonds for one; seedless green grapes for another.
She noticed the dinners they really liked and made sure to cook them regularly.
Sometimes they would thank her, and sometimes they wouldn’t.
But no matter what, it never felt like it was enough.
And that’s because she was simply forgetting that other people will always fall short of making us feel secure in our marriages and in our roles as stepmoms.
It’s not because they’re cruel – it’s because they’re human.
So I invited her to consider that she didn’t need their validation anymore, because a previous partner doesn’t actually detract from her value at home.
If anything, the contribution she’s making to her family is unique AND additive.
She is already doing an amazing job.
Her contribution matters to her family, even if they don’t always remember it.
She is good enough just the way she is – her spouse chose her, after all.
So, if you’re feeling insecure, I want to invite you to turn inwards, and ask yourself:
How am already I doing a really amazing job, just as I am?
Praise yourself. Let yourself feel good. Know that you matter – and being #2 can never detract from that.