How Helen got her husband to compromise

Woman smiling in her kitchen

Does this story sound familiar at all? 


Meet Helen, a stepmom of 2. 


Helen loves her husband deeply.  


And yet…


He’s very permissive with his teenage kids. 


Long story short, Helen was driving her stepdaughter to an appointment…And her stepdaughter absolutely refused to go inside. 


Helen decided to take away her phone as a consequence. 


Her husband didn’t initially agree…he has a hard time enforcing the rules. 


And normally they would have fought about it – they used to fight all the time.  


But instead, this is what Helen did: 


  • She took some slow, deep breaths and calmed herself down – she knew that her anger and frustration would only make things worse. 


  • She started a conversation by sharing only the facts with her husband: his daughter refused to go inside for her appointment. Helen took away her phone. 


  • She asked him why that was a problem – Why was it so hard for him to take away his daughter’s phone? 


  • He initially got upset and started raising his voice – and so she calmly set a boundary: If he continued to raise his voice, she’d leave the room. He listened and calmed down. 


  • Then, after listening to him, Helen shared her perspective. Why she thought it was important for the consequence to be enforced; how it might actually help his daughter in the future. 


And…they both agreed to keep his daughter’s phone locked up for a certain period of time. 


Helen wasn’t born with these communication skills – in fact, none of us are. 


But she learned them. Practiced them. Applied them.


This is all it takes to have a loving, calm, solutions-oriented dialogue with a spouse or partner. 


And if she can learn to compromise with her overly permissive partner, it’s possible you can too. 

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.

The 3 biggest mistakes this stepmom made (& how she fixed them!)

picture of woman smiling

I have to tell you about my client Keely. She’s a stepmom of one teenage daughter and a bio-mom too. 


And she’s a rock star.


Here are the 3 normal, human mistakes she was making at home before we met, and how she fixed them – 


Mistake #1: 

  • She was lashing out and reacting to her strong negative emotions like frustration, anger, and outrage. Her reactions started and escalated so many arguments at home.


Solution #1 and why it worked for her: 

  • I showed Keely her behavior was very normal simply because of how our minds are wired. And then I taught her a few simple mind-body techniques to instantly calm her brain and body down, and process her negative emotions. 

  • So, whenever something happened at home that Keely got upset about (like finding a vape pen in her stepdaughter’s room) – she’d pause, and notice how she was feeling.
    Then, she’d simply take some slow, deep breaths and remind herself: “I don’t need to react. I can process my emotions first, and then deal with the situation calmly and effectively.” 


Mistake #2: 

  • She felt like she couldn’t connect to her stepdaughter anymore because of a big fight they’d had, as well as her stepdaughter’s misbehavior at home. 


Solution #2 and why it worked for her: 

  • I taught her how to stop taking her stepdaughter’s behavior so personally, and show up as the supportive, and loving stepmom she wanted to be deep down no matter what – who still enforced healthy boundaries and consequences. 

  • Keely learned all about the psychology of her stepdaughter: why she was misbehaving and what it actually all meant so that it was super easy for Keely to stop taking things so personally.  

  • Then, she started normalizing her stepdaughter’s experience of the world – because hell, this is what all kids, and probably all adults want to hear: I get you. You make sense. I love you. This allowed her stepdaughter to open up more, and for Keely to feel more connected in turn. 

  • And now, when Keely addresses her stepdaughter’s misbehavior (re: vape pen above), she’s calm, supportive, and firm. She feels like their relationship is back to the place it was before she and her husband officially blended their families. 


Mistake #3: 

  • She used blame and demands in her arguments with her spouse.


Solution #3 and why it worked for her: 

  • I taught her the simple art and science of powerful and influential communication with a spouse or partner.

  • In conversations, she learned how to separate out the neutral, objective facts from her own opinions, and how to present them to her spouse in a way that lowered HIS defenses. 

  • She learned how to ask for his perspective too – rather than assuming bad intentions. And then I showed her how to shift the conversation to focus more on mutually agreeable solutions – rather than continuing to argue about the problem. She hasn’t had a blow-up with her spouse in months as a result. 


So just consider…


3 simple tweaks were all it took for Keely to stop arguing so much with her partner and to repair the bond with her stepdaughter – for good.  

And hey…what’s possible for her is possible for you too. 

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.

When I learned what happened, I felt like garbage

Oscar the grouch float

So my husband realized it first. 


He called me into one of his kids’ bedrooms, and said:

“Look, this child has been stealing things from you, and our other kids.” 


And I immediately felt like garbage. 


So, I spent a few days feeling like garbage – 


Blaming myself in my head – 


“If you were a better, more loving, more supportive parent – this wouldn’t have happened.” 


But then I remembered something I so often share with my clients: 


The only reason I felt like garbage is because of the way I was blaming myself. 


I was the cause of my own suffering. 


Sure, I don’t have to love the stealing. 


But I don’t have to make this child’s stealing behavior mean something awful about me as a parent, or a human. 


And soon as I remembered this, I stopped feeling like trash. 


And I felt ready to go back to loving this child, unconditionally – 


Accepting them exactly as they are, even when they do things to me I don’t like. 


Because that’s what feels good to me. 


(And yes, I’m still gonna buy a lockbox for certain special items 😉 ).

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.

Don’t give up on your marriage yet (do this instead)

Couple hugging

How many times in the past year have you felt like giving up on your marriage and on your family? 


If you just thought…“Ummm more than I care to admit, Kristin” – 


You’re not alone. 


It makes so much sense that you’ve felt like giving up – 


Especially when you feel like nothing is going to change, and you’re going to either be stuck in a family you don’t enjoy or rip your heart to shreds by ending your marriage. 


But – what if there’s a 3rd option here that hasn’t been explored? 


What if it’s possible to stay married, and truly enjoy your life and your stepkids? 


This is what happened for my client, Jude. 


When we first met, here’s what was going on for her, in her own words: 


“I felt like I had found this wonderful person who I loved but, I was also feeling like I had very little control over what was happening in our relationship, and my role in his family. I was feeling exhausted and overwhelmed and frustrated on a weekly basis. I had this major sense of guilt because I felt like I was invading someone else’s family. I spent a lot of time people-pleasing, and not really paying attention to what I wanted.”  


But instead of helping her end her relationship….


I taught her how to process all of her negative emotions, and release them for good so she no longer felt so frustrated, overwhelmed, and exhausted all the time. 


I showed her how to stop taking her stepkids’ behavior so personally, and feel confident and secure in her own skin. 


(So that even when her stepkids told her they didn’t want her to come on a family vacation – she was able to handle it with grace.) 


I helped her ditch the people-pleasing and show up as her authentic self no matter what her stepkids thought about her. 


And here’s what happened for her after she applied these teachings to her life, in her own words: 


“Now, I feel like I always have a choice in how I respond to any given situation…I am able to enjoy my relationship so much more and not let any of the dynamics with his kids affect me…


Overall I feel calmer and more at ease with everything and emotionally, I have far more energy to think about and experience my life. I’m doing things that I love again – like restoring furniture! I’ve been able to put up boundaries around me, and my time and what I want, and no longer feel like I have to always do what my partner and his kids want. I feel so much more centered and balanced.”


So just consider – you could be Jude.  


Regardless of how difficult your stepkids are, or how much you’re fighting with your partner right now-  


A few simple tweaks are all it takes to start enjoying a more calm, balanced, and joyful home life.

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.

Can’t stand your stepkids? Read this

Woman with head with hand

I want you to know that if you can’t stand your stepkids…




All of the time…


It’s OK. 


You are simply a human being, having a human experience. 


If you can’t stand your stepkids it means nothing about you-  except your mind is working like it’s supposed to. 


See, we’re a tribal species. We’ve evolved to be social creatures. 


And we want to surround ourselves with people who are kind and loving. 


And sometimes our stepkids don’t act kind or loving towards us.


I also know deep down there’s a part of you that cares for them – who loves, or maybe wants to find love for them. 


But as long as you judge yourself for disliking them, for not being able to stand them…


The part of you who cares deep down will never come out.  


So – 


What if you just decided to stop judging yourself for having negative feelings towards your stepkids? 


It’s normal. 

It’s human. 

And what if just for today you gave yourself permission to feel negatively? Then what?  

Notice the relief you might be feeling right now – just reading these words and accepting YOU, as a human. 

And when you accept yourself in all your perfectly flawed humanness – 

It’s so much easier to do that for the really difficult people in your life. 

Because they’re just humans too. 

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.

How one powerful question changed everything for her

Woman wearing shirt that says power

Did you know there’s a simple technique you can use to feel incredibly empowered and in control of your life…


WHILE also effectively solving your stepfamily challenges one by one? 


If you were just like – Um no! Tell me everything! – this story is for you: 


Recently, one of my clients was feeling pretty bummed and resentful about her money situation. 


Her stepdaughter needed braces – and long story short, the divorce agreement stipulates my client’s husband has to pay the entire bill. No matter what. 


To pay for it, she and her husband are going to have to use all of their vacation money. 


And yes, let’s just agree that her situation – and that divorce agreement in particular – sucks. 


But, for her, ruminating about her situation was only making her feel incredibly resentful, and it was causing a lot of arguments at home. 


And instead of resigning herself to NO vacation this year, I invited her to consider a different type of question: 


How can they pay for the braces AND still go on a family vacation? 


As soon as I asked this question, she felt her whole body relax. 


We started talking about solutions that weren’t even on her radar before – like selling off a couple of things at home, doing a side hustle – simply because she hadn’t thought to ask herself a different type of question.


See, our brains LOVE answering questions – 


And when we feed it empowered questions like: 

  • How can we all get what we want here? 

  • What is best for me and my family? 

  • How can I make this easy? 


– We get empowered answers back. 


We figure out how to live the life we want on purpose – no matter what shenanigans are happening in our stepfamilies.


It’s not magic – it’s just the way the mind works. 


And consider this:



Maybe you’re closer than you think to have the fulfilling and peaceful home life you want deep down – 



Maybe asking and answering one powerful question is all you need to start enjoying a calmer and more loving home today.

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.

The number one reason why couples therapy fails

Couple fighting in front of therapist

If you’re currently in marriage counseling, and you feel like it’s not working…


I’m here to tell you that you’re NOT crazy – and you don’t have to give up hope just yet. 


But here’s the number one reason why marriage therapy often doesn’t work (hint: it’s NOT you): 


The marriage counseling industry teaches us that we need our partners to change in order for each person to feel happy in the marriage. 


In theory, this sounds beautiful: each partner changes to meet each other’s needs – all the time. 


The problem is that this approach makes us too dependent on our partners for our own emotional fulfillment.  


And the real truth is that the best person to meet your emotional needs is you, not your partner –


If you’ve never thought of your relationship this way, it’s NOT your fault. 


Society – and hey the entire marriage therapy industry – got it wrong.  


But think about it: you are the most reliable person in your life – you are always there for YOU. 


In practice, and in my own marriage, rather than continuing to nag my husband to change, I decided to love my husband exactly the way he is and figured out how to give myself the appreciation I was craving. 


So instead of continuing to nag him, I asked myself: what are all the ways my husband shows his appreciation for me, even if he doesn’t SAY it? 


And, just by asking myself this question, I was able to open my eyes to his silent acts of love every single day – 


When he loaded the dishwasher late at night, or made me coffee in the morning, or rearranged his work schedule to spend time with me – 


I noticed it and reminded myself that this is how he shows his love and appreciation for me. 


And over time, we stopped arguing so much. 


I felt so much more peaceful and fulfilled at home. 


Not because my husband changed. 


But because I changed, and took responsibility for my emotional needs. 


It feels so freeing to not depend on my husband – and it’s way more fun for our marriage too. 


He feels safe and loved for who he is. 


And so do I. 


And hey, what’s possible for my marriage is possible for your marriage too. 


All it takes is one small tweak in how you approach your relationship to enjoy more love, peace, and fulfillment at home.

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.

Can you really fix the relationship with your stepkids?

Woman smiling hold a love balloon

Are you having a hard time with your stepkids? 


If this is you, you’re not alone and there’s nothing wrong with you – 


And if you want to improve your relationships, you can. Let me show you how through the story of one of my clients –


She came to me because her relationship with her stepdaughter was damaged. 


They had a big fight, and things were never the same after that. 


Her stepdaughter, who is 16, spent a lot of time in her room, or out of the house. 


They weren’t communicating very much.  


My client thought her stepdaughter was the problem – she’s not around, she doesn’t talk, she’s too difficult. 


And I have no doubt that her stepdaughter IS difficult – I mean she’s a teenage girl. 


But blaming her kiddo, or waiting for her to change, was never going to heal their relationship. 


And, I let her know that there were a few simple tweaks she could make to build up more trust and connection, and break down the walls between them. 


So, I showed her how to stop beating herself up for the big fight they had. 


I taught her how to pause, and not react out of anger, or frustration anymore.


I taught her how to love her stepdaughter without conditions, and without becoming a doormat in the process. 


She took what we discussed to heart, and applied it to her relationship. 


And now?  


Her stepdaughter spends a lot more time at home. 


They connect and chat each night before she goes to bed. 


When my client finds things like a vape pen in her stepdaughter’s room, she takes a deep breath and calmly addresses it with her spouse, and stepdaughter – instead of lashing out. 


My client feels so much more peace, and so much less anger and frustration on a daily basis – 


Not because she’s a special case, but because she decided to learn a few simple tools, and apply them in her home. 


And what she cultivated is possible for you too. 


You too can experience more peace, and joy in your relationships – no matter how strained they are right now. 

And it’s easier than you think. 

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.

This stepmom’s before & after story blew my mind

woman smiling against white backgdrop

Do you love a good ‘before and after’ story? 


I know I do. 


So I wanted to share Kalina’s incredible before and after journey with you. Because it’s so good. 


You ready?  


Here’s Kalina’s ‘before’ – where she was before we started working together, in her own words:


“My life was miserable before I found Kristin. I absolutely despised being a stepmom. I hated the ex-wife. I often hated my husband for bringing her into my life and not warning me how hard things would be. I resented everything I did for the kids, all my sacrifices, all my time, it felt like it was pointless. I was contemplating divorce because I didn’t think I could handle being a stepmom for the rest of my life. I was hopeless, depressed and desperate!” 


When we first met, she thought the ex, her husband, and the kiddos were the problem – which is so common! 


However, I showed her that if she kept on blaming them, life was going to keep being really hard – simply because trying to get other people to change is a losing battle. The only thing she can control is herself. 


And so, I let her know that there were a few simple, do-able tweaks she could make within herself to have a more peaceful and enriching family life. 


I helped her consciously and deliberately love her stepkids and appreciate the uniqueness of their relationship no matter what – instead of resenting them. 


I taught her how to process and release her negative emotions around the ex, her husband, and her stepkids, instead of reacting and hiding out from her family all the time.  


I showed her how to intentionally define her role as a stepmom based on her values, and the relationships she ultimately wanted to create – so she was no longer helping out from a sense of obligation. 


And now?


It’s like she’s living a different life. 


In her own words, this is what happened after we worked together: 


“I went from hating my life, to actually enjoying my role in my family. I went from feeling like an outsider to feeling like a family unit. And most of all, I developed the coping skills and thought processes I needed to create so much more happiness and peace in my life! No longer do I feel helpless and hopeless, I can now look to the future with excitement. I am in control! I feel powerful.” 


And the best news?

What Kalina has is possible for you too. 


So imagine how much more peaceful and loving you’d feel at home and in your marriage if you no longer resented your partner and your stepkids. 

Imagine how freeing it would feel to no longer hate the ex, or feel so threatened – no matter how crazy he or she acted.  


You can create this for yourself. All it takes is learning a few simple, do-able shifts to make your entire life 100% happier. 

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.

From blow-ups to compromise in ONE DAY

Happy couple smiling

I have to share this story about one of my clients – she’s a bio-mom and a stepmom. 


When she first came to me, she told me about a huge blow-up she had just had with her spouse about her stepkids. 


She felt like they were polar opposites. She felt completely misunderstood. 


There was a lot of defensiveness. 


She thought her spouse was the problem.


They spent lots of time in therapy figuring out how to stop fighting. Nothing seemed to work. 


And I told her that of course it’s not working – as long as she thinks her spouse has to change, their marriage is never going to work. Trying to make another adult change is too hard. 


And – all she needed to do was learn a simple, proven, 3 step-process to have calmer, more loving conversations that actually lead to compromise. 


So the other day, she was feeling frustrated with her stepkids’ behavior, and wanted her spouse’s support in enforcing a change. She wanted to talk to him about it, but she was nervous. 


I told her don’t worry – I can help you. And I showed her how to: 


  • stop reacting to her anger, annoyance, and frustration – and stay calm no matter what 

  • voice her concerns without instigating defensiveness in her husband 

  • spend a majority of the conversation talking about solutions 


Here’s what happened afterwards: 


“We had a 2 hour car ride…so I took the time to talk. I listened and he never stated I was wrong and was very understanding with my frustration. We came to a solution…It went really well.” 


She felt understood, and truly heard. There was no defensiveness, no yelling. They compromised! 


And she was the only one who changed. 


Now just imagine having ONE conversation like this with your spouse. Imagine what it would be like to be truly understood, and actually reach a solution you both agree on. 


Now imagine if that was your NORM. Imagine how much more connected and loved you’d feel at home. 


This is possible for you – 


All it takes is learning a simple, do-able technique for the lasting, passionate marriage of your dreams. 

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.