A Healthy Stepmother . . . 10 things she’d love to hear her husband say.

Don’t we stepmothers dream of our husband “getting it” without us saying anything to him? Don’t we work toward healthy communication and straight-forward boundaries so that everyone knows what is coming and we don’t have unspoken rules or miscommunications? But, even when those processes are in place and we have a relatively “good” life, we can sometimes use additional reinforcement for our efforts to help make life better in our home. In those moments, we might love to hear our husband say words something like this . . .
  1. Dear, I know belonging to our family is overwhelming and I thank you for joining me inside this ring of fire. Someday, this fire will die out and we will have a shared future. In the meantime, you are one of the most amazing women I know.
  2. I saw Matt chewing with his mouth open at dinner today. I know that bugs you. I’m sorry if you found yourself irritated, it’s just that he’s had a rough couple of days in school according to his teacher and I decided to let him have a little space tonight.
  3. Would you be my date tonight for a movie and a walk by the river?
  4. I love you as much as the day I met you, you care so much about our family that you help me keep up with consistency, thank you so very much.  (this after his wife has reminded his child to clear his dishes from the dinner table.
  5. I’m taking all the kids to the ball game with me so you can have some time alone on Saturday. Would you be able to schedule yourself for a massage at this late notice?
  6. Sometimes I get a little nervous that you might come across as too hard on the kids, but when I step back, I can see that you always strike the right tone. It might not be what they want to hear in the moment, but I appreciate your honesty, consistency, and integrity when you do help them sort through something.
  7. I used to feel all pushed around and in-between the kids and their mom. Now, I feel like I have some support for some of the things I always felt I needed to do and most important, I have someone to talk it through with.
  8. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for recognizing what my contributions are to this family and our future. I’m not sure anyone has ever asked me what my needs are.
  9. I never imagined I’d be able to find this depth of contentment in my life after my divorce and the termination of my rights as a full-time dad to my kids.
  10. What week can you get away from work in January so we can go soak our heels in the ocean and re-group after the holidays?
Go home and listen . . . tune in and hear what your husband is really saying. It might surprise you.

10 thoughts on “A Healthy Stepmother . . . 10 things she’d love to hear her husband say.

  1. Love that list! My only change would be #4 – I love you EXPONENTIALLY MORE than the day I met you! The depth of love with years of shared experiences and memories is so much more substantial than the beginning, gooey stages of love. Or, so I think anyway.
    Thanks for encouraging us to listen!

  2. Aaah, Eyes Wide Open, yes . . . that’s the perfect addition to #4. Excellent. Mind if I use it “officially?”

    Agree, the love deepens, immensely. Maybe some of our angst is about the metamorphosis of it. When we fade away from the gooey stages, at first it feels like we’re fading into who-knows-what? And, in our more vulnerable place as stepmothers, that’s a little riskier than the fade-away in a first marriage. But, from what I read, it seems that if we can keep our compass focused through that fade-away-and-reform time, then our second marriages will become and be stronger than first marriages.

    That would be encouraging!!!!!

  3. I love this list and would have paid or done anything to hear my husband say these things in the beginning of our marriage. Okay, the first five years. We drove each other INSANE!!!!

    You’re right by the way, Kim. Remarriages with kids that make it for three years are MORE likely to last than first marriages! It’s from passing through the crucible or ring of fire as you call it, learning to communicate, getting through it all, it seems. Thanks for posting this…
    Wednesday Martin, Ph.D.
    Author, Stepmonster

  4. Hi Kim,

    My husband is a man of few words:

    1. I am luckiest man in the world

    2. I appreciate you (this pretty much rocks my world)

    3. I love us.

    4. “Disappear Junior. Our 15 minutes aren’t up” (said when I walk in the door and my step son wants to be the center of attention)

    5. I’m sorry…I was being a jerk, wasn’t I?

    6. Want me to rub your feet? (to which I always answer YES)

    And some things go without words. Actions can speak so much louder.

    7. He’ll have a glass of wine or a cocktail ready when I get home

    8. He’ll turn on Peter Frampton, Rod Stewart, or Shelby Lynn and slow dance me around the kitchen

    9. He hands me a cup of coffee every morning followed by a wake up kiss

    10. His ability to listen to me, really listen, amazes and astounds me. I aspire to listen, really listen, as well as he does.

    • Wow Peggy:

      I would faint with happiness, if my S.O. said or did even one of the things on your list….hmmm….all I get is a huge argument if I ask for 20 minutes alone with him when his children are with us.



      • Hee hee, Renee, I think it takes our husbands/SOs a while to let down their guard, the guilt they carry for the divorce, and the effects on their kids, before they can begin to feel like they deserve this new life and love and all the good stuff that comes with it. The best to you during the transitions. . . .

    • Unfortunately my SO appears unwillingly to admit his attitude is damaging to our relationship and refuses to let go of his belief that when his children are present that we need not make exclusive time for ourselves…He believes that I am selfish and “want him to myself”, jealous of his children, and can’t understand why I feel the need to have this when I can “have him” after the children have gone. I certainly do not “want him to myself” as I enjoy my time on my own very much (which I have an awful lot of..lol) as he works away for 1/2 his time, so I make the best of this situation and am never at a loss to keep myself occupied.

      Our discussions with regard to making time for each other, NEVER, remain civil, as his reaction to my feelings on this subject, is without fail extremely volatile, and expresses that I am ridiculous, selfish, (as well as other expletives I won’t repeat here) and think nothing for his need to spend every second he has with his children, being 100% devoted to them. These discussions seem to send him into almost a “panic mode”, and no matter how many times I profess to having no problem and in fact encourage him to have quality time with his children, when all is said and done, he does not seem to see that our argument becomes heated (for me) only due to his blatant disregard for my feelings of having little importance and absolutely NO priority in his life when his children are around, and continues to inisist the disagreements are due ONLY to my unwillingness to accept that he wants time with his children and that I should be willing to wait until they are gone to have alone time.

      This very topic, has at this point, come to the point where he has decided that he is unwilling to continue the relationship between us. This after he brought me across the country to live in his hometown, where his children and family are, and 3 days drive from my own family. I am at a loss as to understand any of this anymore.

      • Renee, I’m sad to hear the depth of your situation. Have you read and are you familiar with Wednesday Martin? She is doing a Q&A on Facebook on Monday, here’s the link to her blog http://www.wednesdaymartin.com/blog/. My blog will hopefully give you some ideas for you to stand in your own shoes and know your truth. But, Wednesday spells out so eloquently what the lay of the land is . . . and you know it all too well, painfully well, by now it appears.

        I hope some of the ideas you find here are helpful for you to keep your center and keep moving toward the future that you can live in.

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