Biblitz delivers advise

ASK Biblitz about Blended Families.

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How do I set priorities in a blended family?

Dear Biblitz,

Thank you for your thorough and insightful answer to my predicament. It's absolutely what I needed to hear. I'm focusing so much on making this marriage work that I'm letting the kids' problems my second priority. I am working on help for them. My s on is going to his first appointment with a specialist next week. He does contribute around the house, and he really doesn't make any messes himself, but he's pretty hands off with the kids. It's so hard when his daughter comes over, to see the love he can give her, but not show my kids. My ex-husband left when I was 2 months pregnant with my son. He was unstable and wanted me to move to Green Bay, WI with him and leave my family behind, which had been my only stable support. So he left anyway when I said I wouldn't go. Due to this, my son has had very little male influence. My husband is rough around the edges, likes to wrestle the kids and tickle. My son always cries when he tries. I try to tell my husband to bond in other ways, but I don't understand why he's having such a difficult time doing so.

I always try to tell him that I understand his need to provide, and how hard it was on him when he wasn't working. He plans to have a vasectomy very soon, as we have NO plans for more children. I have an IUD now, so it shouldn't be an issue.

He has told me that he wants me to be the strong, confident woman he met.

Thanks again,

The Jonester

Biblitz replies:

Sounds like you're managing very, very well, actually. The clarity with which you identify issues suggests you're very much in control.

Can't tell you how often I've heard about wrestler/tickler dads! Most kids HATE that shit - hate it! Hell, who doesn't? It invariably ends up hurting someone, who is then angry and anxious for payback. On top of this, the hurt kid is usually verbally humiliated for 'not being able to take it.' On it goes. Ultimately, it's abusive, in my view. It's a control ((bullying) tactic by someone who has no doubt learned the approach from a similarly bullying (usually male) parent. When you see specialist, ask for tips on managing the Wrestler in a way that encourages him to be tactile but only gently and in a way that allows his victims - I mean, kids - to give and receive signals indicating when he's being too rough. If this goes well, maybe ask how s/he'd advise when spouse openly and apparently remorselessly favors one child over the others. One expert may not have all the answers but s/he might know of another who might.

If Wrestler in the face of all this finds it in his heart to insult you with his childish wish that you'd become again 'the girl he met blah, blah,' look him coldly in the eye and tell him that life got a whole HELL of a lot more complicated since then and consequently requires a LOT more effort, that if he is too blind to see how magnificently you have risen to meet the challenge, he might at least acknowledge it and offer to assist. With luck, he'll ask how and then you'll be on your way, rejoicing in the sorrows and so on.

Tell me how it goes if you like. I'm curious to learn how experts/schools address ADD. Is it a diagnosis you agree with, I wonder? Some do not, I understand.

Anyway, best of luck with everything. We must live to fight another day and so on, eh?

Biblitz the Bold


I honestly don't know what to do anymore.. Hope keeps slipping away day by day. What to do?

So i'm not here for sympathy at all.. I've just been down and out these past few days.. and I really miss how things use to be. Schools not getting any easier, and I miss my mom the most. I was taken away from my mom about 8 months ago because of her lame *** boyfriend and drug abuse. It makes me distraught to see her let a man treat her how he has, considering her health problems now and her working her trying to get on her feet again by working two minimum wedge jobs, while he gambled all her money away putting her in bankrupt. He finally moved out this time about 3 weeks ago ( I hope she means it this time ) because I know I can't make her do it herself. I left all my friends and my one true best girl friend who I miss terribly): Seeing my mom when i'm allowed makes me not want to see her at all because I know I have to say bye, even though the hell she put me through with her boyfriend who I hope burns in hell for the things he did to her, my sister, and me. I know some of you might not be religious, because to be honest I wasn't the most christian freak either, but lately in these past months i've been looking to God for answers, and I'm not getting anything back. And I know they say he has his mysterious ways, but I'm loosing all hope in my body.. and seeing my mom today and spending all her tip money from work on me and my sister broke me.. I hate seeing my mom like this and living with my dad and his new stepfamily They say when one door closes, one more opens. and Sorry for typing sooo much, but some advice would help me so much

Biblitz replies:

No one escapes from this life without all kinds of hell and the creator does not provide reasons for this or, arguably, much in the way of help. You seem to be getting yours pretty early on. Don't spin your wheels trying to puzzle it out. Your mission here is to sort out your feelings and come up with a good, workable coping strategy. Few of us in times of crisis are competent to run the file single-handed. Happily, the culture provides crisis lines, which are usually staffed by excellent listeners who know what resources might be available to support you right now. Say yes to everything - therapy, peer counselling - anything and everything. You need to talk about these events and new relationships. More here is better. It will also be therapeutic if you remain in school and apply yourself to your studies. Lose yourself in school work as often as possible. Routine is steadying. It gives you something to hang onto when everything else seems pear-shaped.

Think of this as a test no less difficult than the Lord's when He was handed by a supposedly loving parent the prospect of Crucifixion. He had some pretty dark moments alone in Gethsemane, as you're no doubt well aware. Try to say to yourself what you would have liked someone to say Him that lonely night. And don't be shy to ask pop and stepmom for extra support right now. Embrace them often, literally. Touch is often very healing. As is home-baked chocolate cake after a maccaroni and cheese casserole dinner. Ask for things like cake and casseroles that they can deliver easily. It will help all of you adjust to the radical earthquake shift you've all undergone, sadly, as a result of mom's bad judgment.


How do I report misuse of welfare in Canada by a family member?

My sister in law is completely misusing the welfare system, claiming somewhere around $800 a month, saying that 400 is for rent, but she's staying with my mother in law and doesn't even buy milk. My mother in law buys her everything from food to cigarettes to clothing. She constantly laughs about the fact that she doesn't need to get a job and mocks the government's system, saying how great it is that she's getting money finally. She is still 19 and so able to be a dependent and has nothing wrong with her( she can't file for disability and is able to find work fairly easily). It bothers me that she takes advantage of her mother like this since my mother in law has done so much for me; I'm not even sure her mother knows she has claimed welfare! My mother in law never has money for herself because of all the food my sister in law eats and how many cigarettes she smokes. I want her to be forced to get a job and leave my mother in law's money where it belongs, in her damn purse, not my sister in law's.

FYI, Leo, I'm not christian and i dont need xray moral vision since I'm staying with my mother in law at the moment. ...

Biblitz replies:

What crust! I suppose in addition to that x-ray moral vision of yours you also have the audacity to think of yourself as a good Christian person. Ugh! What makes some people so mean, I wonder? Is it jealousy? Aren't there more than enough judges in the wicked world already? And doesn't the sick need to rat out ANYONE let alone a family member suggest prima facie that 'justice' seeker lacks sufficient basic human decency to risk the karma such an outrageous, uncalled-for initiative would attract? Authorities, after all, have somehow assessed sis-in-law and found her qualified to receive welfare benefits, which are notoriously paltry in EVERY jurisdiction. (You just TRY living on it for a month!) If she's passed their rigorous assessment, leave her the heck alone! You are NOT party to all the facts and no one has appointed you to the bench. Stand down, rocky, and see if you can't find a heart in that miserable, hollow chest of yours. Seek humility! Refresh yourself with a reading of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, which has resonance regardless of beliefs. What did pop say to square it with eldest whelp, who had remained at home in pop's service? Think HARD on these things.

Wishing you all the luck with this you so richly deserve!


'Put 'em up, you buncha sissies!' This young hooligan may seem ready to lace up the gloves and go a round or two, but a prudent stepfather/brother would resist the temptation as, just as his dear mama is always saying, bless her, he's only wee, after all.

The Wrestler


The Wrestler here didn't do much better than the little guy whose stepfather plays too rough with him, teaching him all manner of nonsense about men and bullying and so forth. Where do they learn all this tough stuff, one wonders?


It seems to be, alas, more challenging for some than others to be kind even to one's family. One cannot help but take recourse to the wisdom contained in the Parable of the Prodigal Son most eloquently revealed in the painting of the same name by dear Rembrandt. Happy 200th, old horse, and many happy returns!

Does your new family (kids, spouse) feel the same as your old one with your parents?

I've been rather sad lately thinking of how my parents will be gone someday. I am an only child, so I don't have brothers or sisters to support me through their old age and to comfort and share memories of them when they're gone. Man, I wouldn't wish being an only child on anyone! To fill this void I'm feeling, I'd like to find a loving husband and have a few children. But I'm wondering, does your new family that you make with your spouse and kids ever feel like the one filled with unconditional love and security like the one with your parents did? Please explain. Basically I need someone to tell me what I can expect as I get older. Does your life get lonelier as you get older or does it only get better with the new love you can share? I'm only 21 and I just can't place myself in my own shoes when I get to be about 45. Thanks so much for your help.

Biblitz replies:

Rosh, for goodness sake, stop having a mid-life crisis at 21! Contemplating mortality is the purview of seniors who lose a spouse of many years - not young people, who should be out on the social circuit, dating, travelling, studying hard and forging interesting careers that will carry you through in the style to which you are accustomed. You read too much hard stuff. Lighten up! Think P.G. Wodehouse, Joseph Heller, the memoirs of Martin Amis if not the novels and laugh your head off!

Life, at the end of the day, is a short ride. As Auntie Mame once famously put it, "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" So belly up and get yours.