Spoiled Children of Divorce

Good Advice

Was stunned to actually read a column in this morning’s newspaper concerning divorce.  A guy writes an advice column called “Male Call.” Today’s article is titled “Beware if he’s just not that into your kid.”  The answer is right on and it’s even humorous.  A woman, turning 30 and obviously desperate, writes in that she’s in a relationship with a guy who really wants kids, but when she watches him with her son from a previous marriage she observes that they don’t seem to get along.  “Male Call” warns her about how if she marries this guy and has kids that her kids will live in the “two tiered” household where the son from the previous relationship will always feel left out.  “Say you do choose to procreate with this fellow.  Will it end up being a two-tiered family?  As in, your child is merely tolerated, but the new ones are the ‘real’ family?  That’s an excellent recipe for ‘acting out’ on the part of your child, also known as ‘Cage Match With Step-dad’ after he/she reaches puberty.

It’s interesting how the sexes understand different parts of parenting.  To hand it to this mother, she is asking.  A Father would never ask for the advice in the first place.  He would just marry a woman and figure that she and the kids can sort it out on their own.  You notice that step-mothers never mention anything about their husbands as being part of the problem.  Everything is blamed on the kid and the ex-wife.  (That’s because of money, of course).  But concerning the advice for understanding the actual problem I think I might recommend deferring to the guys.  They aren’t afraid to look into the future and see an unsolvable problem.

From the last paragraph in this column is:  “So we’re not really sure there is a way to ‘ease the transition’ for the boyfriend.  He either gets along with your kid, or he doesn’t.  And if he doesn’t maybe you should give this a little more time before deciding to have another child.”  How nice to be asking this question before taking more big leaps in the relationship.  How nice to wait and see and give it more time.

Of course, with women, I think there is an added power control issue within a relationship.  If she rushes in and adds a child of her own to the mix then she has a lot more control in all the relationships.

I remember going to a sort of Lilith fest for writers in the San Francisco Bay area one year.  Not that I’m a writer but at that point I really wanted to be.  The key speaker was a remarkably witty, funny person and she made a point out of pointing out that her half brother or sister (can’t remember which) simply never got over her Mother being in their lives.  She, of course, was the Golden Girl who grew up with her own Mother and her own Father and her own House. And these others were just visitors who made everyone grumpy.  And, as an adult, still, she is still defensive about how must easier she had it than her siblings with that good old “Oh come on, can’t we just get along?”

Kind of funny how a writer who writes mostly about family issues just doesn’t want to discuss a problem that anyone else in her family is having.

Anyway, Mr. Male Call, hope you aren’t offended that I’ve linked to you from my hostile blog about the unsolved problems of the world.  I hope you get syndicated.  Thanks for the humor, too.  I strongly urge everyone entering into a step- situation to take martial arts classes too.

1 Comment so far
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Hey Toothless – nice post. I had to laugh at some of your comments here, particularly the last sentence – brilliant!

The message you’re giving out here is a really important one, though. Firstly, before entering into a marriage, having children etc you need to think about it carefully. But if entering into a marriage where one or other party already has children, then you need to REALLY think about it carefully! And don’t blame the kids – look to the adults.

Nice and simple – if only life were like that….

Comment by Sal

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