Cast Blog: #THICKERTHANWATER

Jewel: "I Know My Sister Loves Me"

Marcus: I Found Myself Reliving Painful Moments

Ben: Excuses Are Not What They Needed

Britney: This Is the First Time I'm Facing It

Ben: They Don't Need to "Fix" Each Other

Ben: I Missed So Much

Marcus: I Was Seeing Dollar Signs and Diapers

Jewel: I Was Very Hurt

Ben: I Don't Have Time to Play Referee

Jewel to Junice: "Let It Go!"

Junice's Out of Character Behavior

Jewel Tankard, Wedding Planner

Is Brooklyn Playing the Guilt Card?

Jewel: "I Don't Think I am Overprotective."

Ben: Being a Virgin is a Blessing

Ben's Secret to a Happy Marriage

Junice's Betrayal

Brooklyn's Heart is in the Right Place

I Respect Juncie's Lifestyle

Ben: I'm Not a Preacher, I'm a Reacher

Jewel: Nothing's Open But Legs

Ben: We Are Thicker Than Water

Jewel: "I Know My Sister Loves Me"

Jewel talks about the therapy session with her sisters and the anniversary party drama.

Bravotv.com: Jewel, how did you feel about picking up the slack of planning your parents’ engagement party? Were you disappointed in Junice for putting the responsibility on you?
Jewel Tankard: I did not mind picking up planning the party. I'm a born leader so it was all good. I wasn't disappointed, because I figured she may have been still trying to get into a routine after having Joshua.

Bravotv.com: What did you both think of Benji and Shanira getting remarried? Were you proud of his proposal at the anniversary party?
Jewel: I was pretty impressed that Benji was re-proposing to Shanira. I am quite impressed with his love for her and how much he has matured. I was very proud of him.

Bravotv.com: This week we see you guys on date night. How often do you have date nights? Are the mosquitoes always invited?
Jewel: Date night is extremely important to us. With all we have going on, it allows us to focus on one another. And to make sure we are keeping it spicy and working through anything else that could be getting on each other’s nerves. The mosquitoes were on my last nerves. No, they were not welcome. 
Bravotv.com: Jewel, how did you feel going into therapy with your sisters? Were you shocked by Junice’s feelings and aggressive tone?
Jewel: Going into therapy with my sisters was an act of me trying to play team and help my sister heal. If I need therapy I pray, read my Bible, talk to our Pastors, family, or girlfriends. My close circle of people are very wise and prayerful people. So if I'm lacking an answer, they have it. But I surely would not be paying somebody by the hour to tell me who I am and what to do with my life, when they didn't create me or know the plan that God has for my life. And yes, I was very surprised at how angry and hurt Junice was. I had no idea. It was the first time that Junetta and I had ever, ever heard those things and why wait to share all the past junk now? I have to question the motives to her timing.

Bravotv.com: Going into the anniversary party were you nervous? Were you worried about Brooklyn and Benji getting along? Were you happy with how the event turned out?
Jewel: Going into the anniversary party I was a little nervous, because Junice had been so easily upset and offended. So I was like, Lord help me to say the right things so she doesn't continue to be hurt. I want her to heal and just be cool like before. I knew Brook and Benji would be fine, because otherwise they knew if they didn't it was going to be another family meeting.

Bravotv.com: Jewel, were you shocked that Junice brought her children? What did you think of her comments about the speeches and about the gift you presented her with?
Jewel: I was not totally shocked she brought her children. I think right now until she becomes OK with us, everything we ask she will try and do the opposite. Junice has a real need to establish her own life, identity, and values. So until she does that and feels totally respected by us, she’ll probably continue to do the opposite of whatever we ask. I felt that she was doing her own thing and was flowing in her own identity, but obviously that's not quite how she feels yet. Hurt people say hurtful things. Once she heals, she won't say mean things, but until then I've fixed my heart to not respond to it and just keep doing what I know is right. Trust me, there are some things I could have said, but it would not have been kind so I shut my mouth and walk in what I know is right. I know my sister loves me, but she and I just need some space to grow and mature through this.

Ben: Excuses Are Not What They Needed

Ben explains why he was hesitant to sit down with his kids and talk about past issues.

I heard someone say that an excuse is an acceptable reason to fail. I will take it one step further and say that I believe that an excuse is a passport to mediocrity and will leave you potentially homeless. How do I know these things? From painful life experiences. I thought child rearing ended at 18, but in the case of my adult children Brooklyn, Britney, Benji, and Marcus, child rearing is just starting, because they are just getting to know their father(and themselves). Marcus' mom and I were never an item--he was conceived while I was in college. My first marriage produced Brook, Britney, and Benji. Their mom and I divorced when they were very young, therefore they did not grow up in my house. But rather than be an excuse factory and come up with good reasons why I was not heavily involved my children's early life, I decided to step up and make new memories. When Jewel and I married 15 years ago, her kid Cyrene was only three, and and we began this incredible journey to blend these awesome juveniles together as a family.

I take full responsibility for not being on post to be the protector I could have been.

Ben Tankard

It warmed my heart to spend special time with Britney. She has always been Super Snuggles. I went rock climbing ONLY to be with her, because that is not my cup of tea, but when you love someone, you should sacrifice your own desires and comfort. That is what I THOUGHT I was doing by being on the road all these years as a recording artist, but I should have had a better balance of my time away and time spent with the children. In our talk, Britney expressed her thoughts on Marcus, and I was very glad she agreed to a meeting with him. I was glad when they all met and hashed out their emotions. Love always wins. I was a little nervous about meeting with the kids on such a delicate matter as their childhood bullying issues, but excuses are not what they needed, and I take full responsibility for not being on post to be the protector I could have been. I am honored to be their father and very proud of their ability to forgive and move on. With God's help, I know their best days are ahead.

As I mentioned in this week's episode, Jewel is the key ingredient or the glue that makes us all stick. She loves my kids as if they were hers and has always encouraged me to pursue a relationship with the children, despite the fact that divorce, living in different cities, and my music tour schedule had kept us separated for years. I am still a work in progress. In an effort to make up for lost time, I find myself a victim of the " Santa Claus Syndrome," where you think gifts speed up healing. Jewel thinks I am sometimes motivated by guilt, but I think I do a good job of guilt management. I was raised in a poor environment and my loving parents taught me to be grateful. I have always been a generous person, so being more successful only magnifies my gratitude and generousity (contrary to popular belief, money does not change you, it only magnifies who you already are).

That being said, I could not have been more proud of Benji asking me to help him move into their own first home: a condo. I knew Jewel would give him (and me) a little run around about it, but isn't anything that is worth having worth fighting for? If Benji thinks Jewel is tough during the "application" process, then he should see what happens when a real loan goes into "underwriting." Whew! Talk about the third degree! He is growing up in front of my eyes and becoming his own man, and I am super proud.

No excuses--just results.

Until next time...Be well!

Tank

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