What advice would you give a stepdad who shares this with you?
My partner’s son who is now 7 years old has been without his father who is an alcoholic, drug abusing waste of space for nearly 3 years! My stepson asked me to be his new dad after 6 months of his father not having any contact. I know it may sound weird, but it was his own suggestion as he is a very smart child for his age.
I accepted his request and in doing so I’ve been there for him through the biggest moments in his life so far like first day at big school, taught him to ride a bike, to swim, helped him 2 go from hands in his pocket head down at school to being a confident and smart young child who now excels at his school work among other things. We do everything a father and son would for example, camping, playing football, video games, watch movies, etc.
After 3 years and numerous chances the courts have decided to give his biological father yet another chance at screwing his sons life up! My stepson was at first very reluctant as he was scared of his father. His father was abusive and did bad things like give the child alcohol to go to bed with at 3 years of age etc., but now after a first session of supervised contact where he was forced practically to see his father by so called child services he is all happy and wants to see his dad again regularly!
Now this has broken my heart and has made me very angry as I have spent 3 years of my life being there for the child only to have it ripped away and the bond and hard work we created is all for nothing! I guess I just need advice on how to deal with this if you have any please?
Is there a possibility the bio dad is finally getting his life together? If he is, I feel it’s a good thing he wants to have a relationship with his son. While the bio dad is probably still struggling with addiction your stepson is protected since the visits are supervised.
What makes you surprised your stepson wants to spend time with his bio dad especially if the visits are supervised and safe for him? Are you concerned your stepson will no longer want a relationship with you?
I’m troubled when I read you consider the bio dad a “waste of space.” Yes, the bio dad has been guilty of bad choices, but I feel to hold your stepson’s dad with contempt is the wrong attitude to have.
You run the risk of your attitude being picked up on by your stepson. This will not serve you or your stepson. Remember, for better or worse he is your son’s dad and deserving of respect if only just for that.
Out of your care and concern for your stepson’s welfare I suggest you meet with and start a relationship with the bio dad. As an engaged parent, you want to get know and have a relationship with anyone who spends time with your stepson. Having a friendly relationship with your stepson’s dad will reduce or eliminate altogether any conflicted feelings or loyalty issues he may have.
As hard it may be your stepson needs your support and encouragement more than ever. Don’t allow your anger and hurt feelings to create distance between you and stepson. He needs to know you accept his decision of regular visits with his dad. Don’t make him have to choose or feel conflicted.
I applaud you for stepping in the bio dad’s absence – that’s what stepdad’s do – fill in the absence of the other dad. Could you be guilty of having high/unrealistic expectations? These expectations could be the source of your anger. That based on what you developed with your stepson over the past three years he wouldn’t be accepting of an relationship with his bio dad.
Regarding, your time, energy, and resources you spent with your stepson I can confidently state they were not a waste. I know your stepson doesn’t feel it was a waste. It’s obvious you’ve made a positive difference in his life or he would have never asked you to be his new dad. You have a heart for your stepson and your stepson has a heart for you – there is enough room in his heart for both you and his bio dad. Believe and trust in that.
Unless, I missed something you’ve shared nothing that would indicate the relationship you’ve built with your stepson will change. Continue to be there for your stepson. He will need you turn to if things go south with his bio dad.
Do something constructive to work off your anger. Walk, run, workout, call or visit friends, read a book, watch a movie, whatever helps you to restore your peace.
Do have any suggestions for this stepdad? Please write them in the Comments. Thank you.