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I Want To See My Step-Children

Dear Stepdad,
My question may seem a strange one. I am separated from my husband. We have no children together, but he has two children from his first marriage. I have one daughter from my first marriage. They all lived with us. We were dating one year and have lived together for three as husband and wife. The kids are close in age…12, 10. Mine is the youngest. They became extremely close and love each other dearly. I love them all dearly. I’m crazy about my stepkids. I tucked them in every night, hugged them, kissed them, prayed with them, played with them. My daughter was also very close to her stepfather.

I decided to move out because of my husband’s horrible explosive temper. He lost his cool with me several times in a destructive manner and I can’t have my children living like that. Any of them. I figured the best way to protect my stepchildren from his anger towards me was to remove myself from the situation. They all witnessed him losing his temper with me many times. Now he refuses to let me spend time with my stepchildren. He refuses to see my daughter, or to let the kids spend time together. Do you think this is right? My daughter is heartbroken. I am heartbroken. I love those kids more than words can say. I don’t understand why we can’t be friends for their sake?

SB (Texas)

SB,red flag

You did the right thing removing yourself and your child from that situation. His temper was a major red flag. That type of behavior usually only continues to get worse. Ultimately your safety and the safety of you child have to be your biggest priority. You got out in time.

I wish I could give you some good news but unfortunately, step-parents have little-to-no legal rights. Getting visitation is rare and getting custody is pretty much unheard of.

You’re responsible for your child. All you can do is focus on her. If you feel the others are in danger you should definitely report it. His attitude about visitation makes it clear he doesn’t put the kids’ needs first, like you do. But there’s not much that can be done about it. Sometimes life hands us a situation that’s frustrating but we are powerless to change. You’ve done what you can. You can only hope for the best for the other two.

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