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I helped to raise my wife's child of a previous relationship from the time he was 1.5 years old until he was almost 7. My wife walked out of the relationship after being unfaithful. She has not allowed me to even talk to him in several months and I seem to have no legal rights whatsoever because I never adopted him. Its really tearing me up inside and I dont know what to do - since he was basically my own son.
 

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Conrad has supplied you with the only answer. I hear you, my wife left for her AP with my two step-daughters who I had helped her gain custody of and raise from ages 7&9 to 15&17. One day they were there, the next they were gone and I have not so much as spoken to them in 7 months. There is nothing that I can do to change that. It is very hard, but that is the reality of it. They are stuck too, I am sure. Detaching is challenging, but possible. One day they will see things for what they really are, just not today.
 

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I have no rights in this state.. I guess I just have to continue to try and detatch.. Im constantly amazed by my stbxw's amazing selfishness and cruelty. It really is heartbreaking. I have never been so sad or lonely in my life.. I guess a day at a time is the only way to take it.
 

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I am so sorry that you are going through this. It absolutely amazes me how some people can be so cruel to their own children. You are the only father this boy has really known and she doesn't have a problem ripping her own son's heart out that way. I wish there was something more you could do. Sending you hugs to be strong
 

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I am so sorry that you are going through this. It absolutely amazes me how some people can be so cruel to their own children. You are the only father this boy has really known and she doesn't have a problem ripping her own son's heart out that way. I wish there was something more you could do. Sending you hugs to be strong

Hard to be strong at this point.. I mean he is a kid, he has his grand parents and his mother to be there and support him. I have friends - but its just amazing that she will absolutely not let me talk to him or see him at all..

The last time I mentioned him a while back - she said 'this is about you and me and does not involve him' Ive expressed my desire to at least say goodbye, or be his friend - but she absolutely denies me. She knows I have no legal right - and she doesnt care that I helped raise him for so many years. I dont know why - its like she is trying some sort of powerplay - she is doing things with absolutely no reason other than to hurt me. My birthday came and went, and not a peep from her or her family or any of her friends that used to be my friends. I dont think I have ever met a more selfish person in my life... she is verging on pure evil - and it disgusts me.
 

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Jamie,
I know your situation is hard. It's obvious that you care deeply for the boy and have poured yourself into his upbringing. Like all good stepdads, you see the child as your kid. Unfortunately that's not the way the law sees it. In the US and Canada there are few legal rights stepdads have. In the US stepdads are actually considered by the law to be 'Legal Strangers' to their step kids.

Mothers who hold their kids away from the men who have cared for them the most are strange to me. You've been a stand-up guy (maybe the only one the boy has had in his life) and she keeps you apart. He's probably more confused than you are about the situation. It's a cruel and selfish thing for her to do.
I wish I had better news.

Sometimes stepdads get lucky and their kids are older when they break up with their wives-and the kids sometimes gravitate to their dad. Because your son is young, he's less-likely to make that choice when he's old enough.

I'm addressing this issue in my next book: What To Know BEFORE You Marry A Single Mom -and the statistics are pretty shocking. You're not the first guy to be side-swiped by the legal realities of divorce from a single mom. A LOT of guys marry single moms without considering the big picture. And the big picture is pretty shocking!

The options are few:
The most common situation I’ve seen (post divorce) is that the mom is used to having help from you so she will probably be open to letting you babysit. That may not be the case if she's now with the guy she was cheating with (which is common when a woman cheats).
If she does need help then that's great because you get to see your boy. But it’s not perfect—because everything is on her terms. Now she has is completely in control. Be honest and ask yourself how long you'll continue being a free babysitter. You may want to do what is best for your son but even if you’re the most honorable man and you can endure the situation—you’re still in bad position. The statistics say that about 75% of divorced women remarry, and most will do so within three years. You may get to see your boy, but there’s a 3 in 4 chance that there will soon be another father figure in the picture. If she does remarry there’s no way of knowing how this will affect the way your son sees you. At his age he may bond with the new guy and may eventually loose his desire to see you.

I'm sorry for your situation. All you can do is walk away or try to negotiate terms with your ex to see your boy.

Good luck.
S. James Wheeler
 

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Jamie,
I know your situation is hard. It's obvious that you care deeply for the boy and have poured yourself into his upbringing. Like all good stepdads, you see the child as your kid. Unfortunately that's not the way the law sees it. In the US and Canada there are few legal rights stepdads have. In the US stepdads are actually considered by the law to be 'Legal Strangers' to their step kids.

Mothers who hold their kids away from the men who have cared for them the most are strange to me. You've been a stand-up guy (maybe the only one the boy has had in his life) and she keeps you apart. He's probably more confused than you are about the situation. It's a cruel and selfish thing for her to do.
I wish I had better news.

Sometimes stepdads get lucky and their kids are older when they break up with their wives-and the kids sometimes gravitate to their dad. Because your son is young, he's less-likely to make that choice when he's old enough.

I'm addressing this issue in my next book: What To Know BEFORE You Marry A Single Mom -and the statistics are pretty shocking. You're not the first guy to be side-swiped by the legal realities of divorce from a single mom. A LOT of guys marry single moms without considering the big picture. And the big picture is pretty shocking!

The options are few:
The most common situation I’ve seen (post divorce) is that the mom is used to having help from you so she will probably be open to letting you babysit. That may not be the case if she's now with the guy she was cheating with (which is common when a woman cheats).
If she does need help then that's great because you get to see your boy. But it’s not perfect—because everything is on her terms. Now she has is completely in control. Be honest and ask yourself how long you'll continue being a free babysitter. You may want to do what is best for your son but even if you’re the most honorable man and you can endure the situation—you’re still in bad position. The statistics say that about 75% of divorced women remarry, and most will do so within three years. You may get to see your boy, but there’s a 3 in 4 chance that there will soon be another father figure in the picture. If she does remarry there’s no way of knowing how this will affect the way your son sees you. At his age he may bond with the new guy and may eventually loose his desire to see you.

I'm sorry for your situation. All you can do is walk away or try to negotiate terms with your ex to see your boy.

Good luck.
S. James Wheeler

She has clammed up and even gotten mad if I even mention the boy at all - and has even said that she does not want me to talk about him or see him. She has probably made me into the badguy to him.. I asked her a while back if he has asked about me, and she said plainly 'no'. In all honesty, I think she has lost her mind - or she has always been this horrible selfish person and I was just blind to it. The more I have thought about it - the more I think she only married me because I would help her during a hard time in her life.. (single mom, very young kid, no money).. I solved all of that.. help take care of the kid during the trying early years (and helped pay for private school) , helped her get into a union for well-paying work (where she met her affair partner), got her a good car (and lots and lots of niceties). They were #1 in my life, and I gave and gave and gave and she took and took and took.. I let her practically do anything she wanted - and in the end she made it sound like I was 'stifling her soul'.. What a crock - I helped to open the world up to her and never kept her from anything. Maybe that was part of my problem.. She used me until she didnt need me anymore. The funny thing is - she texted me the other day with a 'I hope you are doing okay'.. I didnt respond.

To think.. I married this woman and loved both of them.. and then when I caught her cheating - she said 'I didnt think it was a big deal if you didnt find out about it'.. Cold as ice, and Im glad to be rid of her. Unfortunately, Im still in a ton of pain. I do hope that when karma comes it doesnt come for her child too..
 
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