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Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

Posted by onepoint21jw (My Page) on
Mon, May 3, 10 at 18:44

Hello, Im looking for some advice with this situation, I cannot get my head around it fully, I hope this is an ok spot to ask for advice on this topic.

I will try to keep this as short as I can.

My real Dad and my Mom split up when I was 2-3, he went on to marry 4 more times and was an alcoholic his whole life, I knew him pretty well and we got along good, I lived with him for a year in the 7th grade, and he bought me my first dirt bike. His health faded and he passed away in 2006 and though he was not the perfect Dad I miss him very much.

I think when I was about 5 my Mom met a man named "John", they moved in together and with my sister(5 yrs older) we became a "family", over the years he became my Dad and we did things like fishing, boating, family trips, many memories.

When I was about 15 or 16 he and my Mother began to have some problems I think, which led to her getting pushed down and having a small bone in her wrist broken(he was trying to leave and she was trying to stop him is the story.. no charges filed). I learned later that he had cheated on her and Im sure that is what the "big fight" was about.. I heard them fighting from my room, and the next day she picked me up from school with a cast on her wrist.. I never saw John again.

Since his Father owned the house we lived in and the relationship was over we needed to move out, we moved out a few weeks after the fight and even though it was a small town I never saw John again. My life changed for the worse at that point, for a few years I got bad grades, hung out with the wrong crowd etc, which thankfully I was smart enough to end on my own.

I moved away from that state in 1996 and as I grew older I thought of him often, he had a big influence on me and the way I lead my life, my role as a parent, the way I treat my kids, wife etc. My Mother has never remarried and there has never be another male figure in my life.

I turn 36 this month, and last week John contacted me through Facebook, it has been 20 years since he vanished from my life.

Should I respond? What would I say? if I really think about it I am somehwat angry, and dont have much reason to communicate with him, maybe send him a nasty message. Some of me would expect some sort of explanation or something if I "accept" him again.. my mind tells me to forget it about it and just move on and what he did was wrong and I shouldnt give him the light of day. What could happen after I accept him? Should I expect an explanation, his side of the story maybe?

I mean do I send this guy pictures of my kids and treat him like a Grandpa, and tell them about John? Or is that crazy talk??

Its been on my mind alot and I cannot decide what to do.

Is a child bound to their Step parents like they are to their real parents, does this man deserve that respect like a real Father? The whole thing raises many questions for me and few answers.

Sorry for the length of this, thank you in advance to those who can offer any advice.

W.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

well you didn't see him since you were 16. If he was a true parent (even if not bio) he would certainly be around more often than once in 20 years. if he wanted, he could have a relationship with you after divorcing your mother.

You don't really know why he is contacting you, maybe just to chat, maybe ask for money, maybe just catch base, maybe he is in AA and has to make amends, or maybe wants to be in your life?

I personally do not want relationship with people who physically hurt my mother (not like anyone did). But I would not send nasty messages either.

No, I would not be showing his pictures to your kids and would not call him grandpa. he is a man who your mom lived with 20 years ago, certainly not a grandpa, more of a stranger.

Maybe you could politely reply and see what he wants and go from there.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

It sounds like you need closure. FB is a good place to get closure because you can always "unfriend" him. I don't know how well you know FB, but you should set your privacy settings on high, not allow him access to your wall or pictures, and not friend him just yet. Send him a message, explain as kindly as you can how you feel. See how he reacts. I think that if he reacts as a man/father or if he reacts as a child/jerk you'll have your answer as to how to proceed.

I wouldn't introduce him to anyone or explain who he is at all until you are very clear what his intentions are.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

I think I'd treat it sort of like a shirt-tail relative who lived in another province for years and has now tried to get back in touch.
I'd have my guard up, and want to see what's really going on here, but maybe it could be really nice to have this person back in my life. I'd tentatively develop a reserved online relationship with him. So my reply would be polite, but guarded. I would not send photos, but would mention "Been married X years, have Y kids."

He screwed up an vanished off the face of the earth for 20 years, but maybe he's regretted it every day and is getting in touch to apologize? Maybe not. Only one way to find out.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

You said you are mad, and I get that -- But are you clear on exactly why you're mad? Is it because he shoved your mother? Because he cheated on her? Because you had to move out of your (OK - his) comfortable home? Because he just disappeared and you thought he loved you more than that? (And if it's mostly the last one, have you talked to your mom about it? It's possible she made it very clear to him that he had NO legal rights and any contact was unwelcome.)

Anyway -- I think you should probably strive for clarity in your own head before making any decision about whether or not to have a relationship with him.

So I'd suggest responding that hearing from him brought up many mixed emotions, that you'd like to work through them before talking with him, and that you'll contact him when you're ready to talk.


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My worst nightmare

What a sad story! And such a good one for stepparents to remember as they work on their own marriages--so much more is at stake the second time around! Sometimes I imagine what would have happened if DH and I had not had a good marriage and I would have had to sever my contact with SDs--what a heartache! And how I would feel I had abandoned them, even though DH would have been perfectly within his rights to keep us apart.

I agree with Silversword, FB is a good, casual way to make a connection. Maybe friend him and see what he says when he responds? He will probably send you a PM, yes? Do you know anything about him? Anyone you know in common that you could ask first?


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

This man attacked your mother -- am I right. The cast on her wrist. I would never let my child near a man who has been violent. And if your mother did the heavy lifting as best she kid with you, I can not imagine reconnecting with a man who hit her. Cheating on her -- that is bad enough.


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RE: Reunite?

I agree KK, but it seems OP doesn't know what happened since mom never discussed it. Quite possible he did not hit her. I have personally known women to throw themselves onto/into men they are fighting with and injure themselves. Not saying that's what happened, not blaming the mom...I'm just saying.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

Kkny, as usual you are demonising the step parent, leaping to conclusions with insufficient information, why am I not surprised? There are any number of ways Mom could have broken her wrist, none involving being "attacked" by Step Dad. No charges were laid so it was more than likely accidental and both realised it.
W, it seems you have some unresolved issues with this man and it looks like you have been handed a way to try to resolve them in an "at arms's length" way. In your case I'd reply, explain why you are wary, and maybe ask for his side of the story. Then after you have digested his reply, you can decide whether to continue with the relationship. If his answers work for you, I think it would be good to reconnect with someone who was once an important person in your life. If not, then you can just let him know, I'm sorry, this isn't going to work, and ignore him forevermore.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

Maybe you could also ask what your sister thinks, and if he contacted her as well? From what I am hearing Facebook and other social network make meaningless and easy contacts possible. One really has to do nothing, sees someone they might know or have met years ago, write the message without giving it much thought etc Most likely the guy wrote just because he saw you on FB, not like he consciously looked you up. Very sad.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

Do you have a sense of how your mother would feel if she found out that you were in touch with him? Or if you went so far as to bring him back into your lives as a grandfather type? I think that if it were me, that would be a big factor in how I decided to handle it.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

Well at a minimum she should talk to mom. But my money is on Dad getting violent -- and thats why mom picked the kids up at school and got the hell out of the dodge. This story has a lot of red flags. I am very sorry for OP.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

Collen, this is what OP said.

"When I was about 15 or 16 he and my Mother began to have some problems I think, which led to her getting pushed down and having a small bone in her wrist broken(he was trying to leave and she was trying to stop him is the story.. no charges filed). I learned later that he had cheated on her and Im sure that is what the "big fight" was about.. I heard them fighting from my room, and the next day she picked me up from school with a cast on her wrist.. I never saw John again. "

SHE SAID THE SF PUSHED HER MOM DOWN AND BREAKING HER WRIST. Get real - do you not realize how many cases of domestic abuse do not result in charges.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

Actually she said that he tried to leave and she tried to stop him. She thinks mom was pushed out of way, she's not 100% sure.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

Um... I think OP is a man.

Usually with FB, if you don't already have friends in common it's pretty rare that you'd just "stumble" across someone's profile. My hunch is exSF looked OP up.

What happened back then is something OP will have to question about, it sounds like he's still angry about how it all went down. I would imagine there would be feelings of abandonment there. He's an adult, I think it would be good to get some closure. Look at this like a gift, step lightly, and don't give him any information until you feel very confident you want him in your life. Perhaps meeting him later, by yourself, then again with your wife would be good. It can be helpful to get another person's "take" on someone if you aren't sure.

There's miles to go before he gets to be called "Grandpa". I hope for you that you get a satisfactory outcome to this relationship.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

OP,

Is it correct that the incident with your mom happened about 20 years ago? I can understand why there is some anger over what happened, but perhaps it is misplaced. I'd like to offer another perspective.

I raised my exBF's kids for 7 years.. we weren't married but their mother had left before the youngest was 1, oldest was 6. Things with their father fell apart as they were entering Jr. & High school age. But, because things didn't work out, he didn't want anything to do with me, including contact with his kids. He spoke poorly of me and the last time I had a conversation with his oldest son, he made it clear that he was happy I was gone because his dad started dating & now he could do whatever he wanted... pretty much what many teenagers want, right? I was hurt by what he said & I dropped the issue of trying to see them. That was 12 years ago and today, I see they are on Facebook and Myspace. I have tried to send letters to them, now that they are adult age and can make a choice to have a relationship with me. The youngest is the only one that still corresponds.. but it's definitely friends, not mother/daughter type talk. It hurts to invest in a relationship with another persons child and be cut off when it doesn't work. and it's hard to reconnect, the longer the absence is... as I think it's that way in ANY relationship. Maybe that is why some of the BM's & BF's that don't see their kids just seem to forget about their old life & move on with having a new family/life.

But, you are now 36. I don't know why you are angry. Your mom took you and shielded you from someone that hurt her. If he's a decent guy, he knew he messed up. Maybe he's been kicking himself for the last 20 years. He lost his family too. I'm not making excuses for him but I can certainly understand that when there is a lot of stress in life, people do things they never thought they would or could be capable of. It doesn't make him a monster if they had ONE fight that got physical and I don't blame your mom one bit for leaving... if the physical stuff escalated and such, that's a different story. But that is the past. Exchanging emails & photos does not make him grandpa. How much of a relationship you have is up to you. He has opened the door, just as I have opened the door to the three kids in my past that weren't mine so I couldn't demand to continue to see them... until stepparents have rights, that is just the way it is.

What happened when you were a child is important & relevant, but it does not have to define what happens today or what relationship you choose to have. You are an adult now & he has had 20 years to think about his loss & with any luck, he has learned & is not the same person. Not to mention, his relationship with your mother is not the same as his relationship with you.... if you had written that he was abusive toward you or you feared him, my opinion would be much different. Also, whether it was his good or bad that influenced your life, the fact is that he's had an impact and it sounds as if you got something good from the past relationship.

I would definitely hear him out & THEN decide if you want more of a relationship... and don't involve your children until you have defined his intentions & yours too.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

onepoint,

FB is a pretty safe way to get back in touch. I agree that it sounds like he looked you up there. I also think he may have been kicking himself for the past 20 years for not staying involved with you even after your mother broke up. One fight and you are not sure really what happened.

Ask your mother, did "John" push you and break your wrist way back when. It sounds as though your mother told him not to come around anymore.

This man is not some distant relative, he was your father for a time. Since you don't know the story, he's giving you a chance to know it and know him a little. I think you should take it. If it turns out he did break your mom's wrist and is some creep, defriend him on FB and be done. On the other hand, you may have a chance to have a father and grandfather around if you click with him after finding out the facts.

Good luck.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

I am totally in agreement with Imamommy.

People deserve second chances if they are truly repentant. This was not a pattern of violence. It was a one-time incident, which insinuates a "mistake". I wouldn't be afraid of him. Besides, he's probably a harmless old man now.

Maybe he did want to contact you over the years, but was prevented since he was just a SF and had no "rights". You never know.

I think you should hear him out and, as Ceph said, treat him as a distant relative. But I wouldn't go the grandpa route.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

OP is 36, her prior SF could have contacted at a minimum 15 years ago. I know if there was someone I regarded as a child, that I have been told not to contact, I would have contacted them 15 years ago.

OP I strongly recommend you contact your mom. People here accuse me of bias, but I never condone violence. If your prior SF hit your mom even once - DO NOT TRUST HIM.

I wonder if OP hasnt asked her mom about this guy yet, if it is becuase she knows the answers.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

"...as I grew older I thought of him often, he had a big influence on me and the way I lead my life, my role as a parent, the way I treat my kids, wife etc."

Unless OP is a lesbian, I think he's a man....

HIS mother's ex-boyfriend (I don't think they were ever married) could have contacted HIM years ago. But these social networking sites were not as they are now, and it wasn't as easy. People change as they get older. I know people I couldn't have cared less about contacting 10 years ago I'm a tad curious about now.

OP said the story is mom's BF was trying to leave, and mom was trying to stop him. When a person puts themselves PHYSICALLY in front of another person, there is a chance of injury. I don't condone violence either, but I also don't assume zebras when I hear hoof-beats.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

SS, I agree. The social networking sites have made it easier to reconnect with people you have lost contact with. I just chatted with my 3rd grade teacher.. never thought I'd talk to him again... he was my favorite teacher.


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RE: //Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

I found my best friend from 4th grade... never thought I'd talk to her again after she moved 6,000 miles away...


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

"When a person puts themselves PHYSICALLY in front of another person, there is a chance of injury"

I'll try not to get in your way!

What happens in a civilized exchange is that the person "trying to leave" backsteps or sidesteps or says "please move".

(& how reasonable is it to figure that the mom was trying to prevent this guy from leaving? She was arguing with him because he was running around on her; really, would she want him to stay or would she want him to go?)

I'd bet mom downplayed the 'incident' to keep her children from getting any more freaked out than need be;
that happens very often when women are hit, punched, beaten.

Aside from what was *said*, what *happened* is that mom picked the kids up from school the next day *& they never saw John again*.

If the guy were truly "repentant", he'd be calling the mom.

He should have called her long before now.

Unless OP has heard from his mother that John has apologized & she's accepted him back into her life, OP probably would be better off letting John fade away.

I'm with kk:
I wouldn't get near him myself,
& I wouldn't let him near my children.

I wish you the best.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

"When a person puts themselves PHYSICALLY in front of another person, there is a chance of injury"

"I'll try not to get in your way! "

hahaha so true. pretty scary picture.

I am surprised how tolerant are some people towards violence! Makes me wonder what is going on in their households? I cannot imagine treating someone physically attacking my mother as a casual event.

i wonder if people would tell lovehadley that her DH only shoved her because she was in front of him and his ex only punched her because she was there.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

Ok guys. You're way off base. Have you never seen a woman go completely schizo and a man trying to defend himself? Do you realize abuse goes both ways? I have known battered men who have been accused of abuse and when the cops are called they've actually charged the women because it was obvious who was initiating it.

I have seen a woman flipping out, throwing herself around, at a man, and falling down before. It is possible. It does happen.

The fact that charges were not filed tells me a lot. There is nothing wrong with this adult man airing his feelings on a public social site. I think it would be good for him. It sounds like he has stuff to clear up with this person.

BTW, people lie about why they broke up, especially parents. My own parents I just found out had completely different reasons for breaking up (dad's version) than what my mom told me. COMPLETELY. And here I was blaming my dad for the past 30 years for my parent's divorce.

It takes two sometimes. Not saying always, not saying I'll hit you if you stand in front of me... but there can be other circumstances. My sister once was whaling on me and I got her away from me with a door between us. And shut the door. On her fingers. Did I set out to shut her fingers in the door? NOPE. We were fighting, and it happened. Sometimes, when people fight, and they get their bodies involved people get hurt WITHOUT someone trying to hurt the other person.

And FD, that was just a rude, low blow about Love. I'm not even going to dignify your comment.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

Its not a low blow, it is an unfortunate situation.

When the one with the arm in a cast takes her kid out of school and disappears, I think it is indicative of what happened.

SS I assume when the incident with the sister happened, you were both kids and not adults.

I would never let my kid near someone who was responsible for a broken arm. I can not beleive OP wont talk to his mom. But sometimes people dont want to hear the truth.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

I think the comment about Love's husband & his ex hurting her because she was in the way was meant to be read as ironic.

Yes, OP is a guy.

The fact that charges weren't filed tells you *nothing*.

Women typically don't file charges, not for assault, not for rape, not for fraud & embezzlement & theft;
they/we are too embarassed, & often too intimidated, too afraid the authorities will believe their assailant, too afraid the assailant will take revenge.

One of the main challenges facing law enforcement officers when they interview a woman who has been beaten is *getting her to admit that that's what happened* & keeping her from dropping the charges.

Even here in old backwards Texas, the lawmakers have addressed the problem;
once the police see that a woman has been injured, *they* file the charges, & the matter is between the assailant and the state of Texas.

The woman can't "drop the charges" even if she wants to.

The fact that "no charges were filed" *30 years ago* means less than nothing.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

There are two domestic violence cases RIGHT NOW where I live. The only reason they are in the news, is the husbands are politicos. One guy threw a glass at his wife, she had to go to the ER. Still wouldnt testify against him, so all they could do was get him for misdemeanor charges. The other case is still pending. The public pictures look like the wife was a punching bag. She wont press charges or testify either. His story is she walked into a door. She got a restraining order. He violated it.

I dont ALWAYS think it is the woman who is abusing, BUT when she's the one with a broken arma and took a powder I would at least gently ask for the history. Some abusers can be charming.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

silvers, I think you are very naive, many abused women do not file charges for number of reasons-fear, shame, it does not make them less abused.

and actually I find your assumption that women get hit because they stand on men's way is offensive to women, it is a low blow.

I cannot relate to your casual attitude towards poor treatment of women or always blaming women no matter what really happened. You have a daughter and you should be careful what you teach her. Wrong things to teach young girls.


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exactly, no charges filed?

exactly, how many women do not file charges of rape? Does not mean rapes did not take place. And how many people blame not a raper, but girls wearing short skirts or walking home in the dark?

"Well if she would not stand in front of him and would not try to stop him from leaving she would not end up with her arm broken", how is it different from saying "If she would wear less make up and longer skirt, she wouldn't get raped?"

Either very naive or very troubled attitude.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

The incident everyone is debating was between a husband & wife, not the parent/child. Even in nuclear families, the courts don't automatically deny the abusive spouse contact with the child. It has to be proven that the child was involved in the abuse.. either by being abused or witnessing the abuse and many people are granted unsupervised visitation with their children when they were the abuser in the marriage.

As a mother, if my child's father was abusive toward me, I would have concern for my child's safety around him... but the courts don't usually see it that way. They have to be a risk or danger to the child. So, it may be irrelevant to argue what happened between this grown child's mother and stepfather in their marriage. It has already been said that it was not witnessed. The mother removed her child from the situation and shielded him from her perceived (whether real or not) danger and likely did what she felt was in her child's best interest. He had no rights toward the child & she got to make the call. Now, 20 years later it seems ridiculous to debate whether he is a risk to a grown 36 year old that has their own family. At this time, OP gets to decide how much contact & relationship there is. OP, the ball is in YOUR court.

debating the past based on a few facts posted here is kinda silly.. in my opinion. How is that going to help OP decide what to do?


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

"How is that going to help OP decide what to do?"

OP is clearly confused on what to do and it is understandable. He even thought of making this stranger a grandpa? What was discussed here hopefully would help OP to proceed with caution and also consider his mother's feelings. If this man to become a grandpa (how unlikely and how weird) then his mother would have to be at the same parties with him? All of this should be considered under the circumstances. yes as a grown man he could have relationship with whoever, but there is a reason he asked for help. This is not a typical case of lost relative. Too many people are involved.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

I dont give anyone a free pass on violence, I dont care what courts do. I have suggested OP talk to his mom. Gently and listen. I would be very leery of letting this guy in my life. At a minimum, I would need to know a lot more.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

I broke my wrist two summers ago; I tripped and hit it off of a door jamb, not even particularly hard. It was the first time I broke anything in my life. There is a small bit of bone at the wrist end of your forearm (you can feel/see it on the outside of your wrist) and that is what was broken. I was in a cast for six weeks, and they wanted to leave it on longer but I protested (I need to be able to type for work and it was very difficult with my whole forearm in a cast.)

I just wanted to weigh in that if that is what the OP's mother broke ("a small bone in her wrist broken") that that could have happened exactly as the story went - John pushed Mom out of the way, she fell and broke her wrist. I am as against domestic violence as anyone else, but taken together with the rest of the story from OP's Mom (he was trying to leave, she was trying to stop him, big screaming fight) that may not have been quite the same situation as the habitual abuser. After all, isn't that one of the first things everyone says when some wife-beater (or husband-beater) starts justifying their actions - why didn't you just walk away from the argument?

I'd suggest maybe talking to Mom first and sounding her out. It might end up working out well to be friendly with him again, although I too would want more answers. But then again, OP might end up getting those answers from Mom; it's been a long time, he's an adult now, and deserves to know, if not all the details, at least a kind of broad overview of what happened.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

After all, isn't that one of the first things everyone says when some wife-beater (or husband-beater) starts justifying their actions - why didn't you just walk away from the argument?

And the day I listen to a spouse beater trying to justify anything is the day H@@l freezes over. Yes, I agree walk away. And keep walking.

I dont agree with MAYBE talking to mom. I would say do not go further without talking to mom.

and to all, Ok I missed OP is a man. BFD, I stand by advice. Abuse is never acceptable.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

This John may have contacted OP for no more reason than to say 'Oh, Onepoint, I see your a member of FB, geez, been years, how are you?' Basically end of story.

OP was way jumping the gun to even begin to think about the Gpa bit, or that the guy even wants back into OP's life.

With the abuse bit...some of you have 'convicted' John of being a wife beater/abuser based on a loosely worded statement here.

I'm curious. Say John came home and was confronted by wife, a heated verbal exchange persued. John thinks 'I'm outta here ' and goes to leave. Wife throws herself in front of John, with each movement of John trying to exit, wife counters movement. At some point movement clashed and down wife goes. Walk away? How do you walk away with a wife wrapped around you or with her inches chest to chest blocking your attempts? Did he 'push' her? Did he in any way with any deliberate thought instigate body contact? I have no idea, but neither do the rest of the readers here.

Only OP's mom can answer those questions for OP. And yes, OP should have a talk with Mom prior to contacting/befriending John on FB.

If Mom turns out to have gotten in John's face, tossed books at him, wrapped heself around his arm trying to hold John from leaving and physically restrained him from doing so and in the process accidently got herself knocked to the floor...I'm not going to label John a wife beater/abuser. On the other viewpoint, if John walked up to wife and deliberately pushed her to remove her from his path, that's a different matter.

For Pete's sake, OP, talk to your mom, and even after whatever she says to you, you still decide to online contact John, don't get crazy about it and jump in with both feet. You've not seen nor talked to this man in 20 years, you know nothing about him nor the life he leads now. Don't let a bond you had 20 years ago blind you from the fact that this man is a stranger to you now.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

Thank you Mattie and Justmetoo, that's exactly what I was trying to say.

Yes, the incident with my sister happened when we were kids. My point is that when people are fighting there is a chance someone will get hurt unintentionally. I was at a friend's house in college and a couple got in an argument, my friend walked up to see if she could help just as the guy flung out his arms in a gesture of "what the...??" Big arms, her face... she walked into his fist. She got a black eye. Is that abuse? He was not trying to hit her. He was not threatening her. She literally walked right into it.

I have volunteered at women's shelters. I know the cycle of poverty, abuse, child care, lack of resources, etc. that perpetuates abuse. I don't condone it. But I will not convict this man of abuse with the facts as presented. Comparing this to rape and short skirts is a straw man and insinuating I do not model proper behavior for my daughter is offensive.

The sarcasm regarding Love's injuries and "I'll try not to walk in front of you then" is also offensive. She said she was attacked by X-W. That can in no way be compared to this incident based on information.

"I cannot relate to your casual attitude towards poor treatment of women or always blaming women no matter what really happened."

Really? I'm ALWAYS blaming women no matter what really happened???? What really happened? Please tell me. I didn't know you were there.

I stand by my original statement to OP:

"It sounds like you need closure. FB is a good place to get closure because you can always "unfriend" him. I don't know how well you know FB, but you should set your privacy settings on high, not allow him access to your wall or pictures, and not friend him just yet. Send him a message, explain as kindly as you can how you feel. See how he reacts. I think that if he reacts as a man/father or if he reacts as a child/jerk you'll have your answer as to how to proceed.

I wouldn't introduce him to anyone or explain who he is at all until you are very clear what his intentions are. "


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

"the next day she picked me up from school with a cast on her wrist.. I never saw John again."

"we moved out a few weeks after the fight and even though it was a small town I never saw John again."

"last week John contacted me through Facebook, it has been 20 years since he vanished from my life."


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

'You've not seen nor talked to this man in 20 years, you know nothing about him nor the life he leads now. Don't let a bond you had 20 years ago blind you from the fact that this man is a stranger to you now.'

exactly what i am saying. Just because OP's mom lived with some man 20-years-ago it does not make HIM any more than a stranger now. especially if he might be violent.

I still advice proceed with caution. And i like i said in the beginning of this thread, this guy might be just chatting or asking for money or simply having too much free time. Don't do anything careless without having more information.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

"Don't do anything careless without having more information. "

I think we all can agree on that one.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

You seem like a very good person - and you attribute many of your good qualities to John's influence. That's no small thing. I'd give this man a few minutes of your time.

"Is a child bound to their Step parents like they are to their real parents, does this man deserve that respect like a real Father"

I ask myself that question everyday. I have seen "real" parents do some pretty awful things over the past few years and I just don't know anymore if our genetic relationships make any difference at all.


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RE: Reunite with 'Stepdad' or not?

Interesting you should mention that Stepmom. I heard on the radio yesterday:

"you love your husband, and he's not related to you, so you know loving someone deeply and meaningfully is possible without being genetically related to a person"

So simple, but it really hit home with me.


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