There were stretches of time when he wasn’t around; either by his own volition or my mother protecting us from his disappointments. Having such an inconsistent father was my first example of what kind of father not to be.
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You can only hope that the environment remains cordial.
If it doesn’t, the unfortunate pitfall is that you’ve developed a bond with a child that may find out one day his/her father held negative opinions about you. No matter how good your intentions are, it could leave a damaging effect on them as adults knowing that their other parent never accepted you.
For example, if one of the biological parents tends to be a harsher disciplinarian, as a stepparent, you become the family’s glue. One thing I learned in dealing with a single mom is that even when a child isn’t yours, they have a profound effect on who you become as a man.
In my situation, a lot of times, I felt like the dad who’d been there from day one.
The last few women that I’ve met didn’t have children.