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Dad tells ex's husband he doesn't deserve to be a 'bonus daddy' to his son. AITA?

Dad tells ex's husband he doesn't deserve to be a 'bonus daddy' to his son. AITA?


There is a fine line between cherishing your children and being possessive of them.

One man refused to allow he ex wife's new husband to play the role of stepfather to his son. He feels he is right to draw the line, as his son's bi dad but it's possible that he is reacting very emotionally about his ex wife's new relationship.

AITA for telling my sons' stepdad that he crossed boundaries with me?


My ex remarried almost four years ago to 'Ben.' Although he wanted kids, my ex did not want any more. I had to tell Ben that he was not our kids' dad in anyway, shape or form and never will be. Our kids are not going to look at you as my equal or as a 'bonus daddy.' Sounds harsh but I believe in establishing boundaries and he said he understood.

I feel like Ben is very depressed over not having kids and he's trying to have 'daddy' moments with my kids at my expense. I'm not again his bonding with my sons.

For example, I was fine with him taking my 8yo son to a Father-Son Game Night at his school because he asked me which was respectful.

My ex and I share 50/50 custody of our two sons although we both end up seeing them almost everyday. I have them this week. They do have a backpack that they bring to and from mine and their mom's house. I was going through my 10yo son Jimmy's backpack and found deodorant. I thought that was odd and maybe his mom gave it to him.

I asked Jimmy if the deodorant was his and he said yes. I asked who got it for him and he said Ben took him to Target to buy some yesterday. Then he tells me did you know you can put deodorant down there too?

I texted Ben to call me. I asked him if he had bought Jimmy deodorant and he said yes. He reeked after he had picked him up from school and they went to Target. And yes, he told Jimmy that you can put deodorant on other areas of your body like your feet and down there too.

I told Ben that okay I think I understand why you did what you did but that was something that I should had handled as the dad. It's not like taking my 8yo to an event that happens every year or whatever.

I don't want to find out that my kids are having these once in a lifetime dad-son moments with you and not me. That's the burden of being a step-dad.

It's not about trust because I know there were times when they had sensitive issues and I wasn't readily accessible and they weren't comfortable going to Mom so they went to you and I never had an issue with that. Just be more mindful.

He said dude, it's just deodorant. It's like toothpaste. I said look, you crossed a boundary and I am not being a b*tch and complaining to your wife or something. I coming to you directly. He didn't say anything. I did feel a bit bad but then I remind myself that I'm not obligated to share my daddy duties with him.

Here is what readers had to say:


Not saying I agree with you but I can see where you're coming from. Theoretically needing deodorant is the first indication he's beginning puberty. Time for the 'your body is changing' talk and you want to be the one to give it. YTA though for alienating someone that cares for your sons, doesn't sound like he's trying to replace you.


It's deodorant, for thinking that is a 'moment' you're the AH but id be more concerned about someone telling my child they can put deodorant 'down there' that's not what its made for and can probably cause irritation or worse depending on the type of deo..

Also, teach your son proper cleaning and hygiene the smell is old sweat being reheated (for lack of a better term) if he showers regularly and properly he shouldn't stink... he's 8 years old for Pete's sake.


YTA. Like it or not Ben is in those kids lives. You said it himself. He PICKED YOUR KID UP AT SCHOOL. If you are so insecure about Ben being in your kids lives, why aren't you picking them up after school every day?

You don't get all the benefits of having another adult picking up the slack and dictate to them that they can't be helpful with said kids. Sorry buddy, that's not how the world works. He's not trying to take over the role of a parent, hes accepted the role of a stepfather and what he did was not inappropriate. I think you need some therapy.


I’m totally and completely shocked his ex divorced him.


Once in a lifetime father-son moments like your son stinking when he gets in the car? Ah, yes what a classic bonding experience. What was he supposed to do, let the kid go to school smelly the next day too? Or were you going to drop everything and come over that night for this special shopping trip?

Ben's right. It is just deodorant. And further, if he's 'reeking' at this point, I doubt this is the very first day he's ever had BO, so why haven't you as his dad already addressed that? Be glad that your kid has a - yep, a bonus dad, whether you like it or not - who takes good care of your kid when he's with him. YTA.


YTA. You're being too possessive and controlling and it's not healthy. Not for you or your son. Your son deserves a better version of you, not whatever this is. There's going to be things you miss out on when you split custody. It's a fact of life.

You're making a mountain out of a molehill. It's just deodorant. The kid smelled and needed deodorant. His stepfather handled it on his and his wife's parenting day. They make parenting decisions on their parenting time.

If your ex wants him being a proper stepdad, that's her choice. You tried to intimidate him because of your insecurities and they're not having it. Work through that before your own kids start to pull away from you.

Do you think this dad is being irrational or is he right to assert himself as his son's father?

Sources: Reddit
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