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To dislike it when a mother's boyfriend is called 'stepfather'

(69 Posts)
Nancy66 Tue 01-Sep-09 12:38:58

he's not the step father - he's the current boyfriend of the mother.

I think it must be incredibly confusing for the children and it also denegates the role of stepfather.

TheLadyEvenstar Tue 01-Sep-09 12:47:23

Nancy, I will disagree. My DP is my ds1's dad his (ds1) words. we are not married but he is ds1's step father.

A step father, cares for the dc, financially and every other way. DP does this so where is the difference other than a bit of paper?

And if you are meaning but a current boyfriend can leave well so can a husband.

MaggieLeo Tue 01-Sep-09 12:54:39

It depends. People sometimes get married for the stupidest of reasons, not having thought things through at all.

If I got together with somebody now, I'd really exercise a lot of caution before getting married. A man would have to show me he was good with my kids and show that he understood that they came first.

A lot of people rush into second marriages to 'fix' things. Taht doesn't make the new father figure any better or worse than if he were still the boyfriend of a more cautious woman. IYSWIM. being a mother who is single at the moment.

mumof2teenboys Tue 01-Sep-09 12:56:00

Nancy, I have to disagree, my OH has been in my kids lives for the last ten years. My boys were 9 and 7 when we got together.

He has bought them up, paid for them, provided for them, worried about them, helped educate them, played with them, shouted at them grin.

He is their step-dad, to call him my current boyfriend is an insult to him and me.

We aren't married but I can honestly say he is the best step-dad I could of wished for them.

claw3 Tue 01-Sep-09 12:56:50

I have been with my current boyfriend for 10 years and he is step dad to my kids.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 01-Sep-09 12:57:19

Well, I refer to my mum's partner as her lover, because they are old and unmarried, to call him a boyfriend seems ludicrous,and it makes people do a bit of a double take. But despite their unmarried condition, he is undoubtedly a stepfather to me and stepgrandfather to my children (who call him by his name BTW, but view him as a grandad).

LyraSilvertongue Tue 01-Sep-09 12:57:56

What if they've been together 10 years but aren't married?
DP and I aren't married but he's still a father.

AMumInScotland Tue 01-Sep-09 12:59:05

I think the problem is that when people don't marry, there is a blurring between being a boyfriend, and a partner, and a stepfather. So people are unsure how to refer to him. I think if a couple have been living together for several years, I'd assume he was "stepfather", and if they were in a new relationship he wouldn't be. But any time between those it depends on the individuals and the relationships.

Certainly if a lone mother has a number of shortlived relationships, then the men are not "stepfather". But some men who are called "boyfriend" are probably "stepfather" as well.

LyraSilvertongue Tue 01-Sep-09 13:00:10

A man may be a boyfriend rather than a husband, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's a temporary fixture.

itsmeolord Tue 01-Sep-09 13:00:53

DP and I are not married, we have been together since dd was 3 and she calls him dad. He is her stepfather, he has parental responsibility for her.

YABU. And judgemental. I suspect you will probably come back and state that actually you just meant women who have multiple boyfriends every month blah blah. But really you just seem to be on the wind up.

BonsoirAnna Tue 01-Sep-09 13:00:56

A casual boyfriend is not a stepfather.

But when a parent is in a long-term live-in relationship with another person, that person does usually become a stepparent.

My DSSs were the first people to refer to me as their stepmother.

Sallypuss Tue 01-Sep-09 13:01:56

Couldn't agree more. Some of the papers used this to describe Baby P's mother's boyfriend. Just sheer ignorance. Made my blood boil.

Nancy66 Tue 01-Sep-09 13:03:01

I was really referring to shorter term or more casual relationships.

To be honest the post was influenced by the awful story of the poor little girl that was murdered over the bank holiday weekend - by her 'stepdad' - he wasn't the step dad, he was the mother's boyfriend of one year.

I'm not talking about long term, committed relationships.

claw3 Tue 01-Sep-09 13:03:02

Nancy - did you mean casual boyfriend as oppose to current?

If so i have never heard anyone refer to a casual boyfriend as a stepfather.

BitOfFun Tue 01-Sep-09 13:03:02

It's the difference between a partner and a boyfriend, isn't it?

SolidGoldBrass Tue 01-Sep-09 13:04:07

I think it's up to individuals and couples to choose how they define themselves and their relationships. You might not like what some people call themselves, but what makes you think it's actually any of your business?

claw3 Tue 01-Sep-09 13:04:12

Apologies cross post

FioFioFio Tue 01-Sep-09 13:04:40

I call my Mums partner my Stepfather even though he did not bring me up. i suppose it depends on how they behave with you

MissAnnesley Tue 01-Sep-09 13:05:42

Oh I can't wait to describe my partner to someone as "my current boyfriend"!

Glee! He will either do this hmm or this grin.

Nancy66 Tue 01-Sep-09 13:06:14

Claw - latest, casual or relatively short term boyfriend.

Sallypuss is right Baby P's 'stepfather' was often referred to by the media, same with Craig Meehan and Shannon Matthews.

"step dad" seems to have replaced "uncle" as boyfriends used to be known.

Tiredmumno1 Tue 01-Sep-09 13:06:20

well i am 29 and my mum has been with my stepdad about 15 years. and i prefer to refer to him as dad as my real dad is an arsehole. anyone can create life it takes a man to be dad, and for that i thank him for being in my life.

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Tue 01-Sep-09 13:06:46

I have to disagree too.
Before DH and I were married he was most definately my dc's step father in the same way LadyE describes.
On the same token my ex lives with his P and I refer to her dd as ex's step daughter and have referred to his partner as my dc's stepmother.
They live together in a commited relationship as if married and she is in loco parentas in the mother role when the dc's are there and does look after them and care for them in that role.

alwayslookingforanswers Tue 01-Sep-09 13:10:26

so what would you call the finance of a single mother - who has been with her for less than a year? Is he not officially a step father until they tie the knot?

claw3 Tue 01-Sep-09 13:10:55

Nancy - I think the emphasis has to be on the role the man plays in a child's life, rather than the length of time. Admittedly to establish a father relationship with a child would take longer than a few weeks, but would what baby p's stepdad did be any more acceptable if he and the mother had been dating/living together for a longer period or if he was referred to as her boyfriend. (i know the answer, just making a point)

TheLadyEvenstar Tue 01-Sep-09 13:12:41

The term uncle was generally used by women who had frequent male visitors. And lets face it that was a bit of an odd thing...considering your uncle is either parents brother!!!!

Step-Father is generally a term given to someone who lives with the mother in a family situation. I can see where you are coming from with but they had only been together a year so he wasn't her step father, However if he cared for her in the way a father did then yes that is what he is/was.

Marriage is not what makes a step parent one, it is their ability to care for the child and lets face it, you don't need a bit of paper and some wedding vows for that!

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