These are his kids; he created them, raised them and sees himself in their eyes.
Next in line to that kind of love is as good as first place to any other. While your input should always be asked for and considered, it’s not always feasible to make multiple stops.
Anymore and you are reported to the mother which then turns into a brouhaha best avoided (never knew such a ruckus could be created from asking a child to put their glass on a coaster when staying at my house simple rule that is standard in a house filled with antiques! Although having sole custody means you never get a break from the children, it is more like a normal home and the rules of the house do not change from one week to the next.
Consistency is maintained and although a child, especially a teenager, may buck at some of the rules, he at least knows what those rules are and what the sentence will be if they are broken.
This is the place he reserves for family or as-good-as family.
The amount of influence you have over the children as a stepparent is limited and you always feel like you are walking on eggshells when it comes to discipline.
Even if they are under your roof and there are rules they should abide by, unless the father sticks up for you, there is really nothing you can do besides ask them nicely to behave.
A healthy situation, where everyone is respected and boundaries are in place is the best you can hope for, and it’s then up to you to decide if you can handle it or not. You are the only person who needs to feel comfortable with your decisions and if you do, you won’t give some ignorant onlooker the satisfaction.
An ex fades into the background of your past while an ex with whom you share a child will always be in your life. That racist old lady shooting daggers on the subway in “Save The Last Dance” is probably the only aspect of that movie that reflected real life. It’s not just about him; he’s got other (little) people to consider.Much like I don’t screen people for specific ethnicities when considering a relationship, I also don’t ask for a date of birth.