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YTA. You've been a father figure to him for half his life, poor boy will probably be shattered when he realises you don't actually see him as yours.


1,000 times this. The kid looks up to OP as a father... he's going to be so hurt when he realizes OP doesn't feel the same way.


Yep, I wonder if he gets treated differently to his siblings (excluding the tattoo) as OP didn't talk about their relationship at all


He absolutely does. It's not something people can help and when they try it's often done by overcorrecting.


It absolutely is people raise kids who aren’t theirs all the time.


I think the above poster was saying that people that think the way OP does don't have the capacity to recognize their bias and adjust accordingly


I don't have to wonder... the post told me. Poor kid


Same sadly :( as a step parent myself, this speaks volumes for his relationship with the kid and how he views him subconsciously. Not to sound like one of "those" redditors, I don't say this lightly, but if I was OP's wife I'd be doing some hard thinking about how I was gonna fix this, and if I couldn't it'd be divorce. I've been the one to question my place in my family and it HURTS and has lasting repercussions on a person's mental health.


I was the biological "unwanted/different one" and I have lasting inequity issues. :< you're a good mom.


My step kids were 10 and 13 when I started dating my now husband. They're now 19 and 22 and absolutely my babies still. I carry their grad pictures in my wallet and even if I divorced my husband, they'd still be my kids in my eyes, even as adults. How can he not see his step son as his own after 4 years of marriage and however many years of dating? It does hurt to not be considered a parent after all the love you put in, so imagine what it's like for the child.


Probably because OP has minimal relationship with the kid. This whole post reeks of one of those guys who refuse to "raise another man's child" because doing so is seen as submissive in the manosphere or whatever. Absolutely abhorrent.


Even in OP's post, the stepson was almost written as an afterthought.


He has too with that mindset.


My husband is in his 40s and has only recently opened up about how it hurt that his stepdad treated him differently than his half-brothers. This can cause a lifetime of pain.


This is called parental differential treatment and there are studies about how harmful it is. OP, please look these up and understand YTA. When you married your wife, you became that boy's dad. What you are doing now is going to actively harm him.


Kinda related story but not quite..my sister married a man who had a daughter from a previous relationship. She's my NIECE I refuse to call her step or half anything or any iteration of her being less than my niece and nephew from her dad and my sister. If you chose to have a family with his mom you also chose him as part of your family. He's not a piece of furniture she moved into your house. He's a small human being who will wake up one day and realize that even in your eyes he's "other" and that's heartbreaking. Hopefully OP reconsiders. I can imagine the things she's called you because I have second hand irritation. I only met my nieces mother once and afterward my niece said something about my boys but it was like they're my..and she got all flustered because her mother is big on "proper titles" and I said cousins and she said yes thank you..I'd fight just as hard for her as I would my own kids..family is family whether blood related or not. People really need to get over themselves.


>If you choose to have a family with his mom you also chose him as part of your family Yes!! When my grandpa married my grandma, she already had three kids from a previous marriage, and they had one more together. As far as my grandpa was concerned, he had four kids. And his kids' kids were all his grandkids, no step-anything. I didn't even know I wasn't biologically related to him until after he died because he never differentiated, because when he married my grandma (and even before that) he became part of the family, because he CHOSE my grandma's family along with her. OP doesn't seem to understand that a parent and their kids (especially one as young as his stepson!!) are a package deal. That poor kid :( YTA


Great story! My family has never been concerned with label of “step” either. Bio Nieces, nephews or grandkids are never treated any differently than bonus kids, because it’s not the kids’ fault or decision to be dragged along with their parent into other families and they shouldn’t feel punished for it. This man is the only father this boy has ever known, or probably will ever have. Not adding his name tells the wife he’s a son by marriage only, and tells the child “you will never be loved the same as the other kids”. That’s how I look at.


Did OP say the kid thinks of him as a father ??? Is the bio dad not in the picture ? Did the son say he considers OP his dad??.


OP can't really tell us what the kid says but considering bio dad is not in the picture, >her son's dad isn't involved at all It can be safely assumed that since all the kids live with them that the son sees OP as a father figure at the very least. I'm not saying he needs to see his stepson as really his, but the kid... is nearly all the way there.


The kid is 8. They've been married for 4 years and dated for how long before marriage, so yeah OP is the father this kid knows. Poor kid.


>her son's dad isn't involved at all.


It's safe to assume the kid sees him as his dad - his bio father isn't in his life at all, and OP has been around since he was AT LEAST 4 years old. OP is the only dad his step son has ever known.


He said the bio dad isn't around


If OP hasn’t adopted the kid he has no rights if they divorce. Tatooing a step kid’s name is not the same as tatooing a bio kid’s name.


To the kid it is..


the kid doesnt have to live with a permanent body modification


he just gets to spend the bulk of his formative years questioning if hes rly wanted or if hes a second class member in his own home, but no OP is the victim


is the wife paying for the session? or making the appointment? or doing the after care? or what about paying for the removal when OP still feels that he never wanted that piece on his body? idk if its just a bunch of non tattooed baby machines on this thread but the idea that a spouse can force the other into getting a tattoo they're not comfortable having is so fucked up tbh


what happens if his daughter hates her name and gets it changed, what happens if she transitions F-M, what happens if, if, if , if the man is so uncomfortable with his body being modified maybe he shouldnt have chosen such modification as a highly visible symbol of his love and affection, or better yet if he was so uncomfortable having to consider his stepchild a part of his family maybe he shouldnt of married a woman with a child that he would be expected to raise


so since he got tattoos for kids he had YEARS before he met her or even planned on ending up with someone that happened to have a kid he has no say what goes on his body ever again? its already overbearing to make a partner change a tradition in any way but when its a tattoo its even worse if she was posting saying he was making her feel bad for not getting his name tattooed on her ass cheek everyone would be telling her to divorce immediately


look if this guy was on here saying he didn't want to get anymore childrens names tattood on his ass, cuz thier tacky and his bum is sensitive, then id be 100% with him, the issue is that he is actively furthering a concept which is "my 3 children names will be tattooed on my ass" , when the **functional** **reality of the situation is that he has "4" children not 3**


Except it's not just "kids he had YEARS before he met her", since he tattooed the name of the one year old he and his wife have together. It's not an issue of him having had kids predating this marriage and only having their names tattooed on him, it's that literally every sibling in his step-son's family -- whether step-siblings or half-siblings -- are included as legitimate and by merit of not being biologically related, he's seen as an outsider. You can argue all you want as to whether it's reasonable for OP to see the situation that way (it isn't, since your step-child is labeled as such because they're YOUR CHILD), but regardless of your opinion on that aspect, it's a simple fact that the step-son is being singled out and will absolutely carry the pain of that throughout his life. His two older siblings *and* his younger sibling being treated as permanent fixtures and him treated as temporary? How could that not be hurtful to a child?


Damn, it’s almost like you can form and have a loving relationship with a step kid without marking your body. Who woulda thought?


maybe he shouldn't be choosing to show said love and affection in the form of highly visible body modifications,


I don’t know my dude. I asked my wife who’s the product of parents with multiple divorces. She doesn’t understand the YTA stuff. Her parents divorced before she was old enough to walk. All those step (some of whom were around from age 3) all ghosted post divorce. Either because she reminded them of the parent or the parent forbade it. Her dad has a tattoo with her and her brother’s name. Never got any step kids (and there were many). So she’s seen both sides. She’s asked her dad about it before and he said “you see any of them here now? They wanted nothing to do with me after.


As long as OP understands that the step kid is a biological sibling to his daughter. When she gets old enough to understand she may feel like it was an AH move. I would.


My husband raised step kids that called him Dad, they ended up getting divorced and the mom turned them against my husband. Now, he has two tattoos of people he will never talk to again.


His biological children could grow up to never talk to him again. That’s not a good argument.


But he's raising him as his kid. They live together and he's the only father the kid has right now and has been for half the kids life. Shouldn't matter even of they did get divorced. It's a huge part of your life & what ever happens between you & your partner should not effect the love you have for your kids. Even if he doesn't get to see him, he should still love the kid and feel that he was one of his kids and a part of his life. It's a major arsehole thing to treat one of your kids differently because your sperm was not involved. You have raised him since before he can remember. That should be all that matters


Not when divorce rates are this high. My husband has 2 step kids he raised from 3 to 18 tattooed on him. They had no dad. When his wife picked up a meth addiction (addiction is also rampant) , my husband had to break up with her because he was getting domestically abused. After he left this woman turned the kids against him. He now has names of people he will never talk to again on his arm. They havent spoken in 8 years now. She filed a fake restraining order against him so many times he actually has a notarized document from her saying she falsified statements.


What if they get divorced? He has no rights to the child, so why should he mark his body permanently.


You divorce your spouse. You don’t divorce kids. They aren’t just dating. They are married and have a child together. They raise 3 other kids together. If he’s worried about divorce right now and thinks he’ll just dip out of step sons life when that happens, he’s got bigger issues. If he plans to stay with this woman for years and raise this kid and be a father figure, then the kid’s name should be added. OP actually has a really nice opportunity to bond with the step son over this. I would ask him if he wants me to get his name tattooed with my other children. I’d explain that he’s my kid too and I love him and I’ll always be there for him. And I’d MEAN it. Getting his name added would be a celebration of your new blended family


Maybe you don't divorce kids, but many people do. It's a reality that marriages end and step parents do not have the right to stay in the kids life after if the bio parent doesn't want them too.


Agreed. I have a friend in that boat. But he kept sending presents and birthday cards - with no idea of the kid got them. When the kid was old enough to drive and have some independence, he reconnected with my friend because he was *also* his dad. His love for the kid didn’t stop just because he and his partner had a bad breakup. That was still the son he helped raise for 7 years.


When my stepmom divorced my idiot father I kept her 😄


I was so glad when my mom divorced my step-father (they were married when I was 5, they divorced when I was around 22) so that I never had to see him again.


The only issue I have with this is following ... Let's imagine the son wasn't 8 years old but 18 years old now so he knew his stepdad since he was 14. In that case children usually don't want their parents to be replaced by their parents new partner. But since he was only 4 when the two of them came together that would mean he has been more of a father to him than his actual father so far and he knows him for pretty much as long as he can think ... I can only imagine that little boy will be deeply hurt and won't feel as a part of the family when his father figure doesn't see him as one of his childs ...


Not necessarily. My stepfather tattooed my name (he’s been around since I was younger than OP’s stepson) and I really would rather he hadn’t.


Because he is his father regardless of his relationship with his mom? He got divorced from the other kids mom and didnt get rid of those tattoos? Then goes and gets one of the boys little half sister? Thats just horrible.


Those are his biological children, if they get divorced he can have visitation and parental rights. He is not entitled to any of this with the stepson, he could be 12 years old when they divorce and if his mother wants no contact then he legally has no recourse.


There are a lot of people wearing tattoos of children they do not have access to. Not a reason to not love a lil boy who thinks you're their dad. In the wrong situation if so


My husband and I have matching tattoos representing all 3 kids even though 2 of them are biologically his. They see him and call him dad that's all that matters and its all that will ever matter.


I have my two kids and my stepson's birth flowers tattooed on my arm. I've helped raise him since he was 6, especially since his mom was in and out of his life. He's almost 24 now and we are still very close. He loves that I have his birth flower on me.


NAL You know that’s not entirely true. There are tons of 3rd party custody cases that go through the courts it depends on location and the laws and rules of the location. I worked a similar case in the last few years where the guy was bio to one child and had been the step to the other child for multiple years when him and the mom split. He got joint visitation for both, despite not being the bio father to the step child, that child was his as far as he was concerned. Courts are generally interested in what is in the “best interest of the child” along with the substantial familial ties that children can develop with step parents, guardians and other family, even if their nuclear family is around too. That’s not to say that if you were a mother then the guy you dated for 2 months would have rights to your child. But in cases where an individual can demonstrate that there are already significant ties in existence and there is continued benefit to the familial type relationship, they could possibly have a leg to stand on for custody and or visitation .


Unless he legally adopted him he is just a step parent. And I have known more than one person who has had multiple stepparents.


But those are his biological children? I agree that what he did was an AH move, but this logic is kinda flawed.


that's the father vision. Imagine beeing 4 years old and meet a man who become your dad when you don't have one and living with him 4 years. Wouldn't you seeing him as your true father. The father knew him ONLY for 4 years. The boy know him from half his life, and he maybe don't remember not having him in his life.


If op was an active father figure, then yes a complete AH move. But we actually don't know anything about their relationship. Maybe they have clear parenting boundaries where op isn't expected to parent the son and doesn't really see himself as a father figure to the kid. The same way the kid might just see him as his mothers husband and nothing more. Again all of these things are assumptions, and op hasn't given enough INFO to make a proper judgment


All the kids, including the 8yo stepson who has been with this man as a father figure since he was four, *and may not even remember another father*, live with them full time. It's summer. You think the 8yo isn't going to notice he's *the only one* excluded from the tattoos? You think he's not going to feel rejected and unvalued? Shitty way to treat a defenseless kid. OP, YTA




I know a number of people who have been the child in this situation. Their father is the man that raised them. Even if that man isn’t their biological father and goes on to divorce their mum.


The guy I call my dad is my mom second husband. He raised me from 4 forward. When they got a divorce when I was 16 I asked him if he would still be my dad and he said always. It’s been 15 years and our relationship never changed. He introduces me as his kid and I introduce him as my dad. So seeing from the kids perspective OP YTA.


The guy I call my dad is my mom second husband. He raised me from 4 forward. When they got a divorce when I was 16 I asked him if he would still be my dad and he said always. It’s been 15 years and our relationship never changed. He introduces me as his kid and I introduce him as my dad. So seeing from the kids perspective OP YTA.


Warm fuzzies when I read the word 'always'.


What if they don't get divorced? What if OP is the only father figure this kid has ever had? He'll always have a reminder he wasn't quite the same as the rest of his siblings. What if they do get divorced? The kid is 8 now, assuming they can hold it together a few more years, he'll be able to have contact with OP when he's 18 whether ~~is~~ his mom likes it or not. Or if OP feels that strongly about it and wants the tattoo gone, he can always have it covered up or lasered off.


In many places a step-parent who has been acting "in loco parentis" can get, at the very least, some visitation if there is a divorce. With the bio-father out of the picture it wouldn't be hard, depending on where they live.


My parents (mom and step dad) have been divorced for three years. Yet, step dad is still my dad. He’s been in my life since I was one year old (I’m 21 now) and he will always be the man I call dad and I will always be his oldest kid.




As a step-daughter myself. That would hurt me beyond measure. You are making it very clear he is less important compared to his siblings. YTA


I think judgment is 100% dependant on how the child sees OP. While there's a chance he sees OP as a father, even without bio dad involved there's also a change he's just "mom's husband" and OP tattooing his name would be overstepping


Agreed. The stepson might hate this idea and consider that OP is attempting to muscle out his bio-dad. Depends on what the stepson thinks. INFO.


Absolutely. YTA OP. I'm my father's only biological child. Therefore my name is first on his tattoo that has his children's names. Mine, and my two stepsiblings. The fact he knew me from day one and didn't know the kids til 6+10 doesn't make a difference we are all his children.


The day that my mom's husband was yelling at me and telling me that he wasn't my father, was the last day that I saw him as my step-dad. He had been a father figure for me from the time I was 12yo, and I was 25 at the time, going through a rough time, and that statement made it so much worse.


INFO - Are you not the 8yo's parent too? Like you're his step-dad, he lives in the family home, that is a permanent role in his life and your life. If your wife passed away what happens to him? How does the child regard you?


>If your wife passed away what happens to him? Or divorces him. In both cases, there's a good chance OP doesn't get to keep the kid, because stepparents aren't a "permanent role".




That's a pretty big if...


I would be reconsidering my marriage if I were OP’s wife


"Tattoo my kid's name on your body or else!"


Yeah, you are kind of missing the point. It’s not an ultimatum, but if my kid is receiving different treatment than the others, it’s a problem and I am reconsidering why I am with someone who will treat them as such. My kids will always come before a man.


I've known too many people in this situation. They are very attached to the kid/s and regards then as their children. But then they get divorced and don't ever get to see them again because they have no rights to them. He isn't the legal parent - in that regard it is different


And if hes worried about the legality, there are ways to make that connection secured.


How does this work? Do you see your partner's kids as your own? Do you prioritize them over your partner?


Especially since OP is saying he doesn't see it as permanent


Not if step son's dad steps up and takes custody. My cousin went through something similar, married a man with a child, they had their own together. When her husband died her step son went back to his mom, who wanted nothing to do with him during my cousin's marriage, and it crushed my cousin since she raised him for 5+ years. They'll try to place stepson with bio dad first, and he'll likely stay with bio dad. Its only different if the other parent relinquished their parental rights and the step parent ***LEGALLY*** adopts the child. Not "I'm married to your mom, so you're my kid now too," actual court and judge legal adoption. Source: I'm a child of divorce with a chronically ill mom (main guardian). We had MANY talks about how if worst comes to worst stepdad would NOT be taking us because he legally can't, and dad will, but stepdad loves us and will help take care of us if dad needs him to.


So... It's conditional. Bio kids are not conditional.


Or adopted kids. Kids you have a legal right to


With no bio father ever in the picture, yes, he's likely to retain custody of the "stepson" who knows no other father, if wife dies. Best interests of the child, and especially since the baby sister is both blood and legal kin to them both. Unless, of course, step-dad decides to sign him over to the state, depriving him of the only family he knows, including his half sister, after the death of his mother, at an age when he's unlikely to ever get adopted. Instead, he'd be bounced from home to home.


Legally the bio-dad typically has the right to the kid if the wife dies. If the bio-dad doesn't want to pursue custody then the caretaker of a sibling has the right. This does vary by country/state


Yeah and then they go through a list of bio relatives special since they haven't gone through the motions of him adopting the kid. If the bio father is out of the picture it's very possible to get his rights transferred to OP if he wants that. My grandfather adopted my aunt when she was 6yrd old. Her father lost the battle to keep his rights because he wouldn't pay child support and didn't want anything to do with her.


His stepchild will always be his youngest daughter’s biological brother though. There will always be a connection. And because of that, since there isn’t a bio dad in the picture, there actually is a reasonably good assumption that the stepson would stay with OP with his bio and step siblings if his mom died.


Steps generally aren’t kids. Life isn’t the Brady Bunch with few exceptions. And if the parents break up, the kid is no longer the step parents. Tattoos are permanent.




Me. I do. I met my ex-step mom when I was three. She and my father divorced when I was sixteen. I’m thirty-five and she’s still my third parent. She came to my wedding. She’ll be my child’s grandmother. We just texted yesterday. We have plans to meet in August. She is 100% my family, not being blood related be damned.


My sister does. She's technically my stepsister, but I've never seen her or treated her that way and neither has my family. She doesn't even remember her dad, but she knows my dad and she knows his family and loves them like they're blood. My dad's mom, despite not having a single drop of related blood in their bodies, will *always* be my sister's grandma, my paternal cousins are her's, so are my paternal aunts and uncles. My paternal grandmother fought for *years* with her dad to get to have her visit in the summertime like I do. My mom and dad had been divorced for 7 years by the time she was born. Blood has nothing to do with it.


Blood doesn't make a family. Love makes a family.


I do. My ex-step mom came into the picture when I was 8, left when I was like 10. Short years, but through the shit my dad put her, my mom, and me through, she became family. 14 years later I still talk to her. My mom still talks to her too!


I met my stepdad when I was 7/8. I've known him over 20 years. He's my dad. If I get married, he's gonna dance with me, as will my mom. For father's day I took him to see Maverick this year. He's the one who bought me my first weed pen. If I was in danger he would drop everything and drive to help me (so would my mom but she's not a step). He introduces me to complete strangers as his child, and brags about my achievements to anyone who will listen. He can even name off my favorite pokemon if needed, since he and my mom always get me Gengar themed presents when they can. If something happened to my mom or they divorced, he'd still be my dad. He'd still rush to help me in an emergency. He'd still let me use his membership cards at stores. He'd still be sad if I didn't invite him to my wedding, or if I didn't do something with him on Father's day. He's my dad.


I met my ex-stepfather when I was 13, they got married, had two kids, then he started mentally abusing her and they divorced 2 years ago. While the were ok he never once called me ‘daughter’ when talking to people about me, or even with me present. I was always ‘his wife’s daughter’. Sorry, but there’s a large possibility that stepchildren are only temporary, and he’ll never see them again. You can love them like your own family, maybe even more but the sad truth is that most of the time they aren’t a permanent part of the family.


I've been with my husband 4 years and if something happened to us I would absolutely figure out a way to maintain a relationship with my stepdaughter. I don't play a motherly role but I'm a trusted adult and I care about hey and consider her to be family. However, if my dad divorced my step mom I would be perfectly happy never seeing her again. Each relationship is different and there's no universal rule


My ex step mom was my stepmom for 19 years. Her family is my family and we all still talk. I’ll be honest I moved away and have seen them all once in the past 7 years, but I’m so glad I did. I’ve kept in touch with her mom as her dad isn’t doing well but I’m also expecting so they like updates. As for my stepbrother, her son, we’re fb friends but we haven’t talked in years and even growing up whenever I would be at my dads house, he’d stay up in his bedroom all weekend for the most part. He taught me rugby though. I do have a step father also with a step brother and a half brother from him. My step brother and I finally had actually connection last summer and had a good life talk and I love keeping him in the loop now. My half brother has always been distanced from me and we chat on big things (birthdays, holidays, baby announcement) but I don’t hear from him too often and it makes me sad. I wish we had a better relationship, but we’ll see, we’re still young


OP can answer for himself about his family situation.


I think he has answered about his family situation.


To add to this point, my ex husband is walking around with a massive back tattoo that includes my and my daughters names (he is not her father). My daughter hates him and hates that her name is on his back. We were married for more than a decade. He was a cheating asshole. I would say to NEVER tattoo non blood (or legally adopted) relatives into your body.


Correct me if I’m wrong but unless OP actually adopts his stepson then wouldn’t the stepson go to someone on the mother’s side should something happen to her?


I suspect yes, but I hope not. Like if this is the home and siblings this child has known since they were 4, I would hope that OP would regard the child as one of his own family. Obviously that's not a given, but it's party of were I draw the line on TA or not.


But he wouldn't still be his father figure if he and his partner would ever split up for whatever reason. I loved my stepfather very much, but when he kicked my mom out from one day to the next, that stopped right away and we never had any contact again. He was family and then he wasn't.


I N F O It depends: * If you've legally adopted him then Y T A * If you've acted as a father figure, you parent him, refer to him as your son, and he calls you dad then Y T A * If you're firmly a step parent, he calls you by your name, and there are boundaries where only wife mostly parents him, then he's part of the family, but not one of "your" kids and thus N T A Edit: NTA based on OP’s answer below. But I think both should consider a long term view for all kids including adoption.


I haven't legally adopted him. He calls me by my name, same as my older kids call my wife by her name. His father calls on his birthday, that's the legth of his involvement, and he calls him dad, not me. We both discipline/parent all kids on the small things, but foe the bigger issues I am a stepparent, not a parent.


Makes sense then. If the relationship isn’t that deep, it isn’t that deep. Meaning, adopted deep. The boy still has a bio father, don’t forget.


Just because a kid doesn’t call the step parent mum/dad doesn’t mean squat about their relationship. My step dad IS my dad, I love him and he treats me and my bros all the same despite not all being his. He’s been in my life since I was 2. That being said, my shit of a real dad was also still in my life until I was 10ish and I just got used to calling him dad and my step dad his name. This is a ridiculous way to analyse a relationship.


That’s YOUR relationship. That isn’t OP’s, clearly. We know very little about the family dynamics. To think otherwise, is assuming, which you are doing.


>Just because a kid doesn’t call the step parent mum/dad doesn’t mean squat about their relationship. But you don't get to make that distinction for them. If stepson isn't calling OP "dad" or actively viewing him as a father figure instead of a parental figure related to him mom, then that's the relationship he has chosen and is comfortable with. It's *entirely* on the stepson as to whether he views OP as a dad or not. Sure, just bc he doesn't call him dad doesn't automatically mean he doesn't see OP as a father, but frankly, only the ones directly involved in the relationship are going to know if it leans more toward father-son than stepfather-son. If OP is confident that their relationship is the latter, then we have to take his word for it bc we have no other information.


> If stepson isn't calling OP "dad" or actively viewing him as a father figure instead of a parental figure related to him mom, then that's the relationship he has chosen and is comfortable with. No he’s 8 & under 4 when OP entered the picture if he does not see him as ‘dad’ it is because OP does not treat him like a son > If OP is confident that their relationship is the latter, then we have to take his word for it bc we have no other information. If OP is so confident then it is because he made it that way not because the 4yo made a choice about it


I call my stepmom by her name. She has other biological children. She still thinks of me as a daughter. Shit like that still matters. This kid will still have a connection through his little sister. And he’ll see OP as thinking he’s unimportant in relation to the other kids.


You should put that in your post, so people stop making assumptions. With all that info, you are definitely NTA here. It definitely makes sense as to why you refuse to tattoo his name in you, and your wife is TA for trying to force you to do it


In that case NTA, though you probably should start thinking of how to explain it to him without him feeling too bad/rejected at a future point.


NTA based on this alone. My SO considers his step father as a parent figure, but calls him by his first name. Bio dad had legal rights and didn’t want to give them up. While stepdad considers SO essentially his son, they still have that distinction of “almost but not quite”. That said if your relationship continues to evolve and deepen as he gets older, YWBTA if you don’t consider it in the future. Consider having this conversation with your wife vs just outright saying “no”. Tell her that for all intents and purposes your are the kid’s stepdad and not his father, that it would be different if you were closer to a father vs a stepfather, and you *could* consider it in the future based on your relationship with him as things evolve. If you’re close to the kid, maybe consider a tattoo of an object that doesn’t directly point to stepson but can imply a deeper meaning between you two. That way it’s not a direct name, but still honoring his place in your life.


Then NTA after answering all those. If he only sees you as the step parent and he makes a clear distinction about it, you are not entitled to put his name on your body if you ask me. Your body, your choice.


After clarification I would say you’re NTA. You can always add his name later on in life, it’s not the end of the world. She’s making a bigger deal than what it is.


I have the same questions. How their relationship is would be a big factor on what my verdict would be. Ultimately I think it's going to really suck for the boy to realize, but I also believe in body autonomy. How they as a family unit deal with everything, what sort of boundaries exist, etc would all be big influences on the verdict.


Speaking as a former stepkid who hasn't seen my stepdad since the divorce, I can totally picture a situation where OP is N T A. If he's strictly a stepparent there's no guarantee his relationship with this kid is permanent.


>If you're firmly a step parent, he calls you by your name, and there are boundaries where only wife mostly parents him, then he's part of the family, but not one of "your" kids and thus N T A He's still be an asshole in this situation. Not (just) for the tattoo, but for doing this at all. Yes, that may work for some families where that is what everyone is most comfortable with. But this is what OP is comfortable wit/wants, even though his wife is clearly not on board with it/didn't know he felt that way and it's not good for her child. He has been married to her since this 8 year old was four. People are saying "half his life" but it's more then that since he likely dosen't remember anything from the first 2 years and very little from age 3 and 4. In the vast majority of this kid's memory he's lived in the household of his mom and the only father figure he has, the asshole named OP. You expect this little boy to live in a home where his mom acts like a mom to all four kids and there is also a dad in the family, but he's the dad of every kid, including this poor little kid's new sister, except for him. Where they make a point every day of making it clear he is the only kid without a dad and the only kid OP dosen't think of as their kid. Where the father figure of the family makes this so clear her basically writes "you are an outsider in this family" on his skin. Beacuse that's what he's doing. There is no way this okay. It's okay for OP not to want to be this little boy's dad. But if that's true he done Fed up marrying this fatherless kid's mom and raising a bunch of other kids in his house without checking with the mom that excluding her son pointedly was cool first. (And even if the mom agreed, it still would have been cruel.) This isn't a case of a foster parent respecting a child's boundaries. his is a case of a guy who just dosen't love one kid in the family like the others and hasn't even got enough empathy not to make a point of it to the kid every single day for the rest of the kid's life. He's a giant asshole, and this is a situation he made. He could have just not married OP's mom and had her raise his kids. He could have not had more kids with her. He wanted what he wanted and he clearly does not care if he hurts his wife's kid.


Exactly, I was looking for this response. The kid was 4 when they met and doesn't have a bio father in his life. "Stepdad" is absolutely his Dad.


Not 4 when they met, 4 when they married!


More than that. They’ve been married for four years so unless they got married instantly, he’s been there for the majority of this kid’s life.


If the mom thought he was getting her son's name tattooed, its reasonable to think they do have a dad-son relationship or at least its the impression he has given her.


Or it’s not what they have at all but what she would like


This. But wife can't wish someone else's relationship into existence. That's for OP and stepson to figure out between themselves.


YTA look, no one else gets to dictate what you put on your body, but you made it incredibly clear to your stepson where he stands on this family- on the outside. And right now he's eight, and he's not going to notice, but when he gets older he will and you are going to have to tell him why. You have also sent a clear message to your wife where her child stands in this family. Don't start getting butt hurt when she makes sure to prioritize your stepson over you older children, you made it clear the dynamics you expected.


So what happens when/if they divorce? Dude is just going to have his ex's kid tattooed on him lmao. He's NTA, people are asking for too much from him. Like of course he's going to favor his biological kids more than his step children. Maybe later down the road if he stays in the relationship and raises the kid then it would make sense but right now? No.


exactly. if he’s adopted the kid, then tattoo the name as that’s permanent. stepfatherhood is not permanent.


I completely agree. I’m surprised that people are saying he’s the asshole so much. I mean, I get where the mom might be coming from, but if they do split up then that name is on him permanently. Maybe the situation could have been done a bit better (like saying he’s considering it, but he’s also considering the IFS), but really it’s HIS body.


The kid was YOUNG when this man came into his life. He is this child’s father in all the ways that matter. Your father is the man that raised you, and even if they get a divorce in say 10 or 15 years, this will be the man that raised him. No his ‘ex’s kid’ but HIS son.


Nothing you said disputes my point. If they get divorced in 10-15 years then that's more than enough time because he literally raised the kid to adulthood. But I'll say this again. Right now. At this point in time. It would be silly to get a tattoo of a stepchild that you are still in the middle of raising.


Down the the road and raises the kid?! He has been married to her for 4 years, that means they dated for a while, let’s say a year. That means that he has been a father figure for 5 years and a step father for 4, he has been raising him for half of the kid’s life and he does not consider him his child. Regardless of him getting the tattoo or not which is entirely his choice, the fact that he said he only had the name of his children tattooed speaks volumes of how he seems him. YTA


He will never view the stepson as one on his children. Just like with the tattoo, he has “no intention to.”


I’m surprise no one is considering the fact that the step child has two parents already. OP is not one of them. OP has no legal rights to the child, cannot dictate how he is parented, has no saying that at all.


NAH on the tattoo part. You have every right to decide what names to or not to have permanently tattooed on your body. However, your wife can be upset with you over it. you said that SS (step sons) dad isn’t involved in his life. This means to SS, you are likely his dad and will be the only dad he’ll ever know. This might not hurt him now, but it will likely hurt him later. When you decided to merge families, you should’ve thought about how this effects your parenting. You’re now a dad to __four__ children. Just because one doesn’t share dna with you doesn’t mean you are any less of a dad to him.


It's logical what you are saying. + INFO: What I'm curious about is how the wife's relationship is with the OP's older children? How deeply merged the family really is?


But if they ever divorce, he doesn’t have any parental rights and may never see him again. I think they need to discuss if it’s time for OP to adopt the step son. I think that’s where the hurt feelings are coming from — the fact that OP, legally, is NOT his father despite being his only father figure. Agree on NAH, except the deadbeat dad who isn’t in the picture.




Generally tattooing names on you is tacky as hell, I've yet to see an example that was made well and looks good too.


My dad has me and my sister's names tattooed on his arm. It's our own writing from when we were learning how to spell our names as little kids, with a heart around it. It's also got a little stick man hugging the heart. Makes me tear up a little every time I think of it, it's just the sweetest thing ever from such a sweet man


I have my two sons’ initials on my arm with the triangle and circle sober logo. I wanted a reminder when I get out of the shower every morning of why I stay sober. P.S. I’m an alcoholic.


Exactly!! This isn't a "I took all of my kids to Disneyland but I didn't invite my SS" type of story. I'm baffled at how many people think op's ta!


This. I have my sons initials tattooed on my arm. Not my wife’s name for the reason there is a chance that we won’t always be together (same logic applies with stepson). My sons will always be my sons. NTA.


Ohh, rough one. Your wife is correct that leaving your stepson’s name off creates a division between your children that all of your kids can see every time your arms show. This is only going to lead to drama and hurt feelings. But it’s your body and you don’t have to add your stepson to the family tattoo. So, NTA because it’s your body but seriously, I would re-think this. This boy has only you for a father and by not including him in the family tattoo, you’re telling him that he’s not part of your family.


I agree NTA, for now. Maybe when the boy is older, if you grow closer, you can reevaluate. Maybe OP just isn’t there yet…you can’t make yourself feel something you don’t and it shouldnt be forced.


Four years? If OP isn’t there after four years (more if there was any significant dating period prior to marriage), OP isn’t getting there.


It’s a crappy situation. In a perfect world things would be different. It’s his body. I’m not saying I don’t feel sorry for the little boy. But no one should be forced or guilted into putting a marking on their body that they don’t want.


I’m not saying he should be forced. The fact that he doesn’t *want* to add the boy’s name, which means he views the boy as “less than” in his life and family, is what makes him the AH.


Or different than. My moms ex came into my life when I was around three and he cheated and they broke up around my sophomore year in high school. He took care of me, but even after my dad died when I was 8, I knew I wasn’t as loved or as important to him as his daughter, 3 years younger than me. And she wasn’t as important to my mom as I am. And then I hadn’t seen him for four decades since their breakup.


I think definitely NTA, and I say this because I have known people that did get their stepchildren tattooed on them. Guess what happened? The marriage didn’t work out, and the actual parents refused any contact for the stepchildren. Not saying this will happen to OP, but for me this is the equivalent of tattooing your SO’s name on you…you just don’t do it! I will say that a nice alternative to make the stepson feel included would be to get a tattoo that doesn’t have his name, but represents him somehow. Then he’s included without having his name and it’s different from the others so it would be even more special.


This is exactly what I was thinking, his kid will always be his kids but if him and his wife divorce, his step son is no longer his step son. Depending on their relationship, he may never talk to the kid again and once mom moves on, he’ll have a new step dad. It’s all hypothetical but logically, he’d be stuck with someone’s name on him he has no attachment to in a worst case scenario


This was my thought too! It doesn't have to be his name.


Your body, your rules. With that said, you need to think long and hard about this because you are treating your stepson as “other,” because he isn’t biologically yours. He is an 8 year old child. He likely knows he’s not your biological child but he may as well be and treating him differently because of this is going to have a lasting impression on him and trust me, it’s not going to be a good one. You need to reevaluate your treatment of all the children involved. You may not think you’ve singled out your stepson but your thoughts here show that you have and do. YTA. Sorry.


I think the thing that is going to tip people's opinions is the fact that it's a tattoo. You can't force someone to get something permanent on their body no matter what the circumstance, but the issue that is coming from this conversation is more so how OP views his step-son as an outlier to his blood related offspring. Especially since he's been in this kids life since he was four. This is a tough one for me only because it's a tattoo and no one should be forced into one. That being said, my own stepchild is mine through and through without the need for genetic relations.


I don't think he's the AH because he's not getting the tattoo. I think he's the AH because he's being dense about his own family's relationships.


Exactly this. The tattoo was the catalyst to bring this issue to the surface.


I think it’s a big jump to equate writing someone’s name permanently on your body to how you treat them. If OP treats all the children equally, tattoo doesn’t matter


It will absolutely matter to the child.


I'm genuinely shocked at how many people are saying you're the asshole - it's your body, you aren't obliged to tattoo your stepchild's name on there simply because you have your biological kids' names done. It's not like you have known him and raised him since birth, and not everyone is always super close with their step-kids, doesn't make them a bad person. Who knows, you might feel differently in a few years anyway and change your mind. It's your body, and what you get permanently tattooed on there is entirely your decision and yours alone. Just because you're not getting his name tattooed, doesn't mean you exclude him or separate him and your kids in other areas of life - i feel like a lot of people are assuming you're treating him differently just because you don't want to get this tattoo, which is a hell of a reach. NTA.


That's reddit for ya.


NTA because you choose what to tattoo on your body, not anyone else. I suspect your wife is upset that her son doesn’t have a father in his life and was assuming you’d step into that role and love him as much as your other children…hence the request to tattoo his name on your arm. Has there been any discussion about you adopting him since the father isn’t in the picture? Would you even be willing? Why or why not? [asking so you can think about it, not for a response] Regardless of your answers and whether you get his name tattooed, it’s really important that he feel as important as the other children in the home and not “second class citizen” to them.


NAH your body your choice, but your wife is 100% right. You are definitely an AH in the general sense as you clearly do not see your stepson as part of your children. Honestly it's going to cause lots of problems with him down the line. And you'll have no one but yourself to blame. But ultimately NAH because you should never be forced to get a tattoo and for the specific question, you are not. But really you are. And question, would you exclude a child you adopted from your tattoo as well?


Being a stepparent is entirely different from adopting a child… if they divorced, he would possibly never get to see him again. He has no legal rights over his stepson. So I wouldn’t compare them unless he actually adopted SS


NTA. Too many women think a stepfather is a replacement father. Being in that house alone means your contributing to the welfare of the step son. As long as you treat all of the kids fairly (love, discipline, etc) you are doing what you should. That said, you cannot and should not try to wipe away the 8 years olds legacy because he has a father and their family. Being fair doesn’t mean even. You are under no obligation to tattoo the name of your stepson on you body. Should you divorce, you may never see that kid again.


INFO: are you planning on ever adopting the 8 year old? If yes, would you tattoo his name then?


His father still has parental rights and doesn't plan on giving them away. So I can't adopt him. We haven't talked about it much, because it's not an option. But if I did adopt him, I would tattoo the name, yes.


You should Edit this info into your post, OP. In the end, it's your body, your choice. Either way, it'll affect your stepson. By not doing it, you may permanently damage how he views himself in the family dynamic and the relationship between you two; especially when he gets older.


I second this, i kinda wanna go with NAH because it’s your body, your money (and also your money for laser if you two divorce), but I can understand why the mum is worried that this will hurt your stepson, and that she might feel like you don’t see her son as an equal part of the family. That’s probably an issue that could use some councilling, especially with blended families and the arrival of a new baby


Well, you’ve also said he has zero involvement with his son, so what exactly is causing you to conclude that he will exercise his parental rights at some point in the future? It’s up to you, but you’re likely setting yourself to experience a major rift with your partner and her son, especially as he becomes older. Don’t make a mom choose between her child or you, especially when, according to you, his father “isn’t involved at all”. I will never understand why folks enter into blended families when you will be expected to assume parental responsibilities of a child who is biologically not your own, especially when they’re young. These aren’t 17 year kids we are talking about. If you weren’t prepared to treat him like your own, you should have told her that from jump. It’s now obviously a surprise to her and yes she will look at you differently


If all that’s stopping you from tattooing his name is being unable to legally adopt him, just get the tattoo. I am a step child. My Stepdad only has children with my Mom. My bio Dad was a one weekend a year parent. I was left out in little ways, like your tattoo, and it left a huge scar on my mental health. If you care about the kid in a fatherly way, get his name tattooed, too. It’s easy and costs you very little, and could mean the world to him.


To be you're NTA in this case, then. Because if your wife left you, she could decide to completely cut you off from the boy with no recourse available to you. It might be best if the children didn't know about the tattoo so it wouldn't make the boy feel bad.


Info : when you two married, how was the discussion about the kids? Does she considers your kids their kids? Do you agreed that, while you do live in the same house, the parenting would be done separately?


That’s what I’m wondering about too because if they agreed not to act as parents or make decisions regarding each other’s kids then no OP’s not the AH.


I feel that you are NTA because he is your STEPson, not your biological son. You have zero legal responsibility to him and may never see him again should you and your wife divorce. You will always be in your bio kids lives. Now if you legally adopted him and he became your son legally, then and only them would I add him. Your wife is being a bully and 100% unreasonable for trying to make you feel bad about your decision. For what it’s worth, I have my bio’s handwriting on my food and arm but neither of my step kids and my husband didn’t make me feel like shit.


NTA it’s your body and you get to decide what gets permanently tattooed onto it. Could you imagine if the genders were reversed here?! It’s your body, that’s the end of the discussion really.


I really wanna see other's take on this. In my world view, yes, yta. I say this because i dont care about blood, genes and stuff. A family is composed of people who strive to stick together and be happy. So for me, you saying "Your children" is actually "little humans who carry my genes". You only care enough if said human is a carrier of your bloodline or not. Im not saying what i said IS what happens. I mean its the way i see. I dont affirm you are a bad person, its just that this world view that i ASSUME you have is flawed and nonsensical


Or it could end up like my ex boyfriend, who ended up with kids names who he hasn't seen in 13 years tattooed on him. Stepparents aren't always forever.


I totally agree with you that family isn't just about blood and dna. But I would like to offer my personal take on this. My parents got divorced when I was 12 and my mom met my (ex-)stepdad shortly after. They were together for about 13 years, until he kicked her out from one day to the next because he didn't feel the same way anymore and hadn't for a couple of years. He only waited as long to kick her out, because I was still living at home and he was afraid how he would be perceived for kicking out a mother and her child. So the second I moved out, my mom was out on the street. He had been a huge part of my life, was always really good to me, helped pay for all things I needed, but he stopped being family that exact day. I never spoke to or saw him again. Stepfamily isn't always permanent and I wouldn't want a permanent reminder of him after all that. OP and his wife might be together forever, but there is really no guarantee. Doesn't mean he can't still treat his stepson right and with a great deal of love, without tattooing his name on his body.


NTA but only because it’s your body but I would rethink it. Because essentially you ARE his dad in everything but genetics. What precedent will it send to him? Oh only my biological kids matter?


Hard NTA Last time I checked YOUR BODY YOUR CHOICE applies to everyone. And shame on anyone who can't understand that concept


Info: you’ve been the only father figure in this child’s life for at least half of his life- do you not view him as your child? Does he view you as his father? I’m having a hard time understanding why you’d want to be married to someone with a child (especially with no father) and then “other” the child.


NTA. Kids are forever. Tattoos are forever. Step kids not necessarily so. And not your kid and not your fault about his actual dad. Steps en when parents break up, bios remain your kids. Harsh but true. As a child I understood this, and never saw moms ex after high school. And if the boy irritates you you won’t have the same feelings as any of your own kid who would irritate you. I wouldn’t want that reminder on my body. Let your wife get the tattoo.


NTA for tattoos as who cares what you scribe on your body but this is heartbreaking for that little boy. You are the only father figure in his life and possibly the only one he will ever know and yet he will grow up knowing that you resent him just because he’s not biologically yours. This is appalling. Really is. YTA 100x


Considering relationships don’t always pan out, I see having only your children’s names. They will always be your children. A stepson might not. Your body, your choice. NTA. His dad might one day get involved and get such a tattoo. Or afterthought. If you adopt the stepson then add it. Make him an official son.


INFO - How close are you and your stepson? If he already sees you as a father figure, then you're a major AH But if you're not close at all the you're in the clear But really, be mindful of the kid feelings.


NTA. My sisters’ father has my name tatted. I don’t speak to him and we have no relationship. Even if you and your wife remain together, your relationship with her child is something separate


INFO: do you consider her son yours? If not, why? Maybe solve that issue first.


INFO: Does your stepson call you "dad?"


INFO: tattooing someone's name on your body is a HUGE ask. First of all, does her son even consider you his father, 2nd father, bonus dad or father figure? Because if he doesn't, or if he has made it clear he doesn't want to be adopted by you, if his dad is still in the picture and to him, you're just his moms husband then that would affect the judgement. Also, what does your step son think? Does he care or does he not care? His feelings matter as well. Keep in mind, OPs wife might insist but the son could well think it's weird if OP does it. **I read some of the comments and my goodness all the jumping and assumptions are wildddd


YTA! For me this isnt about the tattoo. Not really. Obviously its your body and you can tattoo whatever on it. For me this is about the fact you are creating an obvious divide between the other kids and the 8year old and that you dont consider him your kid. You've been married 4 years so her son would have been 4 when you got married and probably younger than that when you got together unless you quickly got married. So your telling me you got together and married a woman with a young son with the intention of never actually considering him your kid? For me, if I were her, this would need serious family therapy or divorce. If you were treating my young son as lesser or not good enough as his siblings just because hes the only one that isnt biologically yours...i'd be gathering the kids, packing our stuff, and be out the door.


NTA It’s your right to decide what gets inked on your body. If eventually you legally adopt the child, I would hope you would reconsider and add him at that time. As is, yes it could cause an issue with the kid thinking you don’t love or care about him as much. It’s your decision on what to tattoo on yourself though. With how things stand now, if the relationship doesn’t work out then she could withhold the step child from you. Then you would have a constant reminder. I completely get that. I would discuss with your partner that should the day come that you adopt, then you will add him. It definitely could throw a wrench in the family dynamic as the boy gets older. As long as you’re aware of that. While this may not be a problem now it could develop into one for her son. I’d sit down and think about if you want to go the adoption route. If that’s not in your plans, you need to go ahead and start thinking about how you’re going to explain to him why he’s not represented on your tattoo like his siblings. Again, it is completely your decision what gets inked on your body. You need to be thinking about the potential consequences of that decision.


Of course it's your body, your choice. But damn, being the 8 year old who's left off that very prominently displayed list, thats a hurt that will never heal. I was going to say "can you imagine being the one kid dad doesn't claim because DNA?" but then I realized if you could imagine that, we wouldn't be here If cutting the heart of a kid because it wasn't your sperm is worth it to you, go ahead. NTA. But watch your use of the words dad or father to describe yourself going forward. They're descriptors of limited accuracy.


NTA unless you adopt him.


NTA. You should never be guilted into tattooing something on your body that you don't want there. You can't help how you feel, if you don't feel the same attachment to your stepson that you feel with your biological kids, there's nothing wrong with that. Just make sure you treat him with love and respect either way though.