Boy's Stepfather Fought A Man To Protect Him — Now He Feels 'Different' About Him & Finally Said 'I Love You'

"My stepdad jumped in so fast that I didn't even see what happened."

man and son Pics Five via Shutterstock / Reddit / Dstudio via Canva

The relationship between a child and their stepparent can be challenging at times. Ideally, the bonus mom or dad will treat their mate’s children like their own, and in return, the kids will consider them to be someone they can rely on for love and protection.

One young man took to Reddit and posted a story about how the relationship between him and his stepfather changed after the man stood up for him.


In the Reddit post titled “My stepdad got in a fight to protect me and I feel different about him now,” the teen started by saying that his father died when he was only eleven years old and that his mom married his stepdad when he was fourteen years old. Though he has always gotten along with his stepfather, he is still working to process what he had with his biological dad.

He fantasizes about his father being amazing, but when he’s honest with himself, realizes that the man did some things that were harmful to him as a child. One of the toxically masculine things his birth father did was make him fight a thirteen-year-old when he was just ten years of age. He couldn’t express his fear because when he did, his father called him a “wuss.” And when he lost the fight, his dad was visibly upset with him.


When the boy’s stepfather came into his life, the two of them were a bit standoffish, keeping to themselves at first.

“But he is honestly twice the man my dad was,” he says now of his stepdad, who promised to never hurt him or his mother and always protect them from harm.

Five years later, the man has kept that promise, being an amazing husband and father. He spoils his stepson by taking care of his chores for him and buying him whatever he needs or wants without the young man asking for it. The responsible man makes sure his stepchild has enough money and sends him some when he doesn’t.

The relationship was going as good as it possibly could when something happened that changed everything.

RELATED: Pregnant Woman Asks 23-Year-Old Stepdaughter To Move Out To Make Room For Her Baby But Husband Refuses To Back Her Up


One day, while shopping, an older man accused the teen of giving him a “dirty look” in the parking lot.

The young man was caught off guard and didn’t know what the man was talking about but that didn’t stop the older guy from tackling him to the ground.

stepdad protects son in fight reddit postPhoto: Reddit

Without missing a beat, the boy’s stepdad jumped in, “bopped” the guy and left him on the ground scared and holding his injured nose. The stepfather yelled at the man, saying, “You don’t ever put your hands on him,” as he helped his stepson up. The frightened man jumped in his car and sped away.




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The stepfather kept him by his side as they continued to shop and apologized for not stepping in before the man attacked. He had never shown his stepson the angry side of his personality and was seemingly ashamed of fighting in front of him.

“It was scary, but it also made me feel so weird,” the teen said of the incident. “I can’t explain it, but it feels like I finally know how much he loves me,” he continued.


When they got back home, the young man finally said the words “I love you” to his stepdad for the first time.

The emotional man hugged him tightly, almost bringing him to tears.

According to the US Census Bureau, over 50% of families include a stepparent and 1300 new ones are forming every day.

When it comes to stepfathers, many adopt an authoritative or permissive style of parenting. But the ones that have the best relationships with their stepkids choose to develop the relationship over time.

In this case, the stepfather allowed a transition period by not forcing a relationship on the teen. At the same time, he made the boy feel safe and protected, something that is a must for these budding relationships.


The man started (and still has) a permissive relationship, something studies suggest stepdads do first. Had he taken an authoritative approach, the young man would have pushed back on and possibly ruined the relationship.

The fight at the store showed the teen that his stepfather was willing to risk his own safety to protect him—something we might only expect from a biological parent. By doing so, that man truly became the father he never had.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington. She covers lifestyle, relationship, and human-interest stories that readers can relate to and that bring social issues to the forefront for discussion.