“I met Julie* at Christmas drinks with friends. We clicked straight away. She had three children from a previous relationship. I loved spending time with them all; I adored them and was more than happy to take them on as a devoted stepfather. I moved in and three years later we had a daughter, Chloe*.
We were happy for nine years and then started arguing – about everything. Her short temper was draining and we decided to split after 17 years together.
The breakup was really hard. I missed the kids terribly and my bond with Chloe was so strong it was a real wrench to be apart from her.
We tried to do what was best for the children and put our own emotions aside. After several tense conversations, we agreed we would share custody of Chloe. The other three children, I repeatedly said, were very welcome to…
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