Contact: Amber Hall
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA, 8/20/2012: A stepdad who almost lost it all found a desperate lack of online information for men facing family challenges. After years of struggling, S. James Wheeler discovered the magic formula to make his marriage to a single mom work and along the way realized he was one of the lucky ones. Where most blended families fail, his survived and thrived—after he’d found this antidote to divorce. His discovery inspired him to launch a website to help other struggling stepdads.
Wheeler’s website stepdadding.com officially launched on August 30, 2011, with a promise to deliver “Information and Inspiration for Stepdads.” The site has become a destination for stepdads around the world and is poised to accept a large visitor-base. “About eight million men a year become stepdads and we’re giving them the tools and information they need to beat the odds.” says Wheeler. An expert in the study of the stepdad dynamic, he believes the nearly 70%+ divorce rate for blended families can be improved on. “There are seven major problem areas that plague stepdad’s in their marriage to a single mom. By explaining these we can help men avoid these challenges and improve their odds of success.”
In its one-year run, Wheeler’s website has gained supporters among parenting experts. Jim Mckenzie, founder of the online parenting resource Birth and Beyond Magazine, immediately saw the value. “He’s a true 21st century stepdad, and Stepdadding.com mirrors our magazine’s approach to inclusive parenting… Wheeler provides the experience, passion and humor which are needed to get the information out there that stepdads—and therefore their families—need.”
Not a stranger to the realities of raising step children, Wheeler and his wife fought to save their marriage for five years, unable to understand exactly what they were struggling against. “It’s the invisible enemy that stepdads face daily”, Wheeler explains. “The cause is there, in front of us but most couples ignore the cause and focus on the symptoms. That’s like taking aspirin for a broken leg. It might help a little but it won’t fix the problem.” Having succeeded against high odds, Wheeler wanted to share the information he’s compiled. His hope is to reduce the second and third marriage divorce rates.
The site evolved almost by accident. While Wheeler was doing research for a paper on the stepdad dynamic, he conducted interviews with people familiar with blended family challenges and complied statistics and information from dozens of sources. Along the way he realized there wasn’t a single source for information online. He quickly realized that there wasn't an online source, solely dedicated to the needs of stepdads. Ultimately he came across a blog site called stepdadding.com, which had been created by a stepdad prior to his relationship failing. The site had long been ignored so Wheeler offered to buy the name from the owner. “I was fortunate that he was willing to give it up, but I don’t think I realized at the time how big this would become. Now it’s my passion and at the center of my daily activity.” says Wheeler.
The website features an inspirational video section, hard facts on the stepdad dynamic, and a question and answer section. A moderated forum is also slated to roll out, which will allow men to talk about the challenges they face and get practical advice from other men who’ve beaten the odds. Wheeler says the website’s concept will help millions of men and families. “There’s nothing else like this out there. It’s for stepdads exclusively. We decided to make it a 100% free site so anyone who has a need has access to the information.”
Wheeler’s book, The Stepdad Disadvantage:
Images of Wheeler, the stepdadding.com logo and other information is available on the site at