'just a girlfriend'
Hi, everyone. I have been dating my boyfriend - who is currently deployed - for almost one year now. I met his two precious kids (9 and 11) about two months ago when we took them on vacation for his two weeks' R&R. After he went back to his deployment site, his ex-wife was allowing me to see them just about every other weekend. We all had a blast and were developing a pretty good relationship. Then, all of a sudden, she decided to not allow me any further contact with the kids or to see them anymore until he returns from overseas. I felt like they had been ripped out from underneath me. I realize I don't have ANY visitation rights as being 'just his girlfriend,' but I grew really attached to them.
I recently received an email from her for apologizing for a number of things - including stopping my ability to contact them. Now she says it is okay to contact them via email, text, or phone calls and says she thinks 'occasionaly day outings' would be alright. Apparently the every other weekend thing was too much too fast for the kids but they didn't want to say anything because they didn't want to hurt mine or their dad's feelings. Now I feel bad and like I did something wrong. I accepted his ex's apology and am trying to move forward now - but I am so very confused about what my role should be as his girlfriend (and yes, though we are not officially engaged, we have already set a date for our wedding two years from now). The kids want to get to know me better, they said, and they did say they really like me and love spending time with me, but now that school is back in session, they want to spend time with their friends. I get that. I just don't 'get' what my boundary should be at this point in time.
FYI - I am 12 years younger than my boyfriend and do not have any kids of my own. I think that may be making everything a bit more difficult because, well, I had come to love those two little ones as my own. Though I know I will never be their mother, I don't want to feel like a 'step' parent, either. I want them to love me as A mom, but not as THEIR mom. Does that make sense??
Thanks in advance for any advice. Also FYI, I am a child of divorce as well. My parents split when I was four. I was able to develop a very close relationship with my stepmom very fast because my mom and I were not very close for a long long time, simply because she was too young and was not ready to BE a mom. My relationship with his kids will be different - they are older and they are very close with their mom.