You are here

'just a girlfriend'

angel23's picture

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.

Anywho78's picture

It's wonderful that BM was letting the kids visit with you & hopefully she feels comfortable enough to let it continue on a less full-on manner.

Maybe you could see how she feels about you picking the kids up & spending the day Saturday or Sunday with them once or twice per month? It would give you time to bond & spend time with them without coming on too strong.

Sounds like this situation has great potential for all involved...good luck!

angel23's picture

Thank you so muc - and I love your Shrek pic! I agree - for my sake and sanity and for their sake, maybe just an afternoon visit (like I offered to take them to lunch and a movie next Saturday) would be best until my other half returns. It's been quite a roller coaster so far, but all I can do is focus on the things I can control - which are my love for him and his kids.

lmac's picture

I agree that it wasn't the KIDS feeling it was too much too fast, but the BM getting angry because her kids enjoyed your company.

It's really big of you to say that you loved her for the kids. Sounds like you are a really good influence in their lives and hopefully BM can look past herself and at that.

...but I doubt it...

While BF is gone, I agree with other posters in that you should go for day outings (but on a regular basis, like every other Sunday from 1-4 PM), but let the kids know that either one or both of them are welcome to sleepovers if they want. I think of this as the fun aunt model of stepparenting, as it is exactly how I treat my nieces and nephews.

I do personally know, that if something happened to my DH, BM would never let me see the kids again. Regardless of the fact that we adore each other. Because she is a nutter (threatened to kill me, threatened to get numerous restraining orders on me--even though all I've ever been is civil (and only laid eyes on her about 5 times in 4 years), doesn't recognize my husband's rights as a father, refuses to let him pick the children up from school, threatened my MIL, attacked her own mother, attacked my husband, lies about even the smallest thing, etc), so while you may see your BM as being a nutter, it seems like you have it pretty good w/ her so far, so maybe try reading "no one's the bitch" it's a book and a website, for when you have a BM and an SM who are pretty sane, but who are still at odds.

angel23's picture

I think you are right. I would take them bowling, to the movies, etc., and they were the ones asking to see me, not the other way around. I felt that should be something they initiated because I didn't want to step on anyone's toes. I believe, in hindsight, she just grew very jealous that the kids always wanted to be around me. I have a feeling that when he gets back, they might want to live with us - which will open up a whole other can of worms.

So many people are advising me to just do the day outings every now and then until he gets back - and I very much agree with that now. She has too frequently told me sob stories for hours on end whenever I picked them up or dropped them off, so it'll save my sanity a bit, too. Plus, I do want them to spend lots of time with their kids. Perhaps I could also maybe help them with some of their homework from time to time? I think that might be stepping over though. Anyhow, wow... your stepkids' BM sounds like she is absolutely crazy. I'm so sorry! Now I feel like I have it really good! Thanks for the message and I hope things on your end get better with the BM!!! I will check out that book. Are there any others you'd recommend, too?

angel23's picture

Your comment does not help me in any way. You also have your facts wrong - I have known them two months. This is NOT the sort of post I came here to see.

alwaysanxious's picture

i have to agree with stepaside here. Not to mention that the visits sound like the typical "disney dad" visits. Not that you shouldn't take them places, but you will just be associated as the one who does stuff for them and buys them things. As the mom that would get on my nerves. They aren't coming to the home and just "being".

In addition, since it is so early in the relationship you are setting yourself up for failure. At some point you are not going to be able to keep up the "fun" and expect the children to behave. They will be annoyed when they are bored and not want to see you or start acting out. You haven't had to deal with that aspect after only 2 months. The REAL kids show themselves later. Spoiled.

I see nothing wrong with visit once a month, an afternoon or so just to keep an relationship. Honestly, 2 months? Thats a tough one to expect marriage in 2 years. Sounds like you hardly know your SO at all either.