I was until recently in a relationship with a woman who had a child from a previous relationship. We had our own child as well, and we are in the midst of court proceedings over residence/contact etc.
As we were never married, I was never a step-dad (although I wanted the job) but for clarity I will refer to the elder child as my step-son.
When we met my step-son was 3 years old, and we were together for 4 years, so I had a pretty strong bond with him, but now that we''ve separated my ex has said that she wants to keep him away from me.
Whilst I suspect (given how acrimonious our separation has been) that this has been said in an attempt to hurt me, rather than out of concern for his welfare. Regardless of this, I will respect her wishes as his mother, as above all else I don''t want to harm him by confusing him, or putting him in the middle of our arguments and battles.
I hope some time in the future that my step-son will seek me out himself. He is only young, and may not remember much about our life together in 10 years time, but I have to hope that some time in the future we may be able to have a relationship of some sort.
Now as I said, I will respect her wishes, and will not attempt to interfere or go around her authority or anything like that. My idea was to write him letters, though not post them so that in later years, if he wanted, I could give them to him and he would know that I never stopped thinking about him. My friend suggested that I make him an email account and send him emails, and then give him the password in years to come if it was appropriate, so this is what I have done (as I was worried about letters becoming damaged).
I am struggling with the content of my emails though. I don''t want to use it as a platform against his mother, so I am avoiding writing anything about our separation but I am finding it difficult to keep it out. For example I might write something like "I found a Dr Who talking book today. It made me think of you and I would have liked to have given it to you" but I wonder how that might come across if he should read it in years to come. It raises the question of "why didn''t you?"
Has anyone ever done anything like this? What sort of thing would you suggest writing? Bear in mind that I don''t intend for him to see these emails for at least 10 years, if ever. (I am not going to force them on him and would only let him see them if he ever asks questions). Also bear in mind that as I will be having contact with my other son, it is likely that I will see my step-son regularly or at least semi-regularly through pick ups and drop offs.
I have no words of advice for you but I do think what you are doing is a great idea. It is a shame that your ex is refusing you contact though considering you will still have regular contact with the other child.
All I can say is I wish my ex husband was half the person you are. My ex cannot even ring his own children and has contact with them sporadically when he can fit them in.
I think the idea that you are not going to see the lad until he is grown up is a little bit bizzar given that you also have a child with the mother and I assume that you are not in any way intending to duck contact with him.
You may find that the mother''s attitude softens over time (it might not) and some contact will be allowed. Does the natural father of your step-son have contact ?