Family style living in poly

PinkPig

Well-known member
I love the concept of living communally, as a family with my love(s) and metamours. Obviously, I realize that there are many reasons why this wouldn't work/be ideal...ranging from personality styles to finances, and communication and organizational skills, etc, etc. It's also not a possibility any time in the near future since I still have teens at home and currently only have a bf, Blue, and no metamours, lol. (For the record, Blue is open to the idea.)

That said, I'd love to hear experiences of those who've tried it. What worked/didn't work. What you liked about it/didn't like. Any tips or do's & don'ts from those who've tried it?
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Does it count as communal living if it's just three adults and a cat? :) My V has been sharing a house for several years, and it's been working out well for us. It helps that the hinge of our V, Snowbunny, is a natural leader and both of the men are natural followers. So Snowbunny figures out the plans and logistics, assigns details, and all three of us work together to carry them out.

I will say that in the earlier years of our V, sharing a household didn't work so well. First of all I don't think we picked out a house with the proper layout for our needs. We had to learn what those needs were by trial and error. We also needed to learn to trust each other. Communal living takes a lot of trust, and trust is built up a little at a time. We also needed to learn to understand each other, a little better at least.

So for those who want to try it, I would suggest not trying it immediately. Start with separate domiciles, and build up to communal life a little at a time by having gradually longer visits at each others' domiciles, building up to sleepovers and then to several-day visits. This way you can find out what everyone's needs are, yet all can retreat to their respective domiciles if tensions start to build.

For me personally, I found that having my own little private "cave" helps me a lot. This translates to having my own bedroom, with its own connected bath if possible. We've just lived in our latest house for a few months, and are doing various fix-it projects on the house. A connected bath for me is on the to-do list.

So the layout of the house can be important. Other things to consider is who will be the "treasurer" and how will finances be handled, who will keep the calendar and how things will be scheduled, will there be pets and how will the "pet jobs" be divided, etc.

We don't have any kids but if we did, we'd need to agree on many things including what rules should be established for the kids to follow, and how discipline should be handled so that the adults can present a united front. The kids themselves need to be consulted as to what they need. Don't make the kids tell all their friends about poly if they don't want to, for example.
 

Nadya

Member
My family is a live-in MFM Vee, no children. So far we are all happy about our home life.

We planned the move for a year before it actually happened. We made a very detailed contract about who is responsible for what in terms of home repairs and maintenance, as well as costs; we co-own this house all three. We keep "tenant meetings" a few times a year were we talk about necessary household stuff, and keep record of the costs, who paid what and even things out according to our contract. In our contract there are also written clear guidelines about what to do if we disagree about some practical things.

This was the practical side of things... It also took time and several meetings to learn the necessary three-way communication. My relationships were separate to begin with, but as my guys learned to know each other better, the idea of probably moving in together emerged. By the time we made the final decision about it, we all had the feeling that this very well could work.

Still, it was a gamble. You just can not know for sure before you try it out. I would not recommend our way of doing things to others: we purchased the house together without previous experience of cohabiting. In our case it has worked well. Not like in a fairy tale without any problems, but like in reality with some hiccups, but nothing major. We had our reasons to do it this way, but I'd say generally it would be wise to make a back-up plan so that it is relatively easy for someone(s) to move out if needed.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
I think in some cases you can "form your commune" without prior "visiting exercises." The key to success I think is giving the various relationships involved some time to settle. As you said Nadya this can involve developing a good system for communicating with each other.

Everyone's different and as a result, every "commune" is different as well.
 

Nadya

Member
We actually did have "visiting exercises" prior to making the final decision. One major exercise was to spend Christmas together; a week around the most stressful holiday time of the year under one roof. It went surprisingly well, we could all relax and enjoy each other's company and the holiday itself :)
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Heh, I knew visiting exercises were a good idea. :D
 

PinkPig

Well-known member
Does it count as communal living if it's just three adults and a cat? :)

Absolutely! Your arrangement sounds lovely. It's also probably the most likely arrangement for us since Blue is actively dating others and I'm not :) The few people I've discussed this with in real life just think I'm weird. They can't imagine wanting to live with "the other woman", but I find the concept appealing.

On the layout, I assume a split floor plan or multi-level house with bedrooms/bathrooms on each level would be easiest? And, I really like the idea of having a "treasurer". I really don't like dealing with the financial aspect. I don't mind handing over the money, I just don't like figuring out what to pay/when, etc, lol.
 

PinkPig

Well-known member
We planned the move for a year before it actually happened. We made a very detailed contract about who is responsible for what in terms of home repairs and maintenance, as well as costs; we co-own this house all three. We keep "tenant meetings" a few times a year were we talk about necessary household stuff, and keep record of the costs, who paid what and even things out according to our contract. In our contract there are also written clear guidelines about what to do if we disagree about some practical things.

I like the idea of a contract. Seems like it would take the pressure off, just knowing that those things are pre-arranged (or pre-arranged to the extent possible.) I'm a planner :)
 

Nadya

Member
I like the idea of a contract. Seems like it would take the pressure off, just knowing that those things are pre-arranged (or pre-arranged to the extent possible.) I'm a planner :)

Yes. Also, many times things happen organically in a way that was NOT the one agreed on in the contract. That is fine. But, in case of a disagreement (or if no one really remembers what was agreed on this or that matter), we can go back to the written contract and see how things should be done.

The contract made me feel much more secure about the move. Not that it prevents drama if someone wants to have it, but it does prevent unnecessary fights about practical matters.
 

Mya

Member
I'm also a part of a live-in V, where I'm the hinge and my partners are good friends with each other. Me and Hank lived together for about 6 months first, after which rory moved in with us. We had plenty of exercise hanging out together when rory visited me before moving in. We have two bedrooms, a living room and a separate kitchen. Hank and rory have their own bedrooms and the living room is my bedroom. That's where we hang out when all of us spend time together or if we have guests. And if I want to be alone or with a guest in my room, Hank and rory can still hang out in the eat-in kitchen.

This has worked really well for us. The three of us seem to be quite compatible for living together. Also, Hank and rory are both more introverted than me, so they are happy spending time on their own when I'm with one of them or with someone else. I'm happy to have my loved ones close to me. And we're all happy about the communal feel in our home. :)
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
I know that while us guys were living in separate domiciles, Snowbunny disliked having to drive back and forth to see us. I mean it was a five- or ten-minute drive, but it still bothered her. I know she's a lot happier now that we're all living together.
 

CattivaGattina

New member
While we don't at the moment my entire family (the poly side, not the Leather side) wants to either share a home or at the least live on the same street.

We also want to have children (and the idea of having at least one with each partner) and have them raised within the family being able to treat all members as trusted adults/parents.
 

Bluebird

Well-known member
I am the hinge of a MFM V, and we cohabitate with my 17 year old homeschooled daughter and my adult son, who is 25 and is disabled.

At first I was splitting my time between two households, but we did the move-in thing over the course of a few months. My boyfriend PunkRockAwesomesauce integrated into our days with overnight visits, then multi-day hangouts and eventually weeks. It was planned out - we had to prepare space for him to become a permanent resident. We had several discussions about how our household would function.

Everyone has their own bedroom - in the beginning, my husband DarkKnight and PunkRock had twin bedrooms - they were the same size and layout on the same floor of the house, and they shared a bathroom. I have the master suite, with my own bedroom. They took turns sleeping in my room with me, every other night, each having a drawer in my vanity to keep their toiletries in. They have their own color towel and toothbrush, so there are no mixups. :)

Recently, however, PunkRock has moved down to the basement, where he has his own bathroom, bedroom and huge living room area, which my son was previously renting from us. (My son is now upstairs in PunkRock's old room.) PunkRock moved for a couple of different reasons, none having to do with poly or equality or someone being unhappy or anything like that.

That said, both of guys always had an additional private space to retreat to if they didn't want to hole up in their bedroom and be alone - DarkKnight has a separate office in the basement, and PunkRock had a corner of the basement living room as his painting area, with a desk and a space for all of his materials. We liked that they had the ability to go be away from each other, if needed.

I think private space is important in a poly set-up. I am a total extrovert, so I don't mind sharing, but my guys are introverts and need space that they can close off the world, when needed.

As far as finances go, we have a joint checking shared between the 3 of us, which I use to pay the shared bills from, and they each have a private checking and savings, which they have their wages direct-deposited into and can use however they wish. This is great because it leaves them their autonomy, and they can still surprise me with presents. :)
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
Another cohabitating MFM Vee here. Dude moved in with us right away, but he and MrS were already best friends before I even met Dude. Our layout is not conducive to this (one bedroom, open floor plan) but we make it work. Lotus visits periodically, and we still make it work.

I take care of the finances, MrS and I take care of the pets, and the boys take care of everything else.
 

Natja

New member
I would love it, it is what I really want in life but there are just SO many other variables that might it seem unlikely ever to happen alas.

My only experience was not good at all but there were reasons for it that I would NOT be repeating.
 

zigzag

New member
We cohabit on a part time basis. My partner's lover Wolf comes over for the weekend or several days regularly and we spend what we call "family days" together doing stuff like cooking, jobs, household chores, playing games, watching movies or just chilling together.
 

nycindie

Active member
In my life, I've lived communally in temporary situations, for short periods (a few weeks to several months) with people who were friends, acquaintances, or others with similar goals and reasons for being there as I had. While some of it was very pleasant and I have mostly good memories, a lot of it sucked. At this point -- after a divorce, being in my 50s and an introvert, needing lots of personal space -- I think living with lovers would be a version of hell I don't really ever want to try. I can't think of much that would be worse. I prefer flying solo and keeping my relationships separate. I wouldn't move in with anyone else unless I am well into old age and in need of a support system.
 
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Dagferi

Well-known member
I prefer keeping separate households with my husbands. My kids and dog travel with me.

When Butch gets on my nerves it is time for me to go home to Murf, and when Murf gets on my nerves it is time to go home to Butch.
 

PinkPig

Well-known member
So, it looks like, for those that merged homes, the most common configuration is a live-in V? I guess that makes sense because the more people you bring into the home, the more possible issues could/will arise. Thank you, everyone for your input :)
 
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