New, and with children.

Chrystee

New member
Hi, I am new here..
I'm a 37 year old Cis pansexual woman, who has been married for 17 years, and just recently 'came out' as pan a little more than a year ago.. which is also when I talked to my husband about opening our marriage..

I dated a man, and a TS woman, and I'm on my third relationship, to a wonderful TS woman, whom I am in love with.. we've been together a couple months.

My husband has been dating a lady on and off for a little over a year, and I think they are good and will be together for awhile.

Both of our others want to join our family in some capacity. My husbands gf will probably move in with us within in the next year (I'm completely ok with this).

Anyone else like us? I love my husbands GF. WE do not have a romantic relationship, just like good friends.

My kids like our others. They know they are our "friends". Our 4 year old senses more.. as he loves my GF and asked if she could be his other "dad". Our 10 year old seems pretty oblivious..

Anyway, anyone else in a similar relationship? I'm sort of telling people now. its a mixed reaction.. some of my friends are super supportive.. some are weirded out, and want to know why me and my husband aren't just divorcing..
 
Welcome!

Welcome to the Forum!! You will find what you are looking for here.. I don't know what that is... But it's here.. Promise!! Lol jk...
Nice to meet you!
 
Greetings Chrystee,
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.

Sounds like your open arrangement is going well so far, that's good to hear. You can find all kinds of poly configurations here, everyone is different. Have a look around and see what calls to you, don't hesitate to post your thoughts, questions, and/or concerns.

Sincerely,
Kevin T., "official greeter" :)

Notes:

There's a *lot* of good info in Golden Nuggets. Have a look!

Please read through the guidelines if you haven't already.

Note: You needn't read every reply to your posts, especially if someone posts in a disagreeable way. Given the size and scope of the site it's hard not to run into the occasional disagreeable person. Please contact the mods if you do (or if you see any spam), and you can block the person if you want.

If you have any questions about the board itself, please private-message a mod and they'll do their best to help.

Welcome aboard!
 
...
Both of our others want to join our family in some capacity. My husbands gf will probably move in with us within in the next year (I'm completely ok with this).

Anyone else like us? I love my husbands GF. WE do not have a romantic relationship, just like good friends.

...

Anyway, anyone else in a similar relationship? I'm sort of telling people now. its a mixed reaction.. some of my friends are super supportive.. some are weirded out, and want to know why me and my husband aren't just divorcing..

We don't have kids, so I can't speak to that aspect.

Every situation is going to be different...but I can see some similarities...

My husband and my boyfriend are best friends (since before I ever met Dude). MrS and I both had an excellent relationship with Dude's girlfriend before they broke up (but those were, in fact, MORE than friendship).

Each of us tells people as we see fit - but we have been "together" for a while - - so no-one should be surprised at this point. No need to "Divorce" my husband - I love him as much (or more) as ever.
 
Hi Chrystee - welcome to the Forum! I've been here since around the first of the year when my wife and I opened up our marriage to poly - will be looking forward to reading your posts. Best of luck on your poly journey. Al
 
Thanks everyone..

Am interested with those that have kids.. how do you handle it. Mine are fairly young, 4 and 10, both boys. right now, our others are our "friends".
 
Am interested with those that have kids.. how do you handle it. Mine are fairly young, 4 and 10, both boys. right now, our others are our "friends".

Chrystee - this has been discussed a number of times on the forum - just in the months that I've been around. Unfortunately, it often seems to come down to wanting to do what might seem to be the most transparent and ethical thing and telling the kids what is most age appropriate but with the clear understanding that they are "special friends" -- or the pragmatic realization that poly is not a protected class and that people have lost custody of their kids because they are practicing polyamorists - and thus making it necessary to keep the kids in the dark.

Some have suggested - as an alternative - to tell the kids but then tell them they must keep it a secret because others might not understand. This is obviously both unfair to the children by asking them to keep such a secret - and unrealistic to even think that they could keep such a secret from all their various friends (who would then tell their parents - who then wouldn't let their kids play with yours anymore, and would very likely report you to CPS).

So, while some poly folks are indeed poly and proud of it - and don't care who knows, there are very real dangers that can result from kids becoming too aware of poly relationships. My advice for poly folks with minor children is to let the kids know that our poly partners are our good friends, perhaps even presenting them as friends of Mom and Dad - and obviously avoiding excessive physical affection, etc. My wife and I have a young daughter at home but since our only other special friend is her long distance bf, it is not really an issue because they always meet somewhere away from both our homes, and she is not aware that he exists.

Synchronistically, I just read the passage on this topic in the just released 3rd Edition (20th Anniversary Edition) of the "Ethical Slut" - where they also give their readers a serious warning about the dangers of being open to the wrong people - including the possible loss of custody of our children.

Just my few cents worth - from a fellow parent of a youngster. Al
 
Chryslee--

I have 7yo girl, and after I had been dating my long distance partner for about four months I told her he was my boyfriend. She was massively unphased. She had two questions: 'does daddy know?' and had I gone on a proper date with RacingSnail? (She informed me that grocery shopping together did *not* count.)

I live in a liberal area and don't have to worry about school or employment related issues; my extended family is also aware of my relationship orientation. My kiddo basically doesn't care unless my relationships effect her directly. ^_^
 
Hi Chrystee,

I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old. They are aware of my boyfriend and call him by his name. They haven't indicated that they suspect anything else, but I think they realize that he is someone important to our family.

When I came out to my family last weekend, my boyfriend met my sister and my mom and we went to a park with all the kids (mine and my sister's). None of the kids thought it was weird for him to be there with us. Mine are really little, though. They are pretty oblivious.

We are also hoping to live together someday, but we aren't planning on doing that until we are more out with everyone.
 
My husband and I have a five year old and he adores my other partner (Artist), and likes Knight's other partner although since she doesn't play video games with him she's less favored. ;-)

He knows Artist and Joan stay over (on different nights, usually) sometimes, or that Knight and I stay out for the evening. It's always been true though, for him so it doesn't really phase him - I think he'll probably eventually out us to my mother in law as I don't expect him to keep a secret, but it's so normal he doesn't bother talking about it. He is a rather oblivious to society kid, in many ways, so he hasn't noticed that none of his friends' parents have that sort of other people in their lives.

But still, liberal area, self employed, a fair bit of privilege... makes it pretty easy to not worry about CPS as much as others.
 
I can tell you what my situation is:
I have three girls, 9,4,2.
I have a long term relationship with SoulSister, who before meeting Dean (my husband) I shared a home with as a way for us to take care of one another and our collective girls. ( she had two at the time, I had 1)
SoulSister and I now have 3 girls between us and they all see myself or SoulSister as their other mother.
Now my relationship with SoulSister doesn't fit into a neat box, but what it does say is that when it comes to children they will accept what is presented to them and they will benefit from added adults in their life who love and care for them.

Going forward I am cautious to introduce them to "serious" partners until I can be sure about the content of their character. People do come and go from our lives and I don't mean to shelter them from that entirely, but I want to be very certain.

My therapist advised that you don't really know someone for 18months and people in the forum have described the effects of NRE (New relationship energy) and how it can cause you to feel like you want your partner around all the time and you want to bring them into your life right away. That NRE can last a good while. I like to look at it as the infatuation part of the connection and it either fades and disappears, fades and turns into something else, or doesn't fade at all. People experience all types it seems.

My advice is this: you will know when someone is important enough to bring them into your family. trust your guts. go slow.

I have always had lots of friends make and female and have always been physically affectionate to them so there are things my kids don't raise an eye at.
Most of their childhood I've had a village of friends and lots of times we spent Friday nights all snuggled up on the couch watching movies, not unlike what would happen if we had a live in partner. So it all depends on what they;ve had exposure to before as well.

That's my two cents, I'm still learning and have yet to include them in my poly journey.

Hopefully we can learn from one another here.
 
As so many people speak of someone they've known for a month or a week or a day (& perhaps only online) as soulmate or life partner, then either those people ought to meet the kids... or maybe the labels are BS

This is one of those areas where I kinda agree with the "relationship anarchy" people: why do so many polyfolk seem to divide their friends into categories of significance, depending on how often they have sex? I mean, how do your introduce your children to your friends? Are the kids kept safely locked away from the rabble, just in case a friendship doesn't pan out, or maybe the kid gets "the wrong idea" about them & says something untoward to someone else?

Aside from all that, I do think that adults are often clueless at how much even very young children can figure out. Hiding something from a child says that it's shameful, AND makes the kid curious about discovering more. (I know a woman who felt she did a good job at keeping her submissive play hidden, until the day her son broke the lock on a steamer trunk & totally freaked out.)

Then there's changes in dynamic. Like, if the kid has always felt welcome to jump in bed with Mommy & Daddy, then all of a sudden is banned from the room, it's an affront, a scary break from established history.

Fears of losing the kids are real enough, & (IME) self-servingly overblown at least nine times of ten. Here's a simple test: if the children are really THAT important AND really THAT at-risk, then people ought to IMMEDIATELY CEASE doing stuff that endangers them, & wait until the kids have moved out. Otherwise, it's hype.
 
Ravenscroft,

For me it comes down to one simple thing: protecting my children from heartache. Losing people hurts. I'm not trying to hobble them by not letting them experiencing loss (they've experienced more than their fair share already), but I will always try to minimize their suffering.
Along the same lines I don't want them ridiculed at school. Other kids are mean. It's not my children's responsibility to advocate my lifestyle choice. That's a job for adults.
I understand how smart, intuitive and curious my kids are. They will ask questions when they are ready and I will answer them honestly.
There's no shame here, but there are maturity level/age appropriate conversations.

This is all my opinion, my parenting style. You do yours.
 
My experience FWIW

I recently posted my story in the Introduction section tilted So far.....So Blessed.
We basically did our best to be clean about everything due to 2 of 4 daughters are teenagers. However one day at beach while all kids were in water they saw us being affectionate. Destined (gf's daughter) called her a home wrecker. Mountain (my oldest) was mad. We took them home, told them to shower & get dressed to go out to dinner and made ourselves 'unavailable' until we got to a restaurant. We felt this was a good neutral territory where all of us would have to control our emotions and listen to each other.
We explained there was no 'cheating' going on, we all knew about each other and that this kind of relationship was NOT normal nor what we were looking for it just simply happened. We then began to explain the benefits of the relationship for the kids having an extra 'parent' for my kids and 2 parents for her kid. I don't think the younger 2 even cared but the older 2 listened and after time and still today are processing it. They have became closer and enjoy when one of us takes the smaller kids and they can do teenage things alone.
We DO try to keep the affection to a minimum though....it makes teenagers feel weird regardless of who it is.
Living in Hawaii though everyone is Aunty and Uncle and b/c it's so bloody expensive people don't question why Glorious lives here or is with us a lot either and we have told our close friends.
 
There's no shame here, but there are maturity level/age appropriate conversations.
Whether YOU believe that YOU feel any sort of shame is entirely immaterial -- if you're hiding it, a kid will believe it's shameful.

What do you mean by "school"? Daycare? Preschool? Kindergarten? Grade school? Highschool? Undergrad? Postgrad?

Here's a question for the general audience: when are children "old enough" that you begin trusting them?
  • 4?
  • 7?
  • 12?
  • 15?
  • 22?
  • 31?
  • 46?
They will ask questions when they are ready and I will answer them honestly.
Entirely speculative. Either you are now speaking for them as though you're a mind-reader... or you are capable of seeing into the future. I'd contend that it's impossible for you at this moment to KNOW when "the proper time" is. And I figure that -- without a willingness to walk face-first into the potential maelstrom -- odds are more likely you'll waffle, dodge, & weasel when such questions occur in order to continue to "protect them" from their classmates because YOU will decree what is "age appropriate."

Again: if something's got to be hidden from the kids, it shouldn't be done. It's a potentially grievous error. Few kids want to see PDAs between their monogamous straight parents; in nonmonogamy, the choice is to be just as open & let the chips fall where they may, or treat the children as lesser beings, possibly forever.
 
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I think, when and if my son figures out that my relationship with Knight is not exactly like the relationships between MiniMe's friends' parents, I have answers already.

(I say if because given his personality I don't know how much he will ask - he already figured out, at the age of 3, that Sunshine was at the time a more significant person in his father's life than in mine and called me on that when I tried to smooth it over BUT he is also not one to really show much curiosity about the interrelationships of various people in his life. But he's also not quite 6 now, so there's still time for that to change. Anyway.)

The thing is, me being me, if being polyamorous hadn't been an option I quite likely would have left Knight by now. Not because I don't love him - it would have been like a wild animal chewing off a leg to get out of a trap, he's that much of a part of me - but because I want/need more in my life and I'm not ashamed of that. So I'm -not- going to be shamed by the idea that I created a happy life for myself, for MiniMe, for Knight, rather than either getting divorced years ago, or maybe letting us all be miserable until MiniMe is 18 and then leaving. (I lived in that house as a kid and it was pretty horrific. So there's that.)
 
We aren't hiding it, but we aren't saying "hey kids, your dad and I are dating and having sex with other people"
I do not believe it's shameful.
By school at the moment I mean grade school.

Old enough...it's not about trust it's about understanding. My young kids happen to be emotionally intelligent, bright and mature. I speak to them like adults when possible.

In my past experience waiting till they ask works. For example when we started fielding sex questions they will ask a questions, I answer, if they ask more I answer, and so on. As they get older they ask more detailed questions, there's more follow up. It's worked for sex, death, and everything else so far. There'a no waffling here, no dodging. I wouldn't lie if they asked "is he your boyfriend?" I'd use that as an opportunity for that talk. Just as I always have.

Parents guide their children, raise them, it's not lord of the flies up in here. Of course I have to make some choices for them. Do you know how often they try to die?!

[/QUOTE]
Again: if something's got to be hidden from the kids, it shouldn't be done. It's a potentially grievous error. Few kids want to see PDAs between their monogamous straight parents; in nonmonogamy, the choice is to be just as open & let the chips fall where they may, or treat the children as lesser beings, possibly forever.[/QUOTE]
This is your opinion.

I don't dishonor my kids by treating as less than.
We're not hiding.
As a matter of fact BlueEyes is sitting at my house right now playing with my kids as we ride out a hurricane.

Involved, caring, properly tooled, parents will do what's right for their kids. They know their kids best.

It's not wrong to be cautious when introducing kids to partners.
 
My 4 and 10 year old sons have met my person. They love them. They are pretty close with them.. I don't hide it, but they know my person as my best friend. Telling my oldest that we are having sex is too much, he is also really, really innocent.. He knows that I love my person, but he loves them too. He doesn't mind me spending time with my person away.
 
My kids have seen my boyfriends on facetime, know we are really close, know I have gone to visit them and my daughter knows how I feel about them and that my girlfriend was in fact my girlfriend.

I honestly think the biggest counter to that is continue to show them the relationship you have with your partner whom they identify with as your first/parent/whatever is also still strong and they are fine.

When things were rocky with hubby and I, they would get concerned. And Honestly I doubt that had much to do with others as it did with fear of us splitting for any reason.

Also, welcome to the forum!
 
Thanks everyone..

Am interested with those that have kids.. how do you handle it. Mine are fairly young, 4 and 10, both boys. right now, our others are our "friends".

My first husband and I had been quietly poly clear back to before our marriage... in fact, my other boyfriend was one of the witnesses to our marriage license. But when my kids were 3 and 18mos, we moved across the country to live with three other partners, and it kind of blew the lid off any possibility of keeping our nonmonogamy under wraps. We decided not to try, and went out openly into the world together, the five of us raising the kids together as a group.

In the decade since that time, one member of that original group has been removed from our society due to abusive behavior. The other four are still collaborating at raising our kids, plus a couple more people in the mix. We don't all still live together anymore -- my kids' dad and my ex-wife went off together, and the fourth member of our cluster and I got married. So we're now somewhat more typical a family, with two parents and two stepparents, living in pairs of one of each, and collaborating on childraising.

But in the meantime, we were together for long enough that we had to be totally open with the kids from a very young age. In fact, since kids think of whatever they know as normal, I had to explicitly tell them, the year my daughter was about to enter kindergarten, that most children didn't have five parents; they only had two. At most, they might have three or four, but not living together; only two per household.

The kids were aghast. "How do they ever PLAY?" asked my daughter incredulously. "You always tell us you don't have enough time when we want you to play with us, and there are five of you! Do those other parents ever have time to play at ALL?"

My son's verdict was, "I bet it's awful."

They have, truth to tell, continued to feel that way ever since. At the moment, they don't have a brace of parents... they have a small platoon. They're being raised by me; my husband (Ursa Minor); my kids' dad (Badger); their dad's wife (Kiki); and my chosen brother (Ursa Major) and sister-in-law (Cheshire), who are platonic friends who live with us. They've got four parents at one household and two at the other, with Kiki's boyfriend also living with them over there but not generally involved in active parenting.

They don't really go out of their way to talk about their parenting situation, but they're comfortable mentioning it if it happens to come up in conversation, or answering questions if anybody asks. They figure that anybody who gives them trouble over it isn't someone they want in their lives anyway. I recognize that I am enormously privileged to live in western Washington, an especially progressive area which has a lot of people who are clued in about poly and other nontraditional families, and willing to accept anybody as 'parent' for school purposes that I tell them is a parent. But I'll take that privilege and run with it, being open both for my own kids' sake and to help bring polyamory into the wider public awareness so it's easier on others in other places someday.

My kids still think it sounds really terrible to live in a house with only two adults. On the whole, I have to agree with them on that.
 
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