Poly and kids not know and what to say when going out with a lover


New member
We are relatively new to poly and so far it is going pretty good. I have been dating a man since May. He is also newly poly and is married. I have met his family and was just introduced as a friend. His kids did question it much at all and seemed fine with that explanation.

My husband has been seeing a woman since June and things are going very well for them as well. She has been poly for about 4 years and also happens to be my best friend. Our families intermix a lot. So far the kids don't know about any of it.

So my problem (or thing that is stressing me out the most) is what to tell the kids when we're going out on dates. My kids are very curious about our lives (not just this area of it) and up until now have known pretty much everything that we do and everyone we do it with. I don't lie so coming up with lies is hard and stressful and I'm just not any good at it. It also gets tricky when my husbands girlfriend is more truthful with her kids but we have to worry that our kids see each other and could possibly tell my kids a different story.

For normal dates we just say we're going out with friends and that seems to be working for now. We also talked to our kids and told them that we want to be more social and that we would be expanding our friend base and that will include friends of that opposite sex.

This week we both will be doing our first overnight and it will happen on the same day. We have a sitter for our kids for the whole night. We're having a very hard time coming up with a story for my husband. We're leaving at slightly different times and coming home at different times in the morning. My story is that it's my friends first night without her kids since her divorce so she's having a ladies night. We were going to tell our kids that my husband is going to his friends out of town and will be drinking and doesn't want to drive home so he'll be staying there. The issue is he's really staying at his girlfriends house and there is the potential that her kids could see him in the morning. It is a very low possibility but we want to be prepared.

So if you can follow all of that craziness do you have any advice on how to keep all of this from your kids while it is so interconnected?


I'd just say that we are both going out with friends. As for your husband's girlfriend's kids, that is up to her. If they see him there in the morning, she probably should not lie to them. If she doesn't want to tell them the truth, in case they tell your kids the truth, maybe he shouldn't be there when they wake.

Personally, I believe that one shouldn't partially involve children and then expect to keep lying to them. I think they find it confusing and it rocks their foundation of security when they feel like they aren't given the whole truth. It makes them unsure of themselves when they know what they see but some adult is telling them that their eyes are wrong. Just my opinion though.


Well-known member
Kids aren't stupid and resent being lied to.

So I just told them the truth from early on once I moved into a more committed relationship.


New member
You don't say how old your kids are. Depending on the ages, there are different ways to approach this.

When Hubby and I opened our marriage (before I realized polyamorous was a thing I could identify as, even though it was what I'd known I was for most of my life), we told Alt and Country pretty much the same thing you've told your kids, that we'd agreed we should have other friends and so were okay with each other hanging out with other people. As it happened, I was the one hanging out with others; Hubby had sex with another woman twice, but those weren't even in the context of dates (both times with her were after get-togethers with a group), and he lost interest pretty quickly. He says he's firmly monogamous.

I didn't tell Alt the truth until a year later, when I took my first trip to Michigan to see Guy, the man I was dating at the time. I didn't tell her sooner because she has severe abandonment and anxiety issues, and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to explain well enough for her to understand that there was no threat to Hubby's and my marriage.

I still didn't tell Country, because she's close with her father (my ex) and I was worried about her telling him in a fit of anger with me. That, to him, would have been grounds to take me back to court for another custody fight. I finally told her in June...ironically, just about a week before S2 decided he and I *weren't* in a relationship anymore.

In both cases, the kids, who have probably more of an understanding than I do of different sexualities, gender identities, and romantic orientations, said that as long as Hubby knew about everything and didn't have a problem with it, they didn't see why it was a big deal. (Country's response included "So what?")

Kids are often more understanding and more tolerant than their parents give them credit for. You've laid the groundwork with your kids by telling them you and your husband have separate friends, including friends of the opposite sex. Now you tell them that sometimes people love more than one person, and that it's okay to do that as long as no one is lying or hiding things, and you and your husband sometimes spend time with other people the way you do with each other. (Tweak to be age appropriate; obviously saying it that way to a teen is going to result in eyes rolling and "God, you mean sex?")

You say your friend is more open with her kids; ask her how she explained it to them. Ask her to help you and your husband figure out how to broach the subject with your kids. If your kids and hers are friends, and her kids already know what's going on, maybe sit down as a group and have the discussion; her kids might be able to explain it better than the adults.

But I would definitely agree with Max and Dagferi: Kids aren't stupid. They might already suspect something's going on, and if you don't tell them the truth, they might fill in the blanks with the worst case scenario. Be honest, especially if this is going to be a continuing part of their lives.


Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi 514icu,

Although your stories for the kids seem to be as good as anything I could think of, I tend to agree with the others in that my vote is to tell the kids (in an age-appropriate way) what's really happening. They're likely to figure out at least part of it anyway, and if you lie to them, they'll only end up confused if not worse. When no one has any kids it is easier to keep poly in the closet. But when someone has kids, well, that's different.

You could stick with your stories for the moment, but you'll need to come clean soon. At least that's what I believe.

Kevin T.


Active member
We just keep it simple. We all have names, the kids know who I am. Auto just tells her kids she's going to Schrodinger's house for a sleepover and she'll see them in the morning.

Answer direct questions honestly. You're not doing anything shameful, so don't be ashamed of it. But lying to your kids is just as stupid as lying to your partners.


I say tell them the truth... age appropriately, of course.


New member
I'll add my voice to what others have said. Kids are smart little buggers and the last thing you want is for them to figure out you or their father are having an "affair." Whatever negative things you think might happen from being open pale before the problems that can come if one or more of your kids thinks one of you is cheating and starts freaking out about their family being destroyed.

I'd approach it the same why I was taught to approach sex ed. Give age appropriate information, answer questions, but don't over inform or overwhelm. Talk w/ the kids together so they know both parents are on the same page and nothing is happening in secret.

"Mom is going to start spending some nights with her friend X and Dad is going to start spending some nights with his friend Y." If there is a chance of Y or X spending the night at your place add "X or Y might spend the night here sometime. We'll make sure you know ahead of time if we're having company."

If they ask for more detail, answer them. And given that kids (like most people) tend to be self centered, make sure they know they won't be effected (except for having to be on their best behavior for compnay, or whatever the standard house rules are)