Polyamory paused by pregnancy/child

Phantessa

New member
I only recently learned about polyamory a few years ago. After speaking to a friend who is polyamorous, I broke down in tears because it just clicked for me. Suddenly, the feelings I had for other people while in a relationship was ok. My husband and I began to converse about it and we were open to exploring polyamory. I found someone to explore an online relationship with and months later I met him in person. He scared the shit out of me. He was physically aggressive and expected sex right away… I went to a public place with him and came running home. Epic fail...

My husband and I decided to have a child. During my pregnancy and for some time after we decided to put polyamory on hold. She’s 6 months now. Pregnancy and now parenthood has taken a major toll on our relationship. I know we made a good decision to put polyamory on hold. However, I recognize the desire to explore a second relationship to get my emotional needs met because he’s pulled away. I know we need to get our relationship on solid ground before we can explore any other relationships. We’ve started seeing a counselor to work on our relationship. It’s been hard and I know the first two years that a couple has a child are usually the hardest, but I never expected this. So, I post this thread: 1. To vent 2. To find out if anyone else had a similar experience and how things worked out 3. To get some support and/or advice.
 

AnotherConfused

New member
I felt like my relationship with my baby (both times) pulled so much time and attention away from my relationship with my husband, it was really hard to keep our marriage from being anything but a shared workload. I would guess this is not a good time to divide your time and attention any further.

Also, parenting gets way, way easier! Someone once told me, "The days are long but the years are short." If you can make it to age 3, which will be sooner than you think, then you'll find it a lot less work and a lot more entertaining. Can you give your husband that much?

(I feel funny offering advice when I'm so confused about my own life, but I get parenting.)
 

Phantessa

New member
I appreciate the words of wisdom from you both. We really haven't had much downtime to be together. My mother-in-law comes every now and then. I work full time and he's a college student and full time dad. We don't really have any other family or friends nearby to watch her, but we also have a hard time wanting someone else to watch her. We've started going hiking again, which was something we enjoyed doing together and was always a great opportunity for us to talk. It's different when we're pushing her in a stroller with us, but she pretty much sleeps the whole time. I know we need to keep talking, but I don't know if it's lack of sleep or sheer frustration sometimes but when we talk it turns into an argument almost every single time. So, we've recently stopped talking as much to avoid arguments. We probably need to keep talking to push past it, but it takes so much energy to try talking right now.
 

nycindie

Active member
I know we need to keep talking, but I don't know if it's lack of sleep or sheer frustration sometimes but when we talk it turns into an argument almost every single time. So, we've recently stopped talking as much to avoid arguments. We probably need to keep talking to push past it, but it takes so much energy to try talking right now.
Don't make every conversation about your relationship. Let your communications be a way to reconnect but by talking about other things, anything, and everything but you don't need to focus on how hard it's been and working on it all the time. Just try to see your partner as the new person he is - a dad! - and discover new things together. Don't stress and make it harder on yourself.
 

redpepper

New member
We put our non-monogamous life on hold for three years while our boy reached an age where he was more independent and ready to go out in to the world more. Its quite normal and to be expected. Babies need their parents undivided attention for at least 18 months and then for the rest of your lives they will demand your attention in one way or another. I'm glad to hear that you are listening to that and doing the job at hand.

Its hard for dad's when baby is small as they only want their mumma. What dad's don't realize is that at about 18 months, give or take they suddenly just want daddy... the cycle goes around and around. Right now daddies job is to take care or both of you and make sure he is doing stuff that you can't because you have baby on your arm. Unfortunately there is not much time left for anything else. It will come around eventually though.
 

AnnabelMore

Active member
I can give you a related perspective.

My gf and I had been dating for about a year when she and her husband conceived. She says, in retrospect, that she started to feel distant as soon as she saw the positive test result. I think that being together during this difficult time in her life may ultimately strengthen our relationship and, if nothing else, has proven our mutual devotion to communicating with each other and my devotion to supporting her. But could our relationship have started during this time? It's hard to imagine that it could've. And even though her child is just 2 weeks old now, and things may change quickly, I'm beginning to see that the early stages of parenthood may test our relationship far more even than the pregnancy did. I miss her so much sometimes, even though we see each other about twice a week, because I can't *just* spend time with her, her baby and her husband need her far too much... and I struggle to give her good energy, during this time when she barely has enough energy to keep herself sane, much less give any back to me.

So, simply put, as someone involved with a new mom, it's hard for me to imagine a new mom forming a successful, strong bond with someone completely new to her life. When the demands on my gf's body and heart and time mean that I can't think of asking a fraction of all I'd love to ask of her, a part of me does wonder why I'm staying so emotionally involved, what I'm getting back. What allows me to hold on to my romantic love for my gf is that knowledge, that memory, of what we've already shared together, during that first year we were dating, pre-pregnancy. The love and bond formed then, which she would never be able to invest the time and energy into forming now, holds me with her.

All of that said, I don't want to entirely discourage you. By all means, set up an OKC profile, go to poly meetups, form new friendships, socialize! But if I were you I would go into it not expecting to necessarily be able to develop anything too deep in the immediate future.
 

Phantessa

New member
AnnabelMore, it's good to hear from your perspective. When I was pregnant and up until very recently I wasn't interested in any intimacy or relationship with anyone. I had a lot of little health scares in the last few months which are slowly going away. But, I think if I had someone in my life before the pregnancy that supported me through it and had a good relationship with my child I could see that bond being strengthened. I would imagine her husband may be feeling something similar to you as well.

Redpepper, I think we're feeling kinda reversed on the stereotypical norms. She's with her dad 24/7 and barely sees me. I had to go back to work 2 weeks after giving birth and I work full time. I feel like I barely see her and I think she's got a stronger connection to her dad. So, I hope that 18 month switch that you saw happens in reverse and that she wants mommy time! ;) I think we're both kind of exhausted in general, she is only 6 months old.

I appreciate the support, it's nice to just talk some of this out and hear what other people have experienced.
 

AnnabelMore

Active member
When I was pregnant and up until very recently I wasn't interested in any intimacy or relationship with anyone. ... But, I think if I had someone in my life before the pregnancy that supported me through it and had a good relationship with my child I could see that bond being strengthened. I would imagine her husband may be feeling something similar to you as well. ... I appreciate the support, it's nice to just talk some of this out and hear what other people have experienced.

Phantessa, it's good to hear your perspective too! Knowing that you, too, lost interest in intimacy/relationships helps me feel less set aside by my gf. And you're right on target about her husband... in the last several posts in my blog in the Life Stories section I've been talking about just that. :)

I've often found that just writing out my thoughts in a public space, where I have to explain more than I might in a private journal, is really helpful. I'll so grateful for this forum!
 

sagency

New member
My mono, K, and I have a son who turned six months...oh, 34 minutes ago. We planned to have the one child, and things were fine through the preganancy (big medical drama at the end, but all are ok now). Because we planned things out, we've been reasonably ok.

Pursuing any extra or complicated relationship stuff hasn't so much been put on hold as it just hasn't managed to be a priority enough to get serious attention. Right now is more about maintenance and tending to the tiny terrorist rather than building a larger or deeper family.

One of the things we do is make sure that each of us has sanity time--time away from baby. I had to send K out earlier because she was fried, so I stayed with the kid. When she got back a few hours later, I was the one needing the rescue.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Phantessa, welcome to the forum. As a mother of 3 (now young adults), I salute you in motherhood.

New parenting is entirely overwhelming. It can make one feel distant, emotionally and romantically, from one's partner(s), as so much energy goes into the baby. And sleep deprivation can really kill the sex drive! My kids didnt sleep consistently at all til age 2 1/2 years. We did attachment parenting and co-slept with our kids because they needed it.

Sex with each other became sporadic. Like you, we didnt have trusted family nearby, and didn't feel comfortable leaving a child with a teenage babysitter until they were old enough to report to us how their evening went, which takes a good 2 1/2 til 3 years. Even then, we tended to do afternoon dates, to be home for the bedtime ritual the toddler was used to.

Once our youngest child turned 4, and was sleeping solidly through the night, my sex drive returned with a vengeance and so did my poly feelings.

I'd definitely recommend you put actually seeking other relationships on hold for now. Your primary bonds with baby and partner are paramount now. However, you can still be poly in mindset, if not in practice! Spend time reading up, and getting things in order with your husband, through counseling, dating when possible, small touches of affection, if not full on great animal sex lasting hours like in the good ol days.
 

Crescere

New member
I have a 4 and a half months daughter, and I live with my fiance and secundary partner.. My baby loves my partner, my baby loves my fiance, my baby loves me. It all goes well and my secundary partner and her communicate great. He's lived with us since I was 7 months pregnant.

I think I agree with Magdlyn, don't go searching for another relation. Yet if you find one that's suitable I don't think you should hold back just because you have a child.

To be truthful, after I gave birth my sex life with my fiance was 0, sex with him was considered more to be making babies, and my secondary partner surely brought back the excitement and lust even in our relationship. My mind just needed the switch that sex isn't necessarily reproduction.

Don't forget that hormones could last afterwards for a very long time. Communication is very important between you and your husband!
 

Newpolamory81

New member
I wish you luck!!! I am just starting in this poly phase of my life. My gf and I have 5 kids total. My Husband and I separated because he couldn't handle me having a gf, but we are now talking of trying a poly family. Our youngest is almost three and we have been together for almost 18 months. I am the stay at home parent. I feel drained as well as if I don't do enough for my gf. She works full time and I feel awful when she comes home and the house is a mess and the kids are screaming and fighting and dinner isn't ready. Kids are an extra stresser. The way I look at it, wait until your little one is about 2 or 3 to get more focused on the poly part of you. Then you will find someone who will respect you as the provider and mom and will know where they stand. Good luck with your hubby. Just don't stop talking, even if it's just about your day or his school work. It's important to talk.
 

Phantessa

New member
Update

Hey all, just wanted to give an update. The hubby and I have been spending more time together.. but more important laughing and enjoying our time together. I think part of the problem is that we just started doing our own individual things and avoided spending time together. We still have our ups and downs, but that extreme distance is closing. And now our little one is 7 months and doing great too. It's exciting to see her crawling around and trying to stand up! We're not actively exploring our poly side either, because we both recognize we need more time to reunite and solidify our relationship.
 

KGodc

New member
Phantessa,

My husband and I experienced a similar pulling away after our son (now 2 1/2) was born. Only now are we doing better are paying attention to each other as much as we have had to pay attention to our son. Sometimes our stress levels (from school, work, and child rearing) are so high, our conversations also turn into arguments. To help with this, we have explored other ways of communication. When we have to remind each other about tedious things we both hate, we write notes to reduce the personal tension. We email each other almost daily just to say hi or share a funny website. We also realized that even with the help of or parents to watch our child on some weekends, we needed to figure out how to get a baby sitter for one day (a few hours) per week, just so we could be alone together. Life does get easier and more interesting as children grow up, but the communication has to continue despite the hardship. Best of luck, and blessed be. Try to think about all of the things you love and not all of the things that are difficult or annoying...after all, we all have our faults, but love is about focusing on the beauty, not the pain.

KGodc
 

Phantessa

New member
Thanks KGodc. Also, I'm gonna steal that idea of leaving notes to take the argumentative sting out of some things.
 

dragonflysky

New member
Having raised two sons I know it's hard to think about entrusting your little one to a teen-age babysitter....BUT...if you don't keep your marriage healthy and intact it can be harder parenting a child in an adversarial household or through a divorce. One thing I found helpful was to have a potential babysitter come over and spend time at our home with myself and the baby for a few hours for a few times. That way you can observe for yourself how they do. They can learn what routines you have for your little one, and your little one can get used to the sitter. When you finally decide to leave the baby with the sitter, make those first few times out short....maybe an hour or two.
 
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