Relationship downsizing

Norwegianpoly

New member
It has been some months since my ex-husband left me (and my boyfriend) and it seems likely that we will not get back together.

I have heard that it is usual that one person leaving can result in the whole relationship structure to disintegrate, and I am at times fearful for it happening to us. I do still feel very much that we are in the "remains of a poly relationship", rather than being in a monogamous relationship. We have to restructure everything, and the person I would like advice from, my ex, is not available. I feel weird in how to handle questions like marriage and kids, and I am pretty paranoid but also rushed (my ex left me as we were about to start trying for kids. I am not young). It is a very weird setting all of a sudden trying to address this issues "on my own" - the timing feels wrong.

I could address things head on, and have been adviced to, still the "now that he is gone, who are we" question remains. We did talk a little bit about it, like I said that I was not looking to add on (just continuing with him is enough to make me struggle some days. The thought of dating more people make me sweat). I said I wanted to be monogamous, he said something about threesomes that made me feel very hurt. I guess there is no way to tread lightly in this process.

I feel foolish to address things like "Well, now that he left, why dont you and I marry instead" or "Well, now that I am not going to have kids with my ex, how about you and I give it a go before my egg collection runs dry". My ex leaving me got me hurt, and changed our structure as well. We became mono overnight, it is not the same as dating and slowly starting to talk about these things - I met my boyfriend when I was already married with plans to have a kid. I knew how to do mono. I learned how to do poly. What we have now, is weird remains. I am not sure how to twist it into something that we both are comfortable with. I struggle with on the one hand feeling more loved than ever by my boyfriend, and on the other hand being scared to plan the future (he is probably unsure of to rock the boat too).

I just wonder if someone who "downsized" from 3 to 2 in the relationship have advice on how to deal with the structural change.

I am probably seeing my boyfriend next month (our second visit since the breakup) and I am planning to initiate some "serious conversation" stuff. I think since I feel so nervous about it, I have to plan what to say. I would appreciate any pointers.
 

vinsanity0

Active member
I think a lot of that disintegration comes from people placing blame on the demise of one relationship on the other partner. It doesn't sound like you are doing that. It also doesn't sound like he is pressuring you into anything.

When Cat died I immediately felt pressure from MK to escalate our relationship. I also got a sense of the same thing from Elle. Sprite isn't looking for a "primary" type relationship so there was no pressure there. I'm pretty sure Mary secretly hopes I don't get serious with anyone and one day we will live happily ever after.

It takes time to recover from a loss, whether it is death or a break-up. Personally, I had to take a step back from all my relationships in order to work on me. I'm still in the process of doing that.

I think it is inevitable that such a major incident will cause you to have to reevaluate your other relationship. I don't think it would be fair to try to force your expectations on him. You just need to have those conversations. Then you can decide what to do. What if he doesn't want children of his own?
 

breathemusic

Active member
Correct me if I'm wrong, but before your husband left, you were already considering divorcing your husband and marrying your b/f strictly for the legalities that would come with b/f trying to relocate to you, correct? So while I normally wouldn't say rush into marriage just because of a breakup.... if this was already something under discussion, you could possibly approach it from that angle? Though realistically, you're going through A LOT right now, so I wouldn't just rush into that.

The other thing to consider is that if having a child is important to YOU but you don't want to rush b/f into having a child, if he was prepared to date you when you had kids with your husband, would you ever consider adoption or some other means of having a child but not having b/f be the biological father? If he wants to become the actual father figure later, he could opt to adopt if your relationship gets to that point.

Basically, you need time to settle into a new norm, but I think you also need to take into consideration what goals you want for yourself in life, even outside of your relationships.
 

lunabunny

New member
As I've discovered in my relationship, one lover is never a substitute for another. Just as each person is a unique individual, so every dyad relates differently and has different interests, priorities and long-term goals.

You and your boyfriend have to settle into this new way of relating and "being" before any heavy decisions are made. Does HE want to be mono? It doesn't necessarily sound like it from his mentions of threesomes. Does he WANT to marry you? (Other than as a means to relocate more easily.) Does HE want to have children one day? And if so, does he want them soon?

These are the questions that you need to answer, but they should arise as organically as possible once you've settled back into harmonious existence, rather than being pushed forward as part of a desperate "body clock ticking!" agenda.
 

Ravenscroft

Banned
You could consider freezing your eggs. No idea as to the cost of that sorry.
Makes it sound so easy, as though her ovaries are a vending machine: someone pokes a chi meridian & out pops an egg. Jab the button a few more times, & there ya go. :rolleyes:

There's this really cool new thing, called... um...like "Goggle" or something. :D

10 Realities of Freezing Your Eggs

Actually, it's a pretty wimpy article on the topic (with a subtly scary headline), but there's a few salient points --
The cost of medication and treatment for one cycle is roughly $10,000-12,000 and storing eggs will cost $800 per year.
As "one cycle" is like 15 eggs, you'd probably want to do three or five or ten, right? This is insurance after all.

And then there's the costs of implantation. And just as every instance of intercourse doesn't lead to pregnancy, it's likely that multiple courses will have to be used up.

This does nothing to question The Cult Of Mommyhood, but that's for another day. ;)
 

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
These are the questions that you need to answer, but they should arise as organically as possible once you've settled back into harmonious existence, rather than being pushed forward as part of a desperate "body clock ticking!" agenda.

A big part of the issue here is that NP and her BF are long distance living in separate countries. There has never been a long term, everyday life together. NP and her BF are kinda finding a brand new harmonious existence of long distance, not able to settle back into what was before. NP, you're not only acclimatizing to a mono relationship, but are you also talking about one of you changing countries? Add to that the "need" for children and you've got an awful lot of adjusting going on right now. It's important for you to know that as you proceed with your discussions about your new monogamy. It's not just the monogamy that's hanging in the air and the vibe in your relationship will reflect that.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Norwegianpoly,

I think it makes sense for you to marry your boyfriend. You were already planning to do that, to eliminate the long-distance factor. I only see that changing if you want to break up with your boyfriend. Just my point of view.

Regards,
Kevin T.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I am probably seeing my boyfriend next month (our second visit since the breakup) and I am planning to initiate some "serious conversation" stuff. I think since I feel so nervous about it, I have to plan what to say. I would appreciate any pointers.

I suggest just being honest. If you are hoping to get married and have kids in the near future, you need to know if BF is that person or not. So sort it out. If he's not that person, do you guys want to continue in a poly LDR thing or take this as opportunity to disband that also?

You might also have to come to terms with maybe not getting married as you had hoped. Maybe you thought it would be at a certain decade of your life and now you might be looking at it in another decade. You might also have to come to terms with maybe not having kids as you hope. Maybe you change gears from wanting bio kids in a certain decade to adopting them in a later decade or changing your mind and not having any.

I wouldn't make any life changing decisions while grieving, but I also don't think it hurts to look to future. That is part of healing from grief and regaining balance after being shook up. To start to look ahead and visualize the next picture you want to shoot for. To assess what it is you lost, what it is you have, what you want to keep, and what you want to let go of.

So you can start fresh and without too much baggage weighing you down.

Galagirl
 
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lunabunny

New member
These are the questions that you need to answer, but they should arise as organically as possible once you've settled back into harmonious existence, rather than being pushed forward as part of a desperate "body clock ticking!" agenda.

A big part of the issue here is that NP and her BF are long distance living in separate countries. There has never been a long term, everyday life together. NP and her BF are kinda finding a brand new harmonious existence of long distance, not able to settle back into what was before. NP, you're not only acclimatizing to a mono relationship, but are you also talking about one of you changing countries? Add to that the "need" for children and you've got an awful lot of adjusting going on right now. It's important for you to know that as you proceed with your discussions about your new monogamy. It's not just the monogamy that's hanging in the air and the vibe in your relationship will reflect that.

Yes, I understand that's the case for NorwegianPoly, as I am also in a similar LDR-looking-at-moving-countries situation right now (minus the desire for children).

What I said in my original response was that NP and her boyfriend need TIME to settle into a new way of relating and being, now that the husband has left. Their relationship need not immediately take on a paradigm shift (or several), such as marrying, moving countries or having a child... IMMEDIATELY... as either a knee-jerk reaction to loss or a substitute for the former husband and his role in NP's life.

The fact that NP and her bf were already contemplating some of these life changes makes me think it's not intrinsically a bad idea for them to be thinking about and planning for these eventualities. But these decisions need to be arrived at in their own time, and after much open discussion and grave forethought.

NorwegianPoly, just because you were all geared up to have children with your previous spouse does not mean you can assume your bf wants children unless you've had several serious discussions about that topic. You two NEED to be on the same page about marriage and children, and indeed, as you said a restructure of your relationship may have to occur.

You seem so unsure about where he stands, and that is not the basis for a marriage. If he wants threesomes and/or other lovers, how do you feel about that? You've both been accidentally thrust into monogamy by the departure of your husband, but that does not mean he (or either of you) are obligated to continue as a mono couple.
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
You just need to have those conversations. Then you can decide what to do. What if he doesn't want children of his own?
Well, who knows. Maybe not even him, yet. We need to take time to get to know each other better in this new situation. I/we also need to settle the estate before I/we can realistically afford children anyway.
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
Correct me if I'm wrong, but before your husband left, you were already considering divorcing your husband and marrying your b/f strictly for the legalities that would come with b/f trying to relocate to you, correct? So while I normally wouldn't say rush into marriage just because of a breakup.... if this was already something under discussion, you could possibly approach it from that angle? Though realistically, you're going through A LOT right now, so I wouldn't just rush into that.

The other thing to consider is that if having a child is important to YOU but you don't want to rush b/f into having a child, if he was prepared to date you when you had kids with your husband, would you ever consider adoption or some other means of having a child but not having b/f be the biological father? If he wants to become the actual father figure later, he could opt to adopt if your relationship gets to that point.

Basically, you need time to settle into a new norm, but I think you also need to take into consideration what goals you want for yourself in life, even outside of your relationships.
Yes, I am looking at it from that angle for the most part. We will get a new legal option that we did not have before, and why not make use of it. It is not an option until a year from now (plus with international fiance visas, probably add another six months at least), so it is not possable to rush :)

I am considering getting a child through a sperm donor/hospital. However, that is illegal for single women in my country, and so I have to go abroad for each attempt which is expensive and inconvenient (although granted, right now I actually have to go abroad to get impregnated by him too. I suspect he would not feel good about a donor - and his family would dissaprove it if their soon to be daughter in law has a child out of wedlock that is not even his. I can understand that he did not want to be a father before when dating a married woman in another country, too many uncertainties. I am not sure if he sees it as the same if we got married. I am pretty sure we are going to get married. I just fear that I may not want to if he does not want a kid, and he may not want a kid unless I marry him first. If that makes any sense...
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
As I've discovered in my relationship, one lover is never a substitute for another. Just as each person is a unique individual, so every dyad relates differently and has different interests, priorities and long-term goals.

You and your boyfriend have to settle into this new way of relating and "being" before any heavy decisions are made. Does HE want to be mono? It doesn't necessarily sound like it from his mentions of threesomes. Does he WANT to marry you? (Other than as a means to relocate more easily.) Does HE want to have children one day? And if so, does he want them soon?

These are the questions that you need to answer, but they should arise as organically as possible once you've settled back into harmonious existence, rather than being pushed forward as part of a desperate "body clock ticking!" agenda.
I think he wants to be mono, more or less (he mentioned threesomes as something he would be attracted to try once). I pretty sure he wants to marry me - it has been his complaint in the past that he was not able to. I want him to introduce him to my family before we make any final decitions, but I want to be able to at least put it on the table soon.
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
Is this actually happening? How much longer do you have? Is thid what a medical professional told you, or what you read on Facebook?

Watch this:
The "35+" myth
I am 37 years old, I turn 38 in a few months time. I am fertile, according to the gynecologist I saw two months ago. I notice that I still get periods on time. The question is how long my good fertility will last us, since it will realistically be at least two years until we can live in the same country and, well, really start to try even if we both want to. The "impatient woman" bookwriting scientist on Adam mentioned that she had her last kid at 40. Well, that means she probably got pregnant at 39, which is not far away for me. And I would ideally like to have more than one kid, as well, which does not leave me much time since, as she said "the real decline starts in the 40s". I use gestagen-only birth control as to not meddle with my fertility. Let's hope for the best.
 
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Norwegianpoly

New member
NP, you're not only acclimatizing to a mono relationship, but are you also talking about one of you changing countries? Add to that the "need" for children and you've got an awful lot of adjusting going on right now. It's important for you to know that as you proceed with your discussions about your new monogamy. It's not just the monogamy that's hanging in the air and the vibe in your relationship will reflect that.
Yes, we have talked for the last three years of the possability of him moving to my country. We already considered work immigration visa to make it happen. He has started to learn my language. Yes, a lot of things are happening now :)
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
Hi Norwegianpoly,

I think it makes sense for you to marry your boyfriend. You were already planning to do that, to eliminate the long-distance factor. I only see that changing if you want to break up with your boyfriend. Just my point of view.

Regards,
Kevin T.
Thank you. I am not planning to break up with my boyfriend :) I want to marry him more than anything.
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
I suggest just being honest. If you are hoping to get married and have kids in the near future, you need to know if BF is that person or not. So sort it out. If he's not that person, do you guys want to continue in a poly LDR thing or take this as opportunity to disband that also?

You might also have to come to terms with maybe not getting married as you had hoped. Maybe you thought it would be at a certain decade of your life and now you might be looking at it in another decade. You might also have to come to terms with maybe not having kids as you hope. Maybe you change gears from wanting bio kids in a certain decade to adopting them in a later decade or changing your mind and not having any.

I wouldn't make any life changing decisions while grieving, but I also don't think it hurts to look to future. That is part of healing from grief and regaining balance after being shook up. To start to look ahead and visualize the next picture you want to shoot for. To assess what it is you lost, what it is you have, what you want to keep, and what you want to let go of.

So you can start fresh and without too much baggage weighing you down.

Galagirl
I plan to be honest, it is more like a matter of how to be honest in the best way :)

I think we will continue as a mono or pretty mono couple. We may still be long distance for a few years weather we like it or not (since it takes a year to get divorced and at least 6-9 months to get a finance visa).

I am soon too old to be considered for international adoption (and we have almost no national adoption in my country). The international adoption agencies prefer married couples, and close the uppertunity when you/ the oldest of the couple is above 40. I am 38 in December. It will take us 2 years to get divorced/married. So, it will be bio kids or no kids.
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
NorwegianPoly, just because you were all geared up to have children with your previous spouse does not mean you can assume your bf wants children unless you've had several serious discussions about that topic. You two NEED to be on the same page about marriage and children, and indeed, as you said a restructure of your relationship may have to occur.

You seem so unsure about where he stands, and that is not the basis for a marriage. If he wants threesomes and/or other lovers, how do you feel about that? You've both been accidentally thrust into monogamy by the departure of your husband, but that does not mean he (or either of you) are obligated to continue as a mono couple.
If my life with my husband has taught me anything, it is that serious discussious about being on the same page may mean zero when it comes down to it. Because all that matters is if people are doing what needs to be done to make it happen.

It think it is more correct to put it as that he is probably unsure of where he stands when it comes to children. And that he has been honest enough to pass on this info to me. But he also told me "You know me, I first say no, then I say yes". It may not be a clue that he is thinking about kids, but then again it can be.

I dont think he wants other lovers. I dont know if I (or even he) want threesomes. It is not that we are obliged to do mono, but I feel no need to explore further.
 
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