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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I'm far from new to MDC, or parenting, but this poly thing, while it's been on our minds for awhile, is finally starting to actually happen, and issues are coming up that I thought I'd ask some vetrans about. And since they relate to parenting, hey, why not here? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
A short intro to where we are at: Dh met a woman at work who is known to be poly. He dropped some not so subtle hints that we are as well, and they are in the beginning stages of a relationship. She and I get along, but there's no chemistry, so we're just going to stay friends. We haven't even chatted with, much less met her husband, so I don't know where that part is going just yet (both he and my dh are bi) I'm not that into men, so I doubt that's going to work for me either, but new friends who understand our lifestyle are always good!<br><br>
So anyway, we will all meet in person next weekend (dh and J have met, of course, they work in the same office!), and our kids will be along (they don't have any children). We're going to go hiking at a nature park, and the subject of public affection between dh and J has come up. My first instinct is no way. Not in front of the kids. I don't want to be unfair to dh and J, but my kids are my first priority, and until we know whether or not this is going to be something long term, I'd rather err on the side of caution. As a child, it felt very very strange to me to see my dad hold hands with my step-mom, and they were doing it the way society says they should--long term monogamous relationship. I would think that it would be even more strange for dd to notice dh holding hands with J when mommy is right there.<br><br>
So I guess the question is, how and when do you start explaining things to the kids? When do you go from "this is Daddy's friend, J" to "This is Daddy's other partner, J"? When I was a single mom, I tried not to let dd get attached to anyone I dated until I knew they were going to be around for a good long time, and this feels kind of the same. Am I being unreasonable to say wait until we know J's going to be around for awhile? I don't intend to keep them in the dark forever, I'm just trying to figure out the timing.<br><br>
I think it doesn't help that I am not completely comfortable with this relationship yet. I have been very open with dh about this, and I would hope that he's passing it along to J so noone is being less than fully informed. I had assumed that we would both be in a relationship with the first woman we became involved with, so I"m still processing the fact that it's not working out that way. Getting through all the societal conditioning about someone "stealing" what is supposed to be "my" man. I've seen a lot of cheating in my life, always with bad outcomes, so I need to work on understanding with my heart, as well as my head, that that is NOT what's happening here. I thought a woman that we both loved would be a good transition through all that, but I have to deal with what is, not what I had dreamed of.<br><br>
If you have made it through this novel, I thank you, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 

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I mean this with kindness....<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I am not completely comfortable with this relationship yet</td>
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Then I'm afriad it will blow up in your face. IMO, the only way for poly relationships to work is for everyone to be comfortable with it.
 

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Oh, and I wouldn't be comfortable with PDA between him and her either. Is there any way you could avoid hanging with the kids?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Whit</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I mean this with kindness....<br><br>
Then I'm afriad it will blow up in your face. IMO, the only way for poly relationships to work is for everyone to be comfortable with it.</div>
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Understood. But I think a lot of it is standard first timer nervousness, which would happen no matter who the other person was. That's why I'm trying to work through it before I just bluntly say "nope, not gonna happen".<br><br>
I'm also the type that has a wild imagination, and makes things out in my head to be way worse than they are in reality. Best example I can come up with-- strip clubs. Dh used to hang out in them. When we got married, I said, "No, yuck, why would you want to do that?" and a lot of less polite things. Then I got a wild hair up my butt, and decided I wanted to see what they were really like, and it was nothing like what I imagined. I loved it! I've now gone several times on my own, and actually made friends with several dancers! :LOL The point of that long story is, I'm going to wait until we all meet in person, and see how I feel before deciding fully yay or nay. Dh knows, and I will be letting J know though, that things are basically in a holding pattern until then.<br><br>
Technically, we could find a time to hang out without the kids, but it wouldn't be easy, and would prolong this holding pattern (ds has special needs and finding someone to watch him isn't easy). I'm sure there will be times that we or they hang out without the kids if this continues, but I just want to get this first meeting over with and see what's going on.
 

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I haven't BTDT because we are only in the talking stages and haven't found any likely prospects. I really don't have any wisdom to share, but I didn't want to read and not post. My dd is a teen and I feel kinda in the middle. We had a situation that if it had been negociated better and we had been more mature might would have ended up poly when dd was still young, in that case the person was already like a member of the family and had a special name that dd used for them. Now that she is a teen I feel the need to keep certain things private, especially in the begining. But I also only have a couple more years till she is an adult and figure at that point, I can make different decisions.<br><br>
As a person that needs to look at all possible consequences for big decisions I see your questioning as normal. I worry more about those that just jump in and often try and deny possible concerns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Arduinna, I appreciate the input.<br><br>
I have decided, with dh, that if I am not comfortable after the first meeting, we aren't going to wait and try to figure things out more, it will be over and done. I think if I can't get past my issues with her after several hours chatting and several in person, I just won't be able to in any kind of timely fashion, and a newly beginning relationship isn't worth messing with our marriage over. We will then continue our search to find someone who we are BOTH comfortable, and hopefully, compatible, with.<br><br>
Oh, and on the PDA issue, I've come to the conclusion that I'm ok with a hug hello and/or goodbye, because that's something even friends do, but no more than that. That's more than they can do at work, but not enough to wig out the kids.<br><br>
If anyone has more ideas, input, opinions, whatever, I'm very open to hearing it!
 

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Hi Josie! I wanted to reply last night, but had a sleeping babe in my arms...<br><br>
We did specifically have our first relationship *together*, in fact all of our relationships have been together, except perhaps my lovely Michelle, who I just celebrated our one year anniversary with... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> My dh and her are intimate together, and definately care a lot about each other, but their "togetherness" is on a different level than mine and hers are. Sorta a few steps up from "friends with benefits" if that makes sence.<br><br>
I wouldn't have been comfortable with our first relationships being seperate, so I'm sure its pretty tough for you, and I think its really smart to figure out how you feel *now*, before they have gotten really invested in each other.<br><br>
I do display PDA with Michelle around Orion, she is definately long term. That and he's young, so I think easier for him to not think is weird. I am a bit nervous though, because I don't intend for my family or IL's to know about our poly (or my bi) situation and if I continue to feel that way, Michelle and I are going to have to chill out which is sad. It something I really need to be considering now I suppose. With our other "friends" we will hug and peck kiss in front of Orion, because I REALLY don't know how I'd explain being poly with a triad to family members! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Its kinda hard, having to be in the closet around them about both issues but both sides of the family are fundamental baptists! Eeek! (I was raised baptist as well and do consider myself a VERY liberal christian...) And both my IL's and family have made rude comments about gay and lesbian marriage and such. Its really too bad, but at this point in my life I don't feel like having a war with them... I am out openly to everyone else though (both the poly and the bi thing)...
 

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Hi there, Josie. I read your post a few days ago and have been thinking about it and how to respond.<br><br>
There are a few things that come to mind. Personally, I would not be comfortable at all with DH showing that kind of affection to someone unless it was a serious long-term relationship. It seems as though you have already settled it, but I just wanted to validate your instincts. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Second - there are many different ways to structure polygamous relationships. There are some couples who will only introduce a third person if that person is going to have a romantic relationship with BOTH partners. I think that is a more common arrangement (from what I've seen).<br><br>
My DH and I have a bit of a different relationship. He is allowed to have relationships, even long-term ones, that don't involve me. I say "he" because I rarely have the desire to pursue any outside relationships at this point in my life (since becoming a mom I just have too much going on). I'm really not the jealous type, so this has worked out well for us. However, it's not without its complications and problems.<br><br>
A few things to consider about your DH having a relationship that doesn't really involve you - first of all, if the relationship becomes long-term, how will you feel if your DH has feelings for her that he doesn't have for you? What if their sexual relationship is more intense than your sexual relationship with him - how will that make you feel?<br><br>
Also, what if you decide you just simply don't like this woman? Will your DH be allowed to continue to see her, and under what terms?<br><br>
I definitely understand your nervousness. You might want to talk with DH and mention that your nervousness is because you've never done this sort of thing before, but he can help that and build good trust with you by handling this well. Then explain what you mean by handling it well - you continuing to be his top priority romance-wise, you expect to be his primary relationship, etc. These things may seem obvious to you, but sometimes men are clueless. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I have one last thought. I have certainly had feelings of jealousy during my many romantic entanglements. I think many people are hesitant to say that they feel jealousy, as if there's something wrong with that emotion. I have learned the hard way that jealousy is a normal human emotion, and you have to drag it out in the open. If you feel jealous or neglected or inferior at any point, talk about it right away. Make sure your DP (and other DP's, if you're at that comfort level) are aware of your feelings, and what he/they need to do so you won't feel that way.<br><br>
I hope these thoughts help you! Good luck with your new perspective on relationships. Many people find polygamy to be a challenging but very rewarding lifestyle.<br><br>
Feel free to PM me if I can ever help you in any way or give you a BTDT's perspective. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Kay, thanks so much for the BTDT perspective.<br><br>
I've been ok with dh having flirty/sexual relationships (well, mostly online, but only because of scheduling problems) in the past, but it's never been with a woman, always a man. And that was easy to deal with. So for some reason, I thought it would be the same with a woman. Stupid me, eh? :LOL Maybe it would be with a different woman, who knows.<br><br>
I do feel that this particular woman is the problem. I'm pretty sure I'd be ok with dh having more of a romatic/physical relationship with a girl than I do, but I'd like to at least be friends with the girl, makes me feel like things would be more open, and less likely to cause problems. Dh has certain strong preferences (I'd call them needs, but I think if they were true needs, he probably wouldn't have married me, we weren't considering poly at that time) that I either can't, or am not comfortable fufilling. I think it would be awesome for him to have a partner who could fufill those desires for him. However, I do not wish to be left out in the dark. And either by lack of social skills, or actual intention, that's what this woman is trying to do. Really annoys the <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/censored.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="censored"> out of me.<br><br>
I'm probably being naive, but I think meeting in person may help solve this problem in 2 ways-- she'll be more comfortable talking to me once she's met me,and she will also see that dh defers to me in almost everything, so she needs to be open with ME if she wants to get with HIM. (I'm really not that controlling, it's the way he prefers to do things. He makes financial decisions, I decide about just about everything else) And if those things don't happen, then oh well, at least we have tried every reasonable avenue, and left a lot less room for "what ifs".<br><br>
I do reallly appreciate people reading and responding here. I can generally get my feelings out better in type, so this has been really helpful for me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Slight update-- they are coming over tomorrow night.<br><br>
Bigger update-- I finally got the nerve to IM her and kind of lay it on the line that I want to get to know her better before she and dh get too much further into this, and that if I'm not comfortable, nothing's going to happen. She was totally cool with that, and actually, liked it because she's really blunt and likes other people who are too. So now we are making tentative plans to hang out, just the 2 of us, as friends to experiment with different photography stuff (a hobby that we share). I'm feeling better about this now.
 

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That sounds great! I really think it's ALWAYS better to meet the person. I mean, your DH likes her so that's a good reason to get to know her, but also I just think it helps things so much. It's harder to get mad easily at someone when you've cooked them dinner or something, KWIM? So when conflicts happen having a little goodwill built up between the two of you will help, I think.<br><br>
I hope it goes great! I'm struggling a bit with my current situation with DH and his girlfriend. So I'm hoping to get that worked out better soon.<br><br>
Take care,
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
*whew* She just left. Her dh wasn't feeling well, so he didn't come along. Whether that's true or a ploy on her part, I'm not sure. So after some of the most boring hours of my life (I finally gave up and got out my knitting. LOL), we passed the agreed upon ending hour of the meeting. I said "I'm gonna go check on the kids, nice meeting you" blah blah blah, wink wink, nudge nudge for dh. The agreed upon level of affection was a hug. Agreed upon by all 3 of us, may I add. So I go upstairs to give them a chance to say goodbye and get in a little hug without an audience. As I come back to the top of the stairs to go back down, I hear a distinct kissing noise. Excuse me? WTF??? This wasn't in the contract folks!<br><br>
I was too upset to say much more than "I don't recall that being in the agreement" to dh, then I sat down to try to collect my thoughts and cool off. Luckily, he saved me from further having to rip him a new one by saying "Yeah, this isn't going to work. It just didn't feel right."<br><br>
Is it wrong that I am doing a little dance of joy that we can now move on to someone "better"? :LOL
 

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I'm glad that you're doing a dance of joy! However, I think you should be a bit concerned about DH's handling of this relationship. He said he would do one thing, and he did another.<br><br>
My advice (for what it's worth), and this is totally up to you and your comfort level and your relationship, but personally I think it would be worth having a talk with him about this.<br><br>
if you're already a bit uncomfortable/awkward in a situation, he is going to make things much worse if you feel as though you can't trust him to do what he says (and if it were me, I would specifically use the word trust to communicate the seriousness).<br><br>
JMO - if he wants you to go along with all of these things he wants to do, he needs to do a good job of making you as comfortable with it as possible, and making sure you can trust him.<br><br>
I'm glad it didn't end up working out with her though. Sounds like you just didn't click! My DH has dated people I didn't click with AT ALL (in fact, he's doing that now) and I can tell you it is SO much harder that way.
 
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