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JaneDoe41 08-07-2011 09:38 AM

New to the Forum
I became involved with Randy eleven months ago as I was in midst of exodus from my second failed marriage. Randy has a full-time permanent primary partner in Vivian. I am not his first "second" but he is my first polyamorous partner. The relationship is not closed for any of us, but at this time there are no other partners involved. Whether it be the phenomenon of NRE, or just good chemistry, I am happier in this situation than I have been in my two previous monogamous marriages. This man is good to me and kind to me and makes me feel very special when we are together. We see each other one-on-one regularly about twice a week, and Randy, Viv, and I have a "date night" together about once a month, which really helps with keeping communication open. This is a relationship that I'd like to remain ongoing.

I have a 10-year-old son, whom I consider my "primary" relationship. He is aware of Randy, and has met him twice, but I feel very strongly that I want my love life, whether mono or poly, kept separate from him. Lately, he has been really pressuring me to allow him to spend time with Randy. He says he wants to "get to know him". Randy and I agree that children need stability and that he is not the one to provide stability for my child. I have explained to my son that Randy is my "adult friend" and that I need "adult friends" just like he needs "kid friends", but that mommy is not going to be getting married again and no one is moving in together, so he doesn't need to worry about such things right now.

People who know me know that I am seeing someone, but with few exceptions, no one that I am close to knows the poly nature of my relationship. I guess the reason I am writing is to get feedback from others who might be similarly involved to see if I am on the right track. I am content with a quiet satisfaction that I gain from this relationship. I feel no need to shout to the rooftops that I am in love. But I also foresee Randy (and Vivian) being part of my life for quite some time to come and I'm wondering how I introduce and explain this to other people in my life, including my child.

Advice and suggestions welcomed...

AutumnalTone 08-07-2011 06:44 PM

Welcome aboard.

ImaginaryIllusion 08-07-2011 08:05 PM

How we handle kids in relationships always seems to be a contentious issue, and what works for some doesn't fit with others. As parents of course we're the ones with the responsibility for the kids, so I'll offer up a suggestion or two, but of course it's your call.

It's admirable that Randy and yourself are taking a look at stability, and acknowledging that your relationship for whatever reason may not provide that for your kid.

That said, they're not china dolls, and cannot be protected from everything. Life involves a number of people coming into and out of our lives, and our health depends on being able to forge new relationships and deal with losses along the line. It's certainly problematic if people are passing through their lives randomly and repeatedly, but it doesn't sound like anyone involved here is intending on irresponsibly jerking around your son.

The biggest indicator here I think is that your son is looking for answers...and a relationship. Those who are important to you are likely to be important to him. There's an advantage here that your son should be old enough to reason with him about what's going on with Randy, and what risks there may be in how much time there may be available, and the risks involved in getting close to someone who may not be around. Your son has an opportunity with Randy that most kids don't get very often, the chance to go into a relationship with his eyes open. It's no guarantee that there won't still be tears and heartache down the line, as in any venture...but at least it will minimize the disappointment that frequently accompanies the breakup of relationships that were supposed to be "forever and always".

Your son is looking for answers, and you have enough of the questions to help him on the journey. As long as you're honest with him, and yourself, you can't go too far wrong.

Welcome to the Forum.

JaneDoe41 08-08-2011 02:11 PM

I wanted to say thank you for the responses. I am still digesting this information and I'll post again further, but I just wanted to offer my thanks for your understanding, compassion, and the welcoming nature of this forum.

nicothoe 08-10-2011 02:50 AM

Whenever I talk about my relationships, I always count the two relationships I have with my kids, emphasizing that their need for me will be greater than that of any other person.

The wife and I made the decision from the start to be open to our kids, that is, not to pretend we don't see anyone else. We refer to our other partners are boyfriends and girlfriends, and they know daddy sometimes spends the night at Writer's house. While they don't see my girlfriend that often, they are in complete awe of her, and become a little manic when she is around. It's sweet that she is not simply another adult to them.

How much of of relationship you allow to develop between your son and Randy is up to you, but my own opinion is that not having Randy be a complete stranger can only be a good thing.

JaneDoe41 08-11-2011 11:38 AM

Thanks again for the interest in my thread.

My last husband, the father of my son, was militantly monogamous. One catalyst for our divorce was that I had a friendship with a man (albeit non-sexual) and he was extremely jealous and deemed that friendship inappropriate. He went so far as to vent to our son that mommy was "cheating". It was overblown and I feel really inappropriate information for a then-8 year old to try to digest. Because my son has received such disturbing information, he has a very conflicting concept of sexuality and what "cheating" means. I have no idea how to begin to explain poly love.

His father is still heavily involved in his life, and as such, he is still receiving large doses of his father's so-called "morality". Furthermore, I live in Tennessee, and there is a well-known court case here where custody was stripped from a poly mother who "came out". I fear that should my child have too much information about the nature of my relationship with Randy, his innocent discussion of it with his father could lead to more overblown reactions and a possible custody battle. My son's in therapy and he's still recovering from the divorce. Perhaps the time will come when he's mature enough to accept another man in my life, but a man with another girlfriend, I'm not so sure, because of the programming he's received and still receives from his father.

My relationship with Randy and Vivian is important to me. I love Randy and he loves me back, and Vivian is supportive of our relationship, and I appreciate her. I'm just not willing to risk drama and turmoil with my ex over my son. That's why I just want to be quiet and stay happy for now. I've been through a lot of pain in my marriages and I just feel that I deserve some happiness even if it comes in a non-traditional form.

Thanks for reading. Thoughts?

ImaginaryIllusion 08-11-2011 06:20 PM


Originally Posted by JaneDoe41 (Post 96792)
That's why I just want to be quiet and stay happy for now. I've been through a lot of pain in my marriages and I just feel that I deserve some happiness even if it comes in a non-traditional form.

Everyone deserves happiness, and I hope you find it however it works for you. I don't envy the situation you find yourself in trying to balance your own worldview with that of your ex when it comes to relating with your son.

I know there's others around here who also live in places that are less accepting or favourable to non-traditional relationships, and have serious consequences for those who don't follow the party line. Hopefully some previous stories will help you to negotiate them successfully. (I wish I had some better suggestions, but since I live in an area which is fairly tolerant of other people's behavior, my only suggestion might be to move to a less socially restrictive environment....which is unlikely to be a workable solution for you.)

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