Polyamory.com Forum

Polyamory.com Forum (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/index.php)
-   General Poly Discussions (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=2)
-   -   kids in the mix (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25436)

earthlovemother 07-08-2012 05:24 AM

kids in the mix
I am wondering if anyone else has encountered the circumstance of having children and being in a poly relationship. My Husband and I were poly before marriage and have had a couple of relationships since having children. We so far have kept them from the truth which for us totally goes against everything we believe in. We are for the most part very truthful with them. Our eldest is now 6 very smart, I don't want, lets call her T, T to find out and be hurt I would rather be honest. Though I conflict this feeling with one that tells me I could harm her sense of security. I don't really know if its just society telling me to fell this way or if its a gut feeling. I know know one can decide what is right beside us, but I would like to hear if anyone else has encountered this, and what their views are. Thanks

BrigidsDaughter 07-08-2012 06:11 PM

Runic Wolf and I don't tell our 10 year old that we're poly, though Runic Wolf did call his ex his girlfriend infront of him and it seemed to completely go over his head. Wendigo is here a lot, as are a handful of other friends and I am a very cuddly person, so don't avoid showing affection infront of him, though I've never kissed Wendigo infront of him. Runic Wolf would hug Loveleigh and kiss her forehead infront of our kids (she has 3 that live with her and we have 1).

Wendigo's son knows that we're friends, but he's 16 so we're more careful about keeping our relationship from prying eyes. Though we've been known to make out in his driveway when I take him home at night, we're careful to make sure that the car lights are off and that it isn't obvious that people are awake in his house. I remember last summer they had a dumpster in the yard and we'd park on one side of it, we started making out and then heard splashing coming from their pool on the other side of the dumpster. His son and nephews were still up and swimming after midnight. They couldn't see us, but it definitely reminded us to be more aware.

GalaGirl 07-08-2012 06:26 PM

Our friends were honest with their kid (admirable) but then got outed by their kid (caused a lot of flak). They did not blame the child or anything (also admirable) but now there's a lot of relationship damage to be dealt with. I think they went with the "let's be honest and deal with it when we get there if we get there" approach. Fair 'nuff -- it's their fam.

To me it's easier to just be closed in the parenting time. I don't think it's a horrible thing to be poly in the parenting time, it just is not a space *I* want to deal in.

If I were going to be open in the family/parenting decades of the 30s and 40s I would be honest all the way across. From the start -- I don't like the "deal with it when we get there" because I don't want that kind of random emotional storm. I rather prepare, hit it, and get through it. I do not like it sneaking up on me.

Easier would be to be out to family and friends BEFORE having the kids though.

Young kids are blank slates -- they are very accepting. You being out to the kid is not going to be a prob.

But they have kid brains and internalize things sometimes and do not understand or process like an adult.

I'd hate to put the kid in the rough spot of feeling like they have to choose between allegiance to the parents and allegiance to say... the grandparents. Because the grandparents are not down with Poly and can't just leave it alone and agree to disagree. That's emotional brouhaha that a young kid could be spared.

That said, sooner or later it comes to their awareness that there are alternative family structures. My kid covered that already in her sex ed class -- adoptive families, lesbigay familes, etc. To her poly just seemed to be part of the mix of possibilities. I like "Our Whole Lives" for the honesty in sex and relationships, although I have to do some home bonus info to round out places where I think it does not stretch enough. But of all the things that is out there, that's the best I've found.

I dunno if that helps.


ThatGirlInGray 07-10-2012 07:40 PM

I have mixed feelings about this. I was not able to be poly and out before kids because I didn't even know about poly until after I had a kid.

Right now I'm in a LDR with TGIB. As long as it stays a LDR, neither he nor I see any reason to be "out" to family (our parents or our kids) about it. We're out to friends, but to family we're "best friends" (which is true, just not the whole truth!) and TGIB gets included in things as a best friend/family friend. My kids are too young at this point to know anything about sex, and I'm okay sticking with "Who I sleep with is none of their business" in regards to both my kids and the rest of my family. While it goes against the grain to not be fully truthful and honest, the cons of being "out" at the moment outweigh the pros.

Eventually TGIB hopes to move here, and once we've managed that chaos and things have settled down, I'll tell my parents about my relationship with TGIB. My mom will likely be upset and fear the damage it will do to my marriage and my kids, but by then I'll have years of "Well it hasn't so far, so the odds are slim" to back me up. Then, and only then, will I tell my kids, precisely because I WON'T put them in a position to have to "not tell" or even lie about it. I also don't think my kids will much care, because even now they're used to TGIB being a part of our lives, and they still won't need to know what goes on in my bedroom!

NovemberRain 07-11-2012 04:16 AM

I was an extra-oblivious child, I think. My parents took 'naps.' and I actually thought they were sleeping. I was a kid, I took naps, it was a pretty logical conclusion. When they took naps, I was expected to entertain myself. And I did. I was an only child.

I suspect I would have been confused if they had tried to sit me down and explain it. They sent me to therapy when they had a 'trial separation' when I was 8, to make sure I didn't think it was my fault. I don't remember being asked directly if I thought that; but I suspect that would have confused me as well. I could not, as a child, imagine that my parents considered me in anything they did, so why would anything I did affect them. (oh ya, we were special)

And my dad had girlfriends. I remember them coming to dinner. I do not know if my mom knew they were girlfriends before she served them dinner or not. I do know they came to dinner more than once; I remember at least three of them clearly. And I do know she bitched about them later (when I was older, after their bitter divorce).

I think most children are not as oblivious as I was. You know your kids better, and can find out what they think, what they know, and how they feel. How will it enrich their lives to know? How will it put their happiness and security at risk if they know? How will it enrich their lives to not know? How will it put their psyches at risk to not know?

Just stuff to ponder.

LovingRadiance 07-11-2012 04:16 AM

My husband (Maca) , boyfriend (GG) and I live together.

I have a daughter who is now 20. She's known GG since she was a year old and Maca since she was 6.

Maca has a son who is 16, he's known GG and I since he was 2.

Maca and I have a son who is 12 and GG was the sperm donor for our 5 year old daughter.

We've been officially poly for nearly 3 years and been out the whole time with kids, extended family and close friends. The guys both work and have been out at work for the last 2 years.

Honestly, I can't imagine lying about something so significant to the kids.
Their lives have been significantly involved with GG and knowing that he's always going to be an integral part of our lives and family has been a good thing.

Additionally, after telling everyone we were poly and explaining our dynamic, my sister, stepbrother and several friends have "come out" about their own polydynamics and my fil came out as a swinger. So, the concept isn't foreign to the kids or the extended family.

As far as new lovers, we do have a rule that until a relationship is established as being long-term commitment-they aren't brought around the kids. This was agreed to after several potentials met the kids and the kids couldn't understand why they subsequently left their lives shortly there after.

There are by the way other threads regarding this topic if you do a search on kids/poly or children/poly. :)

DarayTala 07-13-2012 05:26 PM

I haven't had children yet, although I plan on it in the future. I guess for me its strange to hear about people who aren't open to their children, since I can't imagine hiding that or being able to. I know my situation is very different from most though. I live with my three partners, and they are a very big part of my every day life. I agree when people say that it may just not be a child's business to know about their parents sex life. That said, if the relationship is long term, and focused on love and not just sex, I would definitely be open with my child about the partnership. For me, not to share that I am with that person and love them would be as unnatural as not sharing that I love or loved the child's father, even if that father was no longer in our lives. I realize it is different for a lot of people, especially when other relationships may not be as serious, a live in relationship, a long term thing, and so on. I just look forward to raising children in a loving poly household where they have a whole group of adults to look after them.

LovingRadiance 07-13-2012 06:15 PM

That's how I feel (excpet I do already have kids) :) .

I don't discuss SEX with the kiddos. But, I'm not pretending that it's a secret that GG and I kiss because we love each other and daddy and I kiss because we love each other.
I've even heard them both hvae to answer the 5 year old who wanted to know if they don't love each other because they don't kiss. LMAO! That was hilarious!

With my 12 year old and the older two-it's just a given that we do hvae sex-they know what sex is, they're aware that we have sex-they're aware that's how their younger siblings came to be. Shrug.

Tonberry 07-13-2012 08:58 PM

My thoughts exactly, Daray and Radiance.
I don't think it's about "talking about your sex life". Kids usually know their parents have sex, that's just the way it is. That doesn't mean parents talk to their kids about having sex. They just talk about loving each other. And I can't imagine loving more than one man, but only telling my kids that I love one of them. That doesn't seem like a good example for kids, either, because if they find out, it will seem like I'm telling them "you should hide some of your friends" or "it's okay to be ashamed that you love some people".
That's not the kind of message I would want to send.
And of course, when they do realise it, even though I'm poly now and no kid has been born, well they'd feel betrayed and lied to for all of their lives, and like I'm a different person than the one they trusted. And that's pretty harsh too.

LovingRadiance 07-13-2012 09:48 PM


Originally Posted by Tonberry (Post 143398)
And I can't imagine loving more than one man, but only telling my kids that I love one of them. That doesn't seem like a good example for kids, either, because if they find out, it will seem like I'm telling them "you should hide some of your friends" or "it's okay to be ashamed that you love some people".
That's not the kind of message I would want to send.
And of course, when they do realise it, even though I'm poly now and no kid has been born, well they'd feel betrayed and lied to for all of their lives, and like I'm a different person than the one they trusted. And that's pretty harsh too.

Very true. I have always been clear to my kids that loving someone means treating them with honor and respect as a person. It would be sending mixed messages if I said I loved GG, but he was "secret". That was one of the struggles I had when we had an affair. :(
It was one of the reasons I went searching to figure out what the fuck was wrong with me and why I was never happy in mono relationships, but happiest with 2 or more loves at once.

I want my kids to know how to be real, be true to themselves and be happy in life.
Furthermore, I've taught them not to lie. But, keeping someone a secret IS lying. One of the big conversations we've had with the teens is that lying by omission is STILL LYING. It's like ARMED robbery is still a robbery.

regarding the way they feel about finding out their parents misrepresented the truth their hwole lives, I had a friend who found out at 18 he was adopted. He was loved, adored even. But, finding out that he was adopted left him feeling like he'd been lied to about who he was and who his family was his whole life. So, then he questioned EVERYTHING he'd experienced and been told. So "I love you" was suddenly a questionable statement. It really f'd him up for like 20 years!

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:22 PM.