Not sure what to do....single parenting,poly and kink....
I haven't been on here in a while, but I am back! I have dabble in poly relationships for quite some time, but hadn't found one that was quite the right *fit* for me, up until a couple months ago. I am a single momma to my 11 year old son, my partners, male and female live together. They are also heavily involved in the kink community, I am to a lesser degree because I am cautious about being a parent. I am very much in love with both my partners, and them with me, but things are getting rough lately.
My partners and I are constantly running into snags in regards to boundaries, because they have little to none. No boundaries in regards to new partners, one night stands, nada. I have some very clearly defined boundaries, which I believe are valid. My son's father who I am still very close with is so not down with poly. He has made it abundantly clear that it will be quite some time til he sees this relationship as something that will be healthy for our son to be around ( bearing in mind my son is not aware of this relationship as of yet).
I mention the word boundaries, and my male partner practically runs screaming. He thinks I'm being militant and that I care too much about what other people think. My female partner is trying, but her first thought was " I don't see how my life is bad". I never said anyone's life is bad - but considering my son's father now has a watchful eye on me, and even though friends want me to be happy, they think it's weird and disrespectful that my partners are trying to get in their pants.
My lovelies do not clarify their requirements and needs in advance, so when their emotional and physical needs are not met, there is a blowout. I love their flexibility and fluidity, but is it wrong that I feel there should be a stopping point somewhere along the line?
I so don't know what to do, ack.
To me you sound like you have a limit but are unwilling to enforce the consequences.
So then you end up compromising yourself. And feeling all *ghlerk.* :(
Look, if you have limits because you have an underage son, or because of where you live, or because of where you work, or...whatever? And you don't want custody battle hassles with the ex hearing weird or people calling DCF on ya for your alternative lifestyle...
(And I think poly and kinky parents can be totally good parents, btw, but this is a reality of other people not getting poly or kink and making serious waves in their lives)
... then your sweeties ought to love you and acknowledge that for now, while you are a mom to an underage kid, you have special needs and some soft limits that could in time (when the kid is grown) change to something more fluid and flexible. They also need to dial it down around your family and friends who are NOT part of the kink community because it makes waves for you in your mundane life. Why are your sweeties, if they love you so, making extra waves for you?
They don't respect that? They don't want to get that? They don't much respect you. Period.
I apologize if that is Hard to Hear. I am saying this kindly. Get CLEAR with your sweeties on your limits. Both soft limits (can negotiate in time) and hard limits. (will never change over time). What happens if those limits are crossed.
In my universe? It's on 3 strikes you are out, dude. I don't need to deal in Muppet Show wacky. Play like honorable Jedi or don't play with me.
I need my life to be drama free for my own mental and emotional health. Muppet show wacky is fun to watch on TV. But I don't need to LIVE there.
AND since you kink... if you happen to sub? Do you REALLY want to sub to a dom that WILL NOT respect your non-kink boundaries? When do the kink ones get trespassed then? That's taking it to seriously dangerous territory and you have a kid to think about. Think well.
I live open poly with my children, husband and boyfriend. That has resulted in some drama with dh's exwife and their son (now 16 yo).
I agree with GG.
YOU have boundaries-you are responsible to ensure that they are enforced for yourself.
If partners aren't willing to respect boundaries-they don't respect you.
My sweeties live in their own little bubble, of which mine is different. We have already hit the second strike, because of an incident which happened over what was originally a very fun Pride weekend.
She is sad that she hurt me, he is rather defiant and petulant.I met my male partner first, and he is the one who brought this whole relationship about. I make better headway conversing with my female partner, my male partner and I are hella volatile. You can't take the punk rock outta the girl....
Even if it was just you involved, it would be perfectly ok to talk with and agree to some boundaries with your partners. Now the situation is that you have a son, an ex who is watching you carefully - which might mean he is waiting for you to screw up so he can get custody - and some confused friends who want to be supportive but find your partners to be horndogs. Does that sound about right? Would your ex use your poly relationships to get custody, or otherwise hurt your relationship with your son? I hope not, I hope he is just watching carefully because as a mainstream person, this poly thing sounds creepy and he is making sure ihat his son is safe and well despite the weird stuff his son's mom is doing.
Just to clarify the friends thing, did your partners hit on your friends? Did I understand that correctly? Yes, many mainstream people would find Partner B hitting on Partner A's friends (and Partner A and B's other partner C, doing the same) offputting at best.
I assume your partners are not parents?
They have to understand something or your relationship with them is going to end sooner rather than later. Your son comes first. You do need to put some boundaries in place to protect your relationship with your son from potential interference from your ex. It is a real risk that one's poly relationships can be used against poly parents in custody battles. It is a real risk that you can be reported to social services solely for poly relationships. It may not be a very high or likely risk, depending on where you live and other factors, but it does exist.
They need to realize that this is your reality, your priority and that you must protect yourself and your son. I'm afraid your male partner is being an idiot. You have to care about what others think! You have a son to protect from the possibility of others taking misguided actions. Parents in this situation do not have the utter luxury of not giving a damn. You have too much to lose. No, it's not fair. In a perfect world, no one would care as long as it was consensual and not abusive. But we don't live in the world yet. But if he is to remain involved with you, that's his reality now too.
Your female partner seems better but it is still too much about them, and not about your need to protect your son. Yes, your friends and your ex might think that your relationships with your partners are 'bad' - if so, I bet they think it's 'bad' because of that old trope - think of the children!. That's why you need the boundaries in the first place.
Also, they don't get to decide when and if you are 'out' about being poly. They don't get to decide the degree to which you are out either. You're the only one who should decide that. They can be uncomfortably with your choices, they can disagree with them, but they are yours to make.
You don't mention what the boundaries are that you want in place. I am curious to know what they are.
It's possible, and acceptable, to have few to no boundaries. Some people know themselves and their partners well enough, and have worked through lots of stuff, that they don't need boundaries. They negotiate and talk when need be but don't need boundaries per se anymore.
And some people like having no boundaries or any discussions about limits or negotiations because they like doing what they want to do when they want to do it without regard to anyone else. I personally think these people are not fully adult yet. What we do always impacts someone else. An adult takes that into account. That does not mean we should always accept or do what others want or need from us. Maybe we don't change our actions. It's a delicate dance. But we need to acknowledge that our actions impact other people and be ready to deal with that reality.
Do you 'mother' these people? Reading between the lines, I would bet you do. Not telling you what they need and want from you, and then blowing up when their unspoken needs aren't meet - that's uncool. It really sounds like they are competing against your son for your time and attention and getting all hurt when they lose.
They don't get to blow up about their needs and then refuse to negotiate a structure in which everyone's needs can be met. That's an adolescent mindset.
It is possible to be a lot more open and free and unscheduled and go with the flow when you don't have children. That luxury goes out the window with youngsters. There is nothing wrong with how they lived their poly lives. But that way of being can be incompatible with other poly folks. It can be especially incompatible with poly folks who also happen to be parents.
There is a huge divide between those who have children and those who do not. There is an additional divide between those who want/have children and those who do not want to be parents. I prefer not to date people who have children. I will not get the time and attention I want from someone who is a parent. It's not anyone's fault. I am just not a compatible partner for someone with children because I would not get what I desire from a relationship.
Ultimately, you and them just don't seem compatible in the long run. I wish you the best!
Don't be afraid to walk away. Their disrespect of you and disregard for what is important to you is something you should not tolerate for a second, no matter how good the kinky sex is. I'm sure the sex isn't good enough to lose your child over! Your son comes first. There are plenty of other fish in the sea, and the poly sea, who will respect you and act honorably. Close this door and new ones will open.
I'm sorry I haven't been around to respond to the post accordingly. I was called into my part-time job unexpectedly, and have been dealing with a lot of un-fun emotional stuff.
Once I get a chance, I will update everyone. I appreciate the very honest and straightforward advice, so very helpful.
Good luck on the emotional stuff-hope the work was good too!
I had to add,
most of our friends are mono-but we are out as poly.
My husband has ALwAYS been very flirtatious.
It was important when we came out as poly for us to let our mono friends know that his flirtatiousness wasn't NOW a come-on. So they could remain comfortable flirting playfully-without being concerned it meant more than that.
So my part-time job has now officially turned into a full-time job if I want it. I have yet to figure out how I am going to juggle this, my business, my son and everything else that is going on. :rolleyes:
I came home from work, curled up with my kid and napped, before sending him off to his dad's place before leaving for camp tomorrow. I am no longer feeling like Linda Blair in the Exorcist, although I look rather green around the gills, breaking out, have bags under my eyes and can't keep a thing in me.
Everything escalated to epic proportions, and back again. I asked my female partner to read this thread, in hopes of giving her some clarity. My male partner has been suffering from a weather/stress induced migraine, since he's not been feeling well, our relationship has gone to hell in a hand basket. I do feel bad about this.
I'm not going to add quotes, as it would make this post one of epic proportions, which it likely will be anyway, but I will try and address what has been said to me thus far.
@ GalaGirl - I actually copied and pasted your response to my partners,just before I came right out and said that I was part of this forum...."please check out this thread." There wasn't much down time between the two, because I really don't have anything to hide, I'm a pretty straight up gal.
@ Opalescent - What can I say, short of a few things, the majority of what you said resonated with me. I will clarify on some points though.
My ex IS just watching carefully because as a mainstream person, this poly thing sounds creepy and he is making sure that his son is safe and well despite the weird stuff his son's mom is doing. He is a good person and we are very close despite our divide on my entering the world of poly.
My male partner did hit on one of my closest friends, she thought he was joking and blew it off. Aside from that, I have a very young friend ( she's 19) who I have been trying to support during a rough patch. Meeting her was like an after school special - at a bus station moving to the big city with 400 bucks in her pocket. Lousy childhood etc. Well, she knows about my relationship, and somehow it was communicated that she was interested in playing with them ( outside of me ). My partners did ask me, and I said NO....then lost my shit completely on them shortly thereafter. They were angry as they said I made them feel really shitty for even asking, when normally it wouldn't be a big deal. I was relentless, I could have said no and let it go.
No outside sex without protection.
Initially I said no close friends, but acquaintances are acceptable. I adjusted this boundary to say that all my friends are out of bounds, because this could be too confusing otherwise. Some are friends with my ex, I can't exactly be an ambassador for poly relationships if my partners are shagging my friends...
Full disclosure on all sexual partners. Our first kerfuffle erupted because of Fetlife. I have an account, but seldom use it. It's vague at best, because I am uncomfortable with sharing that kind of information online. They were encouraging me to use it. I got to find out via our profiles, that not only were they dating me, but someone much younger than me as well. I had no prior knowledge of this young un'. I disabled my profile, and said they had to tell me this kinda thing in person. I have made a mistake in not being more clear with this boundary though. I figured that this would mean telling me/each other first, if you're going to hump someone else. You don't have to ask permission, but you do have to tell me, whether it's a call, text etc. Nope. I am neither jealous or angry about this, as I failed to fully communicate what I wanted. My partners ( primarily my female partner ) seem to act as free agents, it's a go for it, and tell later policy. This policy is what lead to a meltdown for my male partner this weekend ( of which I was a participant)...hence why I have been trying to push for more boundaries since. When in Rome.... I did exactly what I have been encouraged to do all along, and it hurt him. I will never do it again, providing all this shit gets sorted.
To be cautious about the poly and kink stuff in regards to my son - he is the love of my life, my best friend, and the best thing I have done with my life thus far. My male partner has bragged about my son more than once to people I've met via them (he has only met him once in passing, I talk a lot about the awesomeness that is my super punk rock boy )....he knows how devastating it would be for me to have anything happen to my son and I.
These were the only boundaries up until last night, of which I started work on a relationship agreement ( I figure this is a good thing to work on anyway, even if this relationship doesn't proceed forth). My female partner does not want to write me off, hence offering to write up a relationship agreement. My male partner is angry and stewing, we are talking tomorrow. In his words ' You and your friends do not think I am right for your needs/lifestyle.' My lady friend who he hit on just stopped by. She outright said I did not say that, I said that they are great people, but unless they are willing to create boundaries ( we are addressing behaviours, it's not an attack on character ) then this won't work. I made it clear to him that I lost my shit for the gazillionth time yesterday, because of a bold statement made by our female partner.
Y'know, I want suburban couplehood again someday - tea in the morning, family trips, the pretty home and all that fluffy stuff. Unconventionally of course - I am the cool, tattooed mom venturing forth into poly and all. But this means no lube on the coffee table and no floggers hanging from the bed posts..... My male partner did say he would consider cohabitating with someone else, and raising a family.That may not be me, but just a general statement. I mentioned this to our female partner, because I asked whether it was really worthwhile to construct a relationship agreement if we all don't have the same life plans. Her reply, " You do realize that I want a dungeon in our future home?"....
Absolutely mind blown.
As long as I have a dependent child under my roof, that lifestyle will never be a possibility. How did it not occur to either of them, to discuss their life plans with me, prior to developing a relationship with me? Yes, I did not do the same with them...but it's a pretty damn safe bet that as a parent, that my home is my castle, sans dungeon, because of my son! I did say to my female partner that I am willing to negotiate on " fun time" events out of town etc., and how to manage that. I am curious monkey as to whether that would be enough for them. Because really, we all have to have our needs met. If they don't want to lead a life of "decency and propriety" most of the time, and have kinky fun the rest, I can't blame them.
My male partner's response to our female partners statement was interesting " We have dreams that are unrealistic and unattainable at this time."
So very long story short, my partners don't seem to be on the same page with each other, let alone me. My relationship agreement is written, and we will see what happens. I am going to take a bath, put on a face mask, and listen to some music....and head to yoga tomorrow morning. Prolly cook up a storm, and nest like a mother hen afterwards. I am not thinking about this for the rest of the night.
I edited to add this....I do love my partners, but will do what is best for my son and I, so for any concerned people, please don't worry. I am just overwhelmed right now, and I am just waiting to speak with both my partners in person.
Bath for the night sounds like a good, sensible plan.
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