A little background information: I've grown up in mono household. In August of last year (2010) I started chatting with M. He and his wife have accepted me completely and I'm now a part of their family. I don't live with them, yet. We're planning on having me move out there with them in June! I can't wait to be home, finally.
Anyways, I'm having a hard time dealing with the "loss" of certain things. Something that I dreamed of when I was a little girl was growing up and getting married to a man I love and having children.
I've since met the man I love. Recently I was able to be present at the birth of their second child. It was an incredible, amazing experience and I am so glad that I was able to be there!!!
However, while she was laboring away, M was there helping her, holding her hand, giving her as many cuddles as he could (the bed was tiny) and kisses. That night while I was trying to steal some sleep on a hospital sofa (in between feedings) I got to thinking, what happens when I have my children? If we're in the same city, I can't use the midwifery service and have M there helping me the way he just helped His wife. I want that, I want the kisses and the cuddles and the comfort he can offer. How can that happen without exposing our family?
M's solution is that by the time I'm ready to have children (in about 4 years), that we'll be in a different city and they won't know what I'm not his legal wife. But what about when his wife has a child the next year and we're in the same new city?
And then, what do I put on the birth certificate? Can my children not have my M's last name? I don't think it's the end of the world if they don't, but it bothers me, and when I brought it up with M, it bothered him as well.
One of the things that threw me off kilter from the last time I was there visiting was when M and I were at the store and we were holding hands. And all of a sudden my hand was thrown from his, because he ran into one of his cousins. After that has happened, I don't feel like it's ok to hold M's hand, to touch him in public or to show any affection to him outside of the house.
I know I can't legally marry M, but I do want to have a wedding, at some point. My mom knows that the relationship I'm in is poly and my father has been in a poly relationship before (he might sill be in one, it's kind of murky) but what do I tell my grandparents, who will never accept a poly relationship?
What I'm wondering is if you've had any similar experiences? How do you/have you dealt with them? Do you have any suggestions about being able to give M's last name to the children I give him?
First of all, welcome.
Here are my thoughts. You can name a kid whatever you want, whether it's your name, his name, a combo of both, or something completely different. There is no law that I know of which requires the kid must have the same name as the parents, or that it must be legal parents, so don't fret about that. Tradition and convention are not the same as legal.
Also, there are plenty of unmarried mothers having babies with friends who assist them, or family members, instead of spouses. He is part of your family; that's all the hospital staff would need to know. As long as you give permission for a particular person to be there with you, your wishes should be honored. The doctor or midwife and hospital staff are adults and if they have judgments about a patient's living situation, so what? They should still behave as professionals and keep it to themselves, even if M. is all cuddly and lovey toward you and then subsequently his wife another time. Why not have the wife there, too?
You can have a type of non-legal ceremony to acknowledge your relationship and make vows. It won't be recognized by the state, but as long as the ceremony is meaningful to you three, that could be very satisfying, I imagine.
As far as public displays of affection, it sounds to me like that is something you have to work out among yourselves, make some kind of agreement of how to handle awkward moments, or how to "come out" to people. No, you're technically not a second wife, but there are people here who have shared their experiences of being public as the girlfriend or whatever. Why not read through the "Life Stories and Blogs" section? Unfortunately poly people still have to deal with lots of puritanical thinking and judgment directed their way, and so you have to figure out what level of "out" feels comfortable and safe for you. Maybe there are other poly people in the community you can befriend, with whom you will feel safe and able to relax and be yourselves.
I would wonder if you are getting ahead of yourself here with the baby naming thing. You say that you have been involved with this couple for a year. It sounds like it is long distant. I would think that you don't know what will come of all this enough to start predicting and wondering what it will be like having babies with him. You don't know what it will be like to live with them yet... isn't that the first step?
I would suggest btw that you find your own place before moving in with them. I have heard more often than not on here the break ups that occur when a LDR partner is moved in and the dynamic changes so much that the whole thing is blown out of the water. It is simply not the same thing to visit.
Being independent is important. Having your own money, your own belongings, your own friends, job, car, place to live means that you can have autonomy while you all adjust to the dynamic changing... not to mention that they just had a baby. That is a huge adjustment for them also... you moving in could be just too much.
I see a red flag in your comments about thinking that you would have your own husband, and child and mono life. Are you sure that this situation is right for you? You say he is your love like he will be and could only be the only one. I hate to break it to you, but it is likely he isn't going to be the only one and that you may find that you love another someday. Especially if this situation isn't a good fit for you because you have other plans for your life that eventually need addressing.
It sounds like you are putting a lot of eggs in one basket here. That is a ton of trust and vulnerability and not too much taking care of yourself, following your dreams and goals and adjusting yourself to fit them. You are your own person. Your goals are valid. Your independence is vital to the success of feeling self worth and gaining valuable self esteem. How will you do this if you are in a position where you are last in line to a baby and a wife? He of course would give you some attention, but a mother with a new child is very demanding, not to mention a mother and a child in general... this baby is new... extra demand right now. Oh ya, and there is another child too. that makes fourth in line.
Lastly, am I correct in understanding that they are moving you in and haven't told anyone who you are and what you will be doing there? So not only are you going to be last on his list of priorities but he is going to hide in public with you so people don't know his feelings towards you? When you do come out, all of you, there will be the burden of the family and friends on you I would think. They are not necessarily going to open their arms and embrace you as another wife. They likely will be very judgemental, angry and ostracise you. If you don't have your own place, where will you go to recoup from that kind of treatment?
It seems to me that worrying about what name your future baby four years from now might have is the last thing to worry about. It might be that I have over emphasized some points. This could be a worst case scenario that I have given you... I don't know. I am only going by what I have read here on these forums for two years and the knowledge I have from living 41 years of life... 15 of which as poly...
I suggest you do some reading here. If you do a tag search and find the thread on "living together" you may find some interesting thoughts to consider... here some threads to start
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