@Redpepper,thank you for your kind words.
You are exactly the Mother I wanted for my child/ren [this is not a proposition by the way] and exactly what I thought I'd found 25 years ago. Sadly in those days the distinction between swinging and poly had not been recognised; it was all called open or swinging. The recognition that some open couples were open to additional loving relationships and others only to explicitly non-loving relationships was only just forming in people's minds. The importance of very careful negotiation was not yet recognised to the extent it is now (for example in this forum)
But you have put your finger on another big issue for me: I wanted my child to have multiple parents (ie more than two) as well as wanting to be one of those parents.
In the early years of this century I made the precise decision you are now suggesting: I focussed on being a step parent to someone from age five onwards. I fully intended that to last till she left home. I can't say much more, but it was when the mother of that child suddenly went broody (totally against my or her previous expectations) that we decided to go for a child together; and then that failed almost as soon as she was pregnant and I not only lost the unexpected chance to have a second chance at helping care for a baby, I also at the same time lost my step child of ten years age and of five years of bonding ....
So the step child rot looks as dodgy as any other option, from where I now find myself.
Logically, what I decided in 2001 or 2002 still makes sense, just the way you say, and just the way Magdlyn syas too (cos she gave other good logical reasons for the same conclusion).
Unfortunately, I am not a robot or a dalek, I have these awkward things called feelings too. And having given up my first best dream ten or so years ago, only to have it unexpectedly handed me on a plate and then snatched away again, leaves me feeling it very much harder to give up on the dream this time round.
Perhaps I will never get the chance, perhaps I will. But if someone offers me the opportunity, and if I feel I can trust them to actually keep promises after the baby arrives, I really cannot imagine me saying no. And that is even with the mindful understanding of the logical validity of your advice. It all makes logical sense; it makes no emotional sense to me at all.
So what seems much more useful to me would be advice on
- what promises are reasonable to ask for,
- whether other poly people feel promises in these situations should be kept or whether ultimately it always remains up to the woman if she feels differently later to just ignore what was promised (I have found both strands of thought within poly, and not just in this kind of situation)
- and how do I tell the difference between those who make promises to keep and those who make them relying all along on being able to change their minds later (which I now feel one of my previous partners did)
because those kinds of advice are more likely to affect what I actually do, and more likely to make the difference between there being a new happy child with 3+ parents or another child with a single mum and and no relationship with any dad.
And poly, as it has now developed, does seem to offer some hope: there is all this emphasis on negotiation and agreements, and I find myself hoping that that makes a better chance of long term plans actually working out long term, as indeed they have for you. Your success in building what I want makes me enormously envious, and at the same time enormously hopeful.
Last edited by trueRiver; 09-17-2011 at 05:26 PM.
Reason: clarity; typos