Originally Posted by Flowerchild
Hmmmm, the implication here is that if a parent WERE feeling threatened that a new partner was replacing them.....then it's because s/he secretly believes that they were not properly loving with the children, that the children would have some unfilled need that this other person could potentially fulfill. Again, this assumes the new partner made NO indication that was their goal (in that case, the fears would be justified by an entirely separate factor).
Nope. My assumption is that the vast, vast majority of parents are good parents and consequently have nothing *real* to feel threatened about by a new partner (poly or otherwise). However, if someone is generally feeling low, they might feel like they are a bit of a shit parent even though they aren't. Just because of their general state of mind. Because they feel
like a bit of a shit parent (again, even though they aren't) this might lead them to believe that their child(ren) has/have "unfulfilled needs" that "this other person could potentially fulfill".
Originally Posted by Flowerchild
While I have no doubts that you are a good mother to your children, I must say I disagree with your statement that nobody could replace the biological mother or father. Parents can, unfortunately, be guilty of taking their children for granted, and it is possible to permanently damage your relationship with your own children. I do not like saying so, but children are absolutely capable of feeling betrayed/unwanted/etc. by a parent.....and disassociating themselves from said parent.
And....if another adult figure in their lives fills the void, yes, they may very well accept that new person as their parent. Will the child ever think of the new partner as their "mother" or "father"? Likely not, but good chance they'll let them fill that role.
I guess my cautioning is, I'm very glad you have a good relationship with your children, but I'd warn new parents entering poly that, hey, you do this poorly enough, you can seriously f* up your relationship with your partner, your friends, and, yes, even your children.
Ok, in some of this, you more or less agree with me: if you fuck up with your kids, they will seek parental type relationships with other people to replace
the one they should have had with you. I went further by saying that even if you quite wrongly believe that you have fucked up, you might feel that you are at risk of being replaced and therefore be very insecure about allowing others who could potentially fulfill the role you feel you have not. I'll add here that this, itself, can be "fucking up", and drive children towards the seemingly more stable "other person".
What you say at the end is something I wholeheartedly agree with, and it's the reason why my son has never met anyone I have dated thus far. The reason why he hasn't met them is because I didn't see them still being around in five years. I'd love to introduce a partner to my son one day, and share all those bits of my life with them, but it can wait. I have raised my son with the idea that cheating means breaking an agreement, and that if adults agree to it, more than two people can be in a relationship. There are no limits, as long as everyone agrees. I think it's far better to introduce these ideas to children as general concepts, if you can help it, rather than having them experience a situation right off the bat.