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  #11  
Old 06-11-2012, 07:33 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Do they know you've been together for ten months, or do they think it is new?

Personally, I would not stop things with the girlfriend. I would tell my children "she is an important person in my life, and I don't abandon important people in my life. Not you, not your mother, not my girlfriend".
If you just dismissed her when she's not convenient, I feel it would give the message that you might very well do the same thing with your wife or your children.

Other than that, just like when parents learn and react badly, I think the only cure is time. Ultimately, they don't have a say in what happens in your love life, although I do think they deserve to know if the girlfriend is going to be over. Just stay open to answering any question they might have, reassure them you love them and their mother just as much as before, and don't be the one to bring up the subject.

Family counseling does sound like a good idea too.
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  #12  
Old 06-11-2012, 10:43 PM
psychomia psychomia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
Personally, I would not stop things with the girlfriend. I would tell my children "she is an important person in my life, and I don't abandon important people in my life. Not you, not your mother, not my girlfriend".
If you just dismissed her when she's not convenient, I feel it would give the message that you might very well do the same thing with your wife or your children.
I really do agree with this ^.

my kids do not have a problem with me being poly, but the circumstances in which I came out to them were far different. when I remarried 5 years ago my son was 11 and there was all kinds of drama because he didn't want someone else to be part of my life. I think it was because of the stressors we'd been under... divorce from their dad, leaving a religious cult, moving a bunch of times and being homeless... when a kid feels like it's just one more tragedy to deal with, they get overwhelmed. they don't always have the tools to adjust to a new paradigm. do what you can to make them feel secure and loved... and I agree about family counseling. it helped us when we were in the midst of adjustments. now my kids pretty much take things as they come, including my younger daughter.
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  #13  
Old 06-11-2012, 11:20 PM
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I guess I don't understand why the "kids, we're poly" topic had to come up at all. But then, my kids are only 2 & 4. I just don't see how the fact I'm poly, or bi, or anything else pertaining to my romantic and sexual life is any of my kids business. When my boyfriend comes over, it's no different than when my other friends come over. I don't behave in any way that should raise a red flag from even an older child -- but then, I also don't behave inappropriately with my husband in front of the kids.
That's your dynamic, and your definition of inappropriate. My parents did give each other hugs and the odd kiss in front of me. Not the sucking-out-your-soul kind of kiss (yeah, I would've shut my eyes and run squealing) but more than they'd give a friend!

It takes serious discipline to keep all the context out of your interactions in front of your kids. You may at some point develop a subconscious, subtle, but distinct behavioral pattern that your kids identify as "this is what Mom does with people she loves". When they see it with both Dad and BF, add it to what they've been taught socioculturally, and come up with entirely the wrong idea... Let's just say I favor open dialogues about this stuff before they turn into teenagers (who, as you've seen in this thread, often react in dramatic ways to problems that ain't).
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  #14  
Old 06-11-2012, 11:36 PM
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BrigidsDaughter BrigidsDaughter is offline
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Wendigo and I talked about our kids at one point. Runic Wolf and I have a 10 1/2 year old and Wendigo has a 15 1/2 year old. When his son started dating last year, Wendigo mentioned that right now is not the time to let his son know that he's poly. He thinks it' more appropriate to wait until his son is college aged and only if his son brings it up. He certainly doesn't plan on telling him that he's bi either as he feels that now is not the time where his son needs to know what his parents get up to in the bedroom; not when he's just starting to develop those types of feelings of his own.

Still, now that your kids do know. I wouldn't advise leaving your girlfriend. I wouldn't force your kids to spend time with her, but I agree that important people in your life shouldn't get thrown away just because someone is upset, even your kids. Life is hard, it isn't fair and while we should love and nurture our kids, we need to teach them that lesson too. They may want normal parents, but they don't have them and honestly no one does.
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  #15  
Old 06-12-2012, 02:12 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Your kids' dramatic reactions make me think they have a lot of fear around this. I would want to give them an opportunity (in counselling or privately) to voice exactly what those fears are. Really hear them out, and then address their fears one by one. You don't plan to divorce. You don't plan to abandon your family. You're not going to make them accept your girlfriend as another mother, or spend time with her if they don't enjoy her company. They won't have to witness any displays of affection that feel icky or inappropriate to them. Their peers aren't going to find out and tease them about this. You're not going to burn in hell. See if you can pinpoint what it is that upsets them so much. If this is not even a new relationship, you can point out that nothing is changing.

I agree that dumping your girlfriend for their sake is not a wise choice. They should know that you don't treat loved ones that way, but you can try to make your time with her as discreet as possible as they get used to it.

I wonder how my kids would take it...
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  #16  
Old 06-12-2012, 02:19 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I Don't have kids, but if or when I do, I would tell them, because any partner of ours is a potential step-parent to them, and I feel they deserve to know something that has that much impact on their lives. In some way, a live-in partner has more impact on children than on their metamour, simply because children spend more time in the house in every household I've seen (school usually lasts less than work, and parents can come and go as they please will kids need permission to go out, and depending on their age, an adult along with them).
Mind you the kids in question are oldish and would have more freedom, and nothing in the posts implies that the relaitonship is primary or is going to become so, unless I've mis-read.
Still, I can't see myself lying to my kids about something like that. I don't have anything to hide, and every time I present a partner as a friend, it is a lie. Get them used to it early enough and they'll think nothing of it.

This isn't very pertinent to the OP, but it was in response of whether to tell children. I personally don't care about my parents' lives much, but I don't think I would have enjoyed living a lie either. To a kid, their parents' relationship is important, you see it when divorces occur. Being lied about them for years... I don't think a lot of them would be happy about that. It could make one wonder if anything from their childhood was actually true, up to and including their parents' love.
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  #17  
Old 06-12-2012, 03:35 AM
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Agreed with others - It's been too much change too fast. Maybe you should consider getting involved with a GLBTQ friendly church, like the Unitarian Universalists. Having a relationship with God is very beneficial for teens, and I suspect Unitarians would also be poly-friendly.

I also agree with Green Mom - I'm not sure why it has to be a formal thing. Then again, I went on a date with a whole family, and the kids were great and didn't seem to be torn to bits by parents making a new friend - I liked the way the couple handles it... They have and make new friends, and seem to super slowly introduce new friends. Kids handle individuals and situations far better than labels. We should learn from that.
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  #18  
Old 06-12-2012, 04:19 AM
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I don't know that this will help, but I have another perspective. I think it's wonderful that your children feel safe enough to BE dramatic in your family. My family wouldn't have tolerated any of that behaviour out of me. Drama AND feelings, basically not acceptable; especially if they were contrary to the prevailing whatevers (feelings, environment, decisions).

I remember lots of my parents friends, my mother loved to entertain, and was likely an extravert. Many years later, I learned that lots of the women who came to dinner, one with whom we were close (went to the cabin, she gave me presents) were more than friends. My parents weren't exactly poly, and I'm fairly certain there wasn't too much ethical going on, but there were definitely things going on that I'm happy I didn't know then.

****
and, the talk of PDAs reminds me of one of my happiest memories. Found my dad in the living room and he just looked all high and dreamy. I might have asked, but he said, 'your mom just kissed me *sigh* and she was wearing the lipstick she used to wear in high school.'
Even then, when I thought kissing was basically gross, it made a huge impression on me. I hoped one day some man would be that silly over kissing ME.
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  #19  
Old 06-12-2012, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NovemberRain View Post
and, the talk of PDAs reminds me of one of my happiest memories. Found my dad in the living room and he just looked all high and dreamy. I might have asked, but he said, 'your mom just kissed me *sigh* and she was wearing the lipstick she used to wear in high school.'
Even then, when I thought kissing was basically gross, it made a huge impression on me. I hoped one day some man would be that silly over kissing ME.
I find this SO FRIGGIN SWEEEEEEET.
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  #20  
Old 06-12-2012, 02:45 PM
GreenMom GreenMom is offline
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Oh don't get me wrong. I do "PDA" stuff in front of the kids. But I'm very huggy with many of my friends so I don't see it as a big deal I suppose.

As I said in my post though, my kids are very young and don't question such things. When they get to be teens they may well have questions. But I would rather they grow up seeing this as something comfortable between my husband and I, and any others in our lives, then us sitting them down to "explain" how it works I guess.
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