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Old 05-11-2013, 10:54 PM
sunshiney sunshiney is offline
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Default Major life decision or NRE side effect?


I posted a small intro., but thought I would save the details for this advice section. I would really appreciate feedback from people more experienced than me. I apologize for the very very long post, but always find it better to err on the side of lengthy-but-clear.

Partner and I have been together for just over four years now. Two of those have been long distance, including the current one. I’ve been for about eight months with three visits in that time. I am supposed to head home in three or four months, if i can find work there.

Partner and I have been poly in theory from the get-go, defining cheating only as “lying and/or breaking promises” and with an agreement to “talk to me first” before starting another romantic or sexual relationship. In four years, we hadn’t had the opportunity to put it into practice.

That changed this year when I met Boyfriend, in Small Town where I am currently living for work. We’ve known each other casually for eight months and have been dating for about four. At first, I expected nothing much to come of it because I am leaving in a few months. But, totally unrelated to anything to do with me, Boyfriend landed his dream job in the City I’ll be returning to and will be there for the foreseeable future. The possibility of something long term-ish was really exciting to me.

As soon as I realized I had feelings for Boyfriend and wanted to pursue them, I talked things out with Partner and we had a very positive, affirming conversation about the status of our relationship and the nature of our commitments to each other (involving each other in major life decisions, financial teamwork, maintain a happy home, consistent and honest communication; etc.) We also re-discussed the “normal” commitments that we have expressly chosen not to make (not emotional or sexual monogamy, not ‘til death do us part since people can and do change, and our persistent failed attempts to reach an agreement on children). After confirming that our relationship is strong, that we are on the same page about what that relationship consists of, and after discussing what it would mean for me to see another person, we agreed that I’d pursue Boyfriend if I wanted to. The only firm boundaries we set were the affirmation of our current commitments and an agreement that I would always use condoms with Boyfriend.

So, I started a romantic relationship with Boyfriend and it is going fabulously. I’m happy with him in the day-to-day, I like his friends, our minds and hearts seem to mesh well. We’ve talked about my relationship with Partner, how Boyfriend might fit into my life when we are back in City, that I feel strongly about him and he does me, etc. I’ve been very clear with Boyfriend that my ideal situation (though I do hate thinking in ideals) would be to live in a “village” with lots of loving relationships (friend or lovers or both).

Partner and I have been building that sort of living arrangement – sharing our space with three friends whom we love dearly- and I would be thrilled for Boyfriend to eventually become part of that if it worked out. I confirmed that I would be happy raising children in such an arrangement, that I don’t think it would be damaging to children for the adults to be have varying combinations of sexual activity, and that I think it would be healthy for children to have lots of happy and loving adults around. Boyfriend said he didn’t know if he was into that sort of thing but that he’s keeping his mind open and wants to see how our relationship grows.

So the relationships themselves are good. The guys haven’t met each other yet but will in the fall.

However, I am having a small hiccup and/or major life crisis about children. As stated above, it is the one issue that Partner and I have never worked out an agreement on – he doesn’t want them. Firmly, categorically, does not want them. Is considering a vasectomy as his primary form of birth control.

Over the past four years, my response has consistently been, “I don’t want any now, but I might in the future.” I was in school and I didn’t want any then. But I knew that I have a strong caregiver impulse, love children, have worked with children my whole life, and think I’d be quality mother. So I consistently told Partner “I cannot commit to not wanting children.”

Over the years, we’ve discussed this probably a dozen times and tried to reach a middle ground- because we are all about communication and negotiating- but really have failed on this one. Presumably, because there isn’t a middle ground between having a child and not having child. At first we discussed waiting on it and seeing how we would feel in 10 years (we met at 22, so re-discussing at 32 seemed reasonable). We then discovered that we’d both be fine adopting and thought we’d do that later in life. I called his bluff on this recently and he said “you’re right, I probably wouldn’t be comfortable adopting.” Most recently, he has said “I don’t want to lose you over this, so I might be willing to consider having a child when we meet X, Y, and Z financial goals.” Which is tantamount to re-discussing in ten years, except we are five years older now.

So, cue Boyfriend. Boyfriend really wants kids and soon; not immediately, but sometime in the foreseeable future. Being with someone who is excited about kids has made me take a step back and think about whether I am excited about having kids without Partner’s aversion to them defining my context.

My thoughts are as follows:
1. If I got pregnant from either guy right now and they both bailed/got hit by a bus/disappeared/whatever and I had to raise the kid on my own, I’m financially stable enough to do that well and, though I would be a little scared jumping into singlemom-hood, I would ultimately be excited about having a kid.

2. Boyfriend being so excited about children is incredibly attractive to me. It is waaaay to soon to know if I want to have children with him but I am open to the possibility of things going that way. I want to pursue it if that’s how the relationship grows.

3. I do not want to have children with Partner. If I am going to choose to have a child it will be with someone who is excited about it or on my own excited lonesome. At this point, even if Partner agrees to a child in X number of years, I am unwilling to accept raising a child with someone who is “giving in” to keep me or whatever. I want an enthusiastic parenting partner who is eagerly welcoming a child or none at all. Additionally, I am unwilling too wait five or seven or ten years to see if Partner changes his mind or not- I am open to having children now and I don’t want to wait to cultivate a parenting-style relationship until I’m 37. Besides which, I don’t think he’s going to change his mind; I think he’s just saying he might because he’s afraid of losing me over this (that is essentially what he said). And, I really don’t want to be strung along.

4. If my relationship with Boyfriend develops into one that is sufficiently warm, loving, and welcoming to a child then I don’t think Partner’s aversion to having a child should prevent me from having children with Boyfriend.

5. Even if things with Boyfriend don’t work out, I want to continue dating with an openness (not a direct goal or pursuit) to eventually developing a parenting relationship with a friend/lover/partner.

So the fact that I have transitioned from “might want a child someday” to “actively open to having a child with someone, not you, in the foreseeable (say 2-4 year) future” is a major change for my relationship with Partner. In some ways this is making me feeling incredibly selfish, but this is THE major life decision that can cause huge regrets if not attended to, and we’ve been trying and failing to compromise for four years already.

Obviously, I need to tell Partner that I’ve made up my mind and I need to tell him soon because my willingness to have child with him impacts our immediate financial plans. Finances are one of his main aversions to child rearing along with the loss of personal freedom. Totally reasonable reasons, I’m just willing to sacrifice those things and he’s not. But my willingness to sacrifice my money and personal freedom impacts his money and personal freedom as we currently have things arranged. He needs to make informed decisions about that.

But, before I open this can of worms with Partner, what I could use is some feedback on whether I sound like a sane individual or one in the throes of NRE.
Once Partner believes I'm serious, he will probably end our financial relationship and ask me not to move back in when I come home in the fall. I expect he'll be hesitant to have sex with me. He may or may not stay best friends and adventure partners with me. And I could quite possibly will lose the “chosen family” we’ve been building because it is centered around our home, which he owns. I love Partner dearly and would be thoroughly heartbroken to lose him. However, if the idea of having me and my OSO (whether that’s Boyfriend or not) and my child with that OSO as part of our “chosen family” is too much for him, we both need to know that and sooner is better so that Partner can make an informed decision about if and to what degree to maintain a relationship with me.

But I think being open to children at this stage in my life is worth the risk of losing Partner and my life with him if and only if my feelings are an honest-to-goodness life decision and not just the product of happy fuzzy NRE with Boyfriend. This is where I need feedback - Do I sound like I'm just caught up in NRE? What questions should I be asking myself to ensure that I’m not? How long should I ponder this - balancing allowing Partner to make an informed decision before I move back home versus letting the NRE play out?

Again, I apologize for the length and I very much appreciate that this community exists. Thank you.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:54 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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From reading your post above, you seem sane enough and your plan is a good one. As for NRE, it is certain to happen in just about any new relationship, so you have to factor it in. I personally would advise telling Parter, as soon as possible, that you are at least considering this route with respect to children. It is up to him how involved he wants to be, and he should be able to make an informed decision.

It seems that before pursuing the matter with your Boyfriend, you should find out what Partner's plans would be, so you can tell your Boyfriend about that and he can also make an informed decision. So as previously stated (in your own post as well), the sooner you can let your Partner know of your inclinations, the better. It doesn't sound like it would be you doing any breaking up; he would be doing that of his own accord.

One thing about having kids is it's usually better (healthwise, for the child) to do that when you're younger, which is another reason to get this taken care of soon. You'll have to consider the possibility that Partner and Boyfriend could both split up with you over this, and you could still end up without a child. You'll have to decide whether to take that risk.

Those are just a few of my thoughts. I am in an MFM V, but it is childless and both of the men are snipped. So I am not much of an expert regarding having children.
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:26 PM
feef feef is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 16

Haha, hormones - I know this feeling. My brain is always kicking me and yelling "BABIES" at me. But, you're not crazy. You're planning ahead, and trying to anticipate problems that children might create with Partner - this is a good thing.

That said, you're probably worrying about things that are almost /too/ far ahead in the future. Partner and Boyfriend haven't met yet, Boyfriend hasn't been around past NRE time, etc.

My two cents on the matter. Good luck.
WK - Live in BF. DK - Out of town BF. Me trying to be cool.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:30 AM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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My thought (take with a grain of salt) is that regardless of whether or not it's NRE-related, you're realizing that having children is important enough to you to maybe be a game-changer in your relationship with your partner. This really should be discussed, BF or no BF. I'd explain that the talk with your BF where he said he wants kids may have been the catalyst, but you've been talking about this for years, and it's getting to be time to decide to either poo or get off the pot. Doctors around here consider 40 to be "advanced maternal age" and therefore worthy of all kinds of tests. Bleh.

It may change things in your relationship, but, if you've decided that having a child is this important, maybe that's okay.

Good luck, whatever you do. It sounds like you have really good relationships with your partner and BF, and I hope things all work out for the best.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:34 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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It sounds like NRE making you overthink things. Oxytocin and endorphins have your head spinning about the ideal mate, nesting, and raising babies! Relax and see how your relationships go first. Focus on the here and now. The thing is, you could have two relationships here that are absolutely wonderful for you, emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, and sexually. Having children is something you can think about once both relationships are solid, grounded, and more committed. I think you're putting the cart before the horse, and I would table any discussion of childrearing for now, if I were you.
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"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:30 PM
CrowRaven7889 CrowRaven7889 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 10
Default New to poly and already got the NRE

Hello all! I'm brand new to polyamory (within the last month) despite having mentally "been there" for the last decade.

Recently, after a number of theoretical discussions over the past three years and a lusty encounter with a female friend last fall, my male partner of eight years and myself decided to open up our relationship to polyamory and he started a dating profile for us on a popular dating website. At first, we were certain it'd get written off as being creepy or us being "unicorn hunters" but we had an overwhelmingly good response to the profile. Specifically, I think he decided to open the profile so that I (maybe us) could find a girlfriend. It's important to add here that while I didn't "pull the trigger" so to speak, he had my verbal consent to do so at least a month before he did it.

Within the first week, we went to a local poly meet up to see some of the people that we talked to online that seemed really cool....

... and much to everyone's surprise (especially my own!), something has developed between me and one of our new male friends. He's in an established triad (with his wife and their male partner) and he's been into polyamory for most of the last decade.

My SO and my new friend spent most of the day yesterday with me on the couch snuggling and it was FANTASTIC. I felt so good, I never wanted to leave that couch!

However, I'm really struggling with this NRE and how crazy it's made me feel and trying to strike a balance between enjoying the feeling and being overly worried about it. I haven't had a crush this serious since I met my SO (hell, even when I was single before that and dating, I very rarely got a crush like this one) and I'm in that "can't sleep, can't eat, can't focus, can't think of anyone except new friend" stage right now. My SO has been understanding so far but other than some declarations of mutual interest in his presence and our new friend snuggling with us on the couch, nothing much has happened between new friend and me. Adding to the complexity, my friend's wife is sort of depressed lately. We want to rush forward throwing caution to the wind but we both know that's a TERRIBLE idea. Luckily, he also has a number of years of experience to draw from and has given me some really good advice that involves "don't act insane, make sure you give your SO plenty of attention" and has made a strong effort to be friends with my SO.

Also, I'm unsure how much effort I should put into talking to his wife. I really like her too (although just in a friendly manner) but I don't know if having her husband's new friend around is going to make her depression worse or not. I'm also dealing with some judgement and push back from more liberal of my friends that I've told. I so want to shout how I feel about new friend from the rooftops but that's just so damn tacky, I don't want to make my SO feel badly and I have no one that is understanding to talk to about it. AHH!

Anyways, I'm not totally sure what I'm asking for here (ha, nice introduction, right?) but anyways. Hello everyone! I guess I'm down the rabbit hole without having even planned it. Has anyone else dealt with NRE in a brand newly opened relationship, like, right out of the gate, here? If so, do you have any advice for a new comer?
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:17 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Greetings CrowRaven7889,
Welcome to our forum.

I think your new friend is giving you good advice, and taking it slow, while tending to your SO, is the key. It probably wouldn't hurt to talk with the wife, just to get on the same page with her and offer your support.

Sometimes people plan ahead of time to be polyamorous and make a well-controlled entrance into poly life, but it is probably more common for someone to "fall into a poly situation" and learn what poly is afterwards. I certainly had some general changes in personal philosophy prior to my becoming poly, but I rather "fell into a poly situation."

You will certainly have opportunity on this site to talk to people that understand your situation, and get a better understanding about it. Have a look around at our various threads; there's a lot to learn here.

Glad to have you aboard.
Kevin T.
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:54 AM
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idealist idealist is offline
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There is an art to enjoying NRE and allowing it to last and last!

Recognize it for what it is- it is infatuation and it is very common! It usually lasts between 6 to 18 months.
It can turn into an obsession if not managed.
An obsession can reek havoc on everyone involved and the relationship itself and start an emotional roller coaster.

It's great that you are involved with a guy that has experience in the lifestyle!

Sometimes there is an (unconscious) idea that NRE will evaporate or disintegrate when subjected to healthy boundaries, but I have found that the healthy boundaries will support the NRE and can extend it's life!
The key to life is in being fully engaged and peacefully detached simultaneously and authentically in each moment.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:58 PM
HisPet HisPet is offline
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Location: So Cal
Posts: 37
Default NRE brings fun to the existing relationship?

Hello all. I've read here about something I don't quite get and would like your perspective, which might help me develop a new perspective. I understand that when one partner gets involved in a new relationship, or meets someone exciting to them, that partner gets energized. Okay, makes sense. And yay it's super fun for them. And often I can get excited for them.

I've read that that it can bring new sexual energy to the existing relationship and the existing partner enjoys that new energy. Logically I get that we each bring the energy of our experience to our interactions. After big day at work I'm sure I bring that energy home, whether its stress or triumphant, even when I try to shake it.

I get it on some level but it creeps me out. I don't want that outside energy smeared on me. It's like having a drunk make a pass at me - yuck. For me it's yuck its because its not about me but about the substance they ingested (unless of course we are both drunk then it would be a party). The more aggressive advances my partner makes at me after a hot flirtation are really distasteful to me, because it feels like he brought a 3rd party into our bedroom and I've become an object. In BDSM objectification can be fun but for some reason it's not in this case. If you enjoy that added sexual energy would you tell me about that please?

Full disclosure: I am very mono leaning. While I have enjoyed fun threesomes in the past, right now my overall sexual interest has declined about 85% from a fairly high state. I'm hoping that this sharp decline in libido is transient and only due to menopause.
Me: mono, 52, serving S in a PE relationship for six years, living together since April 2012
S: has been poly since he can remember, 37
A: His new girl, under consideration
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:04 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Are you speaking from the perspective of the primary partner who is benefitting from the NRE of the secondary relationship?

Speaking from the perspective of the secondary, I'm in full agreement that this statement always creeps me out, because it makes me feel like a marital aid. It makes me feel very objectified, as if I'm not a human being in my own right, but merely a fun hobby that breathes energy into him and benefits them.
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