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Old 01-24-2012, 01:09 PM
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rory rory is offline
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Default Poly living: "shared custody model"

There's this article about poly living styles that looks at the challenges of living together as a poly family. The author states that it is a common dream, but isn't always realistic or automatically the best option. She brings up an alternative which can often be simpler to sustain, which she calls "shared custody model".

Now, I love this idea, because it embodies the thought that you don't have to choose either x or y, but can have your cake and eat it, too, so to speak. I also like the practical approach to creating something that suits the individuals and relationships involved.

There is a thread on the forum about multi-partner co-habitation, about ideal relationships, and about solo poly living. In this thread I'd like thoughts and/or experiences of "shared custody model", alternatives in between of living together and living separately. Is that something you do, or something you wish to do in the future? What does that look like to you?
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:19 PM
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Hey rory, thanks for sharing that article. I skimmed some of the specific relationship summaries, but agree with the thrust of the article.

One example she didnt list is shown on the reality show, Sister Wives. In that family, they all shared living space in one house, with a room for each wife, and the husband rotated which woman to sleep with each night. Later, they moved and now each wife has her own house and dad has to drive in between them every day. Sounds a bit exhausting, but I guess it's working for them.

I am rather an anomaly here on this board because I don't even live with my primary. We've been together 3 years (Jan 31 is our anniversary! yay!) and have maintained our own apartments all that time.

Reasons? It's expensive to move. miss pixi has 2 active dogs and I like being able to get away from the hair, barking and drooling several days a week. Both miss pixe and I like having some alone time. Also, my need for order and cleanliness conflicts with her more casual housekeeping preferences.

I also like to be able to have other lovers come visit me at my place at least one day a week. Sometimes, however, miss pixi is here when a guy comes over and is fine with him and me gettin jiggy, so that works too. But I really like having the run of my own apartment for dates with my guys.

Also, I have a job locally and like not having a long commute to get to it during the week.

So, most of the time, we spend a long weekend together, with personal time during the week.

Perhaps some day miss pixi and I will actually live together, but we'd need a bigger place, so I could have my own room to escape from the dogs and have lovers visit me, with room for privacy.

All of my present lovers are fairly new (several months and 4-6 dates so far on average), so of course any kind of shared living arrangements are not on the table as yet. The Hottie, 34, is newly divorced, lives up in Maine and has a young daughter and a demanding full time job. The Gentleman is 63 and set in his ways as a bachelor and loves his personal space. The Ginger, 59, has a lovely home with his wife. I am really eager to visit it and hopefully be invited to spend time there on a regular basis. miss pixi is excited about The Ginger's solar underground house and 57 acres, and joked she's ready to move in right away! hehe But she hasn't even met him yet.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

There's no lying in polyamory!

I'm a 58 year old woman with 2 partners:
miss pixi, my live-in gf, 36 (together since Jan '09)
Ginger, bf, 61, married, lives nearby (together since Jan '12)
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:50 PM
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For me, this topic is in the future, since one of my relationships is an LDR, and that won't change for a few years. But I think many people who are/have been in LDRs would agree, sometimes it's nice to think about what things will be like once you are closer to each other, even if you can't know what your life will look like at that point. At the moment I live with my husband Alec, and Mya lives with her husband JJ.

If there were no financial constraints, I think I would want a semi-detached house that has two apartments with one shared wall between them. The floor plan for each would look something like this



I would live in one with Alec, and Mya and JJ would live in the other. But I'd take down the shared wall of one of the two sets bedrooms next to each other, thus making it into one larger room for me and Mya, which would be in both of our homes, while still maintaining two separate households.

I doubt any landlord would support this plan, though, so that's why the disclaimer about the finances... Maybe some day we'll be in a place where all of us can&want to buy property.

More realistically, we are thinking that we'd like two apartments near each other, and at least one of our homes needs to have a room which is shared by me and Mya. So even if I continue to live separately with her, we'll still have our own space(s) private to us.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:04 PM
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Magdlyn, congrats on the anniversary! It's cool that you wrote about your experience. I can totally relate to the need of alone time, I am similar in that respect. I live in a one-bedroom apartment with Alec, and at one point we struggled to share space so much that I actually wondered whether I would rather live alone. But we managed to rearrange so that we have our "own rooms", that is, I mostly spend time in our bedroom and Alec hangs out in the living room, and we come together when we actually want to spend time with each other.

I can also see the value in having that space for dating. That is also something I think is a benefit if the four of us have two separate apartments instead of co-habitating: if one of the guys has a date, it is possible to arrange so that they can have the apartment to themselves and I'll sleep at Mya's or the other way around (neither of them is dating right now, but that's not to say that won't/can't happen in the future).
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:22 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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I've made a decision that I will be in a cohousing community by the end of ten years. I don't know where yet, or if it will be in a new community or if I will buy into an existing cohousing development. But I will be in cohousing by 2021 or therabouts. I'm attracted to cohousing because there is private space and ways to develop and maintain separate financial equity. I've never found the income sharing model appealing because I am profoundly unwilling to give anyone, much less many someones, that much financial control over my life. (I have friends, however, who don't feel it limits their options.) I am very attracted to cohousing's model of connected, intertwined community that cooperates together while preserving personal and possibly family independence and personal space. And I was really glad that the article mentioned cohousing as an option for this 'shared custody' idea.

Anyway, it would be ideal for me to move in with partners into a cohousing situation. I would have my own space, my own finances; they would have the same and we could easily move back and forth between those spaces and the community areas. So that would be my dream.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
Magdlyn, congrats on the anniversary!
Thanks!

Quote:
It's cool that you wrote about your experience. I can totally relate to the need of alone time, I am similar in that respect. I live in a one-bedroom apartment with Alec, and at one point we struggled to share space so much that I actually wondered whether I would rather live alone. But we managed to rearrange so that we have our "own rooms", that is, I mostly spend time in our bedroom and Alec hangs out in the living room, and we come together when we actually want to spend time with each other.
Yeah. In the first year, during NRE, miss pixi and I didnt want much personal space when we were together, but later we developed strategies for alone time when at one of our apartments. She's more of a night owl than me, so often I go to bed around midnight (we have sex on the couch before my bedtime...) and she stays up til 2. She needs more sleep than me, so I usually have several hours in the morning to myself. I like that quiet time to myself in the morning, and I take the dogs out then too.

If there was another partner or 2 in this mix, I probably wouldnt get that "me time."
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

There's no lying in polyamory!

I'm a 58 year old woman with 2 partners:
miss pixi, my live-in gf, 36 (together since Jan '09)
Ginger, bf, 61, married, lives nearby (together since Jan '12)
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:04 PM
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neegoola neegoola is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
Magdlyn, congrats on the anniversary!
yes
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:47 PM
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RainyGrlJenny RainyGrlJenny is offline
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Aaargh! I wrote a huge post, and then my browser shut down on me :-/

I really enjoyed the article, thanks for posting! I think the "shared-custody model" is probably much more realistic for most people, or at least for me anyway

Fly (BF) and I have lived together for 4 of our almost 6 (in February!) years, but we're still relatively independent of each other. Our house is ginormous, and we each have our own bedroom, even though we sleep together several times a week (always in his room, because he hates my mattress). Our finances are completely separate, and we contribute proportionately to bills, groceries, etc. We used to not even eat meals together much, but since his kiddo moved in about a year ago, we've been making an effort to do family dinners and stuff most days. We've had roommates off and on while I've been living with Fly, but I've found that I hate sharing the kitchen, I have a hard time with people who have a radically different tolerance level for mess (neat freaks and slobs are equally frustrating!), and I really dislike having to negotiate every tiny little thing with other people. I absolutely adore our last roommate, but even with him it was a relief when he moved back to Japan.

Punk, the newer BF, lives in another city, far enough away that it's not super convenient to just hang out or be spontaneous. He also has a wife, daughter, and other partners, so the distance + time commitments for us both means that we usually only see each other about once a week. I wish he lived closer, but that's not going to happen

Ideally, I'd love to find an OSO who lived close, maybe in the neighborhood. Not in the same house or even next door, because I like having some space and privacy, but close enough that I could walk over after kiddo's in bed and spend the night and be able to come home before Fly goes to work so I can take kiddo to school. Or just to see each other several times a week. We've agreed to no lovin' in the house with OSO's while the other one is home, but I think Fly's at the point where he'd be ok with a lover of mine hanging out with us, eating dinner or watching tv or whatever. I'd be fine with the reverse as well, but I don't know if he'd be into integrating his FWB's more into his regular life.

Unfortunately, I haven't managed the art of falling in love with people based on their address But if I could structure my life any way I wanted, the "shared-custody model" described in the article would be very, very appealing.

Oh, and happy anniversary Magdlyn!
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:59 PM
Hannahfluke Hannahfluke is offline
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I haven't had time to read the link yet, but shared custody is essentially what we have. I live with my husband at a house we built. Two nights a week I spend the evening and night with my boyfriend in the room he rents in a house fairly near us. He's trying to buy a house, so hopefully soon he'll have more of his own space. My husband's girlfriend is married, so they just take turns going to each other's house. I wish we had one more bedroom, maybe we'll eventually finish one in the basement.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:42 AM
Pretzels Pretzels is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
For me, this topic is in the future, since one of my relationships is an LDR, and that won't change for a few years. But I think many people who are/have been in LDRs would agree, sometimes it's nice to think about what things will be like once you are closer to each other, even if you can't know what your life will look like at that point. At the moment I live with my husband Alec, and Mya lives with her husband JJ.

If there were no financial constraints, I think I would want a semi-detached house that has two apartments with one shared wall between them. The floor plan for each would look something like this



I would live in one with Alec, and Mya and JJ would live in the other. But I'd take down the shared wall of one of the two sets bedrooms next to each other, thus making it into one larger room for me and Mya, which would be in both of our homes, while still maintaining two separate households.

I doubt any landlord would support this plan, though, so that's why the disclaimer about the finances... Maybe some day we'll be in a place where all of us can&want to buy property.

More realistically, we are thinking that we'd like two apartments near each other, and at least one of our homes needs to have a room which is shared by me and Mya. So even if I continue to live separately with her, we'll still have our own space(s) private to us.
Perhaps you should all be looking for jobs up in Northeast Pennsylvania...houses like that, "doubles," are a dime a dozen up that way. Literally. They sell for around $50k in some cities and towns and that includes both halves....
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