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Old 06-09-2014, 12:57 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Default What would you do?

Hi guys,

So, I'm just going to get straight down to it.

In our poly V, we've always had a rule about practicing safe sex with others. When this has involved PIV sex, condoms have always been a requirement.

However, my GF recently had sex with her current secondary for the first time, unprotected, using the withdrawal method. This was followed by a pregnancy scare when her period was late.

This really isn't sitting right with me.

Just before this happened, we had talked about contraception. She'd said that sex with her secondary wasn't likely any time soon, but when it finally did happen, she'd probably use the withdrawal method. I expressed that I was extremely uncomfortable with this. I thought we had left the conversation with the agreement that she was going to look into female contraception options. She assured me that she didn't want to bring an unwanted baby into our relationship. I wasn't prepared to find out that about a week later, she went ahead and used the withdrawal method with her secondary.

I should mention that she has extremely low fertility and was told, after years of trying, that her chances of getting pregnant were minute. When she became pregnant with our (now 5 year old) daughter, it was out of the blue.

She now seems to have forgotten everything she said during our discussion and now feels that in the unlikely (?) event that she became pregnant, we'd have to deal with it as and when. She even started talking about the possibility of us raising any potential baby as our own. It has sent me into panic mode.

I could really use a second opinion on this. Do any of you use the withdrawal method? Where is the line here between personal choice about our own bodies and taking risks that could be life changing for our partners? Given GF's low fertility, am I overreacting here? Have you discussed what you would do if an accidental pregnancy happened? Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2014, 03:07 PM
london london is offline
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Ok, so your girlfriend has told you that she isn't willing to minimise the risk of pregnancy and has also said she is likely to continue any pregnancy that occurs. Now you have to decide what your response to that will be. Will you stay with her knowing that she isn't minimising the risk and will probably continue a pregnancy, regardless of paternity or will you decide that you aren't willing to take the risk of heavy involvement in the upbringing of another child.

I'd personally be concerned if my partner wasn't minimising the risk of pregnancy with other people. If he chose to do that, though, and informed me about it, he wouldn't be doing anything wrong. He's just making the choices that he thinks are best for him.
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:13 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
In our poly V, we've always had a rule about practicing safe sex with others. When this has involved PIV sex, condoms have always been a requirement.

However, my GF recently had sex with her current secondary for the first time, unprotected, using the withdrawal method.
So she broke agreement. What is the group's consequence for this?

Quote:
She now seems to have forgotten everything she said during our discussion and now feels that in the unlikely (?) event that she became pregnant, we'd have to deal with it as and when. She even started talking about the possibility of us raising any potential baby as our own. It has sent me into panic mode.
If you are not up for raising another kid, tell her point blank and what the consequences are. Maybe you bow out.

Quote:
Do any of you use the withdrawal method?
Yes. Used it. Along with other methods over my lifetime.

http://www.amazon.com/Taking-Charge-...your+fertility

One can learn to chart to avoid rather than to conceive. Combined with withdrawal, that works out provided the persons is organized/diligent.

This does not mean it is fullproof. And this does not guard against STDs.

Quote:
Where is the line here between personal choice about our own bodies and taking risks that could be life changing for our partners?
She shares sex with multiple people -- her health hygiene practices already affect all of you. I think that is the wrong question to be asking!

The more pertinent questions to me follow this line of thought:
  • What are the consequence for breaking agreements in this case?
    • I am done. Bowing out.
    • I am still willing to forgive and date her.
      • GENERAL: How will she be making amends and making good in future on her trustworthiness/follow through?
      • SPECIFIC TO THIS CASE: Does my GF have the self-discipline to keep up with charting to avoid and encourage her partner to withdraw? Does he have the self discipline to withdraw? Do I trust them both to follow through?

I don't know her at all but from your past posts I would guess NO. Does not have the self discipline.

If she's done with children -- (sterilization) might be worth looking at for her as better option than (TTA/withdraw). Vasectomies are in and out, so "easier" in that sense than female sterilization. But that's all her and her other partner, not you. What you manage is your willingness to participate if they do/do not do something about birth control.

Quote:
Given GF's low fertility, am I overreacting here?
I don't think you are reacting to just the odds of her getting pregnant. You are processing other things that ding you here.
  • Her past history of thoughtlessness and putting you in this spot again -- where you have to deal with something she doesn't think out all the way.
  • Processing broken agreement, her trustworthiness.
  • Processing that she just assumes you are up for raising another kid if she has an accidental pregnancy.

She has historically been thoughtless/fresh. In the past you accepted you deal in this and continue to date her.

NEW point in time. You get to reassess -- are you still willing to continue to deal in this at this point in time? That is something only YOU can answer. It is understandable to feel panic -- she dings you at core levels sometimes. That is part of the price of admission to date her -- she is how she is and she does not change. You determine what your (mental-emotional-physical-spiritual) health wallet can afford.

I can't think of a nicer way to say all that. But that's what I see.

Quote:
Have you discussed what you would do if an accidental pregnancy happened?
Yes, to me that it part of the basic sex health convo -- past partners, stds, dealing with babies (planned or unplanned.) That's stuff I want to know before I jump into bed with someone new or before I choose to CONTINUE to be a lover to someone who has multiple partners. One must check in periodically to see if feelings/thoughts/practices have to change, have changed or stayed same.

HTH!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 06-09-2014 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:36 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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@sparklepop,

This is an old pattern. You and your girlfriend agree to some boundaries, she keeps to them for a while, and then when they don't match with what she wants to do, she does what she really wants to do anyway. And the boundary breaking usually has something to do with what another partner and is often sex-related. (If you have skepticism about this, reread your earlier posts.)

At this point, she has shown you repeatedly who she really is. She will keep an agreement until she doesn't. She will take your needs into account until they conflict with something else she wants to do.

The question isn't her fertility. It's if you can thrive in this relationship. She's not going to change. Can you accept her as she is? Manage the risks she presents to you? (I'm not just talking physical but emotional and mental as well.) To date, you'e chosen to work things out, to cope. There is nothing wrong with this choice. If you can see and accept her for who she is, and get most of your needs met in this relationship, then that is a good choice for you.

She's not someone who is trustworthy in the usual sense - as someone who keeps their word and does what they say will do. Do you get enough out of this relationship to stay, and to accept that any boundaries (particularly sexual) set will be broken sooner or later?
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Old 06-09-2014, 04:50 PM
PolyinPractice PolyinPractice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
She even started talking about the possibility of us raising any potential baby as our own. It has sent me into panic mode.
You cannot tell your girlfriend what kind of contraception she uses. There's no "line" in poly, the whole point is you and she develop your OWN rules.

However, this is something you DO have a personal choice. You can gently tell her that she has the right to do what she wishes with her body (she does!), but that if pregnancy does occur you will have nothing to do with raising the child, no financial help, no child care, and no help with abortion costs, if that's her choice.

If she chooses to engage in what you consider risky behavior, still, that is on her.
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:15 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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For me personally (because you asked "what would you do")
I would stop having sex with any partner who didn't sit down and agree to what our SPECIFIC terms for sex with others is BEFORE having sex with someone else AND keep those agreements.
Agreements can always be re-negotiated, but until they have been, they are the agreement.
Trust in a relationship is critical to me.

IF my partner wanted to take risks I wasn't ok with (and risking pregnancy is one I am not ok with as I don't want to raise any more children); I would stop having sex with them and if a pregnancy arose, I would terminate our relationship.
**it's quite possible I would terminate the relationship over the not using protection in the first place. But I would DEFINITELY terminate the relationship as the point where a pregnancy arose**
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:51 PM
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Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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Ive gotten pg with withdrawal and tracking my ovulation/condom use during fertility times. I don't like using hormonal birth control but I am on the pill for now. Honestly if my partner broke our agreement for safe sex I would start using condoms with them since I can't trust them. The pregnancy issues would be pretty big if I was done having kids. Would I want to deal with another child in the house?
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:01 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Along with what everyone else has already stated, I think you need to look into some legal matters, since it sounds like you and GF already have a child together. What are your custody rights if you do decide to break up? Has anyone been tested for STDs (including yourself, since she isn't having SAFE sex)? While you can't tell her what kind of BC to use, you do have the right to not be involved with her when she shows that she is only making a half-assed attempt to not get pregnant.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:57 PM
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Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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Although it seems to me between her existing fertility issues and advanced age it seems unlikely that she would get pg. But if it's a deal breaker then maybe you should make it clear what the consequences are.
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  #10  
Old 06-10-2014, 12:52 AM
AlwaysGrowing AlwaysGrowing is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
I could really use a second opinion on this. Do any of you use the withdrawal method? Where is the line here between personal choice about our own bodies and taking risks that could be life changing for our partners? Given GF's low fertility, am I overreacting here? Have you discussed what you would do if an accidental pregnancy happened? Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.
I had a very close friend who did the withdrawal method along with all the tracking necessary to predict fertile times and all that... She is the most organized person I know, and she still ended up pregnant. Watching her go through the process of a miscarriage after that was one of the hardest things I've ever done, and I am very glad to say she now has an IUD.

There is no line - she can do what she wants. The line is in the relationship. What can you handle? Are you okay risking STI exposure, pregnancy, and general disregard for your agreements? If not, there's YOUR personal line.

I have had discussions about what I would do if I got pregnant. I have unprotected sex with both Hubby and Boy. Hubby would be happy to have a baby with me at any time if I wanted it. While he doesn't feel "ready" or the need to TRY to conceive, he knows we would be good parents and could make it work if my hormonal birth control fails. Boy isn't sure if he wants kids. I know he wouldn't want to have kids in the non-relationship that we're in. However, if I got pregnant, he knows I'd keep the baby and he has stated he would definitely want to have a paternity test so that if he is the bio dad he can do the dad stuff with the kid. It may not be his preference, but he wouldn't find it earth-shattering. He says he'd be happy once the shock wore off. I wouldn't have unprotected sex with someone who didn't feel that way. I could never get an abortion, so if someone can impregnate me, they need to be prepared to be a parent if it happens.
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