I'm polyamorous, ask me anything.(19 Posts)
I've been in polyamorous relationships since university. I've had 2 children in those relationships. Um. Ask me stuff? I'm never sure how much is actually of interest.
What an interesting topic, polyamory has fascinated me for years! If it is truly equal, it must be an amazing experience.
Who else is in this relationship & how did you make the leap from a pair to a multiple?
Currently, I have what I call a nesting partner (the bloke I live with and we have a child together) and I've just started seeing someone else. Early days. My partner has a girlfriend he's been with for years. She's married to her wife. They both met us way after they got together but they were never suited to be nesting partners or have kids (she doesn't want kids).
My ex (father of 1st child) isn't polyamorous per se but he is a big introvert and isn't very relationshippy. For that reason, having partners who have other partners works well for him. He might hook up with someone sometimes but he doesn't have other partners. He's very committed to being a dad though and in fact, that's why he still has relationships because he enjoys lots of the elements of family life.
So to be clear, I was poly when I met my nesting partner (it was an area of commonality). We didn't open a previously monogamous relationship. And we have separate relationships (highly unlikely to be with the same person as we have different "taste").
It sounds interesting but complicated! How do you manage the time aspect, juggling the needs of your at-home partner with children, contact with ex and contact with your other girlfriend or boyfriend?
It helps to have both a current and former partner who step up and do their bit when it comes to the kids. I don't have to chase them. They organise their working lives so they are available to parent. Plus,our other partners often see us in parent mode (they both get on with our kids and are significant in their lives) so we aren't having to step away from parenting to have a bit of time with our other partners. Of course we do have time away from them too.
Then, because we all understand the importance of quality adult time, we go out of our way to consider each other. My partner's girlfriend will volunteer for babysitting when she knows our anniversary is close so we can get a hotel for the night. We'll catsit for her and her wife so going away for a week or more is a possibility for them. I babysit for my exes kid (he has has a child with his current partner) and he has both of mine (our child plus my child with my current partner) either for childcare purposes or just to give each other a break.We're a united network and we get that the more adults there are pitching in, the fuller life we can lead as parents.
Broadly speaking,there is "kitchen table" polyamory which looks a lot like what I do and there is parallel polyamory where there is less integration between all the members. For us, people seeking kitchen table polyamory (where everyone can comfortably have dinner together and wants to be able to do that) are most compatible. If you're happy to interact with my kids and other partner(s), there are no real limits to how far our relationship can go. If you prefer parallel polyamory, the chances of us bonding enough to be more than casual lovers is slim.
Does this not confuse the kids? How old are they and how much are they aware of? Not judging just curious
No, obviously we don't have sexually intimate contact in front of our kids but it's always been this way for them. I don't think they realise anything is that much different than it is for other people. They just refer to our partners by name.
They see us kiss (peck not snog, embrace,hold hands. They probably notice that I'm less physically affectionate to my ex than I am my partners but then my ex isn't really a touchy feely guy.
How would you manage a situation where one of your sexual partners feels left out, hurt or jealous? And how would you deal with it if you found yourself to be feeling that way about a partner?
I am not saying this in a judgemental way - from experience, I know things can become a bit difficult in poly set-ups
It depends in what they felt excluded from. For example, let's say I wasn't interested in any more children but I had a partner who was very unhappy that I won't be conceiving with them, I wouldn't have a baby just to appease them or make it fair. It probably means we aren't compatible because this could be a source of jealousy, ,resentment and generally foster negative feelings which will manifest in the form of passive aggressive bickering.
There are other things that might provoke jealousy depending on the partner and adjustments can be made. Sometimes,just listening to your partner vocalise their disappointment that you can't be their nesting partner or have children with them is enough. It gives them the inspiration to work around it or even decide what is more important to them.
So I guess the answer is that I have limitations and I'm not compatible with everyone - however I'm willing to listen to my partners and work towards solutions that mean everyone has a good chance at contentment. I am also mindful about not obstructing my partners from finding what they need from other relationships and I'm happy to help them achieve that by babysitting, pet sitting, whatever.
For me, I look at what I feel I'm missing and if/how I can have it too. If I can't, I decide whether the negative feelings are overwhelming any happiness I get from that relationship. Eg, I had a partner who couldn't ever stay over due to the agreements with their other partner. It eventually made me so unhappy that even adjustments like meeting early in the morning and having snuggle times in bed after a late evening together didn't compensate. We broke up.
This is fascinating. My question is about how people around you react. Whilst where we live is fairly metropolitan and multi everything there would still be raised eyebrows. Do you all get invited to local parties of the kids friends parents etc? I would worry that my kids would get left out for 'coming from that odd set up'. Or do people just not know?
I tell people but you do have to be careful. Social services are too underfunded now but there were cases a few years ago where they'd think the situation warrants an investigation to see what other madness might be going on. They usually find nothing and move on.
I tell people when we move from school mums or colleagues towards friends. Apparently, it isn't even that obvious when we're all in the same place at the same time. We just seem like really good friends.
People rarely judge us negatively because by the time they know, there are many aspects to our lives that they are... envious(?) of such as how we share childcare duties to give each other space to have hobbies and adult time. Even if the intimate relationship is over like it is between my older child's father and I. The people who have judged are usually women who ultimately feel threatened by the fact that having a partner doesn't render me automatically unavailable to theirs.
What they fail to realise is that their monogamous relationship is what renders their partner unavailable to me.
Thank you, OP.
And yes, I can confirm that there is a bit of envy floating around
What would you do if your nesting partner said that he did not want to be poly anymore and wanted it just to be you and he?
The same way monogamous people usually react to their partner suggesting they open the relationship. I'd see it as a huge incompatibility that probably means our romantic relationship should end.
If I was in another long term committed relationship, I'd find it offensive that he thought it was okay to ask me to end it.
How did you first start been polyamorous?
By that time, I had a few relationships and I had become disillusioned with monogamy for several reasons. Cheating was one. Being away from your local partner was another. Just I saw that some relationships would work if the people involved could permit themselves and their partners to seek some of their needs from other people.
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