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Three person relationships

(13 Posts)
LittleMissViper Wed 30-Dec-15 16:33:10

A background in brief; A family friend who we've known for many years has been seemingly happily married for a significant length of time. The couple have no children yet and live in a neighbouring city. They have another set of friends, husband and wife, who we only know in passing but also live in the neighbouring city.

Earlier in the year, FamilyFriend and Wife gave their apologies for several events because they were helping with a personal matter relating to this other couple. A few months later, it was announced that the other couple were separating and the husband moving away. Up to that point, nothing sounded particularly unusual.

But then it transpired that there had been a wife swap going on and that the three remaining individuals were moving in to one property. Finally, as we have now been informed first hand, the three are in a relationship all together. While I have misgivings about all this, ultimately they are all consenting adults and it is entirely their choice.

I have two children, KS1 and Preschool. We meet up with FamilyFriend around once per month, often with his Wife. So depending on just how they decide to run things with Girlfriend now involved, there's a good chance of a question from eagle-eyed DC1 that goes along the lines of "Mummy, why does FamilyFriend have a Wife AND a Girlfriend?"

DH and I are both relatively open minded and we've already had a variety of discussions with DC1 about how families come in different shapes and sizes, covering gay/lesbian couples, blended families, adoption/guardianship, etc. However the idea of reassuring DC1 that families consisting of three adults in a relationship together is perfectly fine doesn't sit right with me.

AIBU to think this? Any suggestions on how to handle the situation would be gratefully received!

witsender Wed 30-Dec-15 16:37:00

I would just say that they love each other and want to live together. If pushed, you could say that you don't see it very often because many people live in pairs, but if everyone is happy then it is up to them.

goodnightdarthvader1 Wed 30-Dec-15 16:37:10

Funny how it's always one bloke and 2 women isn't it?

I don't get polyamorous relationships but they're consenting adults. "Some grown ups have lots of love to give so like more than one person to share their life with" seems fine to me.

Arfarfanarf Wed 30-Dec-15 16:38:29

By handle you mean explain it to your children?

Just tell them that X, Y and Z are a family who love each other.

Perhaps tell them of cultures, religions where the set up is not one man one woman. Remind them of same sex relationships as part of a wider conversation about how love and family is not mum dad and 2.4 children.

My husband's grandfather had 2 wives. In their culture at that time it was common, it was a sign of wealth. It sits fine with me. It was just another time, another culture, another way of living. My husband's family as a result is more complicated - his grandfather's other wife's children etc but it's no big deal and I've never had any sort of problem explaining to my children that families come in all shapes and sizes. I think you'll find it's not likely to be a huge deal to your kids.

witsender Wed 30-Dec-15 16:39:03

I have a friend who lives with two men...the men aren't in a relationship with each other, just with her. If that makes sense.

goodnightdarthvader1 Wed 30-Dec-15 16:41:23

witsender, see, a traditional polyamorous relationship would involve 3 bisexual parties. Otherwise you're just sharing a person, and jealousy can erupt. Don't get it, myself.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 30-Dec-15 16:43:28

I think you need to make it very clear that all three of them are happy with the situation.

Or your DS might end up wondering why he can't have a wife and a girlfriend!

ComposHatComesBack Wed 30-Dec-15 16:48:17

Funny how it's always one bloke and 2 women isn't it?

A male relative of mine lived with another man and one woman. That was back in the 1960s. They are all burried together now.

inlovewithhubby Wed 30-Dec-15 16:48:20

It doesn't matter if their choices don't sit well with you, it's just another example of a type of relationship different to your own which you have to explain to your child in the least prejudiced way possible, if you want them to travel through childhood with an open mind rather than one which naturally prejudges anyone different to themselves. The three relationship members are obviously happy, what right does anyone have to be anything else?

goodnightdarthvader1 Wed 30-Dec-15 16:50:52


Disclaimer: "always" was a generalisation, think: the way "literally" is used now.

Obviously I didn't mean ALWAYS always.

Dosydoly Wed 30-Dec-15 17:05:13

My sister has a husband and a boyfriend. The men are not involved with each other but are very close friends and were before my sister knew either of them. My children know both of her partners, we've always just said they live together because they love each other.

Sighing Wed 30-Dec-15 17:11:32

I have a friend who has a husband, boyfriend (because he can't marry her) and two children. My children have always known this to be the case and they don't even blink (and their children are well balanced etc, very caring, well attached and the eldest is dating .... just one person).
If everyone in the relationship is OK/ on board then great. They choose to live together. You don't need to say much about their relationship really to children. Just avoiding NOT mentioning it!

WombOfOnesOwn Wed 30-Dec-15 17:37:38

I've lived in a two woman/one man triad and a two man/one woman triad, the first for 6 months and the second for 3.5 years. I no longer consider poly relationships to be for me, but my previous poly relationships didn't seem too tough for any of our friends' kids to accept. Kids are better about this kind of thing than grownups, in my experience.

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