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In a polyamorous relationship and the woman is pregnant. How do I deal with the pregnancy?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Pregnancy, Sex, Three is a crowd<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (9 February 2019) 20 Answers - (Newest, 16 February 2019)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

I'm in a very unfamiliar type of situation and not sure where to turn for advice. I am a woman dating a married couple (FMF polyamorous triad) for about 6 months, and we have all been getting along great to where we spend most days together, and usually I sleep over at their house, but I still have my own separate home also.

When we all first met, they let me know that they were trying to get pregnant, and a few weeks ago we found out that my girlfriend is pregnant! She is about 7 weeks along with their first ever child, and we are all trying to adjust as well as we can.

This is my first time having a relationship with multiple partners, and none of us have children yet, so I am, of course, nervous and unsure how to handle the situation.

The couple I'm with have been married 5 years and have known each other a long time, and I've only been in the picture about 6 months, so I don't feel as responsible for parenting as they do. I want to be supportive but also not "butt in" so to say to their special time and enjoyment of being parents. Right now, they both seem a little stressed. I'm used to working with families as a psychologist, so I find that part easy, but I'm confused about how I fit into the situation and how this affects our relationship.

Additionally, the man in our relationship has expressed interest in having children with both of us, and the other woman has expressed that she does not want this. I'm undecided. This is another point of discussion that will probably come up again, though not a pressing issue right now as it is early in my relationship with them, so I'm not willing to do that now anyway.

I know it's probably a long shot, but I'm hoping anyone else here may have experience with this type of situation who could give advice? Thanks.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (16 February 2019):

Honeypie agony auntMaybe OP, you should TALK to some of those happy 1000's who this kind of relationships works for?

You say you know many who makes this work, it might be more beneficial for you to ask people who actually live this life-style and enjoy it than people who wouldn't do this at all.

I wish you all the best.

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A female reader, mystiquek Japan + , writes (16 February 2019):

mystiquek agony auntOP, most people on this website have never been in the relationship that you are in so they can only give the advice based on the knowledge that they have. I don't think anyone here is trying to be mean but your situation isn't normal to most of us.

I really do hate to see this kind of a post because a person comes on here doesn't get the advice that they want to hear so then they get all bent out of shape.

Sorry we could't give you the advice you wanted. People are different thats true but we all did try to help. I've been a moderator on here for years and your post is the kind I really am sad to see.

Take care and perhaps another website that has people in your situation would be of much more help to you. DC tries to give give good solid advice to everyone. Sometimes people just don't like what they hear.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (16 February 2019):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I'm really trying not to be mean about this, but why is everyone so judgmental on this site? I think my mistake was coming to this specific site with this question. I have not received even remotely close to this amount of negativity from anyone else on this topic.

WE as in ALL 3 OF US enjoy being together and yes IN PUBLIC go out together and are known to our friends and family openly, many of whom engage in similar lifestyles AND YES WITH KIDS who are healthy and happy and get along like any other kid.

This couple have enjoyed 10+ years together in a non-monogamous relationship, and it works for them. They chose to get pregnant while being in this type of relationship. They could have chosen otherwise. They still can. I did not make them get pregnant. I'm not holding anyone hostage.

Maybe don't automatically assume others are unhappy in a situation because it makes YOU uncomfortable? I'm just saying there are options beyond man+woman+married=family otherwise the damn house burns down. Common.

Go take a look on google and find the numerous websites with 1000s of people discussing similar relationships because it is much more common than you are aware of obviously.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (16 February 2019):

N91 agony auntI just have to say I’d feel sorry for the kid growing up in all of this, what a bizarre situation that would be to grow up into. The kid is going to be wondering who the hell this second lady is for sure.

Also your comparison to getting with a divorced dad and having a child with him? How is it even remotely similar? You’re trying to join onto a married couples relationship for goodness sake, how can you compare that to getting into a monogamous relationship with a divorcee?

This sounds like it’s heading for an absolute train wreck.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (16 February 2019):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

After reading all of your comments and letting my original questions sink in a bit more, I just wanted to add that I did not mean to make the whole "what if we both had kids with him" thing the main idea - I am also just, in general, considering how them having a child will affect things between all of us, as I understand that maybe in their history things have been fine one way but that being pregnant will most definitely cause some major re-assessing (whether or not either of them anticipated that, although I'm sure they most certainly did and have already discussed such things or would probably not be trying to conceive while maintaining an open relationship).

As to the questions about why I would choose to be in this situation - because I met two people who happen to already share their lives who opened up to sharing that with me as well, we all contribute and benefit from the relationship in different ways, and no they are not always exactly equal just like how 2 friendships could not be compared or contrasted to be constantly maintained as equal. That's not how it works or what any of us expect.

I'm also curious to know how this is so incredibly different than say, me meeting a divorced parent and then us having a child together? If you think about it that way, it's not too far off from what people in "normal" relationships already deal with. Just sayin!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 February 2019):

Trust me, she will NOT want to share her baby father with another family even if she thought she was ok with it in theory before she got pregnant

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A female reader, Sweet Dreamer xxx United Kingdom +, writes (14 February 2019):

Sweet Dreamer xxx agony auntI think this arrangement has ran its course sadly. I don't see being in a relationship with a couple as a bad thing, however now that a child is involved I think the best thing to do is step back. This may cause issues for the child growing up.

Also the fact that the wife is not happy about you bearing children with her husband also shouts that she's not actually happy with this relationship. Maybe she was just doing it to keep her husband interested and now that a child is involved she is hoping that he will go back to just being a couple. It only being six months into the relationship will mean that a clean break won't hurt as much.

I do not believe that just because you are a psychologist that you should be held responsible as some other comments might suggest, feelings are extremely complex and difficult to interpret from being in that bubble of feelings.

I know it is difficult but just think about what is best for this child.

Good luck x

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A reader, anonymous, writes (12 February 2019):

Get out of this now. A psychologist should know better than to get involved in this mess. A child is not an issue to be arranged. It’s a lifelong responsibility.

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A male reader, BE125 United States +, writes (10 February 2019):

I think this is a very dangerous arrangement and I would not recommend staying in it.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (10 February 2019):

chigirl agony auntIn a three way relationship, as in all relationships, you need to be in agreement with all parties about such things as making a baby. So if your girlfriend isnt in on it, its a no brainer: you say no. Its either everyone agrees, or no go. Dont treat your relationship any differently than any other relationship. The same rules still apply. In this case you are not a parent or co-parent even. You are dating a couple who are pregnant. Its not your baby any more than it would be if you were just dating a pregnant woman and not a couple.

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A female reader, mystiquek Japan + , writes (10 February 2019):

mystiquek agony auntOP, I have been on DC for over 10 years and I honestly don't think you are going to find too many people that will come on here stating that they have been in a relationship like yours so...I guess the advice you are going to get is from inexperienced people that will try to give you the best advice they can from the outside looking in.

I would never want to be in a relationship like yours so I can't even begin to say that I understand the complexities of it. I will tell you though that as a wife and as a woman who has 2 children, I can probably guess what the woman is feeling right now. She has wanted a baby for awhile and now that she is finally pregnant I have a feeling her motherly instincts are kicking in and she will do just about anything to protect her child. She may very well think of you as an intruder even though before perhaps she welcomed you. The husband may be alright with you being around, but I SERIOUSLY doubt if she wants you around now. It will more than likely only get worse as time goes on. Most mothers are FIERCELY protective of their children and you will be seen as an intruder. I could be wrong of course, but thats my guess.

I honestly think the best thing you can do is back out, wish them well and look for a different situation. ESPECIALLY if you want to have children. I know the show sister wives was popular on tv but from the little I watched it (not my thing) I know that even though the wives supposedly loved each other, there was alot of jealousy and hurt feelings between the women. The only one that really seemed to enjoy it all the time was the man. Of course.

As a psychologist, it sort of baffles me that this situation is puzzling to you. Perhaps you need to look at it from more of an emotional side? Most people deep down inside don't want to share their partners and I have a feeling the woman may have done this little thing with a 3rd party because her husband wanted her to. Again, maybe I'm wrong.

I wish you the best. I hope you find what you are looking for.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (10 February 2019):

Honeypie agony auntI have to say, I held back on answering because I feel like, Youcannotbeserious that this is NOT a poly relationship, you ARE the third wheel, an add on or should I say a sexual entertainment add on.

I could never and would never INTRUDE or PARTAKE in a relationship with more than 2 partners, because in the end it RARELY works. And these two... are MARRIED, they have legally and otherwise committed to each other and now have a BABY on the way. A baby you have ABSOLUTELY no part in.

No wonder the women of the couple DO NOT want her husband to impregnate you as well, THAT would take RESOURCES away from HER child. 2 out of 3 being OK with extra kids and one is not... that doesn't BODE well, and I think you know that. You PRESUME that she doesn't want him to knock you up because SHE is pregnant. Maybe it's more that SHE doesn't WANT to have her kid(s) SHARE a father with another woman.

Is this couple from a polygamous background?

Are you hoping for some kind of "sister-wife" thing? Was that the plan or was it merely about the sex? The added bonus of added fulfillment for the couple?

I do get that there are people out there for whom this work. Usually not long term though, unless it's part of a. their culture or b. religion.

And then there are the kids to consider. You being a psychologist, how much research have you done into how it affects the kids to be brought up in these kind of relationships?

And I'd have to ask WHY are you trying this on now? And with a couple that is already established? Do you think there i a better chance of a successful relationship with MORE people in it?

I have always wondered about that. Why on EARTH complicate matters even more? So many people who are just TWO of them in a marriage/relationship have a hard time making a go at it, and you all think... being 3 in a relationship is going to make THAT easier?

You write:" Just depends what everyone discusses and is o.k. with I guess."

Doesn't always work for 2 people, that is why the divorce rates are high.. so with 3?

Maybe It's because I just don't get what YOU get out of this, other than having two sexual partners. ONE that will soon probably be WAY more focused on her pregnancy and a LOT less on you, the side-dish.

If you are all "fine" with this relationship that is of course YOUR business. My guess is as the woman progresses in her pregnancy the more she will REGRET you and this idea of "poly". They have known each other a LONG time and been married 5 and FINALLY got pregnant. HER (not sure about him) perspective will be shifting. Again, as a psychologist you should know that. Maybe you aren't thinking in that directed because you don't have kids yourself yet. Kids DO alter a person's priorities drastically.

How do you deal with it? I'd say be prepared for them to decide that NOW is not the time for them to want this poly-thing after all.

THE last thing SHE needs is STRESS during pregnancy.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (10 February 2019):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntNot judging here, just genuinely curious: what would make someone get involved as a "third party" in an established relationship? I understand getting involved just for sexual gratification but this appears to be a lot more. How did this happen? How do you see your future in this relationship? How do you introduce this couple to your friends/family? "This is my boyfriend and this is his wife, my girlfriend"? Is part of the attraction sticking the proverbial finger up to society norms/expectations and getting a kick out of shocking people? Why would you not look for a relationship with someone who can give you his undivided attention instead of sharing? Is this something which you actively went out looking for or did you settle for it? I am genuinely puzzled/intrigued.

You say you are a psychologist so we assume you are a reasonably intelligent woman. Surely you must realize that, now that the wife is pregnant, this is a whole game changer for her, if not for him. It's one thing for a bored married couple to involve a third party to spice up their sex life but quite another to have that third party as part of their family unit. You say they appear stressed. May I venture that part of the stress for the mother-to-be is caused by you still being there?

This is a new relationship for you. You have little invested in it. In your shoes I would wish them both all the best and leave them to it. Just my opinion and, while I have absolutely no experience of this sort of situation (and would never want it, quite frankly), I also doubt there will be many (if any) on this forum who have any experience of it.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (10 February 2019):

Andie's Thoughts agony aunt“It’s complicated” isn’t enough. As a psychologist, you should know not to stay in this relationship unless everything is talked through properly. Keep asking about things, especially how kids fit in and boundaries.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 February 2019):

OP, sorry to say but you are like the mistress in this relationship, only the wife knows about you. The current set up favours the married couple. You're just a novelty for both of them. When they are tired of you, you will be the one to be discarded. They are married and they have children together. They share a 5 year history. And what do you have? Nothing. If I were you I'd end this and find a man to have your own family with.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (9 February 2019):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I would never try to go against what her wishes are, as I also respect what she feels and wants, and especially right now while she's going through pregnancy and becoming a mother for the first time. I hope for her to be able to be happy and enjoy this special time with her husband. I don't want that to happen either. I meant that I think since he seems to want that, that it may still be up for discussion at a later time, or as our relationship goes on her feelings about it may change. At the time being, I am still seeking to meet my own husband to have kids with. I take birth control and precautions so that there is no accidental pregnancy, so that's not really the issue. We all treat each other as boyfriend/girlfriends, we are both bisexual and it's more of us all dating each other not only me and the husband.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. It's just a challenging situation to think through these things as I have not much experience with this lifestyle; however, they do and have been open for the entire time they're married. I did ask what they thought about how kids fit in with a poly lifestyle, and got a response of "well it's complicated." I realize also the legal aspects of a situation like that, and like I said, I would prefer to find someone I like who is also into open relationships who wants kids rather than try with them, but it is an issue that we all are trying to figure out, as 2 of us seem o.k. with multiple mothers while maybe she is not, and it may be related to the current situation.

I have also known other families who have multiple partners and raise kids together. Just depends what everyone discusses and is o.k. with I guess.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (9 February 2019):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntFor what it’s worth, YOU are “the other woman” in this relationship; SHE is the WIFE. This is not an equal triad, so please bear that in mind when you’re making comments and decisions. You are an addition to their core, which means you should not rock their boat. You can walk away and create a core, while they already have one.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (9 February 2019):

Since they're a married-couple, committed to each other in legal-ways; perhaps you might want to respect the wife's assertion or implication that your getting pregnant by her husband might cause a problem in the relationship.

She doesn't want it; so why would you even consider it? You can walk-away anytime; but she would have to go through a legal process. I assure you, if she says she doesn't want it, she'll see to it that you're gone. You might cause drama like you may not want to ever experience. The male in the situation is more driven by ego than anything else. He's trying to skirt the law with two-wives. You can call it poly-amorous, he's thinking polygamy.

Being a psychologist, you know that now might not be the greatest time to challenge her; because she has several more months to go. Just the idea of you getting pregnant by her husband is going to cause some issues. There's already tension, and it's because this mess is his idea. Yes, I called it a mess.

Your trepidation about this whole situation is your conscience questioning your judgement. Your getting pregnant by a married-man; then his wife deciding that doesn't sit well with her. Then what?

In the meantime; you've got a child whose father is another woman's husband. It is likely she will use her kid as leverage; considering her child is fully legit, and has legally-recognized rights of inheritance. Yours would be a love-child. Hers will also be the first born. She has the potential to turn your life upside-down and inside-out.

I'm not going to preach morals. I just know what works and what doesn't. These social/moral experiments may challenge the norms and traditions of our modern-family dynamic; but I foresee you being the third-wheel, and somehow being let-go at some point. That's what you know to be a fact at the back of your mind.

If you do go against her wishes and decide you're going to get pregnant anyway; you had better have him legally-adopt the child. In most states, the law doesn't necessarily recognize the child that could basically be considered born of an affair.

My question is, why would you want to do it in spite of her informing you she doesn't want you to? I don't expect you to be around much longer, to be honest.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (9 February 2019):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntThese are all things that NEED to be discussed BEFORE becoming a triad -.- Poly relationships take so much more than the three of you have put in. Jeez. Do NOT risk pregnancy while she isn’t okay with this. COMMUNICATE as a triad and get it all out in the open immediately, before it gets harder.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 February 2019):

Relationships are complicated enough between 2 people. As a psychologist, you are well aware of the complexity of your situation. It's only been 6 months and you are wise to assess things before deciding to invest more of a future in this relationship. It it were me, I wouldn't want to share a man and then become a third wheel to a family dynamic involving children. You will eventually feel resentful of the dynamics and feeling less important.

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