Thursday, April 06, 2006

Kids and Open Marriages

Apropos our recent discussion of open relationships, Bitch Ph.D. has a fascinating post about introducing her kid to her boyfriend:
I found it surprisingly easy to be affectionate with the boyfriend with PK around. I was a little worried about that, and had decided that if PK seemed at all uncomfortable, I would be restrained in front of him. But -- and here is the sole nugget of advice-for-parents-who-have-open-marriages that I am capable of offering -- I found that being fairly matter-of-fact about things and behaving naturally, which of course includes making sure PK wasn't ignored, things went just fine. PK seemed quite content with the situation. I'm sure that it was made easier for him, too, by the fact that the boyfriend's friends know the deal, that we went out and about, that we went to J.'s house to play and that PK got to meet other kids: in other words, by the fact that everyone around PK acted like there was nothing to be worried or concerned about. It seems to me that the primary thing young children need is for the adults around them to be reassuringly comfortable with whatever family arrangements there are.

PK's one comment came, finally, as we left at the end of the week. After we'd both waved goodbye to the Connoisseur, and as I stopped the car at the stop sign at the end of the block, PK said, "Mama, why do you love the Connoisseur so much?"

I said, "Well, PK, I just do. When people grow up, they sometimes fall in love with other people who they like very much. Your papa and I fell in love, and we got married, and we had you. And the Connoisseur and I fell in love, too, and that's why I go visit him sometimes."

And PK said, "okay. Mama, can we stop at McDonald's on the drive home?"

Some of the comments are worth a read, too.


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