Category: What about the children?

Opening up to the kids – by J

E and I have two children in their teens.  Things have been very stressful the last few months with E always taking off at the last minute to go out with S.  Sometimes not even coming home until 7AM the next morning.  Now that I have been leaving town every other weekend to see my partner X it’s getting a little difficult to explain things to the kids.

I wanted to open up with our children long before now but E wouldn’t have anything to do with it.  Of course there is always the worry of how are they going to handle the news,  but what’s the alternative?  Either we talk to them about reality or keep them in a state of wondering what the hell is going on with our mom and dad.  I know that X and I have talked about it, E and I obviously as well, I’m sure S and E don’t bother with things like this and E keeps to herself about their relationship.

I remember visiting China with a friend who was born there.  I was in a public DVD music and movie store browsing through tables of DVD’s when to my surprise next to the Chinese version of Snow White sat a pile of DVD’s with naked women on the covers having sex with dogs.  My jaw dropped as I looked around the store, children were everywhere and these DVD’s were just sitting out in plain view on the table with several other obscene images.  I couldn’t believe it!  I showed my friend and asked him why they were out in front of all of these kids in the store.  Becoming very irritated with me he answered “This is not America you are in China and we do not hide life from our children!”  I will never forget that statement, it was one of the reasons I wanted to come out about our open relationship to my kids long ago.

We decided to take the kids to our coffee shop, this was a place where E and I go to meet if we have anything we need to talk about regarding our open relationship rules, emotions or other issues relating to the open relationship or our partners.  It’s also the place I go to when I can’t be at home and want to SKYPE with X.  We sat them down and talked to them about school for a while.

After that we started talking about different types of relationships.  E wanted to be sure that we started the conversation off with explanations of gay and lesbian relationships and other types of alternative situations.  They were uncomfortable from the start but they knew that E and S had been spending a lot of time together.  I on the other hand have my partner who is hours away so it’s much easier for me to keep our relationship under wraps.

We explained to them that we were having an open relationship and that I too was involved with X.  They had no idea about my relationship but did know about E and S but thought that I did not know anything and that E was cheating.  They were upset, I don’t think they took it well but after we explained everything they didn’t want to talk about it anymore.  We put them in a taxi to go home so they could start to process things.  We did make sure to stress that we care for each other and love each other very much and that we are not going to separate the family just because of the open relationship.

Besides them getting a little upset I think it went well, I am sure they will be asking questions and dealing with their own issues but I am a lot more comfortable with them knowing about who their parents really are then wondering why mom is cheating on dad.  I am sure that’s worse.