minoanmiss: Minoan lady holding recursive portrait (Recursion)
minoanmiss ([personal profile] minoanmiss) wrote in [community profile] agonyaunt2017-06-28 01:03 am

Dear Abby: Serial father keeps chummy relationships with his exes


Dear Abby: I recently met a 28-year-old father of three I~Rm interested in. He seems wonderful. He's a hard worker, takes care of his responsibilities and is an amazing father to his children. They~Rre all still very little, but they're great kids. The only thing that~Rs been on my mind lately is he has a lot of baggage. Those kids are from three different women. He gets along with all of them very well, to the point that they sometimes do stuff together with the children. They go out to places, or sometimes he invites them over to his place to swim in the pool. I understand that he has to maintain a healthy relationship with his exes for the sake of the children, but I never thought it would be this 'healthy.' I have never experienced something like this. I appreciate him being up front about everything, but I can't stop thinking about it. Am I overreacting?
Three's Company

Dear Three's Company: I don't think so. While I admire the man's devotion to his children -- not to mention his skilled diplomatic ability -- it does appear that he has a problem making a lasting commitment to a woman. Unless you would seriously consider joining this 'harem,' I urge you to religiously practice contraception. If you would like children in the future, it would be better to approach it with someone who isn't as marriage-phobic as this young man appears to be.
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

[personal profile] rosefox 2017-06-28 05:13 am (UTC)(link)
I'm failing to see the problem.
jadelennox: "Take this while you can": the Doctor, Rose, and Jack all kissing (doctor who: girlyman: kiss me)

[personal profile] jadelennox 2017-06-28 05:19 am (UTC)(link)
There's no problem with the man, or with the LW, but there may be a compatibility problem between the pair of them.
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

[personal profile] rosefox 2017-06-28 05:45 am (UTC)(link)
True! It sounds like the LW isn't sure about that. This stands out to me:

I have never experienced something like this.

I'd probably recommend that she read up on polyamory (from reputable sources), keep checking in with herself, and see whether she gets more or less comfortable as time goes by. If she gets more comfortable, great! If she gets less comfortable or hits a hard limit, then alas incompatibility and gentle farewells.
xenacryst: (Ivanova is god)

[personal profile] xenacryst 2017-06-28 06:32 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, this. With the added caveat of the "undiagnosed" possibility above - if he's poly, he kinda oughta say so up front, if he knows. If he doesn't know, then that's a stumbling block, not so much in the whoa red flag sense, but in the umm you have an issue you should figure out sense. If he knows and isn't saying, that's a bit of an honesty and openness problem.

'Course, it could be not-poly at all - he could just be really friendly and easygoing and ... not so good at making long term commitments. Which is not a bad thing, but if LW is looking for a life partner, then it's not compatible.
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

[personal profile] rosefox 2017-06-28 06:44 am (UTC)(link)
It sounds to me like he's actually pretty good at long-term commitments, so much so that when his relationships evolve in non-romantic directions he sticks with them and takes them as they are rather than breaking them off. Given the amount of societal pressure in the direction of breaking up and never speaking to people again, he'd have to be very committed to his exes to keep them in his life the way he has.

I don't know that he'd necessarily call himself polyamorous. I just think it would be useful for the LW to learn about different ways people put families together, as a stepping stone to seeing "my kids' other parents hang out with me and swim in my pool" as a perfectly useful way to do that as long as everyone involved is cool with it.
Edited 2017-06-28 06:44 (UTC)
xenacryst: (Ivanova is god)

[personal profile] xenacryst 2017-06-28 04:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I should have clarified that - he's great at long term relationships that aren't monogamous marriage. If what she wants is a long term monogamous marriage, then she should keep looking. If it's just that this is all new to her and she's willing to explore, then have at it.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)

[personal profile] redbird 2017-06-28 01:47 pm (UTC)(link)
There's a potential problem if she's looking for a long-term romantic relationship with someone who will live with her and raise their child(ren) together. I would advise her, at least, to talk seriously about what would be likely to happen if they have a child and then split up: would he be willing and able to have the child at his home half the time, take them to doctor's appointments, and so on, or is he a "great father" in that he is loving and attentive on alternate weekends but expects the mothers to be the ones who use up their own sick leave/vacation time to stay home with a sick child?
eleanorjane: The one, the only, Harley Quinn. (Default)

[personal profile] eleanorjane 2017-06-29 05:35 am (UTC)(link)


I think I sprained my eyeballs with all the rolling.
jadelennox: Senora Sabasa Garcia, by Goya (Default)

[personal profile] jadelennox 2017-06-29 06:25 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, how dare co-parents get along, too?
liv: bacterial conjugation (attached)

[personal profile] liv 2017-06-29 11:05 am (UTC)(link)
Wow, there really are two opposite ways to interpret this description!

Option A] He's the perfect partner. When he commits he really means it, even after the sparkly romantic feelings have dissipated. He's a responsible parent and he puts in the work to raise his children and stay friends with his exes. Who could ask for more?

Option B] He's a rat. He gets involved with women but doesn't really commit. He serially abandons people after he gets them pregnant. He doesn't even properly break up with them but keeps them around for emotional labour (or maybe even booty calls, I wouldn't rule it out). OK, he isn't a complete deadbeat, but he still expects women to take on the work and responsibility of actually parenting his children, while he gets to take them out for fun times or invite them over for swimming.

It seems like Abby is completely assuming option B, and most of this community are assuming option A, though we're a bit more critical. I don't think the guy is poly, because if he were he would have said so. Having lots of relationships going on at the same time but trying to find some clever technical loophole that means you don't have to call them relationships isn't poly, it's cheating.