While managing a household can be a challenge for any family, these are issues that become even more challenging in Poly families.
Issues currently covered in this section are:
This is a touchy area for some Poly family units. Some swear by having a monthly budget set in place and follow it, having all the household finances filtered into this account and reviewed monthly by all members of the family. Some prefer to have each adult member of the family maintain their own bank accounts and sets of bills...while this might work for some we don't recommend it. We ourselves follow a model that is based loosly on the split finances theory, where we break down expenses by percentage in accordance with the percentage of income earned. That way, all expenses are shared but in a manner so as not to financially break any one family member.
Keep in mind that this only applies to the common household expenses such as rent, utilities, groceries, etc. Any individual bills that only belong to one family member are that persons sole responsibility.
Whatever model you choose to follow, make sure that it is one that all members of the family feel secure in using. We also recommend that some type of savings method is put in place. I'm not entirely sure that any particular model is better or worse, but I definitely recommend that you sit down and discuss finances with your family.
For more information regarding Financial Management in a polyamorous family, feel free to read the following other resources we offer:
Time Management applies to many different facets of any family unit, " conventional " or otherwise. It can be used to reference alone time, privacy, or simply juggling bathroom time among the members of your expanded family. For us, we have three adults on three distinctly different time schedules, so we have a slight advantage in this area. However, some families might not be so lucky and find themselves trying to balance how to fit three showers into one bathroom and still get to work on time. It isn't just bathroom time though. This also applies to television, computer use, kitchen use, and so forth.
It also applies to quality time not only as an individual, but as two different couples as well as a family unit. Every person needs quality alone time, and this is even more important in an expanded family where there are three or more adults as well as children living under the same roof. Luckily for us, most of these issues are non-issues, as we have two televisions and three computers in our household. The most important thing to remember in this situation is that people have feelings...be considerate of those feelings and you will be well on your way to avoid potential problems. If you know that someone has to be showered and out the door in an hour and you have three, then don't rush in ahead of them because you feel like it.
You also will need to learn to be respectful of the time your Spice may wish to spend without you and react accordingly. As long as your family still spends time together as a unit this will make for a healthy environment for all.
For more information regarding Time Management in a polyamorous family, feel free to read the following other resources we offer:
This is another area that I've seen many different approaches too. Some families prefer to use chore charts to manage their household responsibilities. We, however, don't use any organized type of system. Sister Dagger is a very organized woman, and as stated earlier she is currently a stay at home mother. This gives our household a distinct advantage. This doesn't mean that she is the only one who ever does any houeswork, but she does do the bulk of it. She tends to have a particular way she likes the house to be, so therefore she does it. Now, if your in a family where everyone works, this will obviously need to be adjusted accordingly. This is where a chore chart might be handy and even recommended. It could also change if you have teenage children in the house who want to earn a weekly allowance for doing some household chores.
I think the best example I've seen is also from the Polyfamilies website, where they mention hitting one room daily for a fifteen minute cleaning. This way each room gets hit on the same rotating schedule and stays equally clean as all the rest. Of course this won't apply to the kitchen if you have three or more adults as well as a child(ren) who obviously eat at least two meals a day. In this case a dishwashing and kitchen cleanup schedule is highly recommended. Again, your family will need to discuss this and decide which system will work best.
Like it or not, we live in a material world. While it is natural to be proud of the possessions one has amassed and want to hold onto them, some people tend to go too far. Now, does this mean that you should have each member of the family sign a property sharing agreement and list every item they own and intend to share? Some say yes, but I'm not entirely sure. Even if you do have everyone sign this agreement, are you really going to take someone to court over your favorite music CD should your family dissolve? Keep in mind that property sharing in this context doesn't refer to real estate or automobiles. This refers to simple material possessions, some of which will probably be much more expensive then that CD.
I'm not saying that a sharing agreement is a good or bad idea, but it is definitely something you should consider. In most states Poly families are not afforded the legal status that marriage entitles a "conventional" spouse, so the equal division of assets will not be afforded you should a separation occur. Just make sure that all members of the family do something
to protect their material assets if they (or you) feel it is necessary.
For more information regarding Property Sharing in a polyamorous family, feel free to read the following other resources we offer:
Practical Drawbacks of Polyamory
Any healthy, loving relationship is based largely on emotions. Add to the relationship one or more sets of feelings and emotions and you have a potential juggernaut on your hands. While all the items listed in the Emotional Issues section of this Community could potentially fall under this drawbacks section, I'd like to expand a little more on this issue.
When you choose to expand your family and add in the feelings, emotions, and thought processes of other mature human beings you invite potential issues into your life. These potential issues include but aren't necessarily limited to insecurity, jealousy, detachment, and stress.
It's possible that you could lose your siblings, parents, or friends as a result of the choice you made to expand your family. I think this is a very real result that you had better consider before you decide to expand your family. Are you willing to lose those aspects of your life to be with your Spice? Make sure you're certain before you enter into this lifestyle. Keep in mind that you are dealing with individuals that only you know, and their reaction might not be the one you think you will get.
If there are children involved, biologically yours or not, their lives can be adversely affected to. In our family we have the red-headed step-child. He is a fantastic six year old boy that I have come to love immensely. If our family should disolve, what happens to my relationship with him? This is a very real issue that you had better consider before making any lifestyle decisions.
For more information regarding Practical Drawbacks of Polyamory, feel free to read the following other resources we offer:
This is an area that I don't see discussed much, but is a very big part of the success or failure of any relationship. I'm not sure what the actual definition of the term is, but to our family it is the way we interact as individuals as well as a family. I talked about our time schedule as it relates to privacy and alone time, and this is a large part of our relationship dynamic. We feel so strongly about this in fact, that I've hesitated on changing my career path because a different work schedule for me would affect the entire family dynamic we have going.
Relationship Dynamics include alone time, privacy, time spent as couples, time spent as a family, etc. If you're currently living in a " conventional " relationship and are considering adding one or more members to your family, the potentional dynamics of the unit are important. How do the daily schedules of each of the members interact, and how well will they mesh together? It's good to have a setup where each person gets time alone, time with the other Spice, as well as time with the entire family. Our Relationship Dynamic also involves our sleeping arrangements. We currently operate on a week on / week off schedule. This means just what it says, Kriek sleeps in the same bed as the wife for a seven day period, then I do. The schedule rotates like this and we have no problems with it. For some this might not work, others prefer to allow a natural pairing to occur and go that way. Whatever the case, find something that works for your family and stick to it. A good, stable Relationship Dynamic will go along way towards building a strong family foundation.
For more information regarding Relationship Dynamics, feel free to read the following other resources we offer:
More Spouses Means More Sex...Right?
While this might hold true for some families, I think it's largely a misconception. Unless you're living in a bisexual situation, it is highly unlikely that adding additional Spice to your family will equate to more sex. A wider variety of sex sure, but not necessarily more. If your entire motivation for entering into a Poly family unit is sex, you had better step back and think this over a bit more.
Think about the day-to-day life issues in a two person family. Sex is not generally a part of our daily lives, so why would it increase by adding more members? As I said, if you and your family members are bisexual then this will provide the opportunity for more sex, but in most Poly families this just isn't the case. If you're interested in simply having more sex with different partners, than most likely you should look into the Swinging lifestyle, not Polyamory.
For more information regarding More Spouses Means More Sex...Right?, feel free to read the following other resources we offer: