I'm married, and was dating someone else - I ended things with him, but now I'm pregnant with his baby

My husband & I have been together for 7 years & last year I let him know that I was interested in trying out polyamory. I started a long distance relationship with another man who was also poly & checked in with my husband before any new decisions were made. Over months my partner decided he wanted to try committing to just me & broke up with his primary. He couldn't commit fully though, there were lies & cheating so I ended it. Then found out I am pregnant with his baby. Any advice?

Everything gets much more high-stakes when there is a pregnancy involved. The first thing you need to do is figure out what you want to do about the pregnancy. I recommend visiting with your doctor or heading to a Planned Parenthood to talk about your options, what you need to do to take care of your health, etc.

You also need to talk to your husband about what he wants to do. Some people, like me, are strongly of the belief that genetics do not a family make, so it could be that he is excited and wants to raise the child - or he could feel more ambivalent. It is unfair to bring a child into a situation where one of the people responsible for co-parenting is struggling with the facts of the child’s existence, so this is critical to work out if you plan to have and parent the baby. You should also talk to the father of the baby, even though you two are no longer together - there are various ways this co-parenting relationship could go, and you need to figure out what’s best for everyone involved. Consider seeing a therapist who specializes in co-parenting and “unconventionall” families.

I have no idea what your values and preferences are around pregnancy and abortion, but know that you do have options, and that they are your choices. There are two other people involved who are likely going to have strong feelings about the pregnancy, and they are entitled to those strong feelings, and it is healthy for you to consider and discuss them - but, ultimately, it’s your pregnancy. If someone wants you to abort, and you don’t want to, they cannot force you, and you should take distance from anyone pressuring you. If someone wants you to keep the baby, and you want to abort, that is your call.

There are a lot of ways this could shake out; here are just a handful that could happen:

  • Your husband could decide he isn’t up to this, but you want to raise the baby, so you become a single mom

  • Your husband could decide he does want to raise the baby, and you two become parents, with minimal involvement from biological father

  • The biological father could decide he wants to be involved, so you work out a multi-parent arrangement that doesn’t require you to be in a romantic relationship

  • You could decide you don’t want to raise the baby but the biological father does, so he takes full custody after the birth

  • You could decide to place the baby for adoption

  • You could choose to terminate the pregnancy

Ultimately, only you can work out what’s going to be best for you, your relationships, and the child. There are professionals who can help you think through those options, so again I strongly recommend visiting a Planned Parenthood, talking to your doctor, or seeing a therapist who specializes in this type of issue. Best of luck!

my partner has been very reckless with sex and often doesn’t use protection with their male partner and there have been a few occasions where they have thought they may be pregnant and there have been a few occasions they said they’d been trying and i always get upset because they never talk to me about this and i feel its something they should be discussing with other partners if they’re planning to have a child? am i overreacting?

No, you’re not over reacting. Your feelings are your feelings, and you get to have them. Someone else might not care about this. But you do. 

The first step is to talk to your partner about this. Tell them what makes you feel concerned: “If you’re planning to get pregnant, I feel like I should be included in the conversation about that decision. Can we talk about how this impacts me?” Hopefully that conversation goes well and you two can take a more collaborative position on this.

In the end, though, there’s a big difference between “I feel like this situation deeply involves me” and “You need my permission to get pregnant.” You don’t get to make that call for someone else, and if they say “Nope, I don’t want or need to take your input into consideration, I am going to get pregnant or not based on what I want,” that is their right.

Your right, at that point, is to decide that you don’t want to be in that kind of relationship or situation. You may decide that a relationship with this person isn’t working for you because of their current family planning situation and the way they communicate about it. That’s for you to decide. 

Me and my boyfriend want a triad but I’m worried about the possibility of him getting another girl pregnant (obviously not on purpose) I need advice what’s a solution around this so its insured it never happens

There are some things in life that you can’t ever be 100% insured against - and unplanned pregnancy between two sexually active people biologically capable of creating a pregnancy is one of them. 

You can take steps to avoid this, like making sure your partner always uses a condom and/or only has sex with women who use some form of birth control. But condoms and birth control can fail, so you, your partner, and his other partners should discuss this ahead of time. Definitely have Plan B on hand in case of a condom breaking. If he never plans to have kids, he could get a vasectomy (but even those can fail!). Be aware that no matter how careful everyone is, there is no completely guaranteed way to prevent an unplanned pregnancy in this situation.

If you don’t trust your partner to wear condoms 100% of the time, that is an issue that needs to be addressed before you two take any further steps. If he doesn’t trust a woman to be responsible and honest about her birth control use, he should not have sex with her. If you don’t trust him to hold to these boundaries, or if he won’t agree to them, you two are not ready for a poly relationship.

Your partner should also discuss this with his partners before having sex - if his expectation is that an unplanned pregnancy would be terminated, and a woman he sleeps with is less rigidly committed to that, they both deserve the right to make an informed decision about whether to risk pregnancy with someone who doesn’t share their plan.

There is no solution to “insure” that this “never” happens, unfortunately. The best you can do is to require honesty and responsibility from all parties. If you cannot live with a poly arrangement that carries a risk of pregnancy, however infinitesimal - if another woman’s pregnancy by your partner would be an absolute dealbreaker regardless of the outcome - then you cannot date a man who has sex with other women.

Side note: I don’t have enough context from your letter, but you may need to rethink some of your conception of polyamory in your situation. You say you want a “triad,” which usually means that all three people are dating each other in an equally committed way. If you’re worried that he will get another woman pregnant because you feel that should be something only you and he do together, or you otherwise worry it would threaten the primacy of your relationship, a “triad” may not be what you’re looking for.

If you’re just worried about any pregnancy in general, because you and he don’t want to be responsible for a child, and you would be just as upset if he got you pregnant - if there is no emotional weight to the worry of “him getting someone else pregnant” and it’s just “a child is created via a relationship I’m involved in,” that’s different. Think hard about what you’re expecting from, and offering to, any woman you’d be including in your relationship so you can be clear with her and with yourselves.