The current living arrangement that K and I have is not sustainable over the long term. I had hoped we would be able to put up with it until she finished school in 2 years, but it is becoming more and more apparent, that we will not make it that long. So K and I have been talking about what kind of situation we want to live in. Because AJ, is in her long range plan, she has been talking about it with him too.
K would also like to have several acres of land so she can bring her horse too, which would same her a fair chunk of money. This time last year, before she met AJ, we assumed we would buy property together and live together with the kids. We would not necessarily live in the same house, but on the same property. Now that AJ is in the picture, they are talking about buying together and I would basically rent from them, at least as long as my kids are young. As they grow up and move away, I will probably too, leaving K and AJ to live there together.
So K has been talking to me about what I want, need and could accept. She has been talking to AJ about what he wants, needs, or could accept. Last night the three of us got together to talk about it.
Minimally I need a room with a private bathroom (3/4 bath is fine). I don't want to be sharing a bath with the kids and if T comes over, I want to be able to fool around and take a shower afterward without walking down the hall in a robe.
Another option is the Katrina Cottage. (No kidding. Look here) These are little houses that can be built most anywhere and many of them would be perfect for me. This could be built on the same property as the house K & AJ and the kids live in. It would give me easy access to the kids and them easy access to me. At the same time it would give me and K the privacy we deserve. T could come over and we could watch TV on my couch, in my living room. Then we could sit out on my porch on a warm summer evening to look at the stars before retiring to my bedroom to fall asleep in each others arms. I really like this option.
Next would be the in-law apartment. A small one bedroom apartment attached to the main house. It may, or may not have it's own entrance. I probably don't need a full kitchen. This would cost more than just a bedroom, but less than a free standing cottage. I think I would get the privacy I need here along with the feeling of family that I want.
All of these options are short term. Eventually (I hope and pray) T and I will live together as partners (as husbands?) and I doubt he will want to leave his fabulous house to move into my cottage. I don't know what that will look like for us (or really even if, but I keep hoping) but the reality is I will not live in the cottage on K's horse farm forever. A cottage or a self-contained in-law apartment would be best for them because they could rent it and make a little extra money that way. Alternatively, it could be a place that my middle son, who is partially disabled, could live, because he may not be able to live on his own easily.
I think that AJ is leaning toward the apartment or the cottage choice. While he is a good sport and pretty accepting of me, I think the limit might be reached if I am actually living in his house (or rather his and K's house). Right now I don't know how much he will want he hanging around all the time. I can't really blame him for that and to be fair, he has been very accepting of our fucked up situation.
This then makes me think about my kids. I strongly feel that connections are forged and maintained best by frequent and close physical proximity. I know I have a connection with the kids that will last forever. I do not worry the kids, even the youngest ones, will eventually come to see AJ as their dad rather than me. I know that K will not let that happen and there really is not indication that AJ is eager to sign up for parenting responsibilities for my kids anyway. But I think about it anyway. If I am not around and lot as they are growing up, will those relationships not be as strong? I also wonder if they will get better. K will be living with them all the time (with me in the apartment or cottage) and she will be doing the day to day discipline. Maybe they will see me as the "good parent" because I will be calmer and do less yelling. Hmmm.
On the other hand, it's not like I am moving out of state. If I am living in a cottage 100 feet away from the main house, it should be pretty easy to maintain a connection to the kids. And to K.
I am sure I am reading more into all of this than I need to. I also know there is a lot that needs to happen before anything can happen. Both AJ and I need to sell our houses. Even in today's market, we both have some equity in our houses. Proceeds from the sale of his house will buy the property. Money from the sale of mine will go to building my cottage.
There is still a fair amount of work to do to figure out the logistics of all of this, but we will figure it out. I'll keep you posted.
I am gay man in his 40's who was married for 18 years to a straight woman, who is still my very best friend. We have 4 children together. She is now remarried and we still want to be supportive of each other and make a stable family for our kids.
Cast of Characters
Jim: That's me
K: The wonderful woman I married in 1993. We divorced in November 2011, and she is still my best friend.
T: My ex-boyfriend. We were together from 2008 to 2013. He is still an important person in my life.
AJ: K's new husband. They got married December 2011.
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