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-   -   Hurting over family judgment (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1845)

LadyMacbeth 12-29-2009 12:16 AM

Hurting over family judgment
I had a very painful conversation with my sister last night. She is visiting from LA, and we were "accidentally outed" by a text message from my husband's girlfriend. She texted and my sister grabbed the phone and read the message and wanted an explanation. My husband and I have discussed coming out, but had decided not to do it on the holidays due to some wonderfully wise advice from people here.

Initially I had a lengthy conversation with sis, answered questions, etc. She admitted to having multiple affairs on her now husband, and point blank asked me, "isn't lying easier if you want to be with other people?" I said, "yes, in some ways but I wouldn't trade it. Nobody discussed this the next day (the people that heard were sister and brother in law, and brother who subsequently came out as bisexual).

This morning, while on my way to work, sis hit me with the following:
1. You're going to hurt your (11 year old) daughter (because inevitably this makes children "weird")
2. These things never work
3. I basically "coerced" my husband since I am the primary breadwinner and was the first person to bring the concept up.

She went on about "only saying this because I love you" and "beg you to stop this and reconsider" and "I always thought you were my wiser older sister" and on and on. I cried and cried and cried. We had a lunch date with my mom and had to pretend the conversation never happened. I think we need to talk more, but not sure how/when/what/etc.

My sister has always been my best friend, and even though I hadn't come out I had a fantasy that if anyone would accept me for who I really am, it would be her. Feeling very alone.

Any similar experiences?

crisare 12-29-2009 12:52 AM

I'm so sorry. I always find it interesting that people will accept cheating (and will cheat themselves) more readily than they'll accept a loving, respectful relationship structure that is different from their own.

My next thought is that anyone who snatches away someone else's phone and reads their text messages (which, to me, are as private as my email or my phone calls) doesn't really have the right to demand an explanation for anything they read, much less pass judgment on it.

But all of that aside, this is your sister and I know you want her to be understanding and accepting and when she isn't, it has to be hard. I think if I were in your place I might be inclined to NOT talk about it further. If you've explained the situation, made it clear that your daughter is a priority, and that no one was "coerced" ... after that, if she can't accept it, then it's her problem. I wouldn't spend time and emotional energy trying to convert her further. Maybe instead give her some suggestion of resources - either online, or books she could read - and tell her that you'd rather not talk about it further until you've both had time to think and get some distance.

That's what I think I'd be inclined to do - of course others might have some better or different thoughts.

Whatever you decide, I'm so so sorry and I'll offer virtual hugs and support, for what they're worth. :)

nikkiana 12-29-2009 01:39 AM

I don't really feel like I have much to add to this, but I figured I'd stop in with some virtual hugs and support as well.

Quath 12-29-2009 03:58 AM

When I have come out to several friends, their advise was to just have an affair. Just keep it separate from family life. They said that otherwise, I am jepordizing the relationship and stability. Basically, the problem is how to have an affair discretely enough.

My response is that I plan to be ethical, which means consent, knowledge and trust over cheating, hiding and lying. In the end, they said, "Maybe it will work for you..." but I can tell they had their doubts.

redpepper 12-29-2009 05:20 AM

I'm so sorry this didn't work out as you had planned. I guess now is as good a time as any really... at least Christmas was over.

I wouldn't be too thrilled about anyone taking my phone out of my hands, sister or not. That sounds like it was a bit rude. Perhaps this is her way of being playful? (Mono just said I would fucking lose my mind... he's right :D heh).

In light of that I think if it were me I would be inclined to tell her that while I acknowledge her concern, she did find out by snooping in my personal stuff and before she goes off about it she best educate herself before hand... then I'd give her some book ideas and links and tell her t get back to me.

When my husband and I came out to my parents they had similar concerns and took them to the extreme because of their belief that they had a right to think their concerns were reality. Be carful. I hope your sister is not the type to blow the whole thing up for you in regards to other relatives (even in a gossipy way). Not to mention just blow up in general.

What I don't get about your first post is, did she say she had affairs in front of her husband???!!! Just interested. That's how I read it.

Mono and I think that people have affairs because they think they will end at some point and that is all they want to invest in. They are trying NOT to hurt their partner in light of that thought/theory. Besides that they really don't want their happy little image of being a great and well put together family to end.

redpepper 12-29-2009 05:59 AM

One other thing, just to be more positive: in time it will pass and she will see that you are happy and that you can make it work. That is beginning to happen in my life, even if it's just because no one talks about it... it just becomes easier to just move on and let it all be.

LadyMacbeth 12-29-2009 03:17 PM

Thanks for all of your kind words. After I slept on it, I decided to practice love, acceptance, and compassion. My sister is scared for me (although has no reason to be) and feeling guilt and shame herself for her own affairs. There is likely envy too, since she skulks around to have other loves, I can do it right out in the open. My marriage is happy and better than it has ever been. And thanks especially Redpepper, I do very much believe that as time passes, and she sees my happiness, it will become less of an issue.

My sister is bright, inquisitive, and opinionated. So...she will not likely ever admit she was wrong, but it will be evident in time. In a way, I think I need to not "expect" people to automatically accept. It would be like going to a conservative Christian fundamentalist (no offense to anyone, I used to be one) and expecting them to just accept at face value. While she is not a conservative Christian, she is clearly a monogamist.

What are the best resources for reading that you would give to a family member?

Fidelia 12-29-2009 09:29 PM

Hi Lady M:

Let me say first I haven't read this entire thread, just your original post. I'm sure there've been some good solid points made, but I want to address just the original problem.

WHY THE F*** did your sister grab your husband's cell phone and invade his privacy by reading his text message? :eek: Excuse me, but I would have kicked her ever-loving a** right there! Not her business, not her husband, not her problem! :mad:

And for her to then JUDGE YOU for your honest, open loving relationships, after admitting to having lied and deceived her now-husband because it was EASIER!??!!

I'm sorry, but if she were my sister, I really think I would have broken out a big industrial sized can of Whoop-Ass and used it all up on her. But maybe that's just me . . .

Derbylicious 12-29-2009 10:15 PM

Sounds to me like your sister might have some guilt and subconciously wants validation for having had affairs. Also it might be backlash, how did you react when you found out that she was having affairs? She might feel that she is able to judge you if she feels that she was judged by you.

I hope that it was just an in the moment reaction to the situation at hand and that she will realize that this is what works for you and you can get back to being sisters and friends.

And like others have said, it's really not ok to take someone's phone to read text messages. Once things have blown over you might want to have a chat with her about privacy, or better yet send some kind or really shocking text message when she's around to really get the point across that sometimes it's better just not to know!


CielDuMatin 12-29-2009 10:18 PM

You asked about resources - I usually recommend Franklin's articles on Polyamory at http://www.xeromag.com/fvpoly.html, especially the front page that goes through a lot of the common questions that are asked in situations like this.

I, too, have had some pretty rough "coming-out" discussions with friends, some that caused a large distance to be put in place because they didn't want to have to deal with it for whatever reason (which I suppose it their right). I can only imagine how much harder it must be for a family member. I feel for you.

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