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-   -   Need advice on my new poly relationship! (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19514)

whitelettersky 12-30-2011 06:09 AM

Need advice on my new poly relationship!
Hi everyone! I just joined this site like five minutes ago. I've been polyamorous my whole life, but having a name for it is recent.

This jist of this question is this: My boyfriend's parents just found out that he is in a relationship with me and because I am married, they are having a fit about it. I am wondering what to do and how to deal with it. Below are more details...

Been with my husband for five years, married since May. Been in with secondary relationship (my boyfriend) for about six months. Things have been decent with all of us. Problem? My boyfriend is in college and his parents just found out about our relationship. THEY HAD A FIT. I've been friends with him and his brother for about a year (we all do martial arts together) and we've been hanging out about that long. In July we started getting close and his parents were a little weirded out because I had recently gotten married and they figured my husband was happy about us spending so much time together. His fall semester started (I live a mile from his university) and we spent more and more time together and his parents were more and more suspicious that we were more than friends. I knew everything was fine because 1. my husband was aware of our relationship and approved of it and 2. my boyfriend was becoming friends with my friends, so there were other reasons he'd be hanging out with us on weekends and late at night. In October, I emailed his parents and assured them that essentially nothing BAD was going on, but didn't actually say we weren't involved. We continued to grow close and as you can imagine, his parents continued to grow suspicious and curious as to why a married women was hanging out with this college student. We spent most of our time together at my house and only a few times a month at his house, so we weren't seen together much. The other day I was over and we watched a movie (most of his fam was sitting around with us) and my boyfriend through his leg up over mine on the couch recliner. Apparently this was "extremely intimate" and his mom made a comment to his father which spurred a heated discussion with my boyfriend - "this relationship is insane" "she's married and this is going no where" "if you get her pregnant, her husband will kill you" etc. I decided to talk to him personally, which I did yesterday. We sat down in the kitchen, I told him about polyamory (bringing up websites and references). He basically said he knew, he understood, said he knew people "like me" but he doesn't want it "going on in his house" and he and his wife "wanted their son to keep his options open, date around, and do well in school, which was difficult this semester because he spent so much time with you." He insisted he and his wife liked me a lot and loved that my bf and I were friends, but didn't like him being so into me and going "70 miles an hour with me". I agreed that we should limit our time together during the school year, but didn't actually say we'd put a stop to our relationship, because we truly don't wish to do that. We have a wonderful thing going. I asked my bf's dad to please explain the situation to his wife. I was hoping to ease her worries. I was polite, honest and as considerate of their feelings as I could be. Truly!

This all climaxed today. He went to visit grandparents several hours away with his family. They arrive, my bf puts his phone down in a bedroom, leaves the room for five minutes, and returns to see his mom going through his text messages with me and crying. She's going on about how she thought he was the kind of person who would "wait until he fell in love before losing his virginity like she did" and "thought he had a good head on his shoulders." Which he really does, he's a fantastic guy and everyone thinks so... Apparently his father came upstairs and also read through his text messages, insisting again that he stop his relationship with me because it's, again, "going no where."

Ultimately, I am extremely sad and disturbed that after all of our honesty and communication, they still felt the need to invade my bf's privacy. I suppose his mom's hysterical reaction to reading his texts to me are because this is her first time dealing with her son being sexually active and it's jarring and new. However, I am having a hard time wanting to respect their wishes after my bf and I have attempted in various ways to assure them that our relationship is healthy, loving, and with consent from my husband. I asked a fellow poly friend who said at this point, we have every right to ignore them and keep our relationship going, just quietly. Does anyone have any advice for me? Anything further I could say to them? Or does it make sense that we just quietly continue our relationship with or without their permission? I hate to be deceptive, but I've tried to be communicative... Any advice? Thanks!

NovemberRain 12-30-2011 08:08 AM

Hi whitelettersky,

Okay, I'll start with I have zero experience with any situation remotely like yours (except I was in college once, and I've had boyfriends). ;)

But some thoughts occur to me. He lives with his parents, yes? I'm assuming they're paying for him to be in college? Probably best not to overly tick them off. Perhaps they pay his phone bill too?

I did lots of things to piss my parents off, but tried to not to them when I was living in their houses. (multiple parents)

It is wonderful that you've been open and honest and communicative. But do you do that because that's who you are, or because you expect it in return? I don't think deception will improve anything, if honesty hasn't.

Probably not much you could say to them, but perhaps time will soften them. And I don't mean a week. It's awfully hard for parents to let go of their dreams for their children. They're imagining they'll never get a wedding, or a daughter-in-law, or grandchildren. They're freaking out in advance over lost possibilities. I know that's a lot of why I had to continue pissing off my parents, to remind them that I was who I am and not who they dreamed I'd become. I'm not saying pissing them off is the answer; but I've lived through similar (after saying I didn't, how about that).

two cents, take anything that might be useful, forget the rest

whitelettersky 12-30-2011 01:57 PM

Thanks NovemberRain!
Hi, thanks for reading and offering your advice :) He teaches martial arts so he actually pays for nearly all of his bills and had loans for school. His parents just co-sign. I mean, yeah he eats and sleeps there, but pays for his cell, car insurance and credit card bills. Unfortunately, his chemical engineering major isn't easy and his parents are already worried about him not studying enough and worry he'll party (which he hasn't done since high school.) So the paranoia is up and the trust and independence he wants is down. The only thing that further honesty will result in is them fighting to keep him home and away from me even though he is an adult. Time will probably help, I agree. But I am not gonna start seeing someone I love for a year so his parents can "warm up to the idea", you know? There has to be a middle ground! What do you think?

Vixtoria 12-30-2011 02:25 PM

So I actually DO have some experience with this. Hubby and I have been married more than 16 years, three kids. I started a LDR with a man several months ago. He still lives at home. He finished his associate's is waiting to get his bachelor's while he is working on getting into the Police Academy or Fire Department. He has been doing the paperwork and staying in shape through his boxing that he's done for years. Now that he has a job outside of that as well he pays his way and helps out around the house. He has a little sister who is disabled so often takes care of her. A cousin 'found out' that we have been seeing each other. I left it totally up to DC if he wanted to 'come out'. I don't shout I'm bi or poly, but I don't hide it. I'm pretty laid back you ask I'll say, and I don't try and be careful to not say things about my OSO. I'm just me. However, being younger, dating a married woman and living home, yeah that could be complicated so I let him decide.

He openly said that yes he's seeing me, it's new, but it's going well. Add to this, he is incredibly religious. He's anointed in his church, works with the youth pastor and has been asked more than once on becoming a youth pastor. Well, cousin finds out, not long before it gets back to family. Mom, not happy. They stopped talking. I felt, horrible, but the truth is, it's HIS relationship with his family, not mine. If they want to speak with me I am available. He has the same resources I have, as he is also new to poly, and so can pass them on. I am fully aware this relationship, may end sooner rather than later. He is a man that will one day want a wife of his own, children of his own. He jokes about me having his kids, but it's a joke because we have had DETAILED conversations on how he, hubby and I feel about having more kids. I'm just not the woman who will give them to him and he knows this. He also knows he wants kids with HIS wife.

I get you don't want to lose this relationship but the problem is not YOUR relationship with him. Not right now anyway. It's his with his parents. So really what you can do is be supportive, be a shoulder for him. Ask him what he wants and needs from you. This is something he needs to work out with his family. Whether poly or mono, sometimes people have to choose family over their relationship, if that's what he has to do then there's not much you can do about it. It sucks and it hurts and I totally get the anxiety but you can't MAKE someone accept you or your relationship. Not your own family not his. YOu just do the best you can and be there for him while he figures out how to deal.

km34 12-30-2011 05:57 PM


Originally Posted by Vixtoria (Post 117919)
I get you don't want to lose this relationship but the problem is not YOUR relationship with him. Not right now anyway. It's his with his parents. So really what you can do is be supportive, be a shoulder for him. Ask him what he wants and needs from you. This is something he needs to work out with his family. Whether poly or mono, sometimes people have to choose family over their relationship, if that's what he has to do then there's not much you can do about it.


I think you're just going to have to give his parents some time and see how he wants to handle it. If they continue being avidly anti-your relationship, he will probably have to make a choice: either end it or move out. The fact that they did go through his texts is atrocious. My parents didn't even do that when I was in HIGH SCHOOL and they DID pay for my phone, I can't imagine them trying to get away with it once I was older (even if I did live with them). It's going to be up to him to figure out what his priorities are, but you do have to keep in mind that this is his family. In my mind, family comes first. If my parents had hated Keith, I probably wouldn't have married him.

AnnabelMore 12-30-2011 06:10 PM

He is an adult (albeit a young one) and it's his right/responsibility to be the primary liaison with his parents about this, not yours. I would keep a respectful distance from them and let him handle this. It is perfectly valid for you two to carry on in secret, because what businesses is it of theirs? From my perspective, though of course how he handles it is his decision, they have violated his trust so they lose out on the privilege of knowing about his life until they can deal.

BigGuy 12-30-2011 07:54 PM

I am going to take what is probably an unpopular position...

If your boyfriend wants to be a grown up and live life the way he wants to and not have to answer to his parents, then he needs to grow up and take responsibility for his life.

That means, he needs to quit eating their food, quit sleeping under their roof, take himself off their insurance plan(s), get off their cellular plan, and get someone else to co-sign his loans. Because reality is, whoever pays the bills, makes the rules. If he doesn't like their "rules", then he needs to move out from under them. And to sneak around doing what he wants while still accepting all these things from them is a lot like cheating, in my book.

We may disagree with his parents views or how they've reacted, but as long as they are supporting him, they have a stake hold in how he lives his life.

My question for you is, are you willing to replace the support his parents are giving him should they take it away? If not, how loving is it to encourage him to risk it?

AnnabelMore 12-30-2011 08:29 PM

What if he was into BDSM or swinging, would he need to tell them that and abide by any rules they wanted to place upon it? At what point does he get to take advantage of their desire to support him through college while still retaining the right to a private life?

After all, it's not like he'd be deceiving them about anything that relates to them -- he's not taking their money and then spending it on other things while skipping out on school, or bringing drugs into their home and opening them up to legal trouble.

If they don't want poly in their home, then fine, I'd respect that part and not visit their house.

risingscarlet 12-31-2011 03:24 AM

I'm going to chime in here in agreement with BigGuy. Your boyfriend is choosing to remain 'under the wing' of his parents, and they are treating him as child because of it. Until he moves out and becomes independent from them I feel like they do have a right to some say about his lifestyle and relationships.

I don't think there is anything you can or should do to change his relationship with his parents. It's his job, as an adult, to do that.

Take Care, good luck to you and yours

whitelettersky 12-31-2011 03:29 AM

I'd like to point out that my boyfriend is 19 and a sophomore in college....moving out and working full time would require him to not be a full time student, which isn't an option...haha I'm 25 and my hubby and I have a house so we have the independence my boyfriend doesn't. He isn't a mooch at home and already pays for way more crap than I paid forwhen I was 19 and in college.

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