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-   -   How many poly ppl tell their family? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20461)

Naomi 01-22-2012 08:02 PM

How many poly ppl tell their family?
Hey guys,

I'm new to the whole poly thing and just starting to learn about it... I find it wonderful and fascinating.

I was wondering how many of you here (that are poly) share with your family that you are? (Ex. if you have a husband and a boyfriend, do your parents know your boyfriend? Do they know he's your boyfriend and not just a friend?)

Thanks in advance to any of you who share your experiences/thoughts.


nycindie 01-22-2012 08:18 PM

There is already a huge discussion about "coming out" here (and you can still post to an older thread if you have questions - we love reviving old threads here). Some good and useful sharing:

Coming out

If you do a search, either via the Advanced search or Tags, you will likely find several good and interesting discussions on topics you can relate to. Coming out and being public with poly is a big one!

Arrowbound 01-23-2012 12:14 AM

I probably never will, with the exception of my brother. Besides him I don't care to divulge anything that detailed about my life to the rest. I keep them out as much as I possibly can and I'm happier that way.

mgreen1104 01-23-2012 01:46 AM

same here arrow, my family would never understand, in my opinion its really none of their business what my wife and I do. It doesnt hurt our family, nor my secondary

NovemberRain 01-23-2012 07:05 AM

I have been very much enjoying coming out to my family and friends. (work, not so much)(it's none of anybody's business at work)

I live in California. I had four parents (I have three left). My parents have likely been through far stranger things in their lives than I will ever bring home to them. When I came out to them as bi, my dad & step mom spent a long time trying to say, very carefully, so what. I had worked myself into a frenzy listening to other people's coming out stories, and thinking 'I don't think my folks would do that.' but I allowed myself to freak out just the same.

I know my parents really well. I knew they wouldn't care.

I also freaked out about telling them of my new poly relationship. But, here's what else: my added boyfriend was my boyfriend many years ago, and he has remained close to me and current bf. I know my parents already knew this. I know they don't think I should be in relationship with either of them; and they were likely to think that both of them would just mean more complicated heartbreak for me.

So, once again, they didn't exactly say so what, and they were surprised. But they wished me well. I have no doubt I could bring either one or even both to the family home, for Christmas or whatever, and no one would be upset. Funny though, both men love my dad, and have no desire to be at family gatherings.

I don't know my step dad quite as well as my dad, but I do know he loves me. And I was pretty certain his girlfriend has some big unconditional positive regard for me too. She's a southern belle, and was just so cute. I was mostly worried about offending her sensibilities. She struggled for something to say, just because she'd not had such an experience before I think. She said, 'well, this sounds like such an interesting time in your life.' Still makes me smile to think of it.

I know I'm really lucky, and my results are not typical. I might have had different reactions had I done a whole traditional wedding and then said oh, by the way, I have a girlfriend now too. But maybe not. As I said, it is california.

I have been thanking everyone I have told, for being the sort of people that were okay to tell.

Casey 01-24-2012 09:32 AM

I have not, nor will not for the foreseeable future. Benefits of living on the other side of the country.
Not sure about Shannon. Two members of Shannon's family know (our age, and hang out with us occasionally, so kinda had to know!). Shannon did allude to it when giving a birthday speech, but no one in the family got the references (I think).
If my family lived closer I would have to consider differently.

RainyGrlJenny 01-24-2012 07:02 PM

All of my friends and work colleagues know. I talk freely about the people I'm dating, and I even hired one for a temp position at work. People sometimes think I'm crazy, but I've never encountered any hostility or real disapproval.

My family knows I'm bisexual and that the man and I have an open relationship, but I don't know if they could wrap their heads around poly :) At this point, I don't have an OSO who would want to participate in family gatherings anyway, so it hasn't really come up. But if it did, I know they would be kind to that person, even if they didn't understand what I was doing.

I'm super lucky, because I've never felt anything but loved by my family, even though I'm the unconventional weird one :) They might not approve of my choices, but more because they're afraid I might get hurt.

Naomi 01-25-2012 02:50 AM

Thanks so much for all your responses. It's been very interesting to read and I will definitely check that other thread out :)

I love my family and I don't think they would ever shun me for something... But I don't think poly is something they'd approve of. I'm already well-versed in hiding things from them. I'm a webcam model and they have no idea. I don't know if I'll ever tell them... Just like I don't know if I'd ever tell them if I do end up having any OSOs... I hate lying too... But I think a big part of me just wants their approval and I know I shouldn't need it. Of course, I'm also just afraid of what they'd say.

I'll never know until the situation actually arises, but I really wanted to hear about other ppl's experiences... So thanks again, it was great to read. I am sorry to those that didn't/don't feel fully accepted. I fully and completely know what that feels like... Working in the adult industry, being bisexual, being in an open relationship (and now maybe even being polyamorous rather than just having fuck buddies)...

It pains me to feel like I have to hide from so many things, but I wonder if I'm just bringing the pain on myself. I think it's a bit of both. Society is somehow set up for people... But for who? I don't know. It sure doesn't feel like I fit in most of the time.

SchrodingersCat 01-25-2012 06:11 AM

I mentioned it hypothetically to my mom about a year ago, as a "this is what some people do, I think it's fine if it works for them" and she came right out with "that's unethical." Then I explained that it's not unethical if everyone knows and consents. Then I mentioned that my husband and I were like that too. She said she didn't want to hear it, didn't want to know if either of us started "doing it" and that was to be the end of it.

This Christmas, there was that Dr. Phil show about polygamy. It was religious polygamy, not at all what we do, but it opened the door for another dialogue. This time, she was much less closed-minded. I mentioned again that my husband and I shared a similar belief about non-monogamy, and this time she was more accepting. She still stuck to her guns that she could never do it, that it must create a lot of jealousy, the usual arguments against it... but she let go of "I don't want to hear it!"

At both times, I was not currently in any other relationships. And sometimes, when I talk to my mom about people I've gone on dates with, I call them my friends... because at this stage, we've only gone on a couple dates, so it's not like they actually are my "partner" or "boyfriend/girlfriend" yet... And really, when I was single and dating, I never referred to anyone as "this guy I went on a date with" ... I called them my friends too.

But if any of those dates develop into something more serious, I intend to tell both my parents.

I've never told any of it to my dad. I have a really close relationship with my mom and we talk almost every day. I really only talk to my dad on birthdays and holidays, with a couple annual visits. But he's always been really open minded. I never told him I was non-hetero either, but when my mom told him, he said to her "Yeah, I figured that out years ago" so yeah... hard to surprise him! I also don't think my step-mom would be bothered by it. She's open-minded too, and very much "your business is your business, not my place to tell you what to do"...

ThatGirlInGray 01-26-2012 11:55 PM

Earlier this week a convo with my mom about a completely different subject led to, "But wouldn't honesty be better than cheating??" which she agreed with, though she said she'd never be ok with it (which I totally believe!). I have a feeling she'll have a really hard time accepting that MC is really ok with it, but that's still years in the future anyway. And TGIB had a convo with his mom about accepting love no matter what form it takes. (for him and his family, this is HUGE) Yay, baby steps! :D

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