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Fayerweather 09-20-2012 01:23 PM

I just needed to vent a little to some of the only people in my life who'll get it. I have two long term bfs. One is slightly more successful and mainstream than the other. I love them both dearly and consider them both life partners.

I've been out as Poly to my mom and my whole family since day one, but my mother and sister decided early on that they approved of the successful boyfriend and didn't like the counter culture one. They got it into their heads that I truly loved the successful bf and didn't really love the other. There are semi-constant derogatory comments about the bf they don't like and a general assumption that I will soon leave him for the "better" man, since of course, it's impossible to love two people at once right?

I was just at my mom's last night and I told her about a Jokey text the favorite boyfriend sent me about stealing me away to live in Portland with him (he's there on business and really loves it), and my mom says "I wish he WOULD steal you away, cuz I think HE'S the one you love". Ugh! SO tired of them not getting it. Anyway, thanks for listening. I just needed to get out my frustration. Yelling at my mom or patiently explaining my situation doesn't seem to work

Akiyuki 09-20-2012 03:05 PM


Originally Posted by Fayerweather (Post 155741)
of course, it's impossible to love two people at once right?

I understand how frustrating this is! I have two significant others that are equally important to me and that I love equally much - they're both my partners.

I told my mom and sister about it almost as soon as I started dating the second one, so they've know about it the whole time and they don't seem to have a problem with it. But, they have this idea that I'm dating both of them now so that I can decide which one I "actually" want to be with. Like our triad is some extended audition for which one of them gets to be my "real" life partner.

It really bothers me that I can't get this idea out of their heads! They can't understand that I would actually want to be with both, and that I want them both to be my real life partners.

Not to mention that if our relationship was really as they seem to envision - one long contest to see who's "better" - it would be really unhealthy!

MusicalRose 09-20-2012 04:15 PM

Yeah, I think my parents are struggling with a bit of that too, although they know better than to just come right out and say stuff like that because they know I'd challenge them on it.

The only real thing they've said to betray the mindset is not understanding why I would get married if I wasn't ready to settle down. It's hard to explain that marriage isn't about the monogamy to me, it is about making a lifetime commitment, and that being with two men doesn't mean I "haven't made up my mind." I have made up my mind, thank you very much.

Fayerweather 09-21-2012 03:09 PM

I know it must be tough for you guys too. I don't want to dwell too long on negativity, but it hurts when someone I love can't understand why or how I love someone else. My only hope is that one day, I will come to peace with it and judgments and assumptions like those of my mother and sister will roll of my back like nothing

GalaGirl 09-21-2012 09:19 PM

Sigh. BTDT, with parents, under many other situations.

You know what? If that is a personal LIMIT for you? Tell them so. Maybe something like....
"I love these two people. I love you. But I will not sit here and listen to anyone, not even you, trash my Beloveds. It does not flatter you and my esteem of you goes down each time you do it.

I already know you wish I had a more conventional relationship model. You have expressed it to me. I have not forgotten. No need to trash my people endlessly. So cut it out. That is a LIMIT. Or I'm going home.

I do not have to listen to this continuing rude because YOU are uncomfortable or disapproving and do not like how I run my life. It is my life. You do not have to like it. You do not have to understand it. You have to accept that my life is MINE. Yours is yours.

I come to see and enjoy you, not hear a lecture. And I do not enjoy you when you behave this way toward me and my people. It lacks respect. It is rude.

You may call me when you decide to apologize for your rudeness. Until you do we are not in right relationship. Good day. "
And go home.

That's about it. Plain and simple.

Not easy to feel, or execute. I know that.

But we teach others how we want to be treated, and if this bothers you and don't say so?

You are teaching them that it is ok for them to be rude to you.

So they have no reason or motivation for stopping this behavior at you.

Sigh. Hang in there. *hugs*


LoveBomb 09-22-2012 12:23 AM

Here's how I rationalize the loving of more than one person at a time in a way that most people I talk to seem to grasp. Take this with a grain of salt, though, as I'm not official "out" yet and not officially a part of a polyamorous relationship yet. I'm still very new to all of this, but this is how I explained it to my wife, which helped her to understand why I associate myself as being polyamorous.

If you have two children, do you love one more than the other? Or do you love them equally for different reasons? Does the birth of the second child diminish your love of the first child? I certainly hope not.

Furthermore, let's say you have two best friends. You certainly love those two best friends and very likely for different reasons. Does the love you have for one best friend diminish the love you have for the other? Are you merely hanging out with both best friends so that you can eventually drop one and choose the "best" best friend? I would imagine not.

The only difference between the love you have for a best friend and the love you have for your life partner is that sexual intimacy is involved with your life partner and not your best friend. That's literally the ONLY difference (beyond the early infatuation). Love is not based on sexual intimacy, so it shouldn't be hard to grasp why and how you can love two people. All you're doing in polyamory is introducing sexual intimacy with a second partner.

Society is way too hung up on sex.

CielDuMatin 09-22-2012 01:26 PM

I have found that none of the metaphors and similes work to try to explain this - whether it's children, works of art, cars, food... I have heard them all... - the response is invariably "Yeah, but this is different" and it's hard to argue against that without just falling into the "not it isn't", "yes it is" dynamic.

I think that GG's approach is the best - it expressed in no uncertain terms that you are uncomfortable, proposes a type of behaviour that you would regard as respectful, gives them the choice of behaving like that and continuing the relationship, or suspending it.

At some point you have to say "no more".

BoringGuy 09-22-2012 02:19 PM


Originally Posted by CielDuMatin (Post 156176)
I have found that none of the metaphors and similes work to try to explain this - whether it's children, works of art, cars, food... I have heard them all... - the response is invariably "Yeah, but this is different"

It is different. People don't (or shouldn't) have sex with their children (or pets, or cars, or food, or works of art). But, having those things in multiplicity doesn't challenge most people's (western/mainstream) world view. Non-monogamy does challenge their world view. That's how it is different, and at some point we all need to decide which is more important - pleasing ourselves or pleasing everyone else.

There was a Fakebook meme that came through my newsfeed glurge recently. It said, "I have found that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is easy and fun as hell."

CielDuMatin 09-22-2012 02:36 PM


Originally Posted by BoringGuy (Post 156185)
But, having those things in multiplicity doesn't challenge most people's (western/mainstream) world view. Non-monogamy does challenge their world view. That's how it is different

Yes, exactly. This is a good example of something I have written about before - how what I call the different "wiring" for poly and mono folk causes massive challenges to finding common understanding through communication. What might seem to us to be a great analogy just does not compute for others.

I used to put a huge amount of effort trying to persuade others about the logic of my feelings - it didn't work. Sometimes you just have to accept that different people think differently and you have to accept things on faith rather than fundamentally understanding it.

NovemberRain 09-23-2012 01:15 AM

I was gonna say what GalaGirl already said so brilliantly. :D

However, I know that it is difficult to do what seems like choosing between a beloved parent or sibling and a boyfriend. We DO teach people how to treat us. I don't think that you need a final ultimatum. I think you could do it with, 'I really love them both and I'm not going to listen to you denigrate my relationships or my men. When you do I will end the communication.'
and then you have to do that.
So, you don't have to say, I'm not coming back til you apologize (if you're not ready to do so).
But in every phone call, when there's a comment, you hang up. You don't even need to say why. They might call back, and you can choose, or not, to answer and explain, 'as I said before, I won't listen to you do that.'
If you are with them and they do that, you must leave.

It's a lot like a time-out for children (they are behaving like children).

I've found this to be very effective with my own parents.

I'm lucky though, I trained them well, long before I had two boyfriends. And they knew and liked both my boyfriends when I was mono with each of them, before they were both my boyfriends at the same time.

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