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-   -   Being open or not about poly? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=62156)

Hoyam 10-30-2013 01:16 PM

Being open or not about poly?
 
On this site i see people being poly in different ways.
Since i'm new to this, i would like to know how you all do this.

My husband and i had a very traditional life till about 6 months ago. I walked during my holliday right in the arms of my current boyfriend. Since my mariage i have never felt the strong need to be with somebody, but with him, it's like it's unstoppable! So, struggling to find out what happend i found that the way i was dealing with all this turned out to have a name 'polyamory'! So you can say i have a V relationship now with my husband and my boyfriend. They know each other, i believe they even like each other, but most of the time its me with one of them, not with 3.

My husband (35, straight, mono) has let me experience this and we are very honest and open. As a couple we became more strong together, but also have more arguments and problems.
My boyfriend (44, straight, mono, living in another country, on another continent) is very kind and understanding towards me and my family.

So one of the many challanges i find in my new believes/new lifestyle is to be open about it.
My husband and boyfriend both think it's better not to share our secret with other people. We all think people will judge us and won't understand it. We were always a traditional couple, like everybody in our life.
Me i know (in my head) that this is best for the moment. But my heart says something else for different reasons. One is that i feel so much in love with them both, i would like to talk about it. I feel so proud of them! Also i'm a stubborn person and when people judge something i can react a little rebellious. I feel like it's more their problem than mine. And what makes me want to talk about it most of all is that my boyfriend has had many people in his life that didn't treat him well. I realy wish to give him the high value that he has, not hide him.

For this moment i decided not to talk about it for the next reasons:
- my husband needs more time than i need to adjust to this new situation
- i feel my boyfriend is my own secret, it also gives a very intimate feeling, not to share this with everybody
- and last but not least: i have 3 children and i expect negative reactions if i do share this and i don't want them to feel negative influence from this

So my question is what you decided, for what reasons and if you decided to be open about it, how did people react??

Dagferi 10-30-2013 03:23 PM

I do not hide anything but do not advertise either.

Murf attends important events for my children with Butch and I. The kids just introduce Murf by his name people assume what they assume.

If people ask I tell the truth. The only people we will probably never come out to would be Murf's family. Because they are very conservative Irish catholic family. They have a hard enough time with premarital sex.

FullofLove1052 10-30-2013 04:59 PM

I came out years ago. (I have backtracked and taken it back recently.)

The reactions were all over. Some were supportive. Most were disapproving. My maternal family and friends handled it better. It took my mum awhile to accept it. I had distanced myself from 96% of my paternal relatives, and when I came out as being a polyamorist, that was the final nail in the coffin. The rift is so great that my children have only met four of them. I never told the elders in the family, so great aunts, grandparents, and great-grands never knew.

Now, my husband's relatives were not accepting. He is mono, and I was a polyamorist. They are conservative Catholics, and they are devout in their beliefs. They hated the fact that I did not conceal my extramarital relationship. My MIL called me a silly little ungrateful twit or S.L.U.T, told some people I was Matt's first wife (like we were divorced), downgraded me to surrogate status. He chose to defend me and my choice and sacrificed their relationship. I wish he had not done that. The only thing that brought them back together was the birth of our first child. My MIL and their entire family blackballed my ex. She was not allowed in any of their homes, welcome on family holidays, or welcome at anything like weddings, reunions, parties, funerals, etc. Could I have just kept my distance and allowed my children to have a relationship with them? Sure, but that would have meant missing Christmas and all kinds of things with them. My in-laws had an issue with me, and I was not going to make my children suffer because of grown-up BS.

I foolishly chose to come out because I did not want my ex to feel like a dirty little secret. I felt like I was not doing anything wrong. I thought people would be happy that I was happy. I never calculated the costs of the adverse reactions. I say foolishly because it was not worth it.

I was shocked when she recently introduced me as her daughter/DIL to her neighbours, but imagine my surprise when one was like, "I never knew Matt was married." I have been married to him since 2002! To her, I was a spot holder for the second wife and a surrogate, and my ex was Matt's visible replacement. She has apologised, and I chose to forgive her and move forward. I understand more of why she reacted the way she did. Someone (me) was hurting her child, and she had to just watch it. There was nothing she could do, so she lashed out at me and wanted me to feel how it felt to be her and him. If I were in her shoes, the lioness in me would have come out and been ready to do whatever it took to protect my babies.

Why are your guys against being out? Outside of the usual--no one will understand/fear of being judged. It is a personal decision, and everyone has to be on the same page. You have an advantage because they life in different countries. You can lead two different lives when you are with them. It will get tricky if they ever have to be in the same place. How would you introduce your boyfriend to your family, friends, or even to your in-laws? Are your respective families the type to not ask questions if you were to say, "This is our friend xyz," or is that too vague for them?

Dagferi 10-30-2013 05:12 PM

My closest family is 10 hours away. Butch's family is 15 hours away in Chicago. My parents are 20 hours away. Murf's family is here. They have welcomed my children and I with open arms.

So I do not have the family issue so much. Even if they came to town I wouldn't hide Murf.

I outed myself on accident on Facebook. Butch isn't on Facebook but Murf is. So my relationship status is linked to him. My cousin knew my Aunt at first thought I had separated from Butch. I just told her the truth. Either she was going to accept me or not. She doesn't get why I live this way but loves me anyway.

I have some rifts between my parents and myself. Have been there way before I started living my poly life. Either they will mend or won't. I am not heart broken about it. My mother and I have never ever been close.

Hoyam 10-31-2013 08:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FullofLove1052 (Post 243789)

Why are your guys against being out? Outside of the usual--no one will understand/fear of being judged. It is a personal decision, and everyone has to be on the same page. You have an advantage because they life in different countries. You can lead two different lives when you are with them. It will get tricky if they ever have to be in the same place. How would you introduce your boyfriend to your family, friends, or even to your in-laws? Are your respective families the type to not ask questions if you were to say, "This is our friend xyz," or is that too vague for them?

My guys, especially my husband fears judgement. For the moment i just call my boyfriends 'somebody we met during holliday, who became our good friend'. My family notices that i have more contact with him and i plan to go there without my husband and children. So i notice them asking questions.
My husband fears that people think of him as a victim, a weak person (while i respect his strength for facing his jalousy, his insecurety et cetera).
I fear what you write, Fulloflove, being seen as an unkind, selfish, slut. Not for myself, people can think what they want, but for my husband and children. I don't wish to burden them with this negativity.
For my boyfriend, he doesn't mind realy. He wants a secret for respect for my family. Not for himself. In his country he has talked about our relationship to the people closest to him.

My family is the type of family that feels they have the right to know everything and also to give their opinion. But i think my sister would be able to accept. She and i know each other well, she feels/knows there is more going on with this man. But because i don't explain, she doesn't know exactly. She asks sometimes. My husbands family not, but they are more old fashioned. Both his parents, but also his brother, are with their first partners. They are very different than my husband and i. So they don't ask, but if i would tell they would not understand, i guess.

I like for the moment to keep it like this and consider when, how, to who and why i would explain. And than is what Dagferi writes a good option:
Not hiding but also not advertising.

YouAreHere 10-31-2013 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hoyam (Post 243922)
My husband fears that people think of him as a victim, a weak person (while i respect his strength for facing his jalousy, his insecurety et cetera).

It's a reasonable fear, and it's definitely changed the nature of some of our friendships with people, sadly my best friend (sister-from-another-mother) and her husband (although there was some other baggage between P and her husband as well that added to the shitstorm).

Some friends were cool with it, or more "meh, whatever" about it. Some immediately thought of me as the victim - that P was disrespectful of me - and that he was taking advantage of me, after having just gotten out of a divorce. It didn't help that this happened right around his "polyvangelism" phase, and he really turned a few people off with that as well.

It's over a year later, and there are still impacts. For some people, it's easy to say, "Screw 'em - they're not really friends if they don't support me." But I see that my friends are in their own way trying to watch out for my best interests, and I do wish my relationship with them hadn't changed.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but I just wanted to chime in that his reluctance could have some weight to it. Good luck with it all, though!

dali5671 11-02-2013 04:26 AM

The fact that we spend so much time together, both at our home, and out and about has made me think about this subject quite a lot. And it's a split decision.

For her family, mostly no possible way. Conservative and Christian, it would cause so many problems it would in no way shape or form be beneficial. The possible exception being her younger sister, who she is the closest with. Our younger sons, no possible way. Not now anyway. My older daughters from previous marriage would be more understanding, but still I have no desire to self disclose this. Not now anyway, but I hope to one day, when we're on stronger footing, and have a better understanding of our relationship.

But for some reason, I have a strong desire to share this with our friends, even knowing that it could cause some problems with some. I really want them to know, and haven't yet figured out why. Some know, some suspect, as they go out freely, and I've been encouraging of any natural PDA's, I want them to be free to be uninhibited so their time together is not compromised. Several of our friends have "called them" on it, and she won't deny she loves him.

Being new, it's a question that will be begging an answer in one form or another as we go forward.

LovingRadiance 11-02-2013 04:40 AM

We are out to all of our kids (from day 1).
Friends and family within a matter of weeks after our decision.
Within a year both of the guys were out at work as well-which was the "final step".

At this point we make no effort to hide it. We don't walk around telling people "hey I'm poly and..."
But we're very open about it and it is certainly not a secret.

People who had a problem with it (there were a few) we simply invited to exit our lives.
The ones who wanted to maintain relationships with us, found a way to be accepting.

dali5671 11-02-2013 04:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LovingRadiance (Post 244347)
We are out to all of our kids (from day 1).
Friends and family within a matter of weeks after our decision.
Within a year both of the guys were out at work as well-which was the "final step".

At this point we make no effort to hide it. We don't walk around telling people "hey I'm poly and..."
But we're very open about it and it is certainly not a secret.

People who had a problem with it (there were a few) we simply invited to exit our lives.
The ones who wanted to maintain relationships with us, found a way to be accepting.

Honestly is way better. No disputing that. And friends that are unable to accept will sadly be lost. So we attempt to identify how best to separate those we come out to as we discover for ourselves how to be poly in a largely un-poly world.

LovingRadiance 11-03-2013 03:00 AM

One thing we have found in the last 4 years, is most people don't care. Obviously there are some. But most people don't care. If you just keep it simple, "we live an alternative lifestyle and it works for us" then let them ask what they want to know-most people really only care about what personally impacts them.
Obviously-children and parents, extended family don't fit-because they tend to think it does impact them even if it doesn't.

But for the rest of the world, they usually aren't interested unless it's "a high drama possibility" and that disappears quickly when it's just not dramatic. ;)


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