After what you mentioned Tonberry I will hold off on sharing the letter. I meant to show it as a means to gain perspective, but after reading it again it is pretty personal in a lot of ways, so it's best not to share it with people he doesn't know.
Hyperskeptic, I completely agree with what you said. I really don't feel poly's causing my brother pain or is a threat to some vital need. If anything my lack of communication to him fits the bill better. If my brother just attacked how I cornered Y with the situation and said something along the lines of, "Poly is fine if all parties are truly okay with it," I'd feel much better about his reaction. However his whole letter really implied a general sense of, "There's no situation in which poly is ethical, so don't do it." Even if I waved a magic wand and Y was fully okay with the situation, my brother I fear still would want little to do with me because he's convinced the poly arrangement lends itself to harm to all parties involved. I don't think he realizes that what would make him happy may not make others happy, and I agree that the Golden Rule is being overextended in his perception of my situation. It's up to us three (Y, E, and myself) to determine what makes us happy and what causes us harm.
GalaGirl: Yeah, I guess it's time to write him my own letter. This is my life and I'm actually very proud to be making these choices based on what I think will make me happy instead of living by the fear I used to, so regardless of whether I'm making a mistake or not I feel like I can have peace in that I tried to live with my heart some instead of my fears. I can't let the fear of losing my close brother control me either.
I wonder if he's got some, "Where did I go wrong? Did I do something (or not do something) that led her to this?" going on, like other parents have had when their offspring come out to them.
That is so funny, ThatGirlInGray. This is like the very echo of some of the words my brother used in his initial reaction to this whole situation. I guess you guys have had experience with unpleasant coming out to parents stories? I hadn't thought of my brother in this role so much because I've been living on my own for six years, but your comment does add perspective. I have to agree with something my dad said once...."You do the best you can until they start hitting 16, 17, or so....then after that, what you say probably isn't going to make as much of a difference, and you just have to hope you raised them well enough up to that point that they'll make the right decisions." Dad was basically saying the level of influence a parent has becomes pretty limited at that point, so no need in beating up yourself over your lack of influence after that. My brother feels very strongly still that he had some sort of power to steer me a different direction than poly when I confided to him I was having attractions to E, as if he had some power to really change how I thought about things. I find this reaction absolutely foreign to me and absurd. I don't WANT anyone having that much power over me, else I just would have gone along with what society dictates and just stayed monogamous. I just don't see why anything he would have said or done would have changed the outcome, at all.
I do find my brother's defensiveness of Y a bit odd myself. My brother is pretty well aware of the history behind my marriage troubles, and he was aware of my attraction to E. Granted I did not tell him the depth of my attaction to E and I think that was somewhere I should have communicated more on. Still.....his reaction of me having better alternative choices seems a bit naive to me. My brother's never been in a romantic relationship himself, so I have trouble thinking he even realizes some of the complications that come up with romantic emotions.
Well, I'm off to write a letter....I'll let you know how that goes.