Firstly, it's wonderful to hear that you have found such a fulfilling and brilliant quad setup - many, many people out there will be envious of this; so, congratulations!
Secondly, though I am not in the closet, I can absolutely understand and empathise. Being out of the closet, about anything in life, allows you to feel a sense of liberation and I understand the craving towards that. My girlfriend lives in America - I live in the UK. I can never take her with me to family events, because she lives 16 hours away. She hasn't even met my family yet and she is absolutely my wife, the mother to our child, all of those important things. Yes, like you, I look at other couples, including ones in my family, and wish that I could have my GF there, wish that I could experience that and be open about it. On the flip side, I know what it's like to be together, right next to each other, and not be able to show your love. My GF is out to her immediate family, but they strongly dislike her being bisexual and poly. We don't touch, don't really speak or interact, don't even sit next to each other. We also choose
to hide it, because her extended family do not know and her immediate family ask us to be discreet. I do understand your pain.
So... how to cope with the secrecy.
Firstly, notice that I said we CHOOSE to hide it. The first step to overcoming sadness about something you feel
you cannot control is to look at it and realise you CAN control it.
Your CHOICE is this:
a) stress of hiding relationship vs joy of keeping jobs stable
b) joy of showing relationship vs stress of losing jobs
Think about it properly, long and carefully. You'd probably rather all keep your jobs, right? Have money to see each other, to enjoy life, to achieve personal fulfillment through achieving career goals. Of course you would - I can already tell that you've got your head screwed on
Life is all about choices. It's how we learn. Buddha would probably say that choices are the POINT of life. If you could have everything you wanted, open poly, great jobs, no negative influence from the world, what would you learn? What kind of person would you be? Ever had a job or class that was as boring as hell because you already knew it all? Life would be that way without challenges and decisions. Embrace the struggles, the choices you are given... and celebrate making the RIGHT choices.
Sexuality (which of course, poly can be included in) is a very, very personal thing that we feel better about sharing. This is because (in my opinion), society is sexuality mad and we don't like to lie. Lying is bad. Start any new job and by the end of the first week, you'll almost definitely have been asked if you're married, single, whatever. I told a cute French girl I just started working with that I'm bi and poly. Why? Because a) I don't care if she's offended (she wasn't)... b) I was hoping she was bi and poly (she wasn't... hahaha)... c) she's unlikely to tell my bosses, because she hates them. When my boss
asked me if I was single - I said I'm seeing someone. My CHOICE - I could have said, "yes, I'm poly and bi", but I CHOSE to look at my audience and put my need for cash above my need to tell people about my sexuality. When I hide the truth, I really
feel bad because I'm lying... this masquerades as a need to tell the world who I am. Why does it matter? I am still poly even when I'm not forming a sentence stating that I am.
Let's say you left an apple on your desk at work. When you got home, you could have sworn you left an orange there. Yes, you definitely left an orange. Does that mean that the apple isn't on your desk, because you believe it to be an orange? If your family think you are mono, does that mean you are, just because they think it? No - your beautiful, wonderful poly quad remains, even if people can't see it.
Look at the Psychology of being out of the closet.
Would you say we live in a materialistic world? One where even the most humble of us love owning something? I'm not particularly materialistic, but I literally cannot tell you that I wish I had nothing. I like owning my laptop, owning my guitar, owning my bed, etc etc.
How do we act about our possessions? We show them off! New iPhone? Show friends. New guitar? Tell friends about it. Went on holiday? Show every mother and her son the photos. And how do people usually respond? "ohhh... that's amazing!"... they very, very rarely say "yeah. I don't really give a shit."... and if they do? They're seen as rude. Because society says it's rude not to appreciate what others want to show us. This creates a learned response - we want to have good conversations; sharing something of ours seems to be fun for other people and for us; so we keep sharing.
What does this tell us? Well, it tells me that society is very, very, very motivated by the having and sharing of possessions. Life events count as possessions - that's why people get invited to weddings: "here's something that I have, that I want you to see and share, that I want you to feel happiness about, which in turn, brings me happiness, to see that you are happy about what I have."
Naturally, then, we feel the deep, genuine, serious need to tell people about our relationships. It seems natural to us. It seems natural, because society has drummed it into our head that it IS natural, expected, etc.
You are stuck because the world you live in is still in limbo. On one hand, the world is becoming more progressive and inclusive of 'different kinds of acceptable'. On the other hand, individuals are still about showing and having possessions. So, either society will catch up and it will be ok to show off our gay and poly relationships.... OR.... we can get one step ahead of society... and realise.... you know what? It doesn't actually matter! I've got a fucking amazing vibrator at home that nobody has ever seen... and I still think it's amazing....
I've got a fucking amazing wife and poly family that some people will never see... and I still think it's amazing! It doesn't matter if I show it off or not.
Let's look at the word 'secret' in a different light...
Let's say, you have a bar of chocolate in the fridge and you don't tell anybody about it. Is it going to be there when you get back? Are you still going to enjoy it as much? Yes.. and yes! By not telling anybody about it... nobody can touch it, eat it, get their sticky little fingers on it... and you can still enjoy it.
Look at your quad relationship. Without the constant interference, opinions and nay-saying from the majority of the world, you are free to live it how you want to live it. You are PROTECTING it by staying quiet. And trust me - being honest can get boring. Everyone I've told has reacted well, but the QUESTIONS... oh God, the questions. And that's me being lucky. On the bad side, you get everyone, everywhere filling all of your heads with doubt and before you know it... you're suddenly not so sure about the relationship you've had to be so brave about coming out of the closet for.
Deal with your sadness this way... remember that:
- by concealing it, you are making a sensible CHOICE that creates a stable and happy life for you and your partners
- you are being a more evolved person; to turn your nose up to society's need to possess and impress.... you're better than that!
- nothing will change in your relationship by keeping it a secret: like the amazing vibrator that nobody knows about; it will continue to give you years of pleasure, whether anybody ever sees it or not!!
- by keeping your relationship a secret, you are protecting it - like that lovely bar of chocolate; keeping it away from the wrong hands and keeping it from being spoiled by everybody else's germs
Does any of this makes sense and help at all?