Sparklepop...thank you so incredibly much for such a detailed and thoughtful response. This is exactly what I needed to hear. Your post is FULL of remarkably helpful ideas and advice. Your are just so correct!
Keeping our relationship a secret IS a choice and one that is the best for the health of our overall relationship.
We are learning and evolving and I've always been one to turn up my nose to silly societal norms, so I completely relate to that idea.
I didn't even realize that I was questioning whether the relationship was "real" if we weren't able to share it with others...but your post made me realize I was. How silly of me. Of course it is real! I don't need to share it to know that. Thank you for helping me see that! What we have IS amazing and I don't need to show it off to enjoy it.
And yes, I can see the advantage to keeping our relationship protected from the criticism of people who would never understand it. We know what we have is beautiful and perfect for us. When problems have cropped up we've done a great job of working through them and resolving them on our own. If family and friends knew some would support us, but I'm sure we would also have plenty of nay-sayers. Who needs that? We surely don't.
I think part of what has been bothering me is that when we traveled together we were far enough away from home that we were able to be open (i.e., I could be seen in public with my bf and my husband with his gf...and not flaunting, but also not hiding the fact that we are a quad) without worrying. But then we came home and had to go back in the closet. So I've really experienced the contrast between how awesome it felt to be open and just be ourselves versus how unnatural it feels to be so secretive when we are home. But I can already tell you that when I start to feel down I'll come back here are re-read your post. Very, VERY helpful. Thank you again!