You say it is not quite common... I actually thought I was completely alone in this situation! I have yet to hear of anything like it ever in my life... it was new to me as well and I just sorta fell into it without any prior thought etc... It just seemed right at the time. Natural and pure, no agendas just everyone looking out for the other with a bond that I can't even explain. Since I have kids of school age I do get questions like who is that? my kids always tell people their uncle lives with them too and at times some bold people will say he is not your real uncle because he is not your mom or dads sibling. I can't even imagine saying that to anyone ever, the nerve of some people. I guess for a long time now I feel I have this burden of a secret on my shoulders, it is probable a weight I put on myself. I sometimes have a hard time with the fact that the mono won't ever be "more" in other peoples eyes. I am not sure why that matters to me because his concern is what we have together and needs no other approval or recognition. Knowing I am with him is all he needs and I wish I could be more like that too. My husband is a pure saint and tells me we all know what we have , share etc.. and why is more love bad? If other people surmise, questions etc. he doesn't really care either. Another issue for me are my kids who are my driving force in life and I would never want this to effect them negatively in the future. Mono and my husband think the more people they have to trully love and support them is only a benefit. As for the ex well she is a certified crazy to begin with, but she tries to brainwash her and mono's kids into believing we are all whacko's! She also tries to make them and everyone believe we are possibly mooching to take from what they would have had and that my family is more impt then them and on and on. They are getting older and we just try and stay consistent and two have seen the light, but it has been a journey and magnified because of her to say the least. So... your right I am struggling and I am usually a pretty independent confident person ,but I sometimes have a hard time working through and processing this situation. As for my family and neighbors, i think I was more friendly and close in the past but as our triad gets closer I get more paranoid of questions and have somewhat retreated and am more secretive about what we do. My family also gets super jealous and questioning about why I spend so much time with him and not more time with them? And usually it is because as I get older and have super busy lives when I have free time I want to be with them and my children because they lift me up and make me a better person and if I go with them I am filled with anxiety and worry about the questions to come. I look forward to your insights on my situation!