Thread: Coming out
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:04 PM
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The whole coming-out thing has been very much on my mind lately, and on my wife's. We're a historically mono couple, married 20-plus years, and we're just starting what looks like, maybe, hopefully, with luck and communication and quite a bit of adjustment on everyone's part, is going to become a long-term committed equilateral triad relationship with another woman. My wife and I never thought of ourselves as poly -- a year ago we would have laughed at the suggestion of any such thing, honestly -- and we weren't looking for this; we just happened to both fall very hard for the same woman at the same time, and she seems to feel the same way about both of us.

Things are getting to the point where all three of us really need to think about how open we're going to be about this with our friends and family. Our friends are probably going to be able to take it in stride, and I think most of our family members are going to be ok with it, with the notable exception of a couple of the new partner's relatives, but what they're mostly going to be shocked about is that she's no longer identifying as a full-on lesbian, which she did for a number of years. None of us has employment-related issues about being involved in a non-traditional family, which is certainly something to be thankful for.

One wrinkle about coming out, however, is that for my wife, on top of everything else, this is going to be coming out in the classic sense: nobody in our friends or family has ever known she's bi. She always has been, but she's been extremely private about it. I suppose we could just keep quiet about the details and let people wonder whether this is a full triad or a V with me as the hinge, in which case there might be some doubt about her orientation, but for various reasons it's pretty unlikely that anyone's actually going to think that. So that makes it extra-specially difficult for her. On the other hand, it's becoming increasingly obvious that keeping the relationship secret would involve more self-discipline about public hand-holding and so forth than any of us has. So we're really wrestling with how to handle this.

Are we completely nuts to think that our friends and family will be able to deal with it? They're all nice leftie liberal tree-hugging Birkenstock-wearing types, so it seems to me that they'd be accepting, but maybe I'm kidding myself. This thread has been very instructive, but I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who's been in this situation. What kind of horrified reactions should we expect? What are the pitfalls associated with this part of the process of forming a poly family?
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