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Old 05-22-2011, 09:26 PM
orcasandowls orcasandowls is offline
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Default Family Drama

I'm Erin! 22, female, part of an MFF triad that's currently going through a little stress. Why? My girlfriend C's family.

C was summoned to her parents house today, and when she got there, she was interrogated about our relationship. Her parents refused to have her husband (D) around for the conversation, saying that since we're in an "immoral relationship", that D isn't her husband anymore. They said some incredibly cruel things ("this is worse than your sister's cancer, because it's a cancer of your soul"), accused D and I of brainwashing her, called me a home-wrecker, and have threatened to report us to the authorities because they believe this is child abuse.

I'm sure other people have gone through things like this. Does anyone have any advice? I'm not sure we can convince her parents to see things our way, but any suggestions about how to discuss things further with them, or what to do if they bring things up again, would be very appreciated.

Many thanks in advance!
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:16 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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My response would be to walk away until they feel up to playing nicely and apologizing. My mother had to learn that I won't tolerate that sort of bullshit in that exact fashion.
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:20 AM
orcasandowls orcasandowls is offline
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Yeah, I'm kinda thinking that all we can do is give it time. I just hate seeing her so stressed. Thanks for the input.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
My response would be to walk away until they feel up to playing nicely and apologizing. My mother had to learn that I won't tolerate that sort of bullshit in that exact fashion.
AT, you mean walk away from the relationship with the parents? Not the triad, correct? I know, in the past, there were times when I had to shut my mother out completely in order for her to learn she could not be disrespectful toward me, or lay her judgments on me. However, the OP has the added concern of their threats about child abuse, so it may need to be handled a bit more gingerly.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:01 PM
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Re: child abuse, depends a ton on where she resides. Get some legal advice ASAP.

I agree with the other advice. Saying something along the lines of "my choices are mine. I do appreciate respectful advice. But, threats and intolerance are not acceptable and I won't have anyone in my life who chooses that route."

I stopped talking to my mom for several years when she wasn't being very helpful in some difficulties I was going through. Sometimes that's what is required for people to get beyond their own hang-ups to put more value on the relationship than moralizing.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:15 PM
orcasandowls orcasandowls is offline
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. The idea that the kids are being abused is completely ridiculous, and I think C's parents know that. They're well-fed, well-clothed, developing appropriately to their age. I really don't see how anything going on here could be construed as abusive. At the same time, we're planning to get some legal advice, just to be safe.

So far, we've had no further word from C's parents. I guess we'll just wait and see what happens.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by orcasandowls View Post
Thanks for the advice, everyone. The idea that the kids are being abused is completely ridiculous, and I think C's parents know that. They're well-fed, well-clothed, developing appropriately to their age. I really don't see how anything going on here could be construed as abusive. At the same time, we're planning to get some legal advice, just to be safe.

So far, we've had no further word from C's parents. I guess we'll just wait and see what happens.
I think when people pull out the "it's abuse" card in situations like this, it's more about "morals" and thinking that the kids are exposed to sex, or group sex, and confusion about mother and father roles, etc., rather than food and clothing issues. It's like they assume that poly people just walk around naked all day and fuck like dogs at any moment.

There are members on this board who have dealt with issues like that. Do you all three live together?

Oh, yes, and I would not wait to get legal advice. If I were you all, I'd be at a lawyer's office yesterday!
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:04 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
AT, you mean walk away from the relationship with the parents? Not the triad, correct? I know, in the past, there were times when I had to shut my mother out completely in order for her to learn she could not be disrespectful toward me, or lay her judgments on me. However, the OP has the added concern of their threats about child abuse, so it may need to be handled a bit more gingerly.
Walk away from the parents, yes. As for the threat of abuse allegations, I'd also let them know I'd be responding by filing suit for defamation should they make false allegations. The best response to bullies is to let them know that you'll beat them down if they try to keep bullying.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
Walk away from the parents, yes. As for the threat of abuse allegations, I'd also let them know I'd be responding by filing suit for defamation should they make false allegations. The best response to bullies is to let them know that you'll beat them down if they try to keep bullying.
There's more ways to make it clear to someone that you won't be bullied besides escalating threats.

I usually just call their bluff. Essentially standing firm that I will not let threats dictate my decisions.

But, I would take the time to discuss with them the likely consequence of their action - which, in this case, is the likelihood of losing the case as well as losing a connection to their daughter and grandchildren. Could I suppose be construed as a thread, but it's a reasonable prediction of an undesireable outcome.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:22 AM
orcasandowls orcasandowls is offline
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Quote:
I think when people pull out the "it's abuse" card in situations like this, it's more about "morals" and thinking that the kids are exposed to sex, or group sex, and confusion about mother and father roles, etc., rather than food and clothing issues. It's like they assume that poly people just walk around naked all day and fuck like dogs at any moment.

There are members on this board who have dealt with issues like that. Do you all three live together?
We definitely aren't walking around naked and fucking like dogs at the drop of a hat. The kids see us being affectionate with each other, but it never goes beyond a quick peck when they're in the same room. As for confusion about who their parents are, I don't think they have any. They know who Mama and Dada are, and while they like me a whole lot, when they're unhappy or upset, it's Mama or Dada they cry out for, not Erin.

At the present moment, I have my own apartment, but I also have a room at C and D's house. My lease is up at the end of next month, at which point I'll be moving into their house full-time. C's parent's don't know about that yet, and I'm not looking forward to the moment when they find out.

Quote:
I personally think her husband should stand up for her and his family directly to her parents. Those that tend to get all hung up on "moral issues" also tend to be heavily male centered (man is the head of the household, etc). Speak with the attorney, then have him do any and all future communications with her family. If it were me, I wouldn't let them anywhere near the kids unsupervised, if at all (but that's just me).
It's funny, C's parents are actually pretty liberal. They also have a history of alienating their children, they refused to go to C's sister's wedding because she was marrying a Republican. D and C have agreed that if her parents want to talk again, he'll insist on being present. If her parents try to bring things up to her when he isn't around, she's agreed to just walk away from the conversation.

Quote:
You said you are in a triad as in all three of you are lovers or is it just you and C?
We're all lovers, I'm their mutual girlfriend. At this point, C thinks her parents may be under the impression that D and I are lovers and C is turning a blind eye to things. She's currently planning to write them a letter to clarify just what's going on here. I'm afraid that it might make things worse, but I understand her desire to clear up their misconceptions.

Quote:
Walk away from the parents, yes. As for the threat of abuse allegations, I'd also let them know I'd be responding by filing suit for defamation should they make false allegations. The best response to bullies is to let them know that you'll beat them down if they try to keep bullying.
We'll keep this in mind. Thank you.

Really, everyone, thanks for the support and help here. We know some other poly people, but no one we know has come up against a situation like this.
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