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  #1  
Old 05-01-2013, 06:57 PM
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franchescasc franchescasc is offline
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Default Keeping it a secret-how long can that really work?

I am in a good place right now with my relationships. Overcoming jealousy, head over heels in love, moving past communication barriers, being open and honest. But the biggest concern nagging on me is the secrecy and hiding of my relationship (and FJ's for that matter) with MD.

We live in a very small town with lots on the line if people knew. FJ'S owns his own business, and the risk of bible thumping folks boycotting his shop is a real one. I fundraise for a local non-profit, and have to maintain a high profile socially. The risk of losing my job is real. MD knows everyone, as she grew up here. The gossip would be terrible. Not to mention her ex's mother is crazy and may try to use our relationship as ammunition to take custody of MD's daughter. FJ's mother would die, and I could definitely see that we might have to limit her interactions with our children because she would be trying to evangelize them against our way of life. She is a hardcore evangelical Christian-her answering machine's message starts with-"Did you know that Jesus Christ is your Lord an Savior?"

My concern is this: how can this relationship be sustainable if it has to remain a secret? I read about unicorn hunters and secondaries, and one of the biggest pitfalls seems to be having the secondary as a secret. FJ and I are obviously able to be recognized as a couple. MD shouldn't have to pretend she's single. Oddly enough, MD is the one who is most emphatic that we have to hide the relationship. She's mentioned telling her mother and brother but no one else. I just can't see her being truly happy living like that. When I said "we can't hide it from everyone forever" she just repeated "we have to hide it"

Can I get some feedback from others experiences who may have had to hide for whatever reason? Did it eventually make you want to leave? And for anyone who has been a secondary (hate the word btw) how does being a secret make you feel? We just stumbled into this amazing love, very accidentally. But the last thing I want is to lose it or hurt anyone. Also-has anyone felt like they should hide, but eventually change your mind?

Ultimately, I can't live in secret forever. If this is going to be a lasting relationship, something will have to change.
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franchescasc-33, bi female, likely monogomish formerly in triad relationship with:
FJ-36, married 15 yrs
MD-35, gf for 8 months
Currently dating SM, male, 40, monogamous
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:26 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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My spouse's other partner used to run a general store in a small conservative hick town and had to be careful of locals knowing too much about their relationship. That was nixed when they leased the store to some other folks, moved, and got a job that doesn't care what people do on their own time behind closed doors.

Not sure if that is of any use to you.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:30 PM
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franchescasc franchescasc is offline
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Default Who knows the future

I can see things changing about hiding if we all ultimately moved. Problem is, we have a business established, and 6 children betwen us to worry about uprooting. I just don't know when/if we could make such a big change.
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MD-35, gf for 8 months
Currently dating SM, male, 40, monogamous
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:40 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by franchescasc View Post
I can see things changing about hiding if we all ultimately moved. Problem is, we have a business established, and 6 children betwen us to worry about uprooting. I just don't know when/if we could make such a big change.


That's what i meant; our situation doesn't have the same parameters as yours. "don't like the neighbors? Move!" is easier said than done, especially if you own a property and cannot financially afford another home unless you sell the one you are currently living in (MOST of the people i know don't have mountains of cash stacked up waiting to be spent on whatever seems like the next big idea). It is worth mentioning too - the OSO did not move because of their relationship. They leased and moved because they were tired of working 12 hours per day 7 days per week and breaking even.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:15 PM
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nancyfore nancyfore is offline
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We (Nutbusterx and I) live in a VERY small conservative Christian town, have MANY children (19) between the two of us, and have a photography business and we have had the same situation happen. Though the girlfriend of Nutbusterx lived about an hour away, she worked with him here in our town. So breakfasts and lunches together became a concern. We are less concerned about family (though I have an ex that threatened court if I came out as bi not poly) our concern was the children in high school and how the "oh I saw your dad cheating on your mom" rumor would go over, and be forced to tell them we are poly in a way that would have to be rushed. We talked to the older (20's age range) and started talking about poly out in the open to gauge the reactions of the others. No one really has said anything, and the younger one's will be told on a need to know basis due to the issues regarding the court and custody threats.

Hiding is no fun at all. Worrying about the fall out of the rumor mill isn't either. I have no real solutions as we face some of the same problems. But offer hugs, and sympathy. We understand what our going through..

Hugs,

Nancy
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:30 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Nancy, are you and jim's last name Duggar, by any chance?
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  #7  
Old 05-01-2013, 08:38 PM
westVan westVan is offline
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Default from an ex-seconday

Quote:
Originally Posted by franchescasc View Post
And for anyone who has been a secondary (hate the word btw) how does being a secret make you feel? .
I can tell you that it feels really yukky after a while, the first couple of years it was exciting but in the end not so much. My ex-BF lives in a very small town and owns his own business ( we live about 6 hours apart and I travel to his town on business) so sneaking into my hotel room in the middle of the night for an hour or so because he couldn't leave his truck parked for to long " because people would notice and ask questions" . Not being able to go out in public for dinner or even a round of golf together. pretty much sucked, the sex was great but not great enough to make up for feeling like a dirty little secret after .
As you may notice he is now my ex - we had other issues that came up that we couldn't overcome so being secret was not what ended us. But I think it had alot to do with the other issues.
I wish you luck and love.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:23 PM
crisplove crisplove is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franchescasc View Post
And for anyone who has been a secondary (hate the word btw) how does being a secret make you feel?
I am a secondary in a budding relationship (2 months) and we're not out. The other day my boyfriend and I were at Walmart shopping when one of his OSO's friends saw us and quite loudly asked what he was doing on this side of town.

He stumbled.

I'm a fan of authenticity and living your life on your own terms. To me, if we are choosing to live like this, we should be able to do it out in the open.

We've had many conversations about what would happen if we are in the same place with overlapping friends.

For now, everything is cool. It's a delicate balance. However, I am not willing to live like this forever. Quite frankly, I don't think I could live like this for more than a year.

The only reason it is acceptable to me now is because we are still "dating" in my mind. We aren't committed. I'm not seeing anyone else, but I'm still feeling it out.

I should add that this is my first poly relationship, and that I prefer monogamy for myself.
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  #9  
Old 05-02-2013, 02:00 AM
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Scissors Scissors is offline
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I'm noticing a common trend in your posts, francesca: the feeling of "francesca knows best for others". I only point this out because you've professed to being "overly analytical and logical", and it's easy to attempt to dictate how others' should feel or think because you've thought it out, so it must be so for others, right? Believe me. That's a hard lesson to learn for us types.

In this post, you say that "you don't want to discard her feelings, but she is discarding her own." What makes you think you can make that judgment? The same thing applies with statements like:
Quote:
I just can't see her being truly happy living like that.
Not your call to make.

and

Quote:
MD shouldn't have to pretend she's single.
She doesn't "pretend". She's living it. She's made that decision, making and reaffirming that decision constantly, day by day, of her own accord, as a grown woman.

It baffles me that you list several compelling reasons why this relationship really ought to be kept under wraps (the least of which is that she has made her stance crystal clear on this regard), yet the entirety of the last part of your post asks about "what the secondary might feel" or "did it eventually make you want to leave?", as if she know not what she do-eth. Like you're confusing what SHE wants and what you know in-your-heart-of-hearts that she wants.

She made her decision. So now, you're the one with the decision to make in response. Be empathetic. Look at it from her point of view. Coming out as poly is a life-changer. You only met her a year ago, been dating for what, five months? Yes, I get that you want the relationship to "last". Yes, I get that you don't want to "keep this a secret forever" (emphasis mine). Don't you think it's a little premature to have this conversation about being out to everyone? Be the big girl; give yourselves time. If your communication is as open and wonderful as you say it is, and this is truly bothering you and ohmigod it needs to be addressed NOW, sit everyone down and say your piece. Then table the issue with a clear end date and the intent to revisit it again after everyone ruminates. You'll then have made everyone aware of your stance, then it's their turn to make their decision. And the circle continues. If she wants to come around, she will. But she has to make that decision, not you.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:34 AM
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franchescasc franchescasc is offline
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Default Absolutely right

Scissors-thank you! For real, this is the kind of feedback I'm looking for and I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

It is so important for me to remind myself tht MD is here because she wants to be here. She did say today that she was happy, she just hates hiding. I guess that's why I'm reading into that as meaning she couldn't possibly be happy long term if she already hates it. But maybe that's the sacrifice she's willing to make for the rest of this relationship that is good.

And yes, I want this to last. But no, I don't want to get ahead of myself. Time will tell.
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franchescasc-33, bi female, likely monogomish formerly in triad relationship with:
FJ-36, married 15 yrs
MD-35, gf for 8 months
Currently dating SM, male, 40, monogamous
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