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Old 06-10-2012, 06:53 AM
PolyMister PolyMister is offline
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Unhappy I Lost a Friend Because I Came Out To Her Tonight...

I'm still crying. I'm 21 years old, I haven't cried since I was 12. The person who I told everything to - all my secrets, all my problems - the person who I called my closest friend just told me that who I am is "wrong" because I came out to her about being polyamorous.

Nobody knows that me or my fiancee are polyamorous other than three of her closest friends who we'll call "J", "A", and, "T". (which I did not know "A" or "T" knew prior to the events of tonight. I knew that "J" did, because she has been the girl who was our top candidate for a Unicorn until she decided that she couldn't do it because of her parents being very devout Pentecostals.)

Because nobody knows, I've been feeling it weighing down on me lately. This big, soul crushing secret that I'm afraid to tell anybody about. I just had to get it off my chest somewhere, to someone. I chose my closest friend, we'll call her "S". I have told her secrets that nobody other than my fiancee knows. She has told me secrets that nobody other than me knows. So I thought she would be the best candidate to unload this burden on.

It didn't turn out as I had hoped it was going to. I was simply trying to get the pain of the secret off of my chest, and to not feel so different as I have been lately. To be accepted for who and what I am.

The following is the conversation that I had with "S". The beginning of it is missing, but it essentially is me telling her that I'm polyamorous, and that my fiancee was as well. Throughout the conversation she seems to forget that I did say my fiancee was aware that I was polyamorous, felt secure with it, and was polyamorous herself.

Quote:
[9:41:23 PM] Chris: I just don't understand why people find it so hard to accept the polyamorous... We have friends that we love, and we love more than one. We have pets that we love, and we love more than one. We have children that we love and we love more than one, we have things that we love, and we love more than one. Why is it such a jump to believe that one person could love more than one person in a romantic way? Romance and love has only existed for 400 years. Before then there was no such thing. It was invented. Born from chivalry in the 17th century.

[9:43:03 PM] S: I'm sorry but I believe other wise.. I think love is real and if you truly love a person only 1 person should truly own your heart, and you both should love each other and the things you make. Sure we love lots of things, but when it comes to relationships I can't stand the whole sharing my heart and feelings with someone who's gonna fall in love with someone else.

[9:47:06 PM] Chris: Monogamy is a new invention in human history. Before the 17th century people took multiple wives, even catholic priests did. You know the story of king arthur? That was the FIRST notion of romantic love in the english language. And that was a story about Guenivere, who loved king arthur, and also fell in love with Lancelot.
[9:49:49 PM] Chris: When the knights caught Guenivere in bed with Lancelot, she was tried in court and burned to death and Lancelot ended his days living as a hermit in his castle.

[9:55:47 PM] S: I got no idea, what any of that is about.

[9:56:13 PM] Chris: It's the story that practically INVENTED love.
[9:56:35 PM] Chris: it's the story that literally said, being with more than one person is not allowed.
[9:56:56 PM] Chris: she was killed because she loved a man while she was married to the king.

[9:58:46 PM] S: O.. well I think if you don't love someone, you shouldn't be with them.
[9:58:49 PM] S: Simple as that.

[10:00:02 PM] Chris: The story never says she doesn't love the king.
[10:00:20 PM] Chris: the story says she fell in love with another man
[10:00:55 PM] Chris: there is no love loss, she loves them equally, that is why peoples views changed in the 17th century...
[10:01:56 PM] Chris: before then men could marry multiple women or marry one and cheat on her with others. But women couldn't do the same, they had to stay loyally connected to one person and one person only. There was no divorce back then either, the only way out was to die.

[10:02:28 PM] Chris: The story of Guenivere and Lancelot challenged that view point

[10:02:35 PM] S: I honestly think if you truly love someone, you will NOT NEED another person to love.
[10:02:59 PM] S: yes, exactly it's different back then.
[10:04:24 PM] S: This is now. if you love someone now, rather than being with someone who you love but can also fall in love with someone else save the hurt and leave the person your with cause not everybody's gonna be fine with that. I don't think how anyone can be to be honest, no offence but I think if you truly do love someone, you CAN'T love another person and if you're suppose to get married to someone you should really make sure you wanna spend your life with them, and it's gonna be impossible loving someone else cause they give you everything you've ever wanted.

[10:04:38 PM] Chris: WHY does it have to HURT?

[10:04:53 PM] S: because it wouldn't be real, if it didn't.
[10:05:06 PM] S: everything in life has aftermath.

[10:05:13 PM] Chris: I know a place with about 50,000 people who would beg to differ

[10:05:40 PM] S: well I'm sure I know people who will agree with me so.

[10:05:53 PM] Chris: I know there is
[10:06:04 PM] Chris: but I don't want to live my life as someone's PROPERTY.
[10:07:23 PM] Chris: That's the way I see monogomy.


[10:14:46 PM] S: If what you want is freedom, then stay single forever because it's not even like that. It's not being someones property. It's respecting the person, your with and love and giving them your all like your suppose to. If you truly love a person, you wouldn't have to go out and do things behind there backs, and lies to them and fall in love with other guys/girls.. If you're in a relationship with someone it's not suppose to be called property. It's suppose to be called being faithful, and faithful to the ONE person you love.
[10:16:44 PM] S: Not 2/3 or how many ever.
[10:16:57 PM] S: but everybody has there opinion and mine is, far off beyond yours.

[10:17:28 PM] Chris: "Suppose to" is dogma... Just 20 years ago everyone was "suppose to" only like members of the OPPOSITE sex... Homosexuality was illegal.
Also, Polyamory doesn't mean go out behind someone's back and fuck people and fall in love randomly. It's not the same as being unfaithful. You don't love the person any less. It's no less faithful than a monogomist relationship.

[10:18:33 PM] S: I think it's wrong, no matter how you explain it.
[10:18:34 PM] S: sorry.

[10:19:13 PM] Chris: You're acting no different than the people who said the homosexuals were wrong back then... I'm sorry to hear that.

[10:19:46 PM] S: homosexuality is falling in love with someone of the same sex. Yes, sure fine that's different to me because it's still giving your self to ONE PERSON you love. Even if they're the same. I don't believe in giving your love, and trust and faith and everything you have in a relationship to 2 people.
[10:20:31 PM] S: and maybe I am like then, but my opinion isn't gonna change on that.
[10:21:09 PM] S: I don't like it, and I don't think it's right. Call me what you will, but sure there's people who agree with you and there's people who agree with me and I don't care how illegal or legal it becomes, I don't like it and I don't support it.

[10:22:04 PM] Chris: You're going to look back on yourself one of these days and what you just said to me... you might hate yourself for it, you might not... You just told me that what I believe and what I WAS BORN INTO, the same way yo're BORN INTO being gay was wrong. You couldn't have hit me more below the belt than that.
[10:23:21 PM] Chris: All I was looking for was to be accepted for what I was. I wasn't saying you had to be like it to... But you told me that I had to be like you...

[10:24:26 PM] S: I will NOT hate myself for something I told you my opinion on. I don't like the idea of it, and just because you can go out and fall in love with another person while your engaged doesn't mean it's right. You get married, to the person you wanna spend your life with. That's why it's such a big commentment and a big step forward in life. I didn't say you had to be like me, because what you do and who you like is none of my concern.
[10:24:31 PM] S: I'm not the one engaged to you.

[10:25:11 PM] Chris: It's not JUST an opinion when you tear down someone and basically tell them that they're unnatural.

[10:25:11 PM] S: Sorry that it hurt your feelings, and I'm sorry if it becomes a GOOD thing later on in life but I won't be sorry for telling you MY view on it.
[10:25:38 PM] S: I didn't say you was unnatural. I said what you're doing isn't right, and if you can love more than one person you shouldn't be in a relationship or engaged.

[10:26:36 PM] Chris: isn't right, wrong, unnatural, it's all the same thing with different wording

[10:26:40 PM] S: It's possible to love 2 people yes, but if you love 2 people you truly don't love the first one because you wouldn't of fallen in love again if your first one was so great.

[10:27:05 PM] Chris: Your exact words were the exact words of anti gay activists 20 years ago.

[10:27:08 PM] S: Take it as you will.. I can't change my wording if it's what I mean.
This is the conversation that has made me so upset tonight and actually start crying. Which amazes me because I have not cried in nine years now.

Last edited by PolyMister; 06-10-2012 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:53 AM
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But I told my fiancee of the incident and she helped to cheer me up a little bit. The following is the conversation I had with my fiancee after she read the conversation I had with "S".

Quote:
Brittany: Why did u say anything about it to her? We may never find someone

me: Because I had to get it off my chest to SOMEONE. And like I said I know things about her she hasn't told anyone else, and she knows things about me that only you know. So I thought she would be the best person to tell
since she already knows so much about me...

Brittany: And this is why I was content being a closet poly... With that said I can't believe how bitchy she became.. Like I understand she has her own opinion that's fine but she didn't have to be so disrespectful with it.
And why didn't u say that ur fiance feels the same way?

me: I can't BELIEVE she said that it was wrong...
yes, I did. It was earlier on in the convo, I don't have that part anymore..

Brittany: Oh ok I don't like how she was makin u sound like an adulturer

me: Neither did I...
Like I said, it's not like I was saying "Hey, you should be poly cause I'm poly"... I just wanted someone to know and to be accepted.
I'm sick of feeling different...

Brittany: Like wtf.. Some of the things she said has crossed my mind don't get me wrong. There r times when I feel low and think "why can't u just be happy with just me" but at the same time. This whole poly thing mainly happened because of me and I know that you love me.
Babe , "A" and "J" and "T" know and they are all accepting of it. You should talk to "A" more

me: really? You told "A"?

Brittany: But now u see that, being a closet poly is the safer why to go

me: It's safer yes, but I don't want to have to hide it

Brittany: And of course I told "A"! Baby I tell "A" everything lol
Almost as much as I tell "J"
There r people that know and accept this.

me: That's the way I was with "S"
Told her everything...
Oh jesus... I'm actually crying...

Brittany: Things will probably blow over hun I can't see her staying mad at you forever

me: I just don't want to have to feel so different...
I can't believe I'm actually crying....
like a lot...

Brittany: baby that's the lifestyle we chose. Its not an easy road to walk . Someday she will come to terms with it and eventually more people will know but right now I don't think u need to worry about it. Right now its just me and you, we may never find a third person. We may never actually be that different. I'm happy with the way things are now or the way they could be.
But try not to be upset . We don't need to be right now
As for things between you and her give her time to cool down
And message her tomorrow

me: Baby, as much as I love you and as much as I like things as they are now, I can not guarantee you that I won't fell in love with other people. I may never act on the feelings, but they will be there. I can't change who I am, with the third person or without. It doesn't mean I don't love you any less obviously, I just want you to know I've been supressing feelings and urges ever since I was in grade 10 and was with "K"... It's not like I just got with you and decided I was going to be polyamorous... I've been fighting it my whole life because I didn't want to be different... Because I thought I HAD to be a certain way.
It's not something that I can change. I'm always going to be like this.

Brittany: You realize ur talkin to the person that had like 3 relationships on the go at once right? I'm the same way, its like how I love "L". I know how you feel. I know ur upset because ur different but take comfort in the fact that when its u and I, u r not different u do not need to feel like u r different.

Brittany: And I don't care how many people u love as long as u will always love me, because no matter how many I love, you will always own the bigger piece of my heart

me: I love you so much baby. I haven't cried since I was 12... But I love you so much. At least I know there's one person who understands me in my life.
I'm still crying, I just can't stop... But I do feel better doll.

Brittany: I know we don't get the chance to talk as much as we used to, and I mean actually have a deep heart to heart convo. But baby I am always and will always be here for you especially when u feel like this. I was always called the whore in high school because of the way I feel so I know what your going through. And because of that I am always here to talk about this kinda stuff with u. Your my fiance yes , but your also my best friend. So I do feel comfortable talking about these things with you baby

me: I honestly don't think I've ever been so grateful in my entire life to know anybody as I am to know you baby.
So yeah, that's been my night tonight. I have to get some sleep, I have to get up and cut down trees for 10 hours tomorrow starting at 6:00 am. I just wanted to let some people know how my first attempt at coming out to a friend went. Not well obviously... I'm a state. washing the tears off of my face and heading to bed. Good night everybody.

Last edited by PolyMister; 06-10-2012 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:19 AM
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I'm sorry things did not go the way you thought it would when you shared this with your friend. I can imagine how shot down and ridiculed you feel.

I think as you both gain the time and chance to process how everything went, you might be able to revisit the subject with her in the near future. This initial conversation might have been just emphasis on a knee-jerk reaction to something that is wildly foreign and brand new to her, and not necessarily a situation where she finds you repulsive.

Try to just breathe, find some calm, centre yourself, and stay positive. There are more discussions to be had, for sure. All might not be lost.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:53 AM
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I've had plenty of people tell me they don't agree. Which I expect and understand. But never yet [that anyone has told me about] lost a friend over it. We just accept that each of us are different and get on with similing. =] Honestly, if people are that bothered by who you are, you're better off without them in your life. As much as it hurt this time, you can be sure to bring it up to people before friendship gets that close from now on, thereby knowing whether it is worth taking anything further with them.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:57 PM
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Why are you crying? She stated her opinion. You responded by preaching at her (poorly) and implying she was a brainwashed moron.

Being polyamorous is not anything like being GLBTQ. It hardly makes you special. If I had one partner for the rest of eternity, I'd be fine. If I had none, I'd be fine. You can't compare it to being forced to live a heteronormative lifestyle that feels wrong - You don't need to be with several people.

If your big source of pain in your life is not telling the world you're polyamorous, you're lucky. Tone down the drama, and apologize for your preaching and implications. You're the one who messed up here, based on the transcripts.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolyMister View Post
Because nobody knows, I've been feeling it weighing down on me lately. This big, soul crushing secret that I'm afraid to tell anybody about.
It's worth considering why this is weighing you down so much. Is it just because it's a secret you don't want to hide from friends and others in your life? Or is it because you yourself are not convinced poly is the right way for you to go, and you want affirmation from others?

When I was a little younger than you, I "converted" from sort-of evangelical Christianity to "Objectivism" after reading Ayn Rand. I was determined not only that people should know of my conversion, but that they should all acknowledge that mine was the true path of wisdom.

Well, that didn't last. I made myself a miserable, lonely pain in the neck for a couple of years, then I got over it all, moved on from Rand and her hack philosophy, and started rebuilding some of the bridges I'd burned.

(If any Objectivists out there are offended, let's take it off list . . .)

The thing is, looking back, I think I was insecure in my conversion and, with all the fervor of a new convert, had to convert others in order to convince myself.

Seems to me LotusesandRoses hits it on the head:

Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusesandRoses View Post
Why are you crying? She stated her opinion. You responded by preaching at her (poorly) and implying she was a brainwashed moron . . .

If your big source of pain in your life is not telling the world you're polyamorous, you're lucky. Tone down the drama, and apologize for your preaching and implications. You're the one who messed up here, based on the transcripts.
If you really just need your friend to know, then just tell her this is a path you're taking, something you're trying, something unconventional but possibly workable. Tell her this is something you are doing consciously and responsibly, and that you will accept all the consequences of your actions

Then, acknowledge that she disagrees with you, and just agree to disagree. We often have to do that, for the sake of friendship.

Another story that might give some perspective. Vix and I moved in together before we were married, which upset my parents terribly. I couldn't exactly keep it a secret from them, at least not for long.

When I told them, my mom cried, and demanded to know: "Where's the moral young man we raised??" I told her: "I'm right here! I have not made this choice lightly, and I take responsibility for my actions and their consequences."

They were not convinced - and they were a little too happy when Vix and I got engaged - but I neither gave ground nor insisted they affirm the basic rightness of my choice. My relationship with them was a little strained for a while, and there were some difficult compromises when Vix and I visited my folks a few months later, but I kept my relationship with my parents.

Now, as for secrets, I do have to keep our recent turn to poly from my parents. They would freak out, and maybe worse. We just visited them, a few weeks ago, and it was actually kind of fun to carry our secret with us. I would write long emails to my girlfriend under my parents' very noses . . .

How often does a middle-aged guy get to be rebellious like that?
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Last edited by hyperskeptic; 06-10-2012 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:45 PM
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Lotus - for some of us it is part of our identity, just as much as being gay, straight, or bi. And it is just as painful to force onself to behave differently. Just because it isn't that way for you, doesn't mean you have all the answers either.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:51 PM
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While I'm sorry that your friend didn't take your revelation well, I have to agree with the others. You did come off as preachy, and you got your "facts" wrong. While, yes, many cultures did practice a type of polyamory there were others that practiced enforced monogamy. The Roman Empire for example.

I recently came out about polyamory to all of my close girlfriends, only one of them seems to be taking it in stride. The others are pretending it doesn't exist. I just told them, "Hey, this is what Bear and I are doing." so that when I talk about Lovely they won't wonder who and what I'm talking about.
I did not, however, try to convince them that one way is more right or wrong than the other. It's just different.

Give your friend a few days to process what you have said, apologize for being preachy, and see if you can go on from there.
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkDragon View Post
you got your "facts" wrong. While, yes, many cultures did practice a type of polyamory there were others that practiced enforced monogamy. The Roman Empire for example.
Speaking of wrong, there's no hard evidence that any cultures practiced polyamory. Lots of polygamy yes, but any non-patriarchal model resembling polyamory would have been pre-history so there's no record.


Chris:
Thank you very much for sharing these transcripts. It's awesome to see some real conversations without edits or paraphrasing...it's about as real and honest a window into life as poly as it gets on a medium like this forum. So thanks for bringing it here.

One of the best pieces of advice I got when starting down the poly road was that you need to tell someone. There needs to be a friend, confidant or something who knows you're poly, who you can talk to about the struggles and share the victories. It's possible to live in the closet, but someone needs to know, whether they themselves are poly or not. We are social animals after all, and we need that support network.

One risk of talking about coming out to people is that sometimes they disappoint, and aren't actually inclined to be supportive, as happened S. It doesn't mean you shouldn't still find someone who IS supportive. It may be a little tricky considering you seem to be caught between two very conservative parts of the country between where you are, and where I expect most of your friends are from. You may want to consider in the future having theoretical conversations about the concept of non-monogamy, polyamory, and various other forms on a purely hypothetical or philosophical level with friends you might consider good candidates before you take that last leap about identifying yourself to them. It's a way to mitigate the risk and better gauge if they have hard over conservative or traditional views such as S before jumping.


(As for being preachy...it's not like they weren't being so either. If that's how you and your friends interact, no harm no foul.)
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrigidsDaughter View Post
Lotus - for some of us it is part of our identity, just as much as being gay, straight, or bi. And it is just as painful to force onself to behave differently. Just because it isn't that way for you, doesn't mean you have all the answers either.
I never said I had all the answers. Being polyamorous is just another label for my practice of getting romantically involved with more than one person. Basing our happiness on the feelings of other people, and the number of people around us, is a dangerous practice. You can't control other people's feelings.

How does not telling people their beliefs are wrong and dumb mean you behave differently? If I'm talking to my friends and I mention going on a date with Mr. and Mrs. Nice, and they say, "Jeez, you're weird," I'm not going to burst into tears. (Everyone would constantly be in tears if this was the case, where I live.)

He's upset because she dared to disagree with him. At no point did she say she never wanted to talk to him, or that he was the devil's spawn. Aren't mono viewpoints just as valid as poly? Does he want her to be poly?

Growing up queer is a lot different from being poly. I can choose how many people I sleep with or am involved with at any time. I can't choose who I'm attracted to.
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