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  #11  
Old 06-14-2012, 03:14 PM
msue msue is offline
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Question How do poly/monos handle holidays

My hubby is poly, me and his partner are monos (at least for now)...her and I get along fairly well all the while trying to figure this thing out. We both love him very very much, and I genuinely like her as a friend...however...we both know that holidays will be confusing. I enjoy having our entire family over for Thanksgiving for instance...my hubby & I have not "come out" to our family about this situation. I want to invite her over for our family functions so she does not feel slighted or jipped in any way shape or form...

So how do Holidays work in this type of relationship? I am asking for advice because I am not sure how to handle this situation and she equally said she would feel odd.
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  #12  
Old 06-14-2012, 09:17 PM
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lovefromgirl lovefromgirl is offline
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Since my metamour is both monogamous and not comfortable with my partner outing himself to her family, and my family's perfectly fine with polyamory, I came into this understanding that she needed a certain amount of preservation of status quo. We also don't care as much about the same holidays. I just don't do Thanksgiving, either American or Canadian; they have their pick of either. New Year's has come to mean more to the three of us, and I like to have my partner for Halloween and Beltane if I can. It means something that he's there for the thinning of the veils.

I should mention that I'm not sure it's a matter of poly vs. mono when it comes to a third partner/secondary/whichever wanting to be part of holidays. If it were feasible, I'd love to be part of their family celebrations, but it's not and I respect why. So I can't be part of holidays? It's really more important to me that when I have a need, we can meet it. Last year, for instance: my uncle died and I couldn't travel to the funeral or be alone in the house for any length of time. He came to look after me. He was there with me in my grief and illness. A thousand Christmases couldn't mean anything more than that.
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  #13  
Old 06-15-2012, 03:00 AM
Pretzels Pretzels is offline
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We celebrated holidays with each others' families before we became romantically involved and we still do. We're not out or overtly lovey-dovey, period, so to inject that into one of those events would fell weird.

If your families haven't met the other partner and that partner doesn't have plans elsewhere, is there any harm in just saying that person is a friend who can't get home for the holidays? It's not inclusion in the most honest sense of the word, but it's better than nothing, no?
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  #14  
Old 06-15-2012, 07:16 AM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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I just started in my vee last December, so I'm not certain either. And by started, I mean we were considering it, so I'm not counting that one (holiday). They've both had their birthdays this year, but mine hasn't happened yet. I just don't know. The three of us have been friends for 8 years, and have shared with our families (well, mine and the other one who has family on this continent). I just don't know. Looking forward to great ideas here.

We did have Thanksgiving here a few years ago, and it was before our vee, but both of them were here and I don't think it would be the slightest bit unusual to continue that way.

One of them is a massive introvert, and doesn't usually like the family gathering thing ~ but in the past, we spent some lovely intimate christmases together.

I'm not eagerly looking forward to hashing this out. Might be lovely though.
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  #15  
Old 11-26-2012, 03:45 AM
1of4 1of4 is offline
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Post Holidays, Families, Friends & Being "In the Closet"

My husband and I are currently in an exclusive, 18-month "quad" relationship with another married couple. We weren't looking for it, never could have imagined a relationship like this two years ago, but it happened...and we've grown to care a great deal for them and them us. It is incredible in so many ways and all four of us are equally invested in the relationship. We live over an hour apart, but we find ways to spend at least one night together each week, usually two, and sometimes more. We've traveled with them twice, spending a week with them each time. We've integrated each other into our own social circles and have started to introduce each other to family when they visit. We've now started to discuss the idea of moving to live nearer to each other. If we get closer to making that a reality I'm sure I'll be back with all sorts of questions about that.

But right now I am just wondering how you all deal with keeping your relationships a secret (not how you keep it a secret, but how you DEAL with it). It just sucks sometimes and I start to get really down about it. The other husband in our quad would absolutely, without any doubt, lose his entire career if our relationship ever got out. Because of the public visibility of his position, even gossip could be disastrous for him. So we need to be really careful.

The longer this goes on and the more frequently we are together around family and friends, the harder I am finding "being in the closet" to be. I have this truly meaningful, emotional relationship and very intense sexual chemistry with this man and yet when we are around anyone else we have to pretend that we are just friends. No touching, no flirting, we're even careful not to look at each other too much because we're afraid someone will see the chemistry between us. The same with my husband and the other wife. The disconnect is just so hard at times. I love being a part of their life and them ours, but after spending time around other people like that, and hiding our relationship, I always feel slightly depressed...sad I guess that I don't really see a future where we could ever be open. What we have is so incredible and so perfect for the four of us that I hate having to hide it. And now that we are in the holiday season, we're going to have a lot of times coming up when we are in the presence of other friends and family and we'll have to hide it. Just the thought of it depresses me.

I'm just wondering if anyone else can relate or offer any advice about how I can come to terms with the idea that we will forever have to keep this relationship a secret. Thanks!

Last edited by 1of4; 11-26-2012 at 01:23 PM. Reason: clarity and typos
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  #16  
Old 11-26-2012, 03:54 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Hi, 1of4

Firstly, it's wonderful to hear that you have found such a fulfilling and brilliant quad setup - many, many people out there will be envious of this; so, congratulations!

Secondly, though I am not in the closet, I can absolutely understand and empathise. Being out of the closet, about anything in life, allows you to feel a sense of liberation and I understand the craving towards that. My girlfriend lives in America - I live in the UK. I can never take her with me to family events, because she lives 16 hours away. She hasn't even met my family yet and she is absolutely my wife, the mother to our child, all of those important things. Yes, like you, I look at other couples, including ones in my family, and wish that I could have my GF there, wish that I could experience that and be open about it. On the flip side, I know what it's like to be together, right next to each other, and not be able to show your love. My GF is out to her immediate family, but they strongly dislike her being bisexual and poly. We don't touch, don't really speak or interact, don't even sit next to each other. We also choose to hide it, because her extended family do not know and her immediate family ask us to be discreet. I do understand your pain.

So... how to cope with the secrecy.

STEP ONE
Firstly, notice that I said we CHOOSE to hide it. The first step to overcoming sadness about something you feel you cannot control is to look at it and realise you CAN control it.

Your CHOICE is this:
a) stress of hiding relationship vs joy of keeping jobs stable
b) joy of showing relationship vs stress of losing jobs

Think about it properly, long and carefully. You'd probably rather all keep your jobs, right? Have money to see each other, to enjoy life, to achieve personal fulfillment through achieving career goals. Of course you would - I can already tell that you've got your head screwed on

Life is all about choices. It's how we learn. Buddha would probably say that choices are the POINT of life. If you could have everything you wanted, open poly, great jobs, no negative influence from the world, what would you learn? What kind of person would you be? Ever had a job or class that was as boring as hell because you already knew it all? Life would be that way without challenges and decisions. Embrace the struggles, the choices you are given... and celebrate making the RIGHT choices.

STEP TWO
Sexuality (which of course, poly can be included in) is a very, very personal thing that we feel better about sharing. This is because (in my opinion), society is sexuality mad and we don't like to lie. Lying is bad. Start any new job and by the end of the first week, you'll almost definitely have been asked if you're married, single, whatever. I told a cute French girl I just started working with that I'm bi and poly. Why? Because a) I don't care if she's offended (she wasn't)... b) I was hoping she was bi and poly (she wasn't... hahaha)... c) she's unlikely to tell my bosses, because she hates them. When my boss asked me if I was single - I said I'm seeing someone. My CHOICE - I could have said, "yes, I'm poly and bi", but I CHOSE to look at my audience and put my need for cash above my need to tell people about my sexuality. When I hide the truth, I really feel bad because I'm lying... this masquerades as a need to tell the world who I am. Why does it matter? I am still poly even when I'm not forming a sentence stating that I am.

Let's say you left an apple on your desk at work. When you got home, you could have sworn you left an orange there. Yes, you definitely left an orange. Does that mean that the apple isn't on your desk, because you believe it to be an orange? If your family think you are mono, does that mean you are, just because they think it? No - your beautiful, wonderful poly quad remains, even if people can't see it.

STEP THREE
Look at the Psychology of being out of the closet.

Would you say we live in a materialistic world? One where even the most humble of us love owning something? I'm not particularly materialistic, but I literally cannot tell you that I wish I had nothing. I like owning my laptop, owning my guitar, owning my bed, etc etc.

How do we act about our possessions? We show them off! New iPhone? Show friends. New guitar? Tell friends about it. Went on holiday? Show every mother and her son the photos. And how do people usually respond? "ohhh... that's amazing!"... they very, very rarely say "yeah. I don't really give a shit."... and if they do? They're seen as rude. Because society says it's rude not to appreciate what others want to show us. This creates a learned response - we want to have good conversations; sharing something of ours seems to be fun for other people and for us; so we keep sharing.

What does this tell us? Well, it tells me that society is very, very, very motivated by the having and sharing of possessions. Life events count as possessions - that's why people get invited to weddings: "here's something that I have, that I want you to see and share, that I want you to feel happiness about, which in turn, brings me happiness, to see that you are happy about what I have."

Naturally, then, we feel the deep, genuine, serious need to tell people about our relationships. It seems natural to us. It seems natural, because society has drummed it into our head that it IS natural, expected, etc.

You are stuck because the world you live in is still in limbo. On one hand, the world is becoming more progressive and inclusive of 'different kinds of acceptable'. On the other hand, individuals are still about showing and having possessions. So, either society will catch up and it will be ok to show off our gay and poly relationships.... OR.... we can get one step ahead of society... and realise.... you know what? It doesn't actually matter! I've got a fucking amazing vibrator at home that nobody has ever seen... and I still think it's amazing.... I've got a fucking amazing wife and poly family that some people will never see... and I still think it's amazing! It doesn't matter if I show it off or not.

STEP FOUR
Let's look at the word 'secret' in a different light...

Let's say, you have a bar of chocolate in the fridge and you don't tell anybody about it. Is it going to be there when you get back? Are you still going to enjoy it as much? Yes.. and yes! By not telling anybody about it... nobody can touch it, eat it, get their sticky little fingers on it... and you can still enjoy it.

Look at your quad relationship. Without the constant interference, opinions and nay-saying from the majority of the world, you are free to live it how you want to live it. You are PROTECTING it by staying quiet. And trust me - being honest can get boring. Everyone I've told has reacted well, but the QUESTIONS... oh God, the questions. And that's me being lucky. On the bad side, you get everyone, everywhere filling all of your heads with doubt and before you know it... you're suddenly not so sure about the relationship you've had to be so brave about coming out of the closet for.

BOTTOM LINE
Deal with your sadness this way... remember that:
- by concealing it, you are making a sensible CHOICE that creates a stable and happy life for you and your partners
- you are being a more evolved person; to turn your nose up to society's need to possess and impress.... you're better than that!
- nothing will change in your relationship by keeping it a secret: like the amazing vibrator that nobody knows about; it will continue to give you years of pleasure, whether anybody ever sees it or not!!
- by keeping your relationship a secret, you are protecting it - like that lovely bar of chocolate; keeping it away from the wrong hands and keeping it from being spoiled by everybody else's germs

Does any of this makes sense and help at all?
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Serious long-distance relationship with GF (40f)
Casual FWB with Descartes (27f)



“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha

Last edited by sparklepop; 11-26-2012 at 03:59 PM.
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  #17  
Old 11-26-2012, 08:08 PM
1of4 1of4 is offline
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Sparklepop...thank you so incredibly much for such a detailed and thoughtful response. This is exactly what I needed to hear. Your post is FULL of remarkably helpful ideas and advice. Your are just so correct!

Keeping our relationship a secret IS a choice and one that is the best for the health of our overall relationship.

We are learning and evolving and I've always been one to turn up my nose to silly societal norms, so I completely relate to that idea.

I didn't even realize that I was questioning whether the relationship was "real" if we weren't able to share it with others...but your post made me realize I was. How silly of me. Of course it is real! I don't need to share it to know that. Thank you for helping me see that! What we have IS amazing and I don't need to show it off to enjoy it.

And yes, I can see the advantage to keeping our relationship protected from the criticism of people who would never understand it. We know what we have is beautiful and perfect for us. When problems have cropped up we've done a great job of working through them and resolving them on our own. If family and friends knew some would support us, but I'm sure we would also have plenty of nay-sayers. Who needs that? We surely don't.

I think part of what has been bothering me is that when we traveled together we were far enough away from home that we were able to be open (i.e., I could be seen in public with my bf and my husband with his gf...and not flaunting, but also not hiding the fact that we are a quad) without worrying. But then we came home and had to go back in the closet. So I've really experienced the contrast between how awesome it felt to be open and just be ourselves versus how unnatural it feels to be so secretive when we are home. But I can already tell you that when I start to feel down I'll come back here are re-read your post. Very, VERY helpful. Thank you again!
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  #18  
Old 11-26-2012, 08:21 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Quote:
Sparklepop...thank you so incredibly much for such a detailed and thoughtful response. This is exactly what I needed to hear. Your post is FULL of remarkably helpful ideas and advice. Your are just so correct!
Yay!!! I am so very happy to have helped you with this!

Quote:
Keeping our relationship a secret IS a choice and one that is the best for the health of our overall relationship.
Empowerment, baby!

Quote:
We are learning and evolving and I've always been one to turn up my nose to silly societal norms, so I completely relate to that idea.
Stick it to the man!

Quote:
I didn't even realize that I was questioning whether the relationship was "real" if we weren't able to share it with others...but your post made me realize I was. How silly of me. Of course it is real! I don't need to share it to know that. Thank you for helping me see that! What we have IS amazing and I don't need to show it off to enjoy it.
A crisp, shiny, juicy apple, is still a crisp, shiny, juicy apple!

Quote:
And yes, I can see the advantage to keeping our relationship protected from the criticism of people who would never understand it. We know what we have is beautiful and perfect for us. When problems have cropped up we've done a great job of working through them and resolving them on our own. If family and friends knew some would support us, but I'm sure we would also have plenty of nay-sayers. Who needs that? We surely don't.
Yes! Absolutely. Surround yourself with love and support - who needs toxicity and negative influence?

Quote:
I think part of what has been bothering me is that when we traveled together we were far enough away from home that we were able to be open (i.e., I could be seen in public with my bf and my husband with his gf...and not flaunting, but also not hiding the fact that we are a quad) without worrying. But then we came home and had to go back in the closet. So I've really experienced the contrast between how awesome it felt to be open and just be ourselves versus how unnatural it feels to be so secretive when we are home.
I absolutely understand this - I've been there many times - but I'm so glad that you are finding optimism and peace now!

Quote:
But I can already tell you that when I start to feel down I'll come back here are re-read your post. Very, VERY helpful. Thank you again!
I am touched! I can send you the rest of my novel for the small fee of $750... ~grins~ ... hahaha....
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Serious long-distance relationship with GF (40f)
Casual FWB with Descartes (27f)



“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha
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  #19  
Old 11-27-2012, 12:27 PM
Dirtclustit Dirtclustit is offline
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Default anything that helps you get through it, helps you get through it

I wish the world and everyone in it were either "awake" or respectful but it isn't quite there yet. So as far as keeping your secret, the responsible thing to do is keep it unless all involved make the decision to quit trying to hide it. There are many people who subscribe to the point of view which when parsed down to the black and white right or wrong with no space in between gives you the right to come clean for yourself.

But I strongly believe under most situations that is a copt out. You have the right to out only yourself, but need to allow others to keep their choice as theirs. I strongly believe it is nobody's right to out another person against their wishes as that is their decision alone to make regardless of how it changes their life. Even if doing so means your other ends up getting a better job for more pay and everyone that had a problem with him before suddenly thinks the world of him, even if out in the open has the effect of being better for him in every way possible outing him against his wishes is wrong.

It's wrong because it's his secret, just as yours is yours. But the responsible thing to do is honor that it is a decision that belongs to each of you and nobody else. I have witnessed all kinds of rationalizations people tell themselves to justify outing another as acceptable but never have I heard of one that was worthy of being an OK thing to do.

Everyone deserves their right to privacy, but not everyone respects that right which is exactly why it is so important to be wise in choosing who you surround yourself with. I understand hell hath no furry like a scorned lover, but that is not true because that furry is only exhibited by a person who does not understand the meaning of Love. Hell have no furry like that of a scorned student who failed the test of understanding the meaning of Love.

Between consenting adults, there is never a time that truth is OK to use as a weapon. All of this is likely a moot point because it sounds like you have chosen to honor your obligation of respect of the private lives of others (even when you are a part of their private life) So just to be clear, it is never a choice in terms of right and wrong when it comes to other people's privacy.

As far as dealing with the issues of honoring your obligation if they choose to remain private, rest assured that good relationships typically result in the secret being the fun part.

It makes your relationship exciting and can elevate the feel of passion. The hard part is doing the right thing when you feel you have been wronged, but I strongly feel that vengeance when it comes to these matters is always wrong. While many will claim that vengeance serves Justice, I have never personally witnessed a situation where that was the case.

I apologize for my solemn tone that may even be off topic, but I felt it is an important issue. And congratulations of being able to experience the joys you described, it sounds as if you know first hand the potential rewards that friendships can bring people in this life.

Last edited by Dirtclustit; 11-27-2012 at 12:29 PM.
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  #20  
Old 11-28-2012, 01:52 AM
1of4 1of4 is offline
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Thank you for that perspective. Absolutely! And of course I agree with you. The "choice" in this matter would never be made individually. Because we are now very publicly "linked" as best friends, one of us being "out" would by association out the rest. If any of us were to do that it would require all four of us to mutually agree.

And the truth is I made my choice when I chose to enter this relationship with him. I knew who he was and what he did for work then, and knew that being out would never be an option. Now I am growing and evolving from the challenges involved in honoring that choice. But I will always honor it.

Thanks again. That was an important point that needed to be made.
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