Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-13-2013, 06:19 AM
BoyF BoyF is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NJ
Posts: 9
Default Very stressed about Family

I'm the boy in Rhaenes's relationship if anybody has read her introduce me section. I thought i would add my thoughts and they mainly consist with dealing with my family at some point down the road. I realize that our poly relationship is new and i shouldnt worry about it just yet, and i intend not to, i intend to just live and let live but i dont feel i can ignore my family forever if i want to move in one day with my partners.

I feel i have a very good inkling as to how my family (primarily my oldest brother and mother, as my parents are divorced me dad doesnt really know much about my personal life) will react. For the last few years while i was still monogamous with my girlfriend they tended to poke fun at my relationship at every opportunity, it was fine at first but it almost became nonstop harassment. I would come home for a break from college and every single thing they mentioned was either ridicule about something i hadnt done (finding a job, or keeping in contact enough) but mainly about how i was "taking myself too seriously" in my relationship and it was almost like i was destined to fail and my whole life is a big joke to them. And if i tried to defend myself it would just go in one ear and out the other and they wouldnt even be able to see my side of the story, and would straight up think i was lying to them! They just think that everything i tell them isnt true, like im a pathological liar of sorts. My brother makes genuinely hurtful jokes about my relationship and my mother verges on verbal harassment when i have done nothing to provoke her (i think she does it because she has no outlet because my father left so i've become the scapegoat) but that doesnt mean it hurts any less. I dread coming home from school because of all this, and obviously if they found out about this i cannot imagine what they might think.

Top of the list being, i'm cheating on my girlfriend with another woman and i cant possibly love two women and im just like my asshole father who cheated etc. etc. And if my girlfriend tries to explain how loving and open we have been and communicating about everything and its not an affair in the slightest and i really do love two people, they think i probably brainwashed her or something similar. My brother is very liberal and to a lesser degree my mother but when it comes to relationships they're very pessimistic and i think this is too far fetched for them to ever believe/accept.

What advice can you give to me so that my family doesn't entrench their false mistrust of me further?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-13-2013, 08:40 AM
NovemberRain's Avatar
NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 695
Default

Sorry, BoyF, that sucks, family like that.

I'm having a little trouble understanding why you would care what such people think of you? Do either of your girlfriends have families you could adopt? I absolutely adore CBFs family, and they have claimed me, regardless of whether or not I'm his girlfriend (which I am no longer). I love FBF's mom too, though she's on another continent and I don't know her as well. What I find amusing, tho, is that CBF loves my family; we are each not so crazy about our own families.

Anyhow, if my family treated me as badly as yours seem to do, I would quit them and quick. Now, perhaps they're putting you through school and you have some obligation. In that case, I don't think you need to say anything to them about poly.

In fact, if they're that obnoxious, I would recommend against saying anything. If they always think you're lying, why waste your breath?

For reference, I know what I'm advising isn't easy. I cut my mother out of my life for five years (maybe it was longer) because she was intolerable. I was pushed by my dad (they were long divorced) and my therapist to speak to her again; and after I did, they both apologize for pushing me to it. I'm glad I did the (massive) work to make myself okay, and to make it okay for me to talk to her. But it was much more simple to cut her out (after I did it, it was)(it was really hard to do it at first).

Just because people are related by 'blood,' does not absolve them of behaving like decent human beings. If people aren't decent, you have no obligation to keep them in your life.
__________________
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own...
Robert A. Heinlein

Me: female, bi, (formerly hinge of a vee)
with FirstBoyFriend (FBF)(moderately long-distance)
and no longer with CurrentBoyFriend (CBF)(who lives in the apartment building next door)
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-13-2013, 09:32 AM
Helo's Avatar
Helo Helo is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: California
Posts: 279
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyF View Post
And if i tried to defend myself it would just go in one ear and out the other and they wouldnt even be able to see my side of the story, and would straight up think i was lying to them! They just think that everything i tell them isnt true, like im a pathological liar of sorts. My brother makes genuinely hurtful jokes about my relationship and my mother verges on verbal harassment when i have done nothing to provoke her (i think she does it because she has no outlet because my father left so i've become the scapegoat) but that doesnt mean it hurts any less.


But srsly, you cannot please all people all the time. I'm not sure if you're dealing with people who have unsettlingly poor communication skills or if they're just razzing you and just not aware that they're pushing it too far.

I would worry less about what they'll say about your relationship and worry more about how they talk to you in general. If they feel like you're easy to walk over, they will. Planting the flag with a distinct and unmistakable "this ends, now" sounds necessary. That may bring them around to realizing they're overstepping. If not, then its likely that very little else you can do or say is going to have any real effect.

In that instance, efforts should be made to insulate yourself and ignore the comments. There are some people that are beyond reaching and there's no reason to engage in such a Sisyphean task.
__________________
=DISCLAIMER=
I am as direct as a T-Rex with 'roid rage and about as subtle. It isn't intended to cause upset, I just prefer to talk plain. There are plenty of other people here who do the nice, polite thing much better than I can. I'm what you'd call a "problem dinner guest."
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-13-2013, 05:26 PM
SNeacail's Avatar
SNeacail SNeacail is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Near Disneyland
Posts: 1,525
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyF View Post
I would come home for a break from college and every single thing they mentioned was either ridicule about something i hadnt done (finding a job, or keeping in contact enough)
Did you basically ignore them while you were away? Speaking as a mom, this is very important, and can be very hurtful to not hear from your kid. Even just a 5 minute phone call at least once a week can help.

Quote:
but mainly about how i was "taking myself too seriously"
Do you?

I realize that these criticisms can be hard to live with, but do they have some truth? I don't even want to remember how seriously I took myself when I was in my early 20's , I don't know how anyone could stand to live with me.

Quote:
they think i probably brainwashed her or something similar.

Yeah, they make us take "Brainwashing 101" in school. Apparently it works great!


Dealing with blood family can be extremely painful. They tend to criticize freely and offer praise sparingly and get very offended when our morals, politics or religious views differ from their own. It's up to us to learn how to just say "STOP! You have gone too far", then walk away.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-13-2013, 06:05 PM
StudentofLife's Avatar
StudentofLife StudentofLife is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 117
Default

I can only offer you the advice I have been given on another forum, that one dealing with being Children of Hoarders.

In dysfunctional families it is common for one person to be, as you said, the scapegoat. This can permit the other members to shove their misery off onto you, and thus avoid the discomfort/anxiety they would feel if they looked hard at themselves.

Communication with people like that is never pleasant, and it rarely improves, because they rarely change. As the posters above have noted, setting your boundaries is vital. They are all you have to protect yourself.

I have been told over and over on this other forum to embrace the Black Hat. Since they will label you the villain no matter what you actually do or say, claim the title, wear it with pride, twirl your moustaches, tie people to railroad tracks. You know the truth of who you are, those non-dysfunctional people who love you know the truth about you. Sadly, your biological family, unless they seriously work on themselves, never will. You can break your heart and lose your mind beating against the wall of their mental issues.

I feel for you, and wish you the very best.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-13-2013, 06:33 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Nowhere
Posts: 1,647
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyF View Post
What advice can you give to me so that my family doesn't entrench their false mistrust of me further?
Finish school. Get a job. Move out. Do your thing. Let them spin in their vortex of false mistrust. You can either try to please them or please yourself. You can't force them to think or feel good things about anything.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-13-2013, 06:38 PM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,033
Default

When I created my chosen family, we became the primary family in our life. Parents and siblings at that point became "extended family".

Extended family has the PRIVILEGE of maintaining contact based upon their being capable of treating each of us with respect. Whilst we except that they may have differing opinions and may not even like all of us-they are required to treat ALL of us with respect or they are NOT welcome. Period.

The truth is-this has been a healthy and wonderful boundary for us and in the intervening years since it was begun (that was 21 years ago), we have extended it to ANYONE who wants to be involved in our life must treat all of us with respect.

The reality is-that in this world there are SO MANY variables in people (variables=details that could be different). There is no need for us to all try to be the same-not even with "family". What is important is that we learn from mistakes and move on in healthy relationships.
Your childhood family sounds dysfunctional-specifically not understanding that the right to respect from others is an acceptable boundary. That means you (having grown up in that family) need to lay down the law that this is a boundary for you and you won't socialize with people who can't treat you AND YOUR LOVED ONES with basic respect.

You will find that it makes your future much more enjoyable than the past.
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-13-2013, 11:56 PM
BoyF BoyF is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NJ
Posts: 9
Default

Thank you all for responding, i think i wrote that post while i was fairly upset, so i may have been slightly confusing after rereading it. I think what i need to do is just not cause any more trauma when i'm home by revealing this to them, and for the time being just take the punches. Finish out school, move away and find work and then once i know ive become financially independent and feel they cant really ridicule me then maybe i'll feel strong enough to say that they need to treat me with respect if they still want to interact with me. Because it feels at this point like if i said that they would probably laugh at my face and tell me how ungrateful i am because i still rely on them.

But to answer why i dont really feel inclined to call my mom that often is because when i do call she never seems happy to hear me, she just rattles off these questions about school work and whether im doing it and what my grades are. She proceeds to make some kind of extended rant about how i'm no good at x,y,z and then i sit there and just ask myself how she can make the few phone calls so unpleasant. If i were her i would be happy to hear about that my son is loving his classes etc. and not take it as an opportunity to ridicule him.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-14-2013, 12:19 AM
Rhaenes Rhaenes is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Northeast US
Posts: 15
Default

I think it should be mentioned that BoyF's mother would have an extra sensitivity to learning we are poly; as BoyF's father cheater on her two times, with the second leading to a divorce. She's a very traditional person who is extremely rooted in her christian faith, and while it would certainly be easy to simply cut her our of the equation, BoyF and I:

1) Are pretty close to his brothers and their girlfriends, who are really awesome to be around when the mom isn't there feeding the flames, so we wouldn't want to lose them, and
2) Feel a certain amount of pity for mom. She's a very judgmental person by nature, which is inexcusable, but she was also raised that extremely conservative way, so it's not entirely her fault.

She's had her trust broken multiple times, so she's extra sensitive, and because of the situation with his dad is doubly sensitive to anything that could, in the slightest, resemble cheating - so there is no doubt as to how she would interpret the situation. However, I think she lashes out so much because she's an extremely bitter and lonely person, having lost her life companion right as her two older sons left for college, and she put a lot of very grown-up responsibilities on BoyF when he was a very young teenager. (This definitely contributes to the reluctance on BoyF's side to call her... he isn't exaggerating when he says that the first things out of her mouth, even when he calls her, are some kind of nagging, belittling, or guilt-tripping. She will complain to him about things his father hasn't done, about her insurance being confusing, about a problem with her toilets... just absurd things that are neither his responsibility or within the realm of things he could actually help her with. She's very intimidating and often unpleasant to speak with.) She has good days, and on those days she's great to be around... and I feel bad for her, knowing everything she's been though. I still don't think it excuses the way she treats BoyF, but I also wonder sometimes if she knows any better.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-14-2013, 12:24 AM
BoyF BoyF is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NJ
Posts: 9
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhaenes View Post
I think it should be mentioned that BoyF's mother would have an extra sensitivity to learning we are poly; as BoyF's father cheater on her two times, with the second leading to a divorce. She's a very traditional person who is extremely rooted in her christian faith, and while it would certainly be easy to simply cut her our of the equation, BoyF and I:

1) Are pretty close to his brothers and their girlfriends, who are really awesome to be around when the mom isn't there feeding the flames, so we wouldn't want to lose them, and
2) Feel a certain amount of pity for mom. She's a very judgmental person by nature, which is inexcusable, but she was also raised that extremely conservative way, so it's not entirely her fault.

She's had her trust broken multiple times, so she's extra sensitive, and because of the situation with his dad is doubly sensitive to anything that could, in the slightest, resemble cheating - so there is no doubt as to how she would interpret the situation. However, I think she lashes out so much because she's an extremely bitter and lonely person, having lost her life companion right as her two older sons left for college, and she put a lot of very grown-up responsibilities on BoyF when he was a very young teenager. (This definitely contributes to the reluctance on BoyF's side to call her... he isn't exaggerating when he says that the first things out of her mouth, even when he calls her, are some kind of nagging, belittling, or guilt-tripping. She will complain to him about things his father hasn't done, about her insurance being confusing, about a problem with her toilets... just absurd things that are neither his responsibility or within the realm of things he could actually help her with. She's very intimidating and often unpleasant to speak with.) She has good days, and on those days she's great to be around... and I feel bad for her, knowing everything she's been though. I still don't think it excuses the way she treats BoyF, but I also wonder sometimes if she knows any better.
She has always been better at explaining what i'm feeling than i have
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:32 PM.