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  #11  
Old 02-17-2013, 01:52 AM
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Helo Helo is offline
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Originally Posted by understanding101 View Post
yeah, sorry. I got paranoid. I've been accused of being judgmental by said family member and I don't want to come across that way at all.

I really am at a loss of how to handle this situation, other than distancing myself from them. One person of the couple continues to tell my spouse and I details of his/her affairs, details of their arrangements, details of the arrangements our mutual acquaintances who also are open etc. All of which we find to be totally unnecessary, particularly because we aren't apart of that world. I find it offensive and off putting.

It's just so difficult to watch your family member and their spouse engage in emotional and sexual affairs, even though consensual. Not to mention be apart of their "lie" to other family members who aren't aware of their arrangement.
If you're more comfortable talking with someone in private, we have a PM system you are free to utilize that has a much shorter memory than the forum. I'd be happy to talk and I cant speak for anyone else but I'm sure there are others who would be as well.
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  #12  
Old 02-17-2013, 02:04 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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I think a lot depends on what is meant by them sharing "details". Are they bragging? Giving TMI? Or are they trying to share their life and the people who are important to them with their family?

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Originally Posted by understanding101 View Post
particularly because we aren't apart of that world.
I don't think you need to be poly or open yourself to be aware and accepting of others being poly or open. If they aren't trying to convince you that they're "right" (which could be happening, and MAN I hate that!) then I would turn the question around to, "Why wouldn't you want to know who your family member is dating?" Do you not want to know if it's a single family member as well? If so, then you'd at least have a consistent basis (imo) for asking for no info.
Quote:
I find it offensive and off putting.
I agree that you probably want to look at WHY this is offensive and off-putting to you. If you really truly aren't judging them (since you say you don't want to be judgmental) then why does it even matter to you what they're doing in their personal lives?

Quote:
It's just so difficult to watch your family member and their spouse engage in emotional and sexual affairs, even though consensual. Not to mention be apart of their "lie" to other family members who aren't aware of their arrangement.
Okay, making you be part of their lie when you aren't comfortable doing so isn't cool. But why is it difficult to watch? What are you afraid will happen? I know my mom fears my kids being hurt. But as I've told her, the odds that my husband or I would fall for someone else while in a closed relationship are not that much smaller than while in an open relationship. Ultimately, if our relationship is solid, it will continue, regardless of what other connections we make. And by being able to satisfy our curiosity and explore other connections, we reestablish day in and day out that we are with each other because we WANT to be, not because it's better than being alone.
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  #13  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:35 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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It's just so difficult to watch your family member and their spouse engage in emotional and sexual affairs, even though consensual. Not to mention be apart of their "lie" to other family members who aren't aware of their arrangement.
Would you feel the same way if your relative were in a same-sex ("gay") relationship and still "in the closet" from certain family members? Would you feel as though you were "part of their lie" if they trusted you enough to come out to you, yet requested that you not "out" them to other family members until they were ready? Would you tell them, "Fine, go be gay, I just don't want to hear about it or know about it, and I don't want you bringing any of your gay friends around the family"?

What is it that disturbs you about (presumably) mature, independent adults doing something that makes them happy and isn't harming anyone?
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  #14  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:47 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Good question Boring!
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  #15  
Old 02-17-2013, 04:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by understanding101 View Post
yeah, sorry. I got paranoid. I've been accused of being judgmental by said family member and I don't want to come across that way at all.

I really am at a loss of how to handle this situation, other than distancing myself from them. One person of the couple continues to tell my spouse and I details of his/her affairs, details of their arrangements, details of the arrangements our mutual acquaintances who also are open etc. All of which we find to be totally unnecessary, particularly because we aren't apart of that world. I find it offensive and off putting.
Talk to the people you're having difficulty with, that's a start. It may be that you are the only people they feel comfortable talking about that part of their lives with. Its very hard to have to hide parts of your life, especially parts as important as who you share it with, from other people and especially from your own family.

Being able to do that is a privallege that most people forget they have. Consider every time you talk to your family about a boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife. Every time you do that, someone who is poly or even just not your garden variety heto-mono has to decide if they want to open their mouths or not.

I absolutely wish I could be open and straight with my family because I love the people I share my life with and I hate having to lie about who they are and our relationship just to ensure I'm not restricted away from seeing my nieces and nephews. I have to decide if I want to be honest or effectively be exiled from my family.

Quote:
It's just so difficult to watch your family member and their spouse engage in emotional and sexual affairs, even though consensual. Not to mention be apart of their "lie" to other family members who aren't aware of their arrangement.
Not trying to bust your chops, but that's a little.... judgmental. You're holding them to the same standard that you have when they're not playing on the same field. Your thoughts and opinions are your own and that should be respected but if your thoughts are translating into actions, especially thoughts like that, expect people to get a little upset.
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  #16  
Old 02-17-2013, 05:22 PM
PaperGrace PaperGrace is offline
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@understanding101, I read your original post and checked back to see how the discussion was going. I am very interested in the topic of how poly can seem/feel to non-poly family members. It was brave of you to post and I applaud that you were open-minded enough to join a forum and be vulnerable about how you felt.

I realize the orginal post is gone, but I'm glad to topic is back. I've spent enough time being poly and among poly folks, that I can forget what it's like on the other side - where anything other than monogamous looks deviant and strange.

If you haven't moved to private message, can you explain why you feel intruded on? Is the one person who regularly brings up the topic relating their everyday life or pressuring you into agreeing with him/her? How do they interact with you or your family that you find crosses your boundaries?

I hope you continue the discussion as I think there is a lot to share on both sides.
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  #17  
Old 02-17-2013, 05:38 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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When I mention that we are non-monogamous to people who are in a monogamous committed relationship, they tend to get this expression of doubt on their faces, or even say words to the effect of, "*I* could NEVER do THAT. MY marriage would be OVER if THAT ever happened." Or, the converse reaction, which is, "OMG you are SO LUCKY! You can go out and get laid any time you want!"

So, I think one reason people have a problem with their family members' non-monogamy is that they see it is a threat to that which they hold near and dear. They don't care so much about strangers, but if it's your RELATIVE, this might be HEREDITARY, and they might GET it some day too.... much like some schools of thought say that homosexuality has a hereditary component, and when a child is gay or bi, phobic parents are afraid the kid "got it" from them (my mother said to me "I was attracted to the tennis instructor once a long time ago; maybe that's where YOU got it from") and they feel that it will jeopardize their world view, comfort zone, and everything they've worked toward building their lives as they now know.
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  #18  
Old 02-17-2013, 05:53 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I have experienced similar reactions Boring.
But-as an interesting aside,
3 of my siblings are actively non-monogamous and one would be if he wife weren't adamantly against it (while she continues having affairs that we all know about)...
Makes one wonder about the whole family thing.
We aren't biological and none of the parents are non-monogamous. But, there's some similarity there.
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Last edited by LovingRadiance; 02-17-2013 at 05:54 PM. Reason: spelling error
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  #19  
Old 02-18-2013, 01:59 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
I have experienced similar reactions Boring.
But-as an interesting aside,
3 of my siblings are actively non-monogamous and one would be if he wife weren't adamantly against it (while she continues having affairs that we all know about)...
Makes one wonder about the whole family thing.
We aren't biological and none of the parents are non-monogamous. But, there's some similarity there.


If my mother were still alive and complained about my open relatoionship, she'd get a lecture from ME about how wrong she is for being in a cheating dadt relationship with a married man and how right i am for being in an OPEN open relationship where nobody is sneaking around behind anyone else's back. I was not allowed to criticize or say anything negative about her relationship with her boyfriend (he was the one cheating on his wife who knew about it but looked the other way) but she was constantly deciding that other people's relationships weren't "serious" because of some criteria that didn't match her system.
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  #20  
Old 02-18-2013, 03:06 AM
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Vixtoria Vixtoria is offline
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There is also the idea that many monogamous people with no 'hands on experience' of non monogamy view things. I had a friend that was so relieved to meet me, simply because she and her boyfriend had been in an open relationship, and he cheated. All her friends just rolled their eyes, how can you cheat if it's open?? Well, being open, non monogamous, poly, doesn't mean there aren't agreed upon rules or boundaries! It's not a free for all! However, I think that's how a lot of people see it.

OP: Perhaps reading the blogs and other posts here might help you out. A vast majority of people here actually have relationships that have MORE work and boundaries and commitment just because to keep more than one relationship working takes more! You have to balance time, emotion, maturity, and many times finances, among not just you and a spouse (like in a marriage), but between you and him and her and so on. It doesn't mean unprotected sex free for alls or group sex at any opportunity! At least, not for everyone.
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