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  #1  
Old 03-20-2010, 04:33 AM
booklady78 booklady78 is offline
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Default Coming out didn't go well with one person

I've been so happy lately, being able to be open with more people. It really is a very liberating feeling, such a relief.

It didn't go well with one person though, my Dad. He assures me that he loves me and that he and I will 'always be ok' but we're not 'ok' at all.
Among the many things that he said when he found out was that he was disappointed and thought what my husband and I were doing was shameful. We shouldn't tell anyone else. What we are doing can't possibly last, it can't work long term. That my Step-Mom can be there for me to talk about it, but he and I don't need to bring it up again. That he will be there for me when it inevitably falls apart. That he never wants to 'meet the guy'.

I'm heartbroken.

My Dad and I were estranged for several years because of his refusal to accept my choices in life (previously my decision to work instead of go to school). My greatest fear has come true and we're right back where we were 13 years ago. I was paralyzed through most of this conversation with him, I talked a bit but felt there wasn't anything I could say that was going to change his mind. I just kept repeating variations of the fact that my husband and I were happy, our eyes were wide open, and that we were not ashamed of our partners or what we were doing. I wanted to tell people because it felt wrong to keep hiding something that was such a positive and healthy thing for us.

I'm terribly passive and have no idea what I'm going to do. I don't want anything to do with him right now, I don't want to talk to him or see him.
Can you love someone but not accept them? How can I have a relationship with my Dad knowing that he doesn't accept me or people I love?
I don't even know what to say to him. Because I can't have him believing that he and I are 'ok'.
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2010, 05:47 AM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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This is new to him Booklady. Redpepper's parents have really just come around it seems and it has been about 5 months..be patient

Take care
Mono
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:43 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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I know it sounds cliche, but I'd like to give your dad the benefit of the doubt that he's just acting how he feels is best for you, given his past experiences and society's brainwashing. It's understandable how, without understanding poly, he imagines his little girl is on a path to heartbreak.

I also think there's a difference between "accepting you" and "accepting your choices." If it was you that he truly didn't accept, he wouldn't be willing to talk to you and support you and be there for you down the road.

None of this is to say that he's right, just that he's not out to get you. I completely understand how his reaction is really hurtful and how you feel rejected. That's completely normal. His ignorance and unwillingness to learn about your choices is unfair.

Is the stepmom willing to see your side of things? Maybe you can establish a rapport about your lifestyle with her, and she can help your father understand?
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:14 PM
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TL4everu2 TL4everu2 is offline
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Wow...This is something I hadn't thought about when we got into this. We have dated a few other couples...and we remained exclusive with them, but never introduced them as our "other husband" or "boyfriend" or Girlfriend" or "other wife" or anything other than just "our friends". Maybe thats why the relationships didn't last. No idea how to handle this one. But it sure gives me food for thought. Thank you.
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:49 AM
Quath Quath is offline
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This kind of reaction is very common for gay people coming out of the closet. I agree that you should give it some time. Maybe bring it back up in a few months. There are logical and emotional arguments that can be used. But ultimately, I think if you are happy in your relationships then that may be the biggest thing that could get him to look through a new perspective.
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:28 AM
korindino korindino is offline
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I, sadly, have to refuse to tell my parents about my relationship. I came out to my mother about being bisexual three years ago and she has yet to accept the fact, so this is right out.

I keep slipping around coworkers though, and then they start asking questions. I have a very good sense that no one I work with would accept or understand it either.

I've found that the best way to go about telling people is this: talk about poly theoretically, get a read on them, and if they seem laid-back enough, press forward. Don't bother getting the close-minded ones that directly involved with your life.

I know that this doesn't help with the situation at hand. I wish I knew what to say. It's a tough place to be in, where you know one of the people who should love you unconditionally, doesn't. As for my mom, I do everything I can to scandalize her about my sexuality. The idea is that one of these days, she'll be desensitized enough to accept it. Again, this probably isn't the best example, because my mom isn't a normal human being. But eh, you do what you can.
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:08 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booklady78 View Post
I've been so happy lately, being able to be open with more people. It really is a very liberating feeling, such a relief.
That's SO awesome Booklady ! It does have a liberating feeling. MAybe someday everyone will have that option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by booklady78 View Post
It didn't go well with one person though, my Dad. He assures me that he loves me and that he and I will 'always be ok' but we're not 'ok' at all.
Among the many things that he said when he found out was that he was disappointed and thought what my husband and I were doing was shameful. We shouldn't tell anyone else. What we are doing can't possibly last, it can't work long term. That my Step-Mom can be there for me to talk about it, but he and I don't need to bring it up again.
Well- remember - this is a different generation, a different culture.
And also remember that you can't "teach" anyone anything - you can only provide an "opportunity" for learning.
To use an old cliche, - the proof is in the pudding. And this is something he may relate better to. Given time and the fact that your life is expanding in a positive direction, he will have little choice but to accept the facts. You (and your tribe) are happy & healthy. Many others are not.
But the pressure is on YOU to make sure that's the case


Quote:
Originally Posted by booklady78 View Post
I'm terribly passive and have no idea what I'm going to do. I don't want anything to do with him right now, I don't want to talk to him or see him.
Awww - now is this exhibiting "love" ? Is this the example you want to offer to illustrate all your newfound "wisdom" ? Think about it

Quote:
Originally Posted by booklady78 View Post
Can you love someone but not accept them? How can I have a relationship with my Dad knowing that he doesn't accept me or people I love?
Yes - you absolutely CAN love someone - but not the choices they make. In fact, maybe that's the biggest component of love. It's something we choose to give without expectations or conditions - right ?

How ?
By embracing the FACT that you are an adult. You don't need anyone's "acceptance" to live the life that you believe in and makes you happy & healthy.
Relate with your Dad the way you WANT your relationship to be with him. As if it's already that way ! It's pretty natural to pull away when things get rocky but that method doesn't work. Won't work in your poly relationships either ! A relationship is a relationship in may ways and the same things that make them strong are universal.

GS
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:35 PM
Catichka Catichka is offline
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We did not even realise we were hiding it from our parents until one day my father figured it out. the next day he excommunicated me. What followed was a stream of the most abusive and most hurtful things i have ever read in my life, aimed directly at me from my own father.

A few months later, my cousin flipped out on ice and stabbed her boyfriend. At her trial, dad recalled to me how my auntie, her mother, stood there and supported her, and realised there was simply nothing she could do for her anymore. It didnt stop her loving her, but there are times that parents just need to let their children make their own mistakes and come back to the family when they are ready.

THIS he compared directly back to me and poly. He will always love me, but it seems he just cant help me anymore. Cause no matter how you look at it, in his eyes, poly is wrong, its a distortion of truth and grace, and he infact believes that my husband and my partner cannot possibly respect me or love me and treat me this way. He also no longer recognises my marriage.

I dont expect this situation to calm down any time soon. i know its going to take a lot of time. but through this, i have lost a family that i was once exceptionally close to.

I feel your pain. I have no advise, i dont think anything can fix it when it gets to this stage. If he dosent want to talk about it,then dont talk about it. let him see you happy, to give him some data that disproves his own fears of your situation.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:26 AM
booklady78 booklady78 is offline
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Thank you all for your words of wisdom and sharing your experiences.
After my father and I were estranged several years ago, for over 2 years, we never really resolved what had caused us to not speak to each other. We just kinda picked up where we left off. I was also no longer an unsure 18 year old teenager when we started speaking again. I was a 21 year old adult, working and supporting myself. There were no 'questionable choices' for him to disapprove of.
My Step Mom was originally very intrigued by the idea and asked lots of questions and really wanted to meet my bf. My Dad's statement of 'never wanting to meet the guy' included her as well so he has put his foot down and forbid her to meet him.
I can't really avoid seeing my Dad, I just have no idea what to say to him when I do, which is causing my anxiety. Do I just pretend nothing has changed? He was adamant that he didn't want to hear anything more on the subject so I can't even bring up my bf's name. I have to hide it and I'm really not comfortable doing that now, not after I've gone through this emotional rollercoaster and personal reflection to decide to be open about it.
And then there's my husband. He doesn't have a close bond with my family, he's just angry and offended by many of the things my father said. He's not sure how he can be in the same room as my father now either.
I think that although my Dad said he didn't want to talk about it anymore, I need to have one more conversation about it. I need to give both of us some time, I agree with everyone on that point. I just need to find the words. I think he needs to know how much his judgement hurt, because I didn't express that to him. He's used to me being quiet and just not debating with him. I need him to know that me being poly is not a phase that's going to go away. I need him to know that I love my bf and that I'm not just fooling around. I have found a loving and supportive partner in him. And my marriage is not in danger of failing because of this choice my husband and I have made.
My Dad said 'Time will tell' but I'm not going to hold my breath while he dictates the terms of his possible acceptance.
You are right Grounded Spirit, I agree with what you said about me being an adult that doesn't have to rely on his acceptance.
This is just so hard, I lost my Dad once from my life and it was so hard. I'm reluctant to take that risk again.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:34 AM
Catichka Catichka is offline
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While he is still this angry, and this strong headed on the issue, the best thing to do is to let it go. Yes, hes said hurtful things, but more then anything else you *have* to be the bigger person here and let him vent and try not to get too upset.

Prove to him that its a safe topic by being happy in your choices and being happy with your life. If he sees you happy its pretty much the only thing that will counter the bullshit thats going through his head. This is very very difficult, but trying to talk to him now, more will probably only result in more hurtful things being said to you by him. Worse, it might result in him or you making an emotionally charged decision based on the forced conversation that will make things much worse between you both. he dosent want to talk about it: give him that space. then see what happens in a few months.

As for forbidding your step mother to mee the bf: she probably has to stand by him or face punishment / wrath from your father as well, if hes anything like my dad. But at some point she will make her own decision about that. id ask her what to do about it, she probably knows him and his reactions better. But anything more coming from you only risks inflaming the situation further.

Let some of the anger die down. try and just let him see you be happy, and see if its possible to go near it again at a later date. Dont make any rash decisions >< i know how much it hurts. Im sorry you have to go through this.
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