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Old 05-01-2010, 11:56 PM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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So, last night, dh was out having dinner and drinks with a local poly vee group. We agreed that it made sense for my bf to come over with the understanding that we didn't have sex in our house.

Enter my mother. We were delusional enough to build a house behind hers (don't ask!, like I said delusional). Well, my bf came over when it was still light--my mother was supposed to be out. I had to run out of the house to intercept him before he just walked up the driveway (how freaking ridiculous is that?). Correction, I felt like I had to intercept him.

Anyhoo, I ended up sneaking him in the house somewhat successfully, but my son saw him and yelled out his name. I asked him if he could please not mention it to Nana. I specifically told him that if she asked, that telling her was totally okay (not gonna get my kid to lie for me to protect us from my crazy mother). Spoken by a therapist who just got out of a psych hospital a few months ago (so excuse the flippant use of the term, but it's a coping mechanism for me).

So, she finds out (still don't have the whole picture, but no matter). She barges into my house w/o even knocking. I was sitting on the couch snuggling with R. I had taken off my pants b/c I was so hot after literally running to catch him b4 my mother saw him.

She starts her usual screaming routine. I calmly tell her that my dh knows that he is there and offer to call him so that she can hear that from him (mistake, but...). He's at a bar and doesn't hear the call and she then accuses me of knowing that he wouldn't answer. I give up then and escort her to the door. She yells some parting shots at "George" (hilarious b/c that's what she called him even though that's not his name).

Both of us were very upset. My dh called her a couple of hours and by that time she was much calmer. She said something to the effect of "so I get that you know that your wife is with another man and are ok with it". He just said "yes" (bless his heart, since he's not totally ok with it). She seemed fine. Nothing is ever as it seems with my mother.

Today, she confronts me and starts going off about the damage I'm doing to my children and how she's torn as to whether she should watch them to protect them from the horrors of their mother being with a loving, caring man or not b/c she can't condone it. She's so manipulative.

Please understand that this woman was at least indirectly responsible for a great deal of my own abuse and is now what I consider to be emotionally abusive to me.

I am concerned about how to handle the children's curiosity in the future, but for now, I am quite confident that they all see him as a friend and do not have concerns. In fact, my oldest adores him.

Any suggestions on how to handle this with my mother? I tend to try to explain myself and I just think that inadvertently gives her the idea that she has the right to intervene. And don't think I won't have to restrain myself from pointing out what I went through as a kid. I totally get that polyamory is outside most people's box, but bottom line is that it is none of her business.

OH, she tried claiming that the kids were so worried about getting in trouble, and the truth is, if she could keep out of it, they wouldn't have been upset at all. She accused me of lying today, so I thought about telling her that I have absolutely no ethical dilemma with lying to protect myself or my family.

Thoughts? My anxiety is pretty through the roof.
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:02 AM
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vandalin vandalin is offline
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Number 1: Lock your doors. You may be in a safe neighborhood or had some other reason for it to be ok (I grew up without needing to lock our door unless no one was home) but if you were already worried about what your mother might do, yeah... time to start locking.

Number 2: Chances are that she saw you running out to intercept him and sneak him in. That in itself looks guilty. Greeting him at the door as a friend would definitly have been the better way to go.

ok, sorry for the "hindsight" stuff, but had to point that out for future reference.

I'm glad that you are ablt to admit and accept that your mom was and currently is trying to continue her abusive behavior. That is a great beginning, and keeping that in mind can help you deal with her in the future. Next step is to talk to your kids. I don't recall seeing how old they were, but tell them the age appropriate truth, without the more personal details. "He (bf) is a very close friend and your mother (nana) does not understand or like the relationship. It may be best not to discuss it with her (nana) because it will only upset her." Nothing false there. And that if they have any questions, just ask you and you will sit and talk to them about it.

As for your mother. I have not had to deal with mine (as my own relationship ended before it became an issue) but I think the best route is to treat this like any other decision you may have made in your adult life. Tell her, in as much detail as you are comfortable with, about your relationship and that her approval is not required nor requested. If she will not under any circumstances accept that you are an adult making adult decisions with the consent of your DH and with the welfare of your children in mind, then yes, it is ok to tell her it is none of her business and to butt out.

Good luck and I hope others have better, hopefully firsthand advice for you.
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Old 05-02-2010, 04:23 AM
Quath Quath is offline
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Yeah, the best hindsight observation was about building your house behind your mother.

There are several approaches you can take. One is to tell her that this is the way it is. If she is going to be judgemental, then stay at home.

Another is a more polite version of the first. Tell her that you know it is a shock to her like the stuff her generation did was a shock to her parent's generation. Ask if she really wants to talk and understand it or does she want to just condemn it blindly. Let her know that you are explaining it to help her out -- you are not looking to be talked out of it. Then you can give her the pro-poly speech if she agrees.

Another is to talk to her with you and dh present. Another is to give her some time to adjust before you talk.

As for the kids, that is tricky. There have been legal challenges in the past where grandparents have kids taken away from nonmonogamous families. However, I think they were all based on the people all living together. If you think your mother could do that, you may want to handle it differently.

To put her mind at ease, just tell her that this doesn't affect the kids except they probably get more adults in their life. Monogamnous parents don't fill their kids in on what they do in their bedroom, so why expect it from nonmonogamous parents. As long as people don't freak out around the kids, they won't see anything wrong. As they get older, they will notice it is unusual, but what family is really the norm anymore?
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:20 AM
Taamar Taamar is offline
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My mother had some issues, but got over them; it was my aunt who flipped her biscuits. The best I was ever able to manage was to take a deep breath, smile, say 'This topic is not open for discussion', and walk away. Repeat every time she brings it up. You don't really need her approval, but you do have the right to be treated with respect.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:20 AM
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I hear ya about building a house too close. Mine lives five houses down. It seemed like a great idea when my boy was a baby,,,, now it's just... well, awkward to say the least.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:39 AM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vandalin View Post
Number 1: Lock your doors. You may be in a safe neighborhood or had some other reason for it to be ok (I grew up without needing to lock our door unless no one was home) but if you were already worried about what your mother might do, yeah... time to start locking.
Oh absolutely. I actually thought that I had!

Quote:
Number 2: Chances are that she saw you running out to intercept him and sneak him in. That in itself looks guilty. Greeting him at the door as a friend would definitly have been the better way to go.
I'm quite certain that she did not see me. Under normal circumstances, I would completely agree with you that making it nbd would have been ideal. But she would have done the exact same thing if she had seen him come to the door. So we were hoping to avoid it, knowing full well that it was still possible. NOt sure if I shared that she knew about the affair and has called my husband an idiot multiple times for "allowing" me to continue even a friendship with my bf. And I put allowing in quotes b/c my decisions are mine, but I love and respect my husband immensely and would seriously take into consideration his concerns.


Quote:
I'm glad that you are ablt to admit and accept that your mom was and currently is trying to continue her abusive behavior. That is a great beginning, and keeping that in mind can help you deal with her in the future. Next step is to talk to your kids. I don't recall seeing how old they were, but tell them the age appropriate truth, without the more personal details. "He (bf) is a very close friend and your mother (nana) does not understand or like the relationship. It may be best not to discuss it with her (nana) because it will only upset her." Nothing false there. And that if they have any questions, just ask you and you will sit and talk to them about it.

Well this is very re-assuring, as this is what I said to them almost verbatim. Oh, and they are 9, 7 and 4. I didn't so much talk to the 4 yr old, just introduced him to R and went upstairs to read him stories. I did offer for us to read them downstairs with R, but the boy chose upstairs.

They know that my mother is impulsive and volatile, but not to them and they absolutely adore her.


Quote:
As for your mother. I have not had to deal with mine (as my own relationship ended before it became an issue) but I think the best route is to treat this like any other decision you may have made in your adult life. Tell her, in as much detail as you are comfortable with, about your relationship and that her approval is not required nor requested. If she will not under any circumstances accept that you are an adult making adult decisions with the consent of your DH and with the welfare of your children in mind, then yes, it is ok to tell her it is none of her business and to butt out.
This is my plan. Dh and I decided that we will set groundrules from the outset--

If her plan is to be accusatory about my character, my parenting, etc., or to convince us that we are "wrong", then there is no point in having the discussion. We shall see how it goes.

Thanks for helping me think this out...I tend to panic a bit and it's hard to think in that state.


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Originally Posted by Quath View Post
Yeah, the best hindsight observation was about building your house behind your mother.
Oh yeah. We have frequent convos about what we were thinking. Her "help" with the kids is so not worth the rest of the package. Live and learn. We do hope to move someday, but moving is very daunting at this point.

Quote:
There are several approaches you can take. One is to tell her that this is the way it is. If she is going to be judgemental, then stay at home.

Another is a more polite version of the first. Tell her that you know it is a shock to her like the stuff her generation did was a shock to her parent's generation. Ask if she really wants to talk and understand it or does she want to just condemn it blindly. Let her know that you are explaining it to help her out -- you are not looking to be talked out of it. Then you can give her the pro-poly speech if she agrees.
I had thought about this approach, but it got lost in the recesses of my scattered mind, so thank you. Not sure I have a solid pro-poly speech to give, but I thought it best to just keep it simple; that my dh and I recognize that my relationship with my bf has a lot to offer both of us.

Quote:
Another is to talk to her with you and dh present. Another is to give her some time to adjust before you talk.
Oh, he'll be present for sure. I'm hoping that presenting a unified front will be a good thing. But I have no delusions of being respected or even heard. She requested a talk, so though in many ways I'd prefer to put it off, I feel it is probably best to talk today. Fingers crossed!

Quote:
As for the kids, that is tricky. There have been legal challenges in the past where grandparents have kids taken away from nonmonogamous families. However, I think they were all based on the people all living together. If you think your mother could do that, you may want to handle it differently.
Yeah, having worked indirectly with CPS/DSS, I know how random they can be. When I was homeschooling (before my hospitalization), I made damn sure to have my ducks in a row to avoid any scrutiny. I think my mother *could* do that, but it is very unlikely. She is already raising my sister's dd and I doubt she would pursue it for that reason. Also, she is really angry with the authority/judicial system in our county for how my sister was treated, so I think she would stay as far away from that as possible. But don't think I don't know that it is possible.

Quote:
To put her mind at ease, just tell her that this doesn't affect the kids except they probably get more adults in their life. Monogamnous parents don't fill their kids in on what they do in their bedroom, so why expect it from nonmonogamous parents. As long as people don't freak out around the kids, they won't see anything wrong. As they get older, they will notice it is unusual, but what family is really the norm anymore?
My thoughts exactly, but thanks for the articulation! I am a firm believer that there is no "normal" and that we all benefit from diversity. My children are kind and loving and understand as best they can that diversity is a wonderful or at least "normal" thing. I hate the word normal, can you tell? ;-) Thanks so much!!!! I feel more and more confident, though still have a pit in my stomach

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Originally Posted by Taamar View Post
My mother had some issues, but got over them; it was my aunt who flipped her biscuits. The best I was ever able to manage was to take a deep breath, smile, say 'This topic is not open for discussion', and walk away. Repeat every time she brings it up. You don't really need her approval, but you do have the right to be treated with respect.
Very well said. ITA. Thank you!

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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I hear ya about building a house too close. Mine lives five houses down. It seemed like a great idea when my boy was a baby,,,, now it's just... well, awkward to say the least.
Yeah, it seemed like a phenomenal idea, and in truth, I am happy that my kids know and love their grandparents. I never knew mine and what I did know was not pleasant. I'm more than willing to fall on my sword and deal with the emotional warfare on ocassion, but I do not want it negatively affecting my kids.

Oh, and fwiw, I presented the option to my dd to go to lunch with my bf as my ds had, and she was very open to it. Bf gets overwhelmed by people (social anxiety disorder), so I'm taking the one kid at a time approach. My DS2 will be a harder sell methinks b/c he saw my staying over at R's during my outpatient hospitalization as R taking me away from him and he's also very in tune with dh, who has struggled with anger toward R. So I imagine this has had an impact on the little guy.

Last edited by NeonKaos; 05-02-2010 at 02:02 PM. Reason: merge posts
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:17 PM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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THIS part concerns me. If he's NOT really "ok" with it, then why are you doing it? This is something that my wife and I would call "cheating". If one part of a couple is not ok with something, then it is cheating IMO.


In response to this, I asked my dh what he thought and he said:

"it's a work in progress, we are working towards that. And it's complete informed consent." So I feel it is NOT cheating.

To me, it's a process. I have been completely honest with him, respected any boundaries he has set (e.g. no sex in our house) and have told him multiple times that if he is not comfortable with it continuing, bf and I will stop the sexual part of our relationship.

He is also looking into the possibility of dating someone, although he is ambivalent. I support him where he is at.

Quote:
Not my relationship. Apparently it works for you two....Or not? Trust me, if he is not ok with it, it will blow up in a big way and your mother will be the least of your concerns.
Agreed. I'm not sure it completely works for my husband, but we have frequent conversations where we talk openly about our feelings and check-in. It's open and honest. I can't think that I'm the only one here whose spouse is/was not 100% comfortable at first.

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My wife and I just came out to our kids about a week ago. our kids are 18 and 13. We have not told our parents yet. I fully suspect they would all be fine with it though. All are well grounded and open and realize that it is ultimately OUR relationship....Not theirs.
That's wonderful. I hope to be able to offer my kids this...certainly trusting them to make their own choices even if they aren't ones that I would make.

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With your mother, I would explain to her that you are an adult....Your hubby is an adult....and your bf is an adult.....and you are all consenting (Although this is not what you stated above by saying that your hubby is NOT totally "ok" with it), so it is your decision as adults to make. If she doesn't like it, she can leave you alone.
Yes, and yes I do consider him consenting as I stated above. Thanks for the thoughts...
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:27 PM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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I came out to my parents last fall as you may of may not know. It's right here...

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showt...pepper+needing

My mum seems to be in protection mode now.. she gave me a pep talk yesterday before Nerdist and I went to a wedding where some people know we have Mono in our lives... it was about not letting other peoples judgments keep me from being me. HA! I had to laugh, she was/is the biggest judge. I'm not complaining, I love that she has found a way to connect with me in her protective mother role... I prefer that than what we had.

I am not a big fan of telling people it isn't their business when they ask me questions or even when they are judging me or being disrespectful. In keeping with good communication (at least by my standard) I much more apt to tell them how their words make me feel, ie. disrespected. If I want people to talk to me in a certain way then I believe I need to talk to them in the way I want to be talked to. I know I would feel very disappointed and hurt if someone told me that something isn't open to discussion. how does anyone move forward from that?! I would prefer hearing, "I am feeling threatened and hurt by your words, I am not interested in talking with you about this until I hear words that don't make me feel threatened. If you want to talk to me differently then let me know." Or "I am not interested in talking about this right now, please ask me later or we can make a time to talk, but right now doesn't work for me."
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Last edited by redpepper; 05-02-2010 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:58 PM
Taamar Taamar is offline
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I know I would feel very disappointed and hurt if someone told me that something isn't open to discussion. how does anyone move forward from that?!
I see your point, and I would absolutely handle it differently if the person had a habit of respect and some interest in the situation.

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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I would prefer hearing, "I am feeling threatened and hurt by your words, I am not interested in talking with you about this until I hear words that don't make me feel threatened. If you want to talk to me differently then let me know." Or "I am not interested in talking about this right now, please ask me later or we can make a time to talk, but right now doesn't work for me."
Generally, if the person is capable of discussing it in a non-threatening manner the 'not for discussion' cock-block isn't necessary. Yes, one should always try to explain and come to accord first, but some people won't accept any alteration to their points of view, and with those people you DO have to simply walk away. I should have been more clear that the shut-down is a last resort, not an opening salvo.

As I mentioned, my mother eventually came around. My aunt never will because her viewpoint is "Logic doesn't matter, God says it's wrong and you're going to hell, and it's my responsibility to turn you from your sinful ways" There is no possibility of respectful non-threatening conversation there!
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:19 PM
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My aunt never will because her viewpoint is "Logic doesn't matter, God says it's wrong and you're going to hell, and it's my responsibility to turn you from your sinful ways" There is no possibility of respectful non-threatening conversation there!
Essentially she blocked you first then it seems like. She wasn't open to your point of view in terms of respecting your differences. It's the same thing as her saying, "This is not open for discussion." There is not much one can do about that except be available if they ever change their minds.... thanks for pointing out what this feels like from the other side of someone saying something isn't open for discussion.

in my experience it usually means watching them become bitter, unhappy, depressed and blaming it on everyone else around them. Very sad, but, their own chose. unfortunately they usually don't see that... at least from what I have seen.
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