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  #11  
Old 09-12-2010, 08:29 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Sometimes, people are more tolerant when it's people they know.
I'm not saying it's always the case, but sometimes when talking about generalities, they're quick to be harsh, but if they see that people they know and respect are like that, they shut up. It could have been something like that.

Maybe they have preconceptions that just need to be shut down. I think in cases like that, it's even more important to come out, so you can show a good example of poly that's working, and also show it's not something to be ashamed of so you're not hiding it.
Of course, I wouldn't blame you for keeping quiet.

A forum I used to go to reacted pretty strongly for very small things. I posted pictures of my breasts (not naked) as a reference to someone trying to draw breasts, and people were asking "aren't you married?" (even though my husband had been the one taking the pictures anyways!). Jokes and flirts led to people saying I was lucky my husband hadn't left me, and so on.
I thought "man, when I come out it's going to be a shit storm".

Turned out people mostly ignored it completely. The people who commented said things along the lines of "good for you, I couldn't do it". People took it very well. It was like a non-issue.

I was pretty shocked, but I guess it made sense if they thought until then that I was doing things behind my husband's back (even though it should have been obvious I wasn't), and suddenly realised it wasn't the case.

My point being, sometimes when you expect people to react terribly, they react very well. And of course it works the other way around, too. Some people you think will be fine with it but they turn out to take it really bad...

I like being out, it makes things simpler, and I hate the idea of hiding my boyfriend (since everyone knows I'm married, so it would be one way and unfair). But I can definitely see how it's hard to do so.
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  #12  
Old 09-15-2010, 06:35 PM
CowleyRoad CowleyRoad is offline
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Sorry I didn't respond earlier..in-laws are visiting. Rather difficult to discuss your wife and her girlfriend when her homophobic parents are in town. Yes, they don't know about her bisexuality either.

About the question of where this poster got his "info" about polyamory...apparently it was from an infamous radio show where the host has a screw loose about sexual abuse. Other people noted that this host had claimed on other occasions that lesbians and "women with high-pitched voices" are also likely abuse victims. Ok.

As you can probably guess her parents aren't likely to think what we're up to is cool. I've been on record as saying my father (my mom is gone) would probably never speak to me again. So while I'm happy for those of you in better family situations I suppose I'm looking for means of support since I know that's not ever likely for us.

The advice you have given for friends on the other hand is good. I think once my wife comes to better terms with her sexuality (and that day isn't far) we'll start carefully making noises around our friends.
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  #13  
Old 09-15-2010, 06:53 PM
DharmaBum23 DharmaBum23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CowleyRoad View Post

About the question of where this poster got his "info" about polyamory...apparently it was from an infamous radio show where the host has a screw loose about sexual abuse. Other people noted that this host had claimed on other occasions that lesbians and "women with high-pitched voices" are also likely abuse victims. Ok.

Hmm. I will never think of female sopranos the same way ever again.
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  #14  
Old 09-15-2010, 09:12 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Default Isn't that interesting !

It is interesting (poly opinion) but I guess not surprising.

I see it as a combination of a couple things...........

1> Misperceptions/ignorance
I think the vast majority of the public still associate 'poly' with polygamy and all the negative associations and publicity surrounding that.

2> Envy
Another pretty common trait. No matter how (supposedly) open minded these people try to appear, when it comes down to it - if you are going to have yours then I better be able to have the same. If not I'm going to cry FOUL !
As part of the above mentioned ignorance - what limited knowledge many people have of poly they relate to multiple sex partners. Double foul if they can't have theirs !

It may be awhile, but I think the cat is out of the bag. I've had numerous chance encounters especially with younger (20s) folk and people a bit more 'educated/worldly' indicating that the topic is on the table for true discussion.

But the ostriches will survive for awhile yet.
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  #15  
Old 09-16-2010, 05:39 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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One of the things I'm realizing about poly is that it is more common than I first believed.

BUT!

People who are happily in a poly relationship don't do it for public recognition/acceptance. They do it for themselves and their partners.

This leaves the "regular" folk to only hear of it when a poly relationship is struggling and it gives the impression than nothing good ever comes of it. So if you take your problem to most relationship advice forums you get a bunch of "you were playing with fire" and "what did you expect?"

It hit me how a mono relationship can have a struggle and people will lend an ear and sympathize because "all relationships have problems sometimes. you just have to work at it because good relationships take work."
But a poly one of any kind isn't included in that "all relationships have problems" view.
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  #16  
Old 09-18-2010, 03:33 PM
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clairegoad clairegoad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinccenzo View Post
One of the things I'm realizing about poly is that it is more common than I first believed.

(snipped)
It hit me how a mono relationship can have a struggle and people will lend an ear and sympathize because "all relationships have problems sometimes. you just have to work at it because good relationships take work."
But a poly one of any kind isn't included in that "all relationships have problems" view.
That's why we're here... we've been there.


(and yes, I stole that quip..)
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  #17  
Old 09-18-2010, 03:45 PM
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clairegoad clairegoad is offline
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Default Another perspective

A year ago, I would have misunderstood poly also.... A year ago, I would have freaked out... and demanded fidelity.. because that is the only way.

I mention this.. because ... there may be others who are unreceptive... who just need some education, time and space to appreciate this life.

In retrospect... I have always kept the emotional ties to former lovers... Have been involved in helping my ex-husband repair his current marriage... because I had perspective that no one else had... And that was my gift to him & Deb. I did not keep the physical relationship.

However, if I had known about poly 5 years ago... I might have been able to save the last long term (16/18/20 year, depending on who you ask) relationship.

Also, listeners will bring their past to the conversation.. If someone was cheated on.. they will associate poly with cheating...We scare them... in many ways.

Our best option is to keep doing what we're doing.. and live a successful life, filled with communication.. and others will learn.

Be patient with the world..
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  #18  
Old 09-18-2010, 10:15 PM
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MsKtty89 MsKtty89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit
2> Envy
Another pretty common trait. No matter how (supposedly) open minded these people try to appear, when it comes down to it - if you are going to have yours then I better be able to have the same. If not I'm going to cry FOUL !
As part of the above mentioned ignorance - what limited knowledge many people have of poly they relate to multiple sex partners. Double foul if they can't have theirs !
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinccenzo
This leaves the "regular" folk to only hear of it when a poly relationship is struggling and it gives the impression than nothing good ever comes of it. So if you take your problem to most relationship advice forums you get a bunch of "you were playing with fire" and "what did you expect?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by clairegoad
Also, listeners will bring their past to the conversation.. If someone was cheated on.. they will associate poly with cheating...
Wow. I'm really enjoying this thread and all of these points are just too true. I think even just "coming out" to our small group of friends, I noticed a little bit of all of that (mainly from one person). I think starting small (telling close friends first, then we'll worry about family, etc.) and keeping a positive, open mind for discussion is what helped and will help us. And as Vinccenzo said, they only seem to hear about stuff when it's bad, so showing the good side of the relationship is helpful... What I take from that is, be honest with friends and family before the shit hits the fan so that they see the relationship's whole, not just the snags.
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  #19  
Old 09-20-2010, 04:06 AM
RGee91 RGee91 is offline
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I guess I'm lucky, I haven't had a bad coming out experience (gay or poly) yet. But then I let people get to know me 1st, then tell them. So they know me as "Wil, the guy who happens to be gay and poly" as opposed to "Some gay guy who has like 5 boyfriends, I think his name was Bill". Ppl have a habit of putting stereotypes before individuals, if they don't know the individuals 1st.

I suggest finding a casual way to discuss poly with friends and hear their opinions. Maybe bring up the forum guy.
good luck
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  #20  
Old 09-20-2010, 10:26 AM
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TL4everu2 TL4everu2 is offline
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Whoa boy....Well, my wife and I have two facebook accounts. One for her, and one for me. On hers, she has a lot of her family as her "friends"....On mine, we have only real life friends who we have met and are friends with in person. Well, I told my wife that I was going to come out as poly on my facebook account and keep the account set to "private" so that her family wouldn't see it. We figured that her parents might be "too upset" by it, and her father is currently in the hospital and dying, soooo....yeah.

Anyway, I came out, and one of my friends said "I never knew you guys were swingers". I explained that this was a bit different. She said "your bedroom = your business". Well, a couple days went by, and I posted that L had a date with a new guy. Our friend, we'll call her N, got on to FB and sent me a message saying that she doesn't think that it's appropriate to post so much about the dates, and that we shouldn't be letting our kids know about it. She said that we needed to "tone back" or postings. I told her "No problem N. Problem solved. Sorry to have distresed you", and I deleted her form our friends list. She sent me some subsequent messages, but once I saw that they were just more of the same thing, I didn't even respond except to say "Those that matter, won't care, and those that care, don't matter".
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