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Old 01-25-2011, 04:49 AM
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redevil redevil is offline
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Default Helping family to accept our relationship

My boys and I are in a closed relationship, with Lobster and I being married and Monster and I "dating". (Dating doesn't seem to be the right fit but gonna go with it for now..) Right now we are beginning to tell our friends and family about us and our choices. Now we know that for some people this is hard to understand and we know that some will never understand. We not only expect that from some but can also respect that.

I started in telling people, beginning of course with those who I knew would be supportive even if they didn't completely understand it. My best friend accepted and is even happy for us, after having first made sure that Lobster was doing well. Other close friends had the same reaction, if I'm happy, Lobster is good, and Monster treats us all well, more power to us! My dad having been involved in poly/swinging himself, gave a little advice but sat back with a smile, asking when he would meet Monster. Tonight I moved on to my aunt who was more of a mother to me then my own. She I knew would support me but not understand it, it was her husband that I worried about. He's obviously not happy but I explained that it was a conscious decision that Lobster and I made and he could accept that we are adults or he could not. If he didn't, he needed to understand that this would limit his involvement in our family. It's not like we will ever live near enough for him to have to deal with it daily, I just wanted him to get to know Monster and not be an ass. He's agreed and I know that if nothing else, he will stick to that because he knows I will not hesitate to remove his ability to hurt us. I don't expect to come into any issues with the remaining people in my life I care about.

Lobster's family, will not know any time soon, and ideally never. I say that not because we are embarrassed but because of the pain that they will cause everyone. They will not stop at questioning him or I, but will attack attack attack. Then when they do not get what they want from us, they will move on to Monster and then to our children. Subjecting the kids to the hateful and vengeful things that will come from his family is not something that we want. I know the time will come when this life will be called into question by someone in their lives, but it doesn't need to come from somewhere so close and with as much spite. We plan to protect them from this for as long as possible even if it means "hiding". I can't do something knowing that it would hurt my children, and allowing their grandparents this knowledge would do just that.

Monster's family is not handling it well at all. For reasons that I will leave for him to explain if he would like to, things are just ending poorly. So far, only one person has come to his side and supported him in this decision. I am at a loss as to how to help because...well I guess I didn't think that it would go the way it has. So many emotions are running through me because I at times feel responsible having brought this idea to him. At the same time, I think that if they truly cared, they would see his happiness and at least accept that. The anger and defensiveness is overwhelming sometimes..GRR! I could go on about that but it's not really the point I'm getting at.

How do we help those people close to us come to terms with this? We aren't asking them to understand and welcome it with open arms, rather accept that we are adults who have made a choice and are happier for it. We aren't asking them to agree with the choice that we have made just respect our family for being just that. This is our family, not theirs. Understanding and Love is something that we practice, not just preach to our children.
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:33 AM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
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Thanks for sharing all this...your situation certainly has it's complications.

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Originally Posted by redevil View Post
How do we help those people close to us come to terms with this? We aren't asking them to understand and welcome it with open arms, rather accept that we are adults who have made a choice and are happier for it. We aren't asking them to agree with the choice that we have made just respect our family for being just that. This is our family, not theirs. Understanding and Love is something that we practice, not just preach to our children.
I'm not sure I have too much to offer here...seeing as I have yet to explain the situation to anyone in my family....regardless of our estimation of their acceptance.

However one thing comes to mind, something I learned from my mother. She came back one year from visiting her parents...and it turned out she had had a row with her mother. She was getting a lot of passive-aggressiveness from my grandmother (very uncharacteristic) and decided to confront her about it.

It turned out that Grandma was angry about my mom getting pregnant out of wedlock... (I was in my teens at the time, so she'd been carrying this around for a while)
My Mom had been petrified about telling Grandma at the time it happened, because her older brother had got his gf pregnant out of wedlock a few years earlier, and Grandma was *pissed* at him for it and let him know it in no uncertain terms. Yet when my Mom broke the news that she herself was pregnant, there was no such reaction. She never understood why.

My grandmother told her that she was her daughter, and she had to love and protect her daughter no matter what she did.
I don't recall my Mom's exact words in response, but she basically, in no uncertain terms called *Bullshit!*.
"You don't *NEED* to love anyone, even your daughter, and if you decide you don't want to love me anymore, then fine." (paraphrasing more than a bit, since it's a couple decades since I've heard the story)

Apparently it shocked a bit of sense into grandma, that her daughter was willing to say "F-off" and drop out of her life forever based on that, and spent the next while trying to make it up to Mom. There was no schism, or falling out, and the family carried on as usual.

I guess sometimes family needs to hear the hard truth, and realize what they stand to lose by holding onto ideals/dogma/convention/etc....rather than the people.
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:35 AM
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wellll, You just have to wait I think. My parents had a shit when I came out and they accused Mono of abusing our son. It is all in my blog in the life stories and blogs section... they have come around tremendously, but it took us keeping out boy away from them for awhile and then gradually them reaching out to us meeting them half way to acceptance and love for Mono, albeit without understanding. I couldn't really ask for anything better now... it took time. A whole year.
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:06 AM
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My first reaction to your post is to say that I think you're jumping the gun here. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't Lobster struggling with your poly situation? If I were you, I would put my attention on your relationships now, communicating, and making sure everyone is in good shape emotionally before coming out to the world. Because you all need to be strong and secure to face it if and when the shit hits the fan.
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:44 PM
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Family members tend to have two basic issues with polyamory. One seems to be an attack on what they see as some basic family values. For Monster's case, they may see it as wrong for a person to persue another man's wife. (I hate to say stuff like that because it implies ownership, but that is the standard view of relationships today -- one of ownership of each other.) If this is the case, you can engage philosophically with them on this (which rarely convinces people unless they are logical by nature). More relaistically, I think they will have to weigh their objections to this verses their desire to stay in touch.

The other issue is usually worry that the person is in for a let down. They may want him to end it now instead of getting hurt later on (because they can not really forsee it working out). If this is the case, then I think family members will come around when they see that Monster is happy over a long period of time.

Without knowing the exact objections that Monster is getting, it is hard to say what will help.
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Because you all need to be strong and secure to face it if and when the shit hits the fan.
I think this is very good advice.
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:50 AM
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If it were me, I'd wait awhile. When the fruit is ripe it will fall from the tree.

If you make an "announcement" you're inviting reactions, good bad and indifferent. If you just live your life, and go about the business of creating a stable, happy life for yourself and your loved ones, many people in your family probably won't notice. Hopefully the ones who do notice will also notice that you are all happy, healthy and well adjusted, and therefore know there is no crisis to be alarmed about.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:34 PM
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So I think that I wasn't very clear in my first post..sorry.

The only people who know are those who we felt for one reason or another needed to know. Mostly for those who we didn't want thinking something shady was going on. I know the way that people in my family and circle of friends will handle it for the most part because this is how I grew up so the family and friends who accepted it then, will probably feel the same way now and those who took issue will be the ones to take issue as well.

I asked this to find out for the future more then anything else. Again the people who know are people who had to know because of the situation. We aren't shouting from rooftops and don't plan to. However I am a planner and since I know that that day will come, I was wondering if anyone had some good advice in that area. We have reached a point in our situation where we are all comfortable, where Lobster feels good about almost everything and HE wants to start really working on the 3 of us as a group. I just happen to be the type of person who when for instance finds out we are moving. I research and make lists and create a color coded binder of resources. It might seem that we are "jumping the gun" but really I just want to be prepared.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:50 PM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redevil View Post
It might seem that we are "jumping the gun" but really I just want to be prepared.
There's a reason that the Scouts use that as their motto...it makes it hard to go too far wrong.
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImaginaryIllusion View Post
There's a reason that the Scouts use that as their motto...it makes it hard to go too far wrong.
And I might just be a Girl Scout leader
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