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  #31  
Old 04-25-2011, 03:57 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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I like that people in our neighbourhood think Mono is our roommate/housemate. They kind of wonder why such an obviously attractive and available man would be single, but, meh, whatever, no one says anything so openly... just talk about us behind our back when they see us all outside doing the garden or something.

It was interesting the other day when Mono's buddies came over with their bikes to take me on a ride. They think its just me who lives there and that he is the tenant... they don't get why we don't live in the same part of the house and rent the suite This time they saw my husband in the window and I said he was looking after LB. They probably think he came over for the day or something... I dunno, don't care really. I'm fine with the mystery, by the time they know they will see that we are all good and happy and its normal to us.
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  #32  
Old 04-25-2011, 10:34 AM
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Reading through other people's posts, I think age and newness to poly might also play a factor in this 'How open do I want/should I be?'. I remember that when coming out as bisexual, I was very interested in reading stories of ordinary bi and lesbian women who managed to have a normal happy life, or of famous GLBT folks who had managed major achievements even with this horrible societal detriment . As the years go by and I grow more comfortable with who I am, the activist in me is less and less concerned with correct 'representation' of lesbianity in the media, for example, and if I nowadays face stereotypes, I have more of the 'Yeah, so? It doesn't concern me - I'm not like that'.

Still, I do think that there are important misconceptions to set to rights. Like when militant atheists tell me that I have to either accept the whole Bible as the infallible Word of God (whatever that means) or to disregard Christianity completely, or when people say that there must be something wrong with the relationship in the first place if somebody desires other romantic relationships while being in a relationship already. But there is a time and place for those debates, and I generally believe that if I live my life openly and happily, I'm setting a good enough example already.
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  #33  
Old 04-25-2011, 03:38 PM
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Carma Carma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
I can be seen holding hands with a woman other than my wife in public and I don't stop to think about whether that might be acceptable--it certainly IS acceptable and I won't tolerate any foolishness that says otherwise. What other people think about my marriage doesn't concern me.
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  #34  
Old 04-25-2011, 06:11 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I'm with Autumn. I am respectful of Maca and GG's emotional needs regarding pda when they are both around.
But-beyond that, I hug, kiss and hold hands with either when we're in public. It's my relationship and I'm proud of the relationship (whichever one is being displayed in the moment) and I don't pretend otherwise.

Where I socialize, that comes into play a little bit. I don't go visit them at work with the other on my arm-because I'm not going to play down my relationship to keep their co-workers in the dark. It's mostly arbitrary now though. Maca's big big boss (owner of hte company) is fully aware of our dynamic and GG is open with his co-workers as well. But, that's fairly new (as in the last couple months).
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  #35  
Old 04-26-2011, 04:45 AM
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hmmm I've enjoyed reading everyones post (I haven't been on for a while and just sat down and read this whole thread). I have been contemplating this same question recently - my finace and I are getting married in two months and our girlfriend will be right there beside us, and hopefully we will have a ceremony for all three of us when the time is right. We have been bringing this lovely lady to family events over the past year, and certain members of the family know and so far most reactions have been very negative -- for example my mother said that my vows will be nothing but lies, that I am an adulteress. And my grandma who I am /was (?) very close to said that it is just wrong, and there is no chance for it to end well. However they are all still coming to the wedding, so I guess they are able to come to terms of some sort.

Most of my friends know. I as well will not lie about our relationship (or any other aspect of my life) but I don't flaunt it either. However, when we are out in public we all hold hands and display a variety of PDAs, so I suppose that's flaunting to a point...

Anyhow, I have found that very few people have come up and been horrified. I have had lots of "hmmm I couldn't do that" and "well as long as you are happy" and best of all I have found a number of friends that I already had who happen live similar lifestyles!!

Sorry for the long post - short version, I can't lie - I'm no good at, and I want to live my life proudly. I also wouldn't feel right misrepresenting my SO's significance in my life.
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  #36  
Old 04-26-2011, 05:44 PM
RobFire RobFire is offline
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When my wife and I tried poly we kept it fairly close to the vest. I did this mostly for my wife's benefit as I value her piece of mind and really wanted her not to get hurt if at all possible by negativity. We did discuss and prepare for the possibility, and likely eventual probability that family would find out.

She's on the introverted side of things, I am definitely on the extroverted side.

I see some issues, for me at least, that might arise from ducking into dark shadows when the reality of poly is in play.

One issue is that my goal would be, whether successful or not, to form relationships with the potential for long term goodness.

My wife is one of the proudest things to exist in my life. I talk about her all of the time. I don't think I could stop if I tried. I then try to imagine forming a relationship with another woman, that over time matured into a long term love, and going about my life trying to hide or obscure what could be a very large, very rewarding, very proud part of my life.

I would want to include this new love in activities, not exclude her. I would want to indulge her with affection, not withhold it. To me, hiding her away in a cloak of subterfuge and misdirection would be to belittle the importance of the relationship, and relegate it to the seedy part time lover category.

I tend to care little for what other people think, particularly when their opinions are negative and based upon emotional, irrational preconceptions.
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  #37  
Old 04-30-2011, 01:23 PM
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Danny40179 Danny40179 is offline
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Definitely a tough sutuation to be in. My wife and I had to keep our first relationship hidden from family and some friends. We thought it was for the best as we didn't want to rock any boats. Then our gf passed away. It's been 5 years and I still regret keeping her a secret.

Enter our current gf. Everyone knows about her and our lifestyle now. I didn't give people a chance to have a negative reaction. I informed both friends and family that this was my life to live and that's exactly what I was going to do. They could choose to be in it or not. Haven't had any issues. Sure there are tons of questions, but that's ok!! I love when people ask about our lifestyle. I'm all about informing people about how awesome my life is...lol

Good luck and remember that it's your life to live.
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  #38  
Old 05-04-2011, 05:07 AM
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Very pleased to see this post is generating some very thoughtful responses and sharing of experiences.
I thought I might update my own original post as it was quite some time ago and change is inevitable.

My husband and I, as well as his girlfriend, are openly poly and becoming quite active in our local poly community. My boyfriend doesn't volunteer that he's dating a 'married' woman as his family is extremely religious and doesn't respond kindly to any beliefs that are 'different'. He doesn't feel a need to explain and I support his choice to be as open as he's comfortable with. All of his friends, however, are aware of our relationship and have been 100% accepting and supportive.

My husband's mother was very concerned when he told her because when she attempted it many years ago with his father it didn't work! (That was a bit of a surprise to hear!). She remains skeptical, but still accepting of our life.

All of our friends have been absolutely wonderful, the most loving and accepting people in our lives. If not for them, I'm not sure if I would be able to bear the pain of being estranged from my Dad & step-mother. They did not take our 'coming out' well and haven't spoken to me in over 8 months, despite my attempts to reach out. I've stopped trying, it hurts too much to be rejected repeatedly. This wasn't the first time they have withdrawn from my life when they didn't agree with me so it's something that I've come to accept. My door is always open to talk and I still, perhaps foolishly, hope that one day they will want to at least try and talk, try and understand.

Aside from this one dark shadow, my life is happier and brighter than it has ever been before. I have wonderful partners and friends that bring so much love into my life. It's been worth it for me to live my life honestly, without apologies.
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  #39  
Old 05-04-2011, 09:48 AM
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Booklady, I came out to my folks as bisexual nine years ago. I have honestly given them nine years to get used to the idea of me with a woman. Did it help? Not one bit. The whole 'we love you unconditionally no matter what' obviously didn't cover kissing girls.

I take it that your Dad has come around previously, so I trust he will this time, too. There is only so much anyone of us can do to be accepted for who we are by those closest to us. There is a time to reach out, and also a time to withdraw.
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