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Old 08-25-2011, 05:22 AM
ComfyBoots ComfyBoots is offline
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Default Our story. How to deal with social situations?

I'm new at this poly thing. In fact, I'm not even entirely comfortable with identifying myself as such. I'm just a woman who loves two individual men, not necessarily someone who inherently feels the need for multiple partners.

I have a husband (DH) of 15+ years, and now I also have a significant other (SO). I love them both more than words can say. I consider them each to be a "best friend" and a "lover"...although SO and I are taking our time about sexual stuff, so that hasn't gone far yet.

I had never thought about bringing anyone else into our monogamous marriage, but then SO came into my life. Cheating on my husband was never an acceptable option, but neither was keeping SO at the level of "friend who I can't really love as deeply as I feel, because I'm a married woman". So I took a risk and told DH how I was feeling, and explained that I hoped we could bring SO into our lives. I explained that I still love DH as much as ever, and my love for SO is not because of anything that DH lacks.

DH did a lot of soul-searching and ultimately decided that this was something that he would support, because he loves me, and because I was completely honest and upfront. And also because he can see how SO enriches my life, and is not a threat.

So that's our basic story. DH and I are in our mid 40's and SO is in his mid 50's, so I like to think we're being pretty mature about it.

The one thing I'm starting to wonder, though, is how to handle social situations with other people. SO and I belong to an activity-based social group, which DH does not attend. The other members can see that SO and I are close. We arrive and leave together, talk about places we've gone together, and tend to stand close, like a couple. And when I look at SO, I probably have a dreamy look on my face! lol They also know I'm married, because I have a ring, and I sometimes mention my husband, but they never see him. (He stays home with the kids on those days. He's not particularly interested in the activity we do.)

I don't want people thinking that I'm fooling around on my husband, but I also enjoy being free to be openly affectionate with SO. (Not blatant snogging, but being more affectionate that I would ordinarily be with a man, being a married woman.)

I suppose we should just act as comes naturally, and deal with questions as they come. Any tips or experiences anyone wants to share would be welcome, though.

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Old 08-25-2011, 06:20 AM
Sofia Sofia is offline
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Really, you do what the three of you want to do. Whatever you are comfortable with. If you want people to know, you act casual and answer questions honestly that come up. If you don't want people to know, you let them wonder.

I personally am going to have no problem telling people that I'm poly, now that I'm actually exploring it. I enjoy being open with people and very much live by the philosophy that people don't have to like me and if they don't, sucks to be them because I'm awesome. I also like being open about these sorts of things because by being open, I know that someday I will change someone's life, hopefully for the better. Maybe give someone the courage to find their own path to relationship happiness. I don't think things like this should have to be hush-hush.

That being said, there are a few people I will never ever tell. My family, for instance. They are very devout Jehovah's Witnesses, and the consequences of me being unnecessarily open with them aren't worth it for me at this time.

My secondary told his mother, who was ok with it, and then completely supported it after she saw how happy her son was being with me.

My primary doesn't feel comfortable telling his family, for reasons I'm not quite sure of yet, but I don't blame him.

Just remember to always respect each other's comfort levels in this area. I would be very upset if one of my lovers just disregarded my wishes to not tell my family. It would mean being completely disowned. So, just as a cautionary, if one of your partners isn't too keen on being as open as you are, please respect that!
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:36 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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There is a huge thread already about "coming out." If you do a search you will find that and several others that relate to it. On the topic of public displays of affection, I added a post with links to a few of them here: Being inclusive on group outings. Also check the "Master Thread" in the Golden Nuggets section for some goodies that can probably help you.
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Last edited by nycindie; 08-25-2011 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:47 PM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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I live in a MFM vee and understand your concern. For us it has been 2 and a half years. I really don't care what people think any more. It sucks too much of my energy to be concerned.

We just got on a ferry from western canada to main land USA and I was all set to tell the boarder crossing customs person that I was with my husband, boyfriend and son. *shrug* I figure they will think I am divorced and we are all still close. Whatever, its the truth and people will eventually get used to that. Most in my life are and the greater community will in time. Change occurs when we just live our truth I reckon.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:02 PM
IsntLifeFun IsntLifeFun is offline
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When it's just me and my SO, we know who we're seeing and/or where we'll be, so we know ahead of time how to behave with each other. If they're people that we think will understand then we'll go ahead and be ourselves until we notice any 'uncomfortable-ness' then we'll address it, letting them know that our spouses know about us and give them the details that will make them more comfortable. So far so good.
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Old 08-28-2011, 06:11 AM
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DrunkenPorcupine DrunkenPorcupine is offline
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I act as I normally would. I want to be affectionate, I am. No worries.

I recall the first time I EXPLICITLY told someone that I was in an open relationship (I am poly, my wife at the time was open). He asked casually "How come L isn't here?" and I responded with a casual "Oh, she's got a date tonight."

The next line was "Oh, wow, I didn't know you guys were open!" Turns out, he was too.

Your relationships are your business. By engaging in them, people might question or ask. Asking is usually the fun part, and honestly, it's fun. Many questions are repeated and you come up with witty answers pretty quickly. Sometimes, people don't ask and that's how rumors start, but it's pretty easy to weed out the gossipy busybodies like that too, which is a benefit itself.
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Old 08-28-2011, 06:55 PM
MichelleZed MichelleZed is offline
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I do a similar thing, OP! My, um, sex friend and I are involved in a club that my husband has little interest in. I think I was too obvious in group meetings, looking dreamily at my friend's gorgeous face and flirting a little too much, and often trying to stay late if the meetings were at his house.

Some co-workers were involved in the group and I started some rumours. Some completely true rumours. Oops.

It's hard, isn't it, when you don't really know how open to be? Let us know what you decide.
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:39 AM
calypsoblu calypsoblu is offline
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When me and the guys go out in public, we act however feels right to us..and normally, it feels as if we are the only ones in our little world. I personally dont give a rats arse what others think.... I am not afraid to show mild PDA for either guy in public..

Now, our families are a different story.

My family knows about our triad, and they dont really care as long as I am happy.. except for my son of course..

My husbands (Brian) family knows nothing. They are too traditional and would never accept the way we go about our lives, coming out to them would be very traumatic and the consequences are not worth it...

My SO's family (Brandon).. we are out to them, they are very aware of our triad and we have attended multiple family get-to-gethers and other occassions with him and his famnily accepts all of us... they have graciously and happily accepted myself and Brian into their family as one of their own... they at first were confused, but once they saw that we were all on the same page and no one was sneaking around at all, they have been awesome since.
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:27 AM
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JuliaGay JuliaGay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I live in a MFM vee and understand your concern. For us it has been 2 and a half years. I really don't care what people think any more. It sucks too much of my energy to be concerned.

We just got on a ferry from western canada to main land USA and I was all set to tell the boarder crossing customs person that I was with my husband, boyfriend and son. *shrug* I figure they will think I am divorced and we are all still close. Whatever, its the truth and people will eventually get used to that. Most in my life are and the greater community will in time. Change occurs when we just live our truth I reckon.
Exactly! I don't spend a lot of time broadcasting my poly-ness, but I also don't make any effort to hide it. I agree that it takes too much energy.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:44 AM
trueRiver trueRiver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ComfyBoots View Post
Any tips or experiences anyone wants to share would be welcome, though.
When you tell someone, prefix it with 'we have an unconventional relationship', or 'I guess you could say we have an unconventional relationship' or similar.

Three reasons why this will help some people. First: it gives them advance warning that they are going to hear something unusual. It will come as less of a surprise, giving them a better chance to respond as a friend, rather than as a stunned rabbit.

Secondly, it is easier to *hear* something challenging if you just heard something you agree with. The listener is always going to agree that the relationship is unconventional, and the fact that they agree with this gives them a better chance of accepting the rest of what you are saying

Thirdly, even if they really do not take it well, you have fed them a polite euphemism for anything more critical they might otherwise have said. In that case, their use of the word 'unconventional' will be less damaging to your continuing friendship than some of the other words they might have come up with.
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