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  #291  
Old 04-25-2014, 03:56 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I operate on the premise of relationships being built on trust and trust being driven by honesty.
So-when we came out-which was when we agreed to poly, I simply started with,
"being honest is the key to our relationship and on that note I want you to know that Maca and GG and I have a poly dynamic which means..."

And as another poster said-those who have an issue with respecting that; don't need to remain in our lives.
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  #292  
Old 04-25-2014, 05:06 PM
Squashking Squashking is offline
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And as another poster said-those who have an issue with respecting that; don't need to remain in our lives.
"Take me or leave me" sentiments have no place in healthy relationships IMO :-). It's taken me 2 years to get comfortable with my lifestyle and fully break down those monogamous values of right and wrong.

How can I possibly expect everyone else to give me their full support immediately after I tell them? Some may need extra time to understand it. If I want to maintain a close connection with that person I am going to try help them understand as best I can and give them the time to do so.

~S
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Last edited by Squashking; 04-25-2014 at 05:17 PM. Reason: grammar
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  #293  
Old 04-25-2014, 06:13 PM
AlwaysGrowing AlwaysGrowing is offline
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"Take me or leave me" sentiments have no place in healthy relationships IMO :-). It's taken me 2 years to get comfortable with my lifestyle and fully break down those monogamous values of right and wrong.

How can I possibly expect everyone else to give me their full support immediately after I tell them? Some may need extra time to understand it. If I want to maintain a close connection with that person I am going to try help them understand as best I can and give them the time to do so.

~S
Not being able to fully understand is VERY different than not being able to respect your choice.

My parents say negative things about my choices, but they respect my right to make those decisions and would 100% be there for me if I needed them for ANYTHING. Even if it put them in a situation they weren't comfortable with. THAT is support. They don't need to understand, they need to accept and love.
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  #294  
Old 04-25-2014, 06:30 PM
Squashking Squashking is offline
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I agreed AG.

To be clear the people I am referring to are only close family and friends. People I love, trust and respect. For them its worth the effort. This the reason for our hesitation for our quad to come out. One day soon me thinks ;-)
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  #295  
Old 06-12-2014, 05:44 PM
Shinobi Shinobi is offline
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Default Coming out to my Dad as Gay and Polyamorous

Hey all!

In a couple weeks, during Pride week, I'm coming out to my Dad as Gay and Polyamorous. I need some advice on how to go about it, so here's the background info on me:

I actually came out to my parents as bisexual when I was 19. Having been raised in a strict Irish/Polish Catholic household, I was kicked out of the house for a week, stayed with my best friend, and was let back in with my mother saying that she accepted the fact I was bi, and I could have a boyfriend, but she and Dad didn't want to know about it, and I definitely wasn't allowed to bring him home. I accepted this as a partial victory and moved back in (and seeing also that I have cerebral palsy, living on my own was really out of the question for me personally).

A couple years later, I started dating my wife to be who I'd been friends with since high school. We were in a monogamous relationship for most of the 7 years we were together before getting married. My wife knew I liked guys, new I identified as bi at that time. I knew she was also bi and liked girls, but we both agreed that an open relationship was out of the question. We thought polyamorous people were out to lunch, so to speak.

Well, two months before our wedding day, I realized I couldn't do monogamy. I'd never been with a guy and it was killing me to find out what it was like. I came to my wife, then my fiance, and asked for a "hall pass" in regards to men. She granted it with a don't ask don't tell policy and was pretty pissed with me. It created a big strain on our relationship, as we shared everything with each other, and I so wanted to tell her about the happiness I was experiencing in talking to guys online in trying to facilitate that "hall pass", but couldn't.

At the end of those two weeks, one night, my wife turned to me and asked, "you're polyamorous, aren't you?". I broke down in tears saying yes I was and she said to me "I want you to be happy. Don't do random hookups for the rest of your life: we'll find you a boyfriend/husband together. He can come live with us and we'll be a family together". We opened up the relationship, got married, and shortly after I met my first boyfriend who I fell in love with. My wife over the months accepted and became okay with my polyness and I realized that I was Gay. I came out to her a second time as a gay man, we sought counseling together, and with the help of a wonderful therapist we realized that I was both gay first and bisexual second, having realized that the majority of my attraction is to men, but on occasion, there are women that I can be emotionally, physically and sexually attracted to. Discovering such wonderful things as sexual fluidity, homoflexibility and ambisexuality has helped me to deepen my understanding of my sexual identity. Throughout it all, my wife has been my biggest supporter, and we love each other more deeply now than ever because we accept each other and allow each other to be who we really are. I am out to the majority of my friends, the rest of which i will be slowly coming out to, and they have all been either supportive and/or making a valiant effort at understanding me.

Our families, however, have been clueless as to the true arrangement of our marriage and my identity as a gay poly man. We have both agreed that it's time we started to slowly come out to them, as we no longer wish to live in fear and hide ourselves. I suspect that when I got married, my parents thought I'd gone through a "phase" and that when I met my wife, I stopped "being confused". We've both agreed that the first person we should come out to is my father: when I originally came out as bi at 19, although he didn't personally agree with my being bi, he made every effort to try and talk to me and understand me. My wife and I both agree that we should come out to him first, and wait until he slowly adjusts to the reality of things, before coming out to my father in law, mother in law, but more importantly, my Mom, as she'll be the real challenge. I will definitely need my Dad to be there for her and calm her down and assure her everything will be ok.

Coming out as gay is going to be tough on him, I suspect the first question out of his mouth will be "how can you be gay if you're married to and love [my wife]?", but I think the bigger challenge will be trying to explain that our arrangement of a poly marriage is ethical and that I am not cheating on my wife and that I date men with her consent, knowledge, support and blessing. Poly can be a very difficult subject to convey to people, and coming out as poly now is a lot like coming out as gay in the 80s: there's a ton of stigma attached to non monogamous folks, even a lot of LGBT folks are opposed to the idea of ethically being with more than one romantic/sexual partner.

Any advice you guys can offer would be great. I am currently dating a wonderful guy who I've been seeing for the past couple weeks, and there is a very strong connection between us. I remain hopeful, but I realize that once I find the guy for me, whether it's with this guy or someone else, and he comes to live with me and my wife, I will no longer be able to hide myself from my family. For this reason, my wife and I have both agreed to start coming out to our families now, slowly, to give them time to adjust to things. Hope any of you can help! Thanks!

Mike
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  #296  
Old 06-12-2014, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinobi View Post
Any advice you guys can offer would be great.
Here is some discussion on Coming Out. Take a look.
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  #297  
Old 06-12-2014, 10:11 PM
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First, I just want to say congratulations on finding such an awesome wife! That's fantastic!
Be sure to give her lots of thank-yous for being the kind of lover we all hope for-who accepts us as we are! That's great.

As for the dad, my suggestion is to go about explaining to him without the details about him-which he already knows presumably-how you came to this understanding of yourself. Starting with letting him know you want to have a serious and difficult conversation-but it probably wont be done in one sitting. Be sure he knows that you aren't expecting to "finish" the conversation in one sitting, but you need to tell him what's up and hope that he will take some time to chew on it, digest it and then come back with questions so you can continue discussing it.
Only you guys know if it would be helpful or not to have your wife there. BUT-I suspect that it would be especially in regards to the poly part. Most parents are defensive of the "how could you do that to him/her". Having her there to show that in fact this is something she accepts and is happy with-will help him understand that you aren't "doing it to her".

www.danoah.com by Dan Pearce has a blog post about coming out bi to his (religious oriented) family. As far as I know-poly doesn't factor into his equation. But his blog posts about coming out were pretty good. You might go to his blog and check it out.
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  #298  
Old 06-13-2014, 02:00 AM
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You have an awesome wife it sounds like.

As to coming out to your dad... I don't think I'd suggest "coming out as gay" to him... because in your OP, you actually don't describe yourself as gay. You describe yourself as bi with a preference for men (but not an exclusion of women).
Quote:
both gay first and bisexual second, having realized that the majority of my attraction is to men, but on occasion, there are women that I can be emotionally, physically and sexually attracted to.
If it was me, I'd have a "Kinsey Scale" handy and just explain that I was a 5 (or maybe a 5.5 if the only woman you are attracted to is your wife) on there. And how it applies in this situation.

For reference, if you don't know about it, here's a Kinsey Scale:


I think it would just keep the confusion down as much as possible being as accurate as possible.

Just my 2 cents worth.

ETA: As far as the poly issue, If any family member that you are opening up to is religious, tell them that non-monogamy is Biblically supported. There were many examples of men with multiple wives and/or concubines. If they are not religious, just explain that this is who you are, and your wife accepts you being this way and as long as she is happy, and you are happy, then they should be happy for you.
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Last edited by RichardInTN; 06-13-2014 at 03:09 AM.
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  #299  
Old 06-13-2014, 02:38 AM
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Yes! You should have that chart printed poster size on foam board.

OH! And a pointer!

"You see dadums, you and your war buddies are down here" - pointer indicates their hetero estimation.

"I'm on this end, over here closer to the 'totally gay' area" - again, pointer indicates homo estimation.

Sorry, I know this is serious stuff... I just couldn't keep that image out of my head and needed to share it!
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  #300  
Old 06-14-2014, 01:29 AM
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I have to agree with RichardInTN -- you're still bisexual, but you're also mostly gay. That's probably how I'd try to put it to your dad.

I'm not an expert on coming out, but intuitively I think a short, simple, easy-to-grasp announcement is what you want to shoot for to open the discussion. Don't cushion it with a lot of narration (unless/until your dad asks questions that call for narration); show you're dad that you're willing to trust him with the basic facts (and keep your fingers crossed).

Re: the Bible's support of non-monogamy ... eeg, I'm kind of leery about going down that road. Mainly because it's not your objective to prove to your dad that what you're doing is okay. If you're doing non-monogamy then you obviously must feel that it's okay to do and he can figure that much out. Deciding for himself that he's okay with it is something he needs to do on his own, whether through scriptural study or (what I'd prefer) basic soul-searching.

Now does the Bible support non-monogamy? Sure it does. But it only supports patriarchal polygyny, and women are treated more like glorified property than they are like human beings. I just don't like the Bible as a reference source for how people should relate with each other, even though it does have some uplifting verses here and there (most notably in the Four Gospels). It's gratifying to me (as a polyamorist) to know that something as right-wing as the Bible lacks immunity against non-monogamy, but as a useful tool for coming out to your folks, I don't so much see it that way. I guess you can discuss the Bible if your dad brings it up but try to keep the emphasis away from that topic.

So, what's the best setting for this discussion? Since you don't want to come out to your mom yet, you should only do it at Mom and Dad's house if Mom isn't home. I do think it'd be wise and appropriate to have your wife with you at the time. I'd invite everyone to sit during the discussion.

From there, you'll have to rely on some gut instinct for some things, such as how long the (initial) discussion should be. If you're dad's too shocked to say much, just express your love and appreciation, tell him you'll set up a time to talk with him some more, and wrap up the discussion. If he has a lot of questions and seems calm and reasonable, then a longer discussion would probably be fine.

Other than that it's just general rules of good communication. Don't raise your voice; don't interrupt; don't get defensive; don't try to prove anything; just ask for him to accept or at least think about it. It's worth noting that I think the most important communication skill you can possess is good listening skills. Whatever you have to say to your dad, it's at least equally important that you listen to whatever he needs to tell you. Don't plan your comeback while he's talking. When he's done, repeat back what he said in your own words and ask him if that's what he meant. Seek to understand first, before you seek to be understood. And be compassionate. If he won't be compassionate, at least you can set the example and take the higher road.

Coming out is a tough job. My heart is with you and I salute you for your courage. Also, like the others were saying, your wife rocks too.

Good luck and please tell us how it goes, okay?
With warmth and regards,
Kevin T.
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