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  #1  
Old 12-27-2012, 10:01 PM
rosephase rosephase is offline
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Default How to explain

So I'm a bit of a forum junky, I love this place because I almost never have to post anything there is almost always someone who has already expressed the same idea in better words by the time I get to a thread. People here tend to be good listeners (readers?) and very kind with a edge of sarcasm which is a delight... I do end up posting on other forums much more often because... well because no one is expressing my ideas.

Anyway this is a hard conversation I was having on a different forum and I was wondering if any of you strong minded well expressed people have better words for me if I ever find myself in a conversation like this again. Thankfully nothing like this has ever happened in person because I would probably yell or cry or maybe both... I'm lucky to live in a bubble of people who think my choices are at worst, fine and at best, saving the world.

http://www.enotalone.com/forum/showthread.php?t=439333
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:33 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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I'm not going to reply there, as I have no desire to register on ANOTHER site, but I'll try t answer here and if you want to use any of my words, you're welcome to.

As stated earlier in the thread, screwed-up kids can happen in any type of family unit. Single parent, two parents, step-parents, living with aunts/uncles/grandparents, and any gender mix (though there's a hypothesis that same-sex couples are less likely to have screwed-up kids, because they have to put far more effort and deliberateness into having kids in the first place. But that's beside the point). The key, as a poly parent myself, is whether or not there is respect shown in the way the parents conduct their relationships. Whether it's a single parent dating, the complexities of juggling two households with step-parents, or a poly family, the kids all need to see the same honesty and respect shown for oneself and one's partners. And they all need to know the same thing about their parents' sex lives: nothing beyond the fact that they have one. The rest is none of their business. LOTS of adults with kids make selfish choices, whether it's about time, relationships, money, etc. Being poly or not doesn't change one's level of selfishness. In fact, one could make the argument that being poly is MORE likely to make one a good parent, because there is already SO MUCH communication and consideration of others that needs to happen. And time management. Yes, time management is hard. For the OP, it's completely possible that the couple having a child could tear everyone's world apart. But that can happen with a mono couple who don't know what to expect when having a child also. So again, it isn't poly specifically that is the problem. Perhaps someone knows a lot of people who practice poly poorly, or a lot of poor parents. Guess what? As a teacher myself, I know a SHITLOAD of poor mono parents. And then you have the ones who are cheating...before you vilify poly people as stupid or bad parents for having children within a poly family, perhaps there should be more discussion about the many supposed "mono" people who lie, cheat, and tear their families apart with their selfish actions. Showing kids a family with love, honesty, and respect among multiple people is unlikely to be damaging, regardless of how against your own grain and biases it goes.

ETA: Or you could link the OP in that thread to this site/thread, perhaps in a private message. I think they'd likely get much more useful advice.
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Last edited by ThatGirlInGray; 12-27-2012 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:11 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I agree with the above post.
Bu I think trying to argue that to someone who already has their heels dug in the sand and their fingers in their ears is a waste of energy.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:33 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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True. Like a lot of replies here, I see any reply to this more for those who may read but never post, to try to balance other points of view.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:05 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hi rosephase,

As to the thread in question, I agree that the best way to "explain poly" to one's parents/family is through the passage of time (and thus the proof that it's not a harmful relationship). That and answering the family's questions as best as one can. But when the family first hears about it, sure there's a chance some will be shocked and/or offended, no matter how well the news is presented. People just aren't yet prepared to hear about poly in today's social environment. Hopefully the social environment will improve in the future.

There are lots of people who "do poly badly," just as there are lots of people who "do mono badly." We could argue all day about which romance style is best for the kids, or whether either is. It's just not the type of thing one can "prove," even if a lot of studies are done and the evidence is in. And right now, poly is a decidedly under-researched lovestyle.

As for the way a few of the posters were acting on that thread, I'm afraid we have to expect that as a part of the conservative bias that still exists in our society. I don't condone it, but I advocate being aware of it (and being on one's guard, for that matter). Sadly, I have to say that I was surprised that the thread didn't explode into something much uglier. I thought the responses to the conservatively-biased posters were fine and appropriate and couldn't have been a lot better. Sometimes shiz just happens.

Sorry such an unpleasant experience happened on that thread. At least you know that on Polyamory.com, you don't have to worry about being hit with those kinds of condemnations. Take some comfort from that knowledge, anyway.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:41 AM
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Well that was an interesting read. I can actually sort of see both sides. My parents were completely accepting when I came out as bi (at 18ish), and last year when I came out as poly (except my mom is gone, but the other three were just fine).

I have had weird conversations with both my bio parents about marriage. They have, what seem to me to be, strange ideas about marriage. They might have ideas about me being involved with married people. They're not completely crazy about my partners now.

I am not married, I have never been married, and I have no children. However, i was raised by people who were married, and I have been a child. Having been a child I think I have some right to comment on the raising of children. Had my parents been able to have the benefit of some other people helping them with me, our lives might have been much better. My life could have been a lot better, there might have been someone who noticed I was being abused, instead of two people so consumed with themselves that I was barely noticed, period.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:04 AM
Dirtclustit Dirtclustit is offline
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Default There is no recipe for doing right

and it's really sad that there is such a large portion of society that condone persecution of a way people choose to live because it isn't considered traditional. The most obvious cases of flat out wrong behavior is when someone comes out to their family and the reaction is to be shunned but previous to coming out the family had no problem what so ever. But because there are people like that in the world, I firmly believe coming out means all parties involved need to make a unanimous decision is the only responsible way to decide to out themselves.

Exactly how to do it?

Unfortunately because of flawed logic and persecution the most successful way involves being misleading, and that really sucks because I strive to not be, but it really can make a difference and this is why I have come to believe this:

If your situation is such that the people you are coming out to have basic knowledge about your living situation, however the details they are unaware of is the intimacy with more than one partner and in withholding that detail about the intimacy, your family has no problem with the way you are living or better yet view your life as perfectly respectable, this puts you in the best possible scenario for your family to remain supportive with the knowledge that your habitual intimacy with others is non-traditional.

If everything was hunkydory before the non-traditional detail, that is one of the best ways to enlighten others that their beliefs and core values are flawed should they suddenly label your life as wrong. There are so many excuses and justifications people use to hold on to an old, and frankly bigoted or hateful belief system. It's OK for another to not agree with your choices, but to use that as a justification to persecute or discriminate is so flat out wrong it fits the definition of criminal or evil.

If you had their blessing before you came out, that is in my view the strongest place you can reveal yourself from because it is the best thing to wake people up from the strong grip of denial and justification of flawed logic.

And if that doesn't work, there is nothing you could have done differently that would have worked. And if that is the case, the way the world changes takes quite a long time and depends on courageous people to lead the way and carry on despite of any shit the world dishes out. That is why it is important to always support those who are willing to do it, and be an example by refusing to remain silent when you witness any shit being dished out from anywhere. This is also why it is important to have as much support from mono-people who have a firm understanding of what constitutes deciding the difference between right and wrong. This is also the reason I believe it is necessary to support the LGBT struggle to get governments to refuse to sponsor discrimination (ie support gay marriage)

I realize I went off topic, and to try to answer your question, I guess I would say to just be strong and resolute. Do not tolerate any negative or otherwise derogatory behavior towards you or your loved ones and hopefully you will be able to count on those who know in their heart that there is nothing about you that is wrong for living your life the way that works for you. It really makes a difference when people will speak up and choose to not accept derogatory speech anywhere about anyone when it comes to matters such as these because when we do not, it condones flat out wrong behavior.

Last edited by Dirtclustit; 12-30-2012 at 06:12 AM. Reason: typos
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