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Thread: How to break news of an unconventional relationship to the family...

  1. #31
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Blue Spiral
    I think it's better not to tell people anything. I'm probably pretty close to being poly, myself. Granted, I've always been a reserved/private person, and I've never cared about acceptance or anything like that. My family is pretty negative in general; I'm not going to give them something new to moan about.

    Incidentally, 90% of "mono" families I've seen have raised screwed-up kids. Somehow, I don't think that's an excuse to bash monogamy...
    Hah! I agree. While the point of the thread was about communication with family about a lifestyle choice, I can appreciate the desire and opportunity to debate the lifestyle for its own merits. HERE. I'm just with you on privacy for it's own sake when it comes to family.

    I feel fully able to share my life with family without a desire to rough them up with my politics, religious beliefs or views on sex. Discretion is not a lie, it's an informed and thoughtful decision. I don't feel a need to sell anyone else on my lifestyle or to win their approval.

    If friend wants to share holidays and spread joy, bring the whole new family and blend them with family of origin and let the love speak for itself--without announcements or politics or labels or fanfare.

    You don't need a TMI parade in order to avoid a lie. Just live.

  2. #32
    Platinum Member rosephase's Avatar
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    I live with both of my partners. If I hadn't told my mom she could have very easily that they were having an affair while visiting and that would have caused a lot of stress for my mom and started her interactions with my girlfriend off on the very very very wrong foot. I had been with my girlfriend for two years when I came out. I had been poly for five. I didn't feel the need to tell my folks about my other relationships because I wasn't building my life with those people and felt very much that my sex life isn't a discussion I want to have with my folks. But I am life committed to two people, we are building a life together. We make choices for and with each other. We share fiancees. We are a family. I want both of my partners to be welcome in my parents house. I want to be able to kiss my girlfriend in front of her folks. And that is why I came out.

    I don't sit down and graphically describe my sex life to them. It isn't to much information it is a pretty massive part of my life that I would be hiding from my parents. And yes it would be Hiding... I would have to lie. I would have to pretend not to be my girlfriend's romantic partner when my family was around and that hurts. I don't know if you have any idea what it's like to move from partner to roommate and how much work that takes to keep up. You can't call each other pet names, you can't touch in familiar ways. You can't say "I love you". It blows.

    This is my life that I choose. This is my family that I am building. My parents don't just love the normal side of me. I think it's unfair to them to keep this part of my life form them. They would never really know who I was if I was hiding such a huge, important, defining choice that shapes the way I see the world and has taught me how to be the person I want to be. My parents want to know who they raised. My mom is proud of me. She is still figuring it all out but she thinks what we are doing is strange and amazing. My girlfriend's parents let us all sleep in the same bed at there house. We are very lucky to have parents that love and trust us and have open minds about what things "should" look like.

  3. #33
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Blue Spiral
    Just imagine...twenty years ago, it was much more common for parents to have that reaction if their kid came out of the closet.
    That's different.

    I don't see how this arrangement the OP's friend is in could be anything but personal choice.

    Even if we were to go so far as to say that it is not choice, necessarily, that someone be born poly. Friend here is making many myriad choices to get into this particular situation and brings up lots of potential reasons to not celebrate this "relationship".

    Because regardless of whether she orientates to one partner or many, she still always has the choice in what type of arrangements she enters into.

    See to me, if she were to announce her orientation now, it could easily become more about the legit issue of her entering into a situation where she is not in an equal situation with her partner(s). She's the one on the outside, legally, and unless she lives somewhere where poly marriages are legal and hold weight, she is putting herself in a pretty vulnerable situation from the get go here. So they may be concerned about that, for one.

    Potentially, also, the parents may have issue with sleeping with a married person. With their consent doesn't really change the fact, and if someone values marriage as a commitment to one - they might just see it as treating marriage as though it is worthless or worse to be openly sleeping with a married person. This isn't about her orientation either - she could have easily chosen a partner who is not married.

    Then there is the whole issue of bringing a kid into the mix. Well they may have reservations about that too.

    All and all, it not really being about whether the friend want to be in multiple relationships or poly even. More the particular choices of it. And the timing, too, of saying something.

    I would really like to know, given all that, why she'd want to tell. It's not about the poly even. There are times we all keep things to ourselves because, we weigh our wants against how it may impact other people. At least, I know I have. ANd pretty sure you have, blue spiral.

    Some people do feel more of a need to announce everything and expect it all to be celebrated, regardless. I think here of a cousin of mine who would bring every single relationship - appropriate or not - to the family's attention and expect it to be received. It's not that this cousin was not accepted as a person, but that doesn't mean we need ot celebrate nor be exposed to every single choice they make. And make no mistake, this is a choice.

    People did often used to believe being gay was a choice. That is why they had reacted that way. You know that. You know it's different. You are just stirring the pot. lol.

  4. #34
    Platinum Member rosephase's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by itsallgrand

    People did often used to believe being gay was a choice. That is why they had reacted that way. You know that. You know it's different. You are just stirring the pot. lol.
    I think poly is a choice. Some poly people don't think it's a choice.

    But what does it matter? It's my choice to rent. It's my choice to go to grad school. My career is my choice. Even if you are gay you can make the choice to have a differently sexed life partner because it's easier. I think my actions are okay. I think my actions should be at least attempted to be understood by the people who love me, like my parents. I don't think there is anything immoral or wrong about my choices and I don't feel that I should be forced to hide them for other people's comfort.

    Just because it is my choice doesn't mean I shouldn't want or desire my parents support and acceptance.

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  6. #35
    Platinum Member poetryandlyrics's Avatar
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    I studied a bit on this relationships academically. Some could argue, for some people, it is not a choice. Some people just are not meant to be monogamous, and this relationships suits them best as having those few people (not cheating otherwise) fits all their needs because being in a monogamous relationship would still not fulfill every single person's needs. Maybe one is less social than the other, one is less intellectual than the other (but still attractive, just not in the aspect one wants like philosophy versus other abtract thinking), and so on. Plus, it is noted that children do best in a community environment -- a lot of people catering to the needs of the child, and having multiple caretakers would be fine. I did note some here picking apart on whether the children would be fine or the merits of this style of relationships. There are benefits to this from all point of views. But really, that's not the question of this thread --how to communicate with the family.

    Individuals come from different family styles -- wanting more communication or not as another poster said one boyfriend did not tell and another did, depending. But this is not a sex lifestyle, it's a relationship style, and awfully hard to walk around it. What of holidays or some such? Should one hide from those gatherings, not come at all, or come but abandon relationships, or come with "friends"? There are different ways a difficult situation would be encountered. Sharing this relationship style would ease the tension.

    Yes, there would people who would not be alright with this for multiple reasons, as noted in this, but that should all ease away with time in their intensity then they'll note that there's nothing for them to do. Such as for every other thing they would probably disapprove (like in radical comparison for some or not so radical, homosexual or interracial or age gap relationships), but those issues depends on the person. But that's life, you can't please everybody nor have them see the same train of thoughts as you, no matter how conservative or liberal it is, right or wrong. But that's not the question -- the question is how to tell the family, not ways it would be denied. Those reasons can be used as a basis, sure, but not without any answer to how. And honestly, one poster explained it already -- with time. And it's better to start now to ease into the tolerance or acceptance of it later by others, or wait silently till she is in a relationship for years, years enough the others can say the relationship is solid enough to thrive with multiple people and a child and then share. Maybe that'd be better. Or perhaps it'd still be the same, but the answer still proves: with time.

  7. #36

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    Originally Posted by rosephase
    I'm not going to convince you that poly families are amazing and you aren't going to convince me that they are innately unhealthy. I hope that as time passes and more poly people are out of the closet and have better resources and more community that you will see more and more poly families and see how different and the same they are as everyone's family.

    OP this is why I always want poly people to come out. I still think it is a personal choice but the more of us there are out there the more people will see it as a real option.
    I would not try to convince you that poly relationships are innately unhealthy because I don't believe that's true. All I think is that it's an unhealthy environment for raising children based on the poly people I know and how they parent. If a bunch of families pop up where this works out great for the kids and they have their parents full attention and dedication 100% of the time, which would be different from all the ones I've already seen, I'd support it 100%. But until then, I'll go by what I've seen.

  8. #37
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rosephase
    I think poly is a choice. Some poly people don't think it's a choice.

    But what does it matter? It's my choice to rent. It's my choice to go to grad school. My career is my choice. Even if you are gay you can make the choice to have a differently sexed life partner because it's easier. I think my actions are okay. I think my actions should be at least attempted to be understood by the people who love me, like my parents. I don't think there is anything immoral or wrong about my choices and I don't feel that I should be forced to hide them for other people's comfort.

    Just because it is my choice doesn't mean I shouldn't want or desire my parents support and acceptance.
    Well personally, to me, it does matter if it is choice or not. Maybe not for everyone, but I'm not some weirdo. I know if/when I bring people home, or ask my family to welcome someone, it matters. Because if it's choice, then that person is accountable. That person is choosing their own path, and anything that comes with it.

    So. Then. Since she did ask how you would....my opinion would be to wait to be asked, use natural cues, use natural ins. I guess - it's then about personal approach and personal relationships with your family. Depends on them, right. No different than anything or anyone else. Mom: so seeing anybody? Actually yes...

    Okay, not hard. Not hard to tell.

    But what is she really asking? she is asking for acceptance. Of course. Cause if she wasn't, she would just tell it and be done with it and that's it.

    The whole point though really of my posting that was to say that it is possible to accept someone without accepting every choice they make. I accept my cousin as a person - I don't accept that she brings home married men. Make sense? There is a difference between wanting acceptance for who you are, and acceptance for your choices.

    Not out to argue. But I do get frustrated with the line of thinking that goes...everything must be accepted, or else people are ignorant. Why can't people actually have certain ethics - why are they necessarily the ones who are "wrong"? When there's two sets of beliefs coming at each other, there will always be some clashes. Doesn't mean people can't love each other and accept each other (know this in my own life). But it's unrealistic to expect everyone to accept and agree with it all.

  9. #38
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    Originally Posted by rosephase
    You are ignorant in this because you have never seen a poly family. You can't assume to know that it will be unhealthy for children. Clearly you care a lot about kids and have a lot of experience with them but you have no understanding of poly and how it works, so that is why you are speaking from an ignorant place. That is okay, a lot of people don't know what poly is or how it looks or functions but personally not having the information and making a negative assumption based off of prejudice is ignorant.
    I don't have to see a poly family to have an informed opinion (and seeing a handful of poly families wouldn't give me much relevant information). I've studied and am well read on what's in the best interests of a child, and worked with hundreds of children and I'm a mom. I'm not calling you "ignorant" just because you've never been a mother - that would be just plain wrong. I agree with pleasehelp that it's not about your choice to be involved in these sexual/romantic arrangements it's about whether a child should be subjected to that environment -the child doesn't get a choice in the matter.

  10. #39
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    Originally Posted by itsallgrand
    That's different.
    That's what they always say, at first.

    There are all sorts of "lifestyle choice" things that were once controversial, and now aren't, for the most part. Interracial marriage, single motherhood, postponing marriage, not getting married at all, surrogate pregnancy/other science-y pregnancy things, etc.

    Every single "consenting adult lifestyle choice" has followed the Gandhi pattern: "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win." If you think this is the one time that it won't happen, well, don't let me stop you. But I wouldn't bet on it.

  11. #40
    Platinum Member Crazyaboutdogs's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Blue Spiral
    That's what they always say, at first.

    There are all sorts of "lifestyle choice" things that were once controversial, and now aren't, for the most part. Interracial marriage, single motherhood, postponing marriage, not getting married at all, surrogate pregnancy/other science-y pregnancy things, etc.

    Every single "consenting adult lifestyle choice" has followed the Gandhi pattern: "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win." If you think this is the one time that it won't happen, well, don't let me stop you. But I wouldn't bet on it.
    That doesn't necessarily mean they were positive changes. For example, now that living together without being married is the acceptable....marriage is what is now being ridiculed by many. The people living together without marriage are now buying houses together, making babies together and having all the trappings of marriage without being legally married, and yet ridicule the institute of marriage. Then they split up and find out they have the same legal hassles with the house and the kids that they would have had if they would have been married.

    Then there is rampant casual sex which has become so much the norm that anyone who doesn't have casual sex is ridiculed as a prude or religious. There is an expression I once heard "when the unreal is viewed as real, the real becomes the unreal". Bottom line is that the more liberal sexual and relationship values have become, the more intolerant people have become towards the previous values so that now it is the previous values which have to fight for acceptance.

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