• Mon, Sep 23 - 11:16 am ET

Polyamorous Mom: I’m Dreading Coming Out To Certain Family Members

explosionI’m a full-time working mother of three children, married to a wonderful man while dating others. This column chronicles our challenges, boundaries, and successes in a polyamorous marriage. 

As discussed last week, our coworkers already know about my boyfriend Jim and I and things have settled down at the office. My husband Allan, Jim and I have an enjoyable friendship and my kids adore him, but what remains in the grand scheme of life is our families.  All three of us would like the normalcy of being able to discuss our lifestyle freely, but if we were to come out to any of our families it could irrevocably ruin relationships.

A few months back, I wrote a question into Slate columnist Dear Prudence asking for advice on telling my religious father that I have a boyfriend.  She ignored the question, instead talking about how my lifestyle could effect my children, while commenters were all over the board.  The majority of people questioned why in the world I would tell my father about my sex life, that what I do in the bedroom is my business.  Therein lies the main problem with discussing poly with outside people: they almost always assume the relationship is only about sex.   Being in a new and enjoyable poly relationship is just like a monogamous person being in a new relationship — I want to share him with other people I love.

I know we could just keep it a secret from our families, but we find it increasingly difficult.  For one, I spend a lot of time with Jim and am honest about who I’m with if it comes up — lying could be easily discovered and send off alarm bells.  Second, the kids know about Jim to some extent and will know more as they grow up.  Currently, if I go on an overnight with Jim, the children know who I was away with and might bring this up at any time.  Allan and I find ourselves running into this more and more often. Jim and I are affectionate when we are out in public, just as I would be in a monogamous relationship: holding hands, and the occasional kiss or hug.  Allan and I have discussed this and have decided we aren’t hiding, so what comes may come.  But I often wonder if one day someone we know will walk by mouth agape at our clasped hands.

The weekend before my son’s birthday, I had spent Saturday night out with Jim at his house, the two of us picking the kids up the next day for an outing.  That morning, Allan’s father called the house and asked to stop by.  Allan went cold for a minute. Where would he say I, his dutiful wife, was? What if Jim and I returned while my father-in-law was still there?  So he made an excuse to postpone the visit, and the risk was averted.  That same afternoon, my father and his wife came over and the conversation came around to what we all were doing the night before. I tensely awaited one of the kids piping up that, “Mom was with Jim.” Or worse, “Mom was with her BOYFRIEND.”

Share This Post:
  • Angela

    I can understand your desire to be open and authentic about your relationship but unfortunately our society is not very accepting of polyamorous relationships. No matter how you handle it there will be very few people genuinely happy for you. Some may quietly disapprove but accept that it’s none of their business, others may gossip, some will be horrified. If your relatives are even mildly conservative it may strain or break your relationships with them. Some may come around eventually while others may not.

    I’m not saying this to talk you out of it but I think you do need to accept that there’s no magic way to tell people and avoid the fallout. I think this is unfortunate. Personally I don’t understand why we can’t just leave grown adults to live their lives but I think that the majority of people in our society aren’t there yet.

    • matt30fl

      I think the concern here is that her family will “leave her” to her life. If you know you have conservative parents, and choose this lifestyle, you do so knowing the likely outcome when they find out. Of course I would agree that it is better to tell them and let the results play out, than to risk them finding out from another source. If they decide to accept it at some point is it better to get clock moving sooner rather later.

  • Cee

    Ugh. I hate when people say “what you do in your bedroom is your business.” As a lesbian that has heard this a thousand times, why is it always about sex? Whey can’t they get past thinking of the sexual parts (pervs) and see the kind, loving connections people make with their partner/s?
    I get what you are going through, I am still not out to certain family members and have some family members much like your mom and your sister. Like you, I was always very close to my father, but this has caused him to be very distant.

    I wish I can tell you that things will be better, but sometimes…they wont. Some people will accept you and love you and some people will not. It just happens that way. Your family may love you and all, but there are some things they just can’t get over. But, I see it this way…I am happy and fulfilled with my partner. Are you happy and fulfilled with yours? Would you rather give it all up just to satisfy the people in your family and be miserable? Probably not. So, at the end, being your true self will make you much happier than someone else’s approval.

    • jack_sprat2

      As I see it, conflict is exacerbated because people in A/L turn all too quickly to condemning those who don’t “get with the program” as “judgmental”, “homophobic”, or whatever. Seldom, if ever, do they see themselves as the pots they are, calling kettles black. At present, the internet is often overrun with nasty, disagreeable atheists, some of whom are giving Westboro Baptist a run for their money. At one point in time, some Unis required prospective RAs to watch gay male porn as part of their “orientation”. Puritans just change their beliefs, not their fundamentally intolerant nature.

  • AmazingE

    I share a similar dread when it comes to my in-laws. They’re super nice people unless you’re black or gay or transgendered or otherwise “not-normal”. The racist stuff I can usually shrug off, but when they get going on the anti-gay/transgender stuff and how such people are an “abomination”, etc. I have to leave the room because i’m on the verge of tears. I’ve been what I call “a sexual omnivore” pretty much my whole life, and to be made to feel like less than human simply because of who i’ve chosen to love, hurts me to my core. Thankfully, we don’t see them very often so this doesn’t happen on a regular basis, but if we did i’m sure i’d have to explain my feelings eventually, which I dread because I know that they just wouldn’t understand.

    • jack_sprat2

      Why is it that you imagine that they must see things as do you? Isn’t that exactly what you might claim is “wrong” with them? It’s all about whose human waste stinks.

  • Pingback: What Your Halloween Costume Shopping Says About You - Mommyish

  • Kimberly

    I think the main reason there are so many different reactions to your polyamorous lifestyle is that it makes a LOT of people uncomfortable. Just like with any “taboo” thing that others like (marijuana, drinking, sex, gambling, taking risks like mountain climbing, etc.) people will also be against it. I think many people are afraid of others that are living their life, why? Because it means that they PERSONALLY settled for what they thought the “ideal” life should/would be. And they are probably jealous a little bit, deep down, that you are living the life you want and not the time period’s “acceptable” life. There will always be those that cannot understand it, and there will be those that are jealous, and those that will not be affected, and others that will try it (and those so grievously sad that they will do what they can to “help” you). We can only accept that and hope that our families love us enough to put their personal beliefs aside and to be happy for our happiness. Good luck.

    • Sara Jackson

      No, you are wrong. I’m monogamous and don’t feel that I SETTLED. I feel that I do have the ideal life. My husband isn’t perfect, but he makes me happy and he COMPLETES me. I don’t need any other person in our life to do that. If he didn’t complete me, I wouldn’t have married him. And I highly doubt that her family members are going to be jealous by her lifestyle. I feel sorry for the author that she isn’t getting what she wants/needs from her husband (I’m not just talking about sex).

    • Kimberly

      No, you are wrong. FUNNIEST LINE EVER. It’s an opinion. You can speak for yourself, but not everyone. I’m happy you are happy and complete…but not everyone is. And those people usually are the ones that get pissed at others happy with their lives. NOT sure what you are saying I’m wrong about.

    • TngldBlue

      You ARE wrong. Ha, I kid. I don’t agree though. I think there are a vast multitude of reasons why people turn into vocal judgey mcjudgersons and jealousy is only one of them. For example, poly mom’s dad is religious (which I think is far more common than jealousy as a reason for shit talking), some people have a very black and white way of looking at life and cannot allow for any grey, some might have a similar experience that turned out poorly for them, some might determine an action or choice to be against their value system, and others might have a narrow world view for whatever reason and can’t understand anything outside the norm. All of these are reasons some people sit down for a bitch fest served with a side of raging judgement on what other people do with their lives. Human beings judge others behavior, it’s just nature. What too many have not learned to do however, is to zip it.

    • jack_sprat2

      I should point out that the shoe is all too frequently on the other foot in such matters. How quickly the New Orthodox demand that everyone sing out of the new hymnals. Tolerance is no longer enough for many; anything short of full acceptance is to be roundly condemned as “homophobia” or “racism” or whatnot.

    • jack_sprat2

      Sometimes, mostly maybe, they’re threatened. Being “in the lifestyle”, don’t close your eyes to the human wreckage that often is the consequence of such things. Too many into it choose to proselytize or/and prey upon the “vanilla”.

    • Mystik Spiral

      That’s an awful lot of defensiveness for someone who is complete and didn’t settle…

    • Muggle

      Leave the fake pity at home, princess. We all know you couldn’t give two shits about the author, her husband, or her kids, you just want to feel all smug and superior.

    • jack_sprat2

      Boy, I’ve never seen THAT attitude expressed by “swingers” before, he said, sarcastically. When the “Swinging Seventies” came to an end, there were a whole lot of UMC victims of spousal and peer pressure who were mighty relieved.

    • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

      No one said that all monogamous couples have settled. There are plenty of monogamous couples who aren’t bothered at all by the non-monogamy of others. The above comment was about those who feel the need to tear viciously at non-traditional relationships. While I don’t quite agree with Kimberly about jealousy being the root of the conflicts, I do think it is worth examining why a significant number of people who claim to be happy and fulfilled in their their own relationships feel a need to tear down relationships of others that don’t fit their own traditional models.

      For me, people being angry over other people’s consensual relationship styles is as nonsensical as people waging war over whether to spread butter on the top or bottom of their slice of bread.

    • jack_sprat2

      Too often, given half a chance, such folks eagerly set about trying to upset other folks’ apple carts. Bad enough that they must worry about Lotharios or sirens attempting to seduce away their mate. How much worse, that said mate’s “friends” are putting the bug in their ear?

    • Andrea

      Yeah not everyone that is monogamous feels like they “settled”.

      Not everyone that disagrees with you does it because they are jealous of your lifestyle. There are a million reasons.

    • Ennis Demeter

      Some of us value privacy, for example.

    • Mette

      Kimberly didn’t say that people would be jealous of poly mom’s lifestyle, more jealous that she went after the life she wanted, instead of settle. Poly mom could have chosen the easy way and live in a monogamous relationship to avoid other people judging her, but she wanted more, and I think that’s what Kimberly means. That not everyone have the courage to go after the life they want.

    • Andrea

      Sure. And again, just because someone chose a different, more conventional path doesn’t mean anyone settled. Or that they are jealous.

      For me, this lifestyle wouldn’t work. Every time I read about the juggling act that her life is, I feel like I need a nap.

    • Yves

      Just because someone is in a monogamous relationship doesn’t mean that they settled or didn’t go after what they wanted. Being with 1 person can be exactly all someone every wanted. My husband is all I want and how rude and just plain incorrect to say that I somehow settled on him. So.. if we don’t go out and f*ck multiple people are are not courageous? Lol that makes no sense.

    • Mette

      OMG! Do you often drop into a conversation and just express your opinion without having heard half of what’s going on?! THAT’S NOT WHAT KIMBERLY SAID!
      She said that some people talk shit about Poly Mom’s lifestyle, possibly because they are jealous of her courage to find her own happiness in spite of how controversial it is.
      Why don’t you people READ what it is you reply to?!

    • whiteroses

      I am happy with my husband, and one of the reasons why polyamory would never work for us is because we are both relatively devout.

      If your lifestyle is what you want and you’re not killing living creatures, you’re doing what you do legally and consensually, and you’re mindful that not everyone lives the same lifestyle you do, then how you live your life is not my business or concern. It has nothing to do with jealousy, because frankly I cannot imagine my world with multiple romantic partners at this point. To me, polyamory is a lot like polygamy in the sense that it’s hard for me to understand how people do it. I can’t imagine sharing my husband with multiple partners, and the idea that he’d want something like that is extraordinarily painful to me.

      “You’re just jealous” seems like something children say in the schoolyard when they don’t have a different response. Sometimes it’s true. But mostly, it isn’t.

    • Mette

      Kimberly didn’t say that everyone who don’t understand poly mom’s lifestyle are jealous, more the people that talk bad about it. I don’t understand it either, but I don’t feel the urge to write mean things to poly mom.
      But most people probably know the feeling of trying to find bad things to say about something they’re jealous of, because it’s somewhat easier, than to admit to yourself that you’re not satisfied with how things are.

    • whiteroses

      True. But the point that I, and others, were trying to make is that when people express concern or disagreement over Poly Mom’s lifestyle, most of them are not jealous. Some might be, but painting us all with the same “you’re just jealous” brush is incredibly simplistic.

    • Kimberly

      I think that for many…not all…but for many, a small part of them is jealous when they see someone going after something they want that is non-traditional. It’s an opinion. Not the answer for some, or all, but for many.

    • jack_sprat2

      Life is necessarily about compromise, for most folks. It’s a vastly underrated virtue. Most of us have plenty of drama in our lives, thank you ever so much. Speaking as a roughly ordinarily endowed man, any suggestion from the wife after an NBA power forward moves in down the block might be met with a preemptive filing for divorce. Some thoughts, she’d do well to leave with her Kindle. In return, I’ll keep my thoughts about her mother and sister to myself. LOL, but quite seriously.

    • Mette

      Well, there’s a difference in expressing concern and talking shit about something you don’t approve of ;)

  • Véronique Houde

    I’m a lot like you in that I like to live my life openly and honestly. I’ve had to work very hard at coming to terms that, for the sake of my relationship with my mom, I can’t be open about everything that I would like to. Is it in order to avoid conflicts? Perhaps… Is it to make sure that she remains happy, and therefore I? Yes. It might be difficult, but easier than the alternative of having a big gap between us and being in constant conflict.

    If you say that your father wouldn’t accept you because of his own beliefs, that it would put a strain on a relationship that you enjoy and need, what would be the advantage of opening up to him? If you’re saying that there wouldn’t, I would encourage you to not talk about it… I know it sucks, but there is no such thing as 100% open honesty about everything in your life to everyone you know. In every relationship you have, you will find yourself sharing a part of yourself – a part that might be different from other relationships you have. Doesn’t mean that some are better than others – they’re just different.

    The people that you can be honest with are your children. You can explain to them about discretion and the differences between lying and being private. It can be a good way to talk about things in their lives that they don’t have to talk about with others without feeling like they are being dishonest (such as their sexual preferences, their religious or political beliefs, the people they hang out with).

    And if push comes to shove, and they say you were with Jim, he’s a friend of your and your husband’s – someone you have a lot of fun with. Which is the truth! ;)

    • Gangle

      My new favorite post.

  • Kheldarson

    I remember that Dear Prudence letter. I wasn’t particularly impressed with her answer that day. I don’t really have anything I can say in terms of advice except maybe can you talk with your older kids about how not everybody understands what you, Allan, and Jim have? That way the kids, at least, won’t be entirely broadsided by a storm of reactions? I do hope, though, that you don’t have a reckoning, just a quiet revelation.

  • Amber

    Well, I’d like to tell you that they’ll get over it eventually because they love you but sadly that’s often not true.

    Good luck.

  • Sara Jackson

    I find your statements here to be very contradictory. First you say that coming out could “irrevocably ruin relationships”, then a few lines down you say that “and as long as no one gets hurt I think people should do as they choose.”
    But people ARE getting hurt, and will CONTINUE to get hurt because of your choices.

    I find you, your husband, and your boyfriend to be very selfish people, and honestly, I feel sorry for your children.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      As of this moment, who do you see as getting hurt? yes Im saying that coming out could cause hurt to my other family members, but that would be because of their own prejudices. Would you say the same thing if I were to say my father would be hurt if he found out I was gay?
      The second part, where I speak of people livign there lives with out hurting anyone, can only go so far. You can control other peoples reactions. You talk as though we are in the streets killing puppies.

    • Cee

      “I feel sorry for your children” ah, the beloved line of the sanctimom once she imparts her wisdom.
      Her coming out as poly SHOULDN’T have to ruin relationships because being poly is what she feels to be her true self. Just like you feel being straight and monogamous (I’m guessing here) are your true self. The thing is being poly isn’t the norm. There are many reasons people don’t accept it and that’s where people get hurt, because they don’t accept it, not because the relationship physically hurts them just because it exists. They hurt the people in their family that are poly by not accepting them and they hurt themselves by severing ties with people over something that, quite frankly, is not for them to control.

      Poly mom should do as she pleases because she is being honest with herself. This is who she is, that is why she is saying people should do as they choose. Her family that gets hurt and the relationships that are ruined don’t have to be that way if the people in her life accept her for who she is.

      She can’t be something she is not in order to please her family. Family’s love and acceptance shouldn’t have to come with being just one certain way..sadly it sometimes seems that way.

      Also, have you been reading the articles she has been writing? Everyone in the relationship has enthusiastically consented and are poly themselves…soooo…whats the problem? Everyone in the relationship is doing what makes them happy, so, I guess, yea, they are selfish, but all consenting. Yet, I bet whatever you are doing in your life to be happy, like having children, is selfish too at some point, right?

  • Wilskey

    I’ve been following these posts and I have seen one commonality in all of them; the writer is constantly describing hardships that her lifestyle is putting on her non-romantic relationships. Perhaps a good old inner-dialogue about the positives outweighing the negatives is in order for this woman. Then, of course, it’s customary for the comments section to be full of “how dare anyone JUDGE you!”. Well, I’m going to say something to the contrary here. While in a perfect world we would get to do everything our little heart’s desire without the meany-pants’ out there being all over us with their “judgey” (f- that non-word) attitudes, that’s not the way people work. We have parents, and grandparents, and siblings, and co-workers, and old friends, and the desire to make new friends, etc. While technically you’re not “hurting” any of them through your actions, for the sake of preserving your existing relationships it’s best to just keep your mouth shut on some matters you know to be fodder for unrest. Do I let my alcoholic father know that I am involved in AA? Nope. It would hurt our relationship. Would I tell my in-laws that before marrying their son I dated women? Not really any of their business and although it may be “wrong for them to judge”, I am more satisfied not divulging that detail and keeping the peace than I would be with being brutally honest about things that don’t concern them. Do my co-workers need to know that I am an atheist? Absolutely not. One of them is a super-crazy fundy lady who’s respect is far more important to work productivity that my burning desire to be honest about my beliefs Does my grandmother, one of my best friends, really need to know my husband and I’s proclivities for…….okay, that’s not really anyone’s business. Back to the AA thing I mentioned earlier, it’s part of the steps to be honest unless it would hurt another person. And you don’t get to decide whether or not a person is justified in having their feelings hurt. I think that is a good standard for every day life. While a lot of the people here in the comments section seem to believe that every person has the right to be honest and live-in-your-face at the expense of other people (because f- them for being so “judgey” right?), I think it’s more responsible to take inventory of the benefits vs. the pitfalls of your honesty and how it is going to effect other people. And I’m sorry, lady who writes this, but you’re not championing some poly- cause here. You’re in the minority and although not wrongfully by any means. Do what you want to do, but understand that you’re doing something out of the ordinary. There are no “bad people” involved in your story or in the discussion of it. There is however, an element of you borrowing trouble. Unpopular to say, but realistic when you think about what you expect out of other people.

    • Andrea

      I think..I think..I just fell in love with you a little bit. ;)

    • chickadee

      It feels a bit, too, like there’s a sadness attached to the writer’s wanting to tell her father about something that he most certainly won’t approve of. She already has ample evidence that her coworkers don’t understand her situation, and she has no reason to believe that her father will be any more open-minded.

      I am all in favor of people living their lives as they please as long as they aren’t hurting others, but you can’t force other people to like it or accept it or to refrain from judging you. That’s pretty much what Prudence’s response was back in May — the effect your life has on others could be more problematic than the writer is considering.

    • Wilskey

      I get that too. And I feel bad. I was hoping her posts would be amusing adventures in extra-marital fun-having. I wanted to be all “go lady with a segment about sexual empowerment and bucking convention on that mommy blog I follow!”.

      But alas, it’s more like “chick, you’re life seems like one big long account of that one time you thought that a threesome would be awesome, but it was soooo painfully awkward that you spent the following year avoiding places and situations where the other two involved could possibly pop up” (except she didn’t lose the couples’ numbers in the end and just kept calling them….and also told her coworkers…..and her kids……and her parents for some reason)

    • Polyamorous Mom

      AS I said above…so far Ive covered a few things that arent super, no ones life is super all the time, and a new lifestyle is going to contain speed bumps to write about. I plan on writing something more “fun” in a couple weeks

    • Gangle

      Yes to everything you have said. Just yes.

    • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

      I’ve only seen two out of five posts by this author that focus on how polyamory affects her non-romantic relationships (The column about her co-workers, and thsi one). And as this is a column about the workings of their relationships, discussion of such challenges are appropriate. I haven’t seen it as being a continuous theme in her posts.

    • jack_sprat2

      WORDS OF WISDOM: “And you don’t get to decide whether or not a person is justified in having their feelings hurt. I think that is a good standard for every day life.”

      Wilskey is to Richard Dawkins and Bill Maher as Pope Francis is to Westboro Baptist.

  • bl

    If your kids know-ish, I think you’ve got to tell your extended families. Especially the ones you know will be upset. It’s not fair to the kids to follow this unspoken secret rule, which I’m sure they’ve picked up on or run the risk of being the one who feels guilty for outing mom and making grandpa hate her. Are you willing to give up polyamory to please your dad? No? Then tell him and get it over with.

    • whiteroses

      I agree with this. If your kids know, so should everyone else. It’s not fair to put the burden of keeping that “secret” on them.

  • J

    This is off topic, but do you have the friendship with Jim’s wife Allan has with Jim? Does Jim’s family know and embrace you as a part of his life? This would definitely never fly in my family. It would have to be a secret. Everyone would see it as an affair and affairs are awkward. I hope it works out for you.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      I dont no, but thats a topic for another column (jim’s wife)

  • Lry

    Look, you choose your path, if you don’t like that aspect, work around it, or reconsider what you’re doing. Does it ever occur to you that your indignation on living this lifestyle is directly related to how you were brought up? That perhaps you’re overcompensating to make up for the rigidness of your upbringing? Maybe the reason you want to tell your dad so bad is to rub it in his face that you turned out differently.

  • Loreena

    Why tell your family at all? Because it would make you feel better, righteous, more honest, more authentic, in some way happier or more relaxed than you are now? I quite like S & M, and it’s also a minority practice, but I can’t see how sharing this with my family would improve my life or theirs in any way. It’s my business.

    • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

      I think the issue here is that given the way her polyamorous relationship is fully integrated with her life, her family is eventually going to find out about it one way or another. Her boyfriend is not just someone she occasionally gets it on with on the side, he is a regular part of her, her husband’s, and her children’s life. As time goes on, it inevitably will get more and more difficult to omit that information when talking to her family.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      well put ben! i need to sign you on to reply to all my columns ;)

    • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

      Haha! Well, given that it’s a topic of interest to me, I don’t think you have to twist my arm much :)

  • NYBondLady

    Curious, do editors take a look at these columns things before they are posted? I only read the first few paragraphs but they were filled with grammatical errors…

  • PolyinNY

    I am also polyamorous and also dread the time we will have to come clean to our immediate friends and family. Not because we want to feel righteous or “authentic,” but because if you are close to your family, it is very painful to keep something so big to you from those you love. Also, you find yourself avoiding landmines in every conversation. “Oh I saw this hilarious thing at the (hotel)…mall yesterday with (Jim)…Sarah, and this lady looked at us weird because we were holding hands….I guess she never saw too women hold hands…uhhh…” Yeah. It’s awkward. Would it be apocalyptic to keep it to ourselves? No. However, it just makes daily life so much harder. Also, I don’t know about Polyamorous Mom, but we live very close to my family in a very small town. Being openly affectionate with another man, or even going to lunch or dinner with someone else, would look suspicious and raise a lot of questions with anyone I knew who saw me. Almost everyone I know also knows my sisters or parents. So telling them would not only “unburden” me, but prevent them finding out from someone else, which they would find extremely hurtful and almost unforgivable, moreso that the actual act of being poly.

    In contrast, my in-laws live across the country. We see them 2 or 3 times a year and talk on the phone once a week or so. They are incredibly religious and generally conservative. Since we have very little chance of them accidentally finding out and it will likely cause a much greater rift in their relationship, we plan on keeping our lifestyle to ourselves.

    Currently, my husband’s girlfriend is sort of both of our girlfriend, as she and I are both bi and sometimes we all hang out together. Our plan is that if after a year we are still together, she and her children will move in with us and our child as a sort of “sister wife.” We are all very enthusiastic and excited about this prospect. However, it would definitely mean coming out to our families. It would mean trying to explain to our children in ways that they would understand. It would mean understanding that not everyone will accept it and while some people might not cut ties with us, they might refuse to come to our home. I know my parents and certainly my in-laws, would refuse to come to our home knowing we shared it with someone else in every sense of the word.

    So, to Anonymous Mom, my suggestion is to at least raise the subject with your father. Maybe mention “someone you know” in a happy triad. Mention that all parties are consensual. Listen to his take on it, and really listen. Read between the lines. If his objections are deep and insurmountable, then maybe you try to keep it from him as long as possible. If his objections are pretty much “it’s icky” then maybe he can get past it. You might even float the “well, what if hubby and I decided to do that? Would you disown us?” Do it with a light tone so it won’t arouse suspicion, but it would get the discussion in the open a little.

    Good luck :-)

    • Polyamorous Mom

      good luck to you too! thanks for this great comment

  • Pingback: Poly and out

  • Momma425

    The contradiction here is that you are living your lifestyle in a way that is abnormal, but getting offended and hurt when people respond in anyway other than treating it like it is normal.
    You can’t say, on the one hand, that people shouldn’t be upset because it is none of their business and then turn around and want to share this with everyone around you.
    The difference between being homosexual and this is that someone isn’t gay by choice. It is part of who they are. You ARE making a choice, and it is what you are choosing to do, not how you were born and who you are. Huge difference. If your father refuses to accept this, he is not rejecting you as a person, he is rejecting the lifestyle in which you choose.
    There are certain details about the way I choose to live my life in which I omit from my in-laws, and my parents. Yes, that does mean that there are aspects of my life in which I have to not discuss and am not an open book about with everyone- and that is okay. As my parents fully explained to me- they know I am married, I have a child…but in their minds, my husband and I go to bed every night in seperate bedrooms and don’t have private parts at all. They would prefer to live in that world, however unrealistic, and I am not going to pop that bubble. My sex life is completely something off limits to my parents, and their sex life is mutually something that they do not discuss with me.
    Of course you can share this with whoever you want to- and it would probably be better to share it than to have some rumor going around town about an affair and wrong information getting back to your dad. But expecting him to treat your choice like it is normal, shrug and get over it, is completely unrealistic. I’m sorry, I am not trying to be mean.

    • Andrea

      I am not necessarily disagreeing, except that from what we’ve heard, it isn’t a choice a either for them.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      I keep meaning to come back and respond to you on this. :) Honestly, for me, i do not feel like being poly is a choice (whether people agree with me or not). To me, it is the natural state of how relationships fit for me. I feel uncomfortable and unnatural in monagomy, i dont see being poly as something i chose on a whim but something i realized I was.

  • GenerikErik

    I wonder if polyamorous relationships might tend to follow the same trajectory as these posts. They were exciting and filled with the unknown at first. Of late they’ve become more work than fun and surprisingly tedious. I begin to wonder if my relationship to Polyamorous Mom may have run its course.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      well, im sorry to hear that. I kept this comment in mind while writing though, and tried to make sure i wasnt sounding defensive or trying to sell aything…so in that…thanks. And I hope to write one week after this coming about a far more scintilating experience ;)

    • Polyamorous Mom

      read this weeks article :p

  • Yves

    Everytime I read your posts I am reminded of me in my late teens/early 20s… the tone, the way you justify things, the way you analyze people’s personalities and behaviors that always come round to making it sound like you are open-minded and rationale. I am not explaining it well but it just seems like so much BS. Like a happy fairy bubble that you are trying to project to convince readers that you are levelheaded and that everything is perfectly okay and being handled in an adult way – and you even believe it yourself. But I have some premonitions – that at some point in time, you will no longer be married to your current husband and/or you will not be with your boyfriend.

    I’m sorry, I do think you are immature (based on your musings) and I do think you are trying to maintain your marriage for whatever reason (love, stability, social pressure, etc) but you really just wanted to find someone new to have a relationship with because you wanted that new love feeling, bored of husband, wanted new sex, whatever reasons (those are yours). I feel like you write in circles to try and convince us of otherwise, but I can’t help but feeling differently. I want to be cool with your stuff, because I know it’s easy for you to be judged, but you honestly just annoy me with the way you write.

    • MamaLlama

      I totally agree with you. I look at my own marriage and see that there have been times that support and connection (emotional, physical, etc) have been missing or in short supply and that it would be easy to look for it in other places and become ‘polyamorous’. But instead, we’ve had to communicate and find out what each other needs and wants. When we do that, we fill that ‘void’ that someone else could fill. Then we are complete. When you mature, you can sometimes see that searching for something else won’t complete you but just give you a temporary fix for what’s not working in your current relationship. Marriage is hard, but extremely rewarding. As I am often intrigued by different lifestyles (Hello, TLC Sister Wives and Yay for gay marriage), I thought I would enjoy the Polyamorous lifestyle but instead, I just want to pay for couples counseling.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      I do not feel my marriage is incomplete, I am actually incredibly happy with husband, and just saw my therapist with him the other day because she wanted to check in on how we were doing. Not only did she remark on what excellent communicators we are, but remarked how much better we get along and have a lot more sex than a lot of the 10+ years married folks she sees.
      So what you are seeing as something “missing” in my marriage, isnt missing. Jim isnt filling a whole, hes adding something extra to my life.

  • jsterling93

    I also have this fear. My mother and brother would never understand and it would destroy the relationship they have with my husband. they really like him and feel he is good for me. But if they knew he dates they would turn on him in heart beat because they are protective of me. My close friends know and my niece and nephew (who are closer in age to me than my siblings are) know and they actually get it. When my niece moved in with me we knew she would need to be told because she would see things or hear things. She is very open minded and actually understands completely what we are doing. She states she could never do it but she also has never seen me so happy.

    I do worry about people seeing one of us out on a date and the damage it could do though.

  • Biliegh Berrie

    My view on family is different than most. I believe that although you are born into a family, these people do not have to have a long term attachment to you. I have told pretty much everyone in my family to f off and never talk to me again and I am a much calmer person for it. My family are those I choose to be my family! When it comes to your dad and mom and them, the one thing you need to ask yourself is this, “how are my lies affecting “me”?” Do you really want to live a stressful life from here on out? If you were to tell your dad what is going on, and the rest of your family, the stress of that will be short lived. They either decide to be a part of your life or not. But the stress that this is putting on you and ‘your’ immediate family is worse and once it is out you can leave the lies behind and finally be happy and secure in how you act in your everyday life.

  • Polyamorous Mom

    Well dear readers….I have a long car trip coming up with my father…we’ll see what happens on the Jim subject.