Saturday, November 27, 2010

Coming Out to Family

Polly (a mother with two husbands) had a coming-out discussion with her sister about her relationships, knowing that her sister didn’t approve. To her sister’s credit, she subsequently apologized, but first she bought up these issues that so many other people raise…

The whole situation does seem incredibly selfish to me though... and a twisted environment to raise children in.

I’m wondering how the situation is selfish if it is meeting the needs or at least some of the needs of all involved. For raising children, I’m not sure what harm there is in having another loving, responsible adult in the home.

Are you teaching your girls that it's okay to have multiple sexual partners as long as you are 'committed' to sleeping with all of them?

It is okay for adults to have multiple dating, domestic, love, sexual, or heck, dancing partners (and those aren’t always synonymous). While most polyamory does involve sex, not all “lovers” will necessarily have sexual relationships.

It doesn't seem stable or safe to me.

Stable. Are supposedly monogamous marriages all that stable these days? In most states, any spouse can file for a divorce at any time without actually giving a real reason, and the other spouse can’t stop it. And it happens to a high percentage of marriages. What is stable is proven by time.

Safe. There is nothing unsafe in having another responsible adult in the home. If anything, having a second husband provides more security as it is more likely an adult will be home at any given time to supervise and dissuade potential intruders. Whether in a monogamous or poly relationship, what makes something unsafe is being with someone who is abusive, violent, or destructive. Children should not be subjected to an abusive person even if they got their DNA from that person.

Polly responded very well with a letter she offers as a template for others…

I said that whether or not you could accept him as family was up to you. Not, “I’m open to hear your criticism.” I’m happy to discuss many things, but whether or not I should be in a relationship with someone I love is not one of them. I’m not asking for your understanding or approval, although I greatly admire those who make an effort towards understanding even when they do not approve. I am not trying to get attention or make a statement. I just want to quietly love who I love, without being in hiding somewhere. My relationships are not up for debate or scrutiny any more than yours are.

Stuart and I have chosen to have a family that is very different from yours. That does not mean that it is unhealthy or wrong for us…It may be wrong for you, and that’s okay. I respect your family as it is, not as I would have it be.

Go read the rest of it. Great stuff.
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