Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dear Abby Gets a Polyamory Letter Again

The great resource Polyamory in the News tipped me off to a new Dear Abby discussing polyamory. She gave advice regarding polyamory late last year, too.

The writer, who I presume to be a female (because if the writer was male, that would have been mentioned,) has a husband and a boyfriend, and their V is ready to come out to the boyfriend’s family, having already come out to her own family and the husband’s family.

My husband and I have been together 10 years. We started out as swingers. When we met my now-boyfriend, it became apparent that it was going to be more serious than "play" partners. Our particular arrangement is a "V" triad, meaning I am involved with two (husband and boyfriend), but they are not involved with each other.

My boyfriend is extremely important to us in every way. We all work together to make a very smooth-running, loving household.

What are they dealing with?

My boyfriend's family is conservative and they know he lives with a married couple. We've all spent time together, and I think they like me. Of course, they don't know I'm romantically involved with their son.

Dear Abby wrote…

Because they are conservative, if I were you I wouldn't shatter their illusions. I can almost guarantee they won't embrace you for it. If you feel you must disclose the information, then do it in the same way that you have explained it to me. But don't expect them to jump for joy.

If they are generally conservative, then there is a greater chance they will be upset or even hostile. But some people who are generally conservative are accepting, even supportive, especially when it comes to someone they know on a personal level. That is one reason public polling is moving towards more and more support for marriage equality. The boyfriend’s family seems to like the writer, which is a good sign. If they are concerned, it may be so only in the sense of being protective of his interests. They may want to make sure that he’s not being slighted or disrespected. That’s actually an argument for marriage equality; to make sure the “third person,” or the secondary, has the option of being a legal spouse. Being conservative, they may be happier about the situation if they fully understand that the boyfriend is with someone who cares about them; this is not a casual sex situation.

Rather than making an announcement in a situation like this, perhaps a viable tactic is to simply stop hiding it from them. There’s a difference. Think about the very common scenario of parents of a young woman in a monogamous heterosexual relationship who'd rather not hear from her boyfriend "I'm having sex with your daughter," but they know full well he is, and they might not mind at all having them share a room on visits or family vacations, but they just don't want to talk about it. In the letter-writer's situation,  if the boyfriend's family is confused about anything, they can ask questions, especially if the writer, the husband, and the boyfriend give off the vibe that they are happy to answer questions and alleviate concerns.

As Poly in the News pointed out, Dear Abby is widely distributed, which means it gives polyamory a high level of exposure to be featured in the column. The more that people see polyamory is an option and is right for some people, the better.
— — —

No comments:

Post a Comment

To prevent spam, comments will have to be approved, so your comment may not appear for several hours. Feedback is welcome, including disagreement. I only delete/reject/mark as spam: spam, vulgar or hateful attacks, repeated spouting of bigotry from the same person that does not add to the discussion, and the like. I will not reject comments based on disagreement, but if you don't think consenting adults should be free to love each other, then I do not consent to have you repeatedly spout hate on my blog without adding anything to the discourse.

If you want to write to me privately, then either contact me on Facebook, email me at fullmarriageequality at protonmail dot com, or tell me in your comment that you do NOT want it published. Otherwise, anything you write here is fair game to be used in a subsequent entry. If you want to be anonymous, that is fine.

IT IS OK TO TALK ABOUT SEX IN YOUR COMMENTS, BUT PLEASE CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY AS I WANT THIS BLOG TO BE AS "SAFE FOR WORK" AS POSSIBLE. If your comment includes graphic descriptions of activity involving minors, it's not going to get published.