Coming out


Active member
It sounds like they are mostly concerned about the welfare of the kids. Is it possible that they are thinking of whether or not this issue makes you unfit as parents and may want to challenge your custody of them? (in that case, you could say they never had a problem with it before they know, so how does knowing this suddenly change how well you parent?) You might want to read Redpepper's blog or PM her. Her parents thought that their grandson's home situation was abusive and I believe they took them to court, but now they all get along very well when they proved that her son was not being abused by anyone.
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New member
Thank you for all your replies - some very useful advice for dealing with my parents in general!

In answer to a few of your questions - yes they were getting suspicious that 'something' was going on - the kids were mentioning my boyfriend's name a fair bit. I thought it was better to give them the facts than have them invent things in their heads, and at the time we had the conversation, it went very well, a few minor objections, but generally no big reaction. I constantly live in hope that my parents have changed but I was half expecting some kind of backlash.

I'm not really worried about any custody issues - they are constantly criticising how we look after the kids, despite the fact that they are all well behaved, well adjusted and happy, but I don't think they would ever go that far. We would also have the support of my husband's parents if this happened. I suspect that this conversation, if it takes place, will be mainly aimed at making us feel guilty, I don't think they will actually have any action in mind to come out of it.

In general, if I was giving advice to anyone else who wanted to come out to their parents, I would suggest giving the minimal amount of information necessary and not think that the conversation's going well, and hence spill all of it.


New member
I am a child of a father who had affairs with many women; and several of them came home for dinner. I do not know if my mother knew it while she was making dinner for them, or if she found out later. Some of them brought me presents. I had no idea that they were women with whom my father was having affairs (until much, much later ~ when I was recipient of many stories by each of my parents about the other).

I suffered zero harm from meeting these women, I had fond memories of some (those memories have faded now, but given the giant amount of bad memories, it's nice to recall there were some not-bad ones too). I suffered a great amount of harm from the fact that my parents had a lousy relationship. But being exposed to his lovers? nothing.

I don't think that will mean a great deal to your parents, but I did feel compelled to share that for anyone who might find it helpful (and especially anyone who needs encouragement to make their relationship better so that the children suffer less).

I would encourage you to be very very careful about exposing your children to people who criticize you that much. I remember telling my boyfriend in high school that if we got pregnant we could never leave the children with our parents (because our parents were horrible). Be very very careful what you share with people like that. People like that often believe they love you and/or that they're doing the right thing 'for the children,' and they do things like call child protective services.


New member
coming out as poly

how do you go about it?

I have come out as poly to a few friends recently, all who are very supportive about it. My primary partner has done the same to his friends. Tonight, I am sitting with him and one of the friends he's come out to, and something about his secondary (fwb) came up. I actually mentioned her. then I remembered the other friend in the room knows about the poly situation, but that friend and I haven't talked about it. Anyway, I feel like I want to acknowledge my poly relationship, but it seemed kind of off topic to our conversation, so I haven't bothered to say anything.

I guess my real question is: how do you come out to people? who do you come out to? what are your good/bad experiences with coming out as poly?


New member
Here are a couple of tag searches of various threads that cover this topic: threads tagged "coming out poly" and threads tagged "coming out".

Different people use different approaches, so reading through a few of these threads may be helpful. You may also use different tactic/approach with different people (only in person for one person, a letter for someone else, etc).

I personally haven't come out to any of my family - except my sisister, but she figured it out on her own more than I came out. Almost all of my friends know. Nowadays, it just gets mentioned pretty early on that I'm married and dating people, so it's obvious and people can ask questions as they need to. It also helps that about 75% of the people I'm meeting these days are friends of (poly) friends or from a poly meetup. lol

I've never had a bad experience. Most people haven't been surprised, because I just don't really try to hide it.


New member
I just told people recently. Very matter of fact about it. Everyone important inmylife is aware (immediate family and most friends), and the only reason there was an initial sense of weirdness was because of who my partners are :) not that there is two of them

But i'm in a triad, so it's an every day 'in your face' lifestyle for the friends we spend time with. Not sure what I'd do with more casual relationships :)


Active member
We all live together, so it tends to come up at some point when people see me kiss one and at another time kiss the other. :eek:

But, we're not "in the closet" about much of anything-so we don't make a production out of "coming out".

We just don't make an effort to act or talk different on account of who is listening.

So, for example, if I'm out with bf, I introduce him as bf. If I'm out with dh I introduce him as dh. If I'm out with both I will introduce them both.

(although most frequently-it doesn't happen that way-it happens as I said, people see me kiss one goodbye or hello, see me kiss the other and then ask)

Or the kids say something and provoke questions from people.



New member
'Coming out' as Poly

Got some Q's for you fine folks;

How/when do you 'come out' to people as poly, both to friends, and to people you're interested in?


Mega-thread on coming out.

List of useful/informative mega-threads.

(To whomever it may concern: Feel free to refrain from lecturing me or making third-person disapproving commentary because you don't like the fact that I answered by posting links to other threads without sharing a personal anecdote that is relevant to the topic. Been there, done that, gave at the office and got the free T-shirt.)


New member
Oh, awesome! Thanks (sorry I'm quite a bit new to this still, I probably should have seen that Master Thread XD)


Active member
(To whomever it may concern: Feel free to refrain from lecturing me or making third-person disapproving commentary because you don't like the fact that I answered by posting links to other threads without sharing a personal anecdote that is relevant to the topic. Been there, done that, gave at the office and got the free T-shirt.)



New member
I exist in a conservative world (most don't even know I have a tongue piercing!), so I have never come out as poly. Perpetually in the closet to those around me. And that's not likely to change.

But, when I do finally start looking for someone, sharing my poly nature is going to be one of the first things they find out about me.



New member
(To whomever it may concern: Feel free to refrain from lecturing me or making third-person disapproving commentary because you don't like the fact that I answered by posting links to other threads without sharing a personal anecdote that is relevant to the topic. Been there, done that, gave at the office and got the free T-shirt.)

Thanks, I will, but I'll also feel free to respond, seeing as how it's a public message board.

I personally see no problem with posting links as a reply to a two line general question that could be posted just out of curiosity. But for those times when someone posts in a fragile emotional state and obviously needs support, if you're going to reply then imo the responsible, mature thing to do is to try to provide some support along with the links, otherwise why on earth are you bothering to spend your time replying in the first place? It's a matter of sensitivity to the situation, which shouldn't be terribly difficult to put into practice.


New member
Got some Q's for you fine folks;

How/when do you 'come out' to people as poly, both to friends, and to people you're interested in?
I'm personally out to my friends and many of my coworkers. It just comes up in conversation when you're talking about romance. You mention doing all these things and it just sounds like too much for one person to do with another plus if they ever meet one or more of your significant others and they differ from descriptions of them you've given, you have some explaining to do.

My coworkers aren't super conservative but I do keep it from my boss who is fairly conservatively Jewish. It isn't a something she can fire me for but she can make work MUCH more difficult.

I make it blatantly clear to all romantic interests before we start getting involved. It's not something you want to spring on people and I prefer to be more open and honest anyways.


New member
We were totally closeted for a long time for a few reasons. We run in very conservative circles, for one. Also, our situation was more that I was poly and dating and DH was mono - so he didn't feel there was any benefit to him in us coming out, yet also felt it could cost him in terms of social status.

Then, we ran into a situation with some good friends in which being closed to them caused really terrible relational issues (I won't bore you with the details). After that, we decided to start telling people...slowly.

DH let me come out to my BFF, which was really hard. She is very open minded, but I also just sort of dropped the information like a bomb without warming her up to the idea, so it didn't land well.

Then, we came out to my siblings, which was easier since they are 1) not christians and 2) my brother and his wife had experimented with poly a year or so prior, so that part of the family was more familiar with the concept and didn't require as much education. It was actually pretty awesome, because my siblings (all younger) told me they look to DH and I as the model of a healthy marriage (ah, shucks :p ). My sister told me she had basically given up on having relationships because she would date a totally awesome guy for a year, then meet someone else she was into and have to choose. She wants to get married and have a family, but she didn't feel she could be monogamous her whole life, and didn't know there were other viable options. When she saw that we had a healthy poly marriage, it gave her hope. Yay! :)

Then DH and I both made Ok Cupid profiles, and once he got a date he was much more amenable to the idea of being totally un-closeted. He told his best bud, which went well. Just this week he ok'd me to finally post pics on OKC.

My hope is that eventually, it just won't be an issue. I fantasize about conversations with people where I mention my boyfriend, they look at me cross-ways, and I just say "oh, yeah, DH and I have been open like forever" like it's no big deal. I don't need to scream it from the rooftops - but I am kind of weary of calling my boyfriend "this guy I know" and ducking church-mates when I'm out at the bar with him. :(


New member
Heh, the personal stories mentioned actually sound pretty in-line with coming-out to people about my girlfriend transitioning;

Honestly, that gives me more hope, because in general people have been very understanding.

I guess, I'm mostly worried about telling people I'm interested in. I tend to like people who are very unexperienced in dating period, and I don't know. It's just a scary thing! D:

I might actually have the -hey-I'm-poly conversation with a guy I like today! eeee D:


New member
Coming out to friends and problems

Hi all. I've been married 15 years and have a secondary, J who is monogamous and who I've been with for 6 months. Things have been great with J, he makes me so happy and we have been able to build a wonderful relationship. I have only come "out" to a couple friends and they were supportive. My fears are always that I will lose friendships and be judged so I never came out to most friends and no family. J is divorced and does not want to get married again or have kids (he has 3 from a previous marriage). I do not want children so it works well for us. We have done great balancing our time and have had few disagreements. He recently came out to his two close friends who are women. Its been a lot of drama since then. I thought it would make it easier as we go to events together and J and I can be open about our relationship. The one friend L, in particular has been giving him such a hard time and cannot understand our relationship. She thinks its wrong and made him feel bad because I took "vows" and he will be going to hell because of what he is doing. (OMG, I'm so angry even as I write this) She even went so far as to encourage another woman to hit on J at a party which pissed me off so bad. L's arguments with J are as follows:

What do you get out of this relationship? (we did laugh at this one as he is happy and fulfilled with me)

Don't you want someone of your own?

You are going to break up a marriage. (again, no concept of poly)

There were so many single women at the last party last week, why didn't you ask any out? (again, he is monogamous and only wants me, he is 46 and it is harder to find someone you have a connection with)

We went out one night to a bar and L totally ignored me. she knows NOTHING about me as a person. If you are really good friends with a person, wouldn't you want to get to know people they are involved with? ? She is devaluing our relationship like it means nothing by encouraging other women and asking him to ask other women out. Its like it means nothing because I'm not single which is bogus I know. As of right now, I refuse to go to any social functions if L is going to be there. It feels too tense and uncomfortable.

I didn't sleep last night and my husband did say that J has to work this out which I know but I'm still very upset about all this.

any thoughts or advice would be helpful on this.



Well-known member
I feel your pain, and I would have at least one sleepless night in that situation.

I think you're right to be clear that you are too uncomfortable to hang out with L until she cools the drama and behaves as if she respects your relationship with J.

But, as your husband said, that's really J's issue to deal with. Is he dealing with it appropriately? How did he respond when L pushed him to hit on other girls?

(I would be majorly pissed off in your place. Why is it that women are so judgmental of each other? Why do they feel they can manipulate other women's relationships?)

And remember, the best revenge is living well. Keep on going about your business, and L will eventually get the idea that your relationship with J is awesome and healthy.

Maybe at some point, you and your husband can socialize with J and L, and you can talk to her openly about poly. (Probably not worth trying, though, as L sounds like kind of a narrow-minded tool).


New member

Thanks for your reply. I know its his issue but when she continues to say things like "the relationship is going nowhere" it burns me up! He just needs to squash this and I do hope in the future we can openly talk about our relationship with L.


New member
I sympathise with you and I know what this is like.

Ultimately, Meera hit the nail on the head. The best revenge is living a happy and fulfilling life. They aren't there when you are snuggled up on the sofa, when you are having Earth-shattering sex, when you are warm and glowy because you've found the ideal fit in each other.

To hell with what other people say. And whilst we're on the subject of hell - I find that a good response to idiots that say these things is "only God can judge us - and judging me is blasphemy". It usually shuts people up fast.

I have spent my entire life developing a thick skin about people's opinions, but even now, at 28, of course it can be difficult. I came out as a lesbian when I was only 13 and found that the best way to put a dampener on any unwanted opinions was to answer questions as if they were almost boring to me. Matter of fact, open, blase. When people pushed it too far, I'd tell them. As adults, we need to have even more of an ability to do this. As horrible as this is for J, he needs to defend himself and your situation and speak honestly, with strength and dignity. In terms of yourself, you could always speak to L and give her a piece of your own mind - but that is entirely down to you.

If this helps at all, I completely understand what it feels like to be judged, abhorred and completely ignored by those who are meant to be close. My girlfriend's father's wife won't allow me in their house. My girlfriend's mom literally doesn't look at me, doesn't speak to me, doesn't acknowledge my voice when I try to speak to her. She stares right through me as if I literally do not exist. It's an awful feeling. Eventually, my girlfriend decided that enough was enough. She told her father that nobody, including our daughter, would be coming to their house until they got their act together - and she told her mother that they would have no contact until she found some way of dealing with it. Since then, things are still frosty, but my presence is at least acknowledged.

Sometimes, you have to stand up with the strength of your convictions. You also have to keep your head high and ignore the rest of the world.

Just remember that they care for their friend and think they are doing what's best for him. In time, they may come around. It's up to J to encourage that .