O what tangled webs we weave . . .


New member
Okay, my dearly beloved polypeeps, here's a truly unique and very sensitive situation a poly family I know are facing, and I would like to get some input from some of the advanced polyfolks here. This is definitely not Polyamory 101.

First: Let me say straight up I am not one of the people immediately involved, although my life will be impacted beause I know and love many of the people who are involved.

Here's the sitch: The polyfamily in question is a poly-fi MFM V (let's call them Peter, Mary and Paul). The arrangement is essentially two married households, with Mary being the wife in each. The households are in different states. When she's in one place, she's Mrs. Peter; in the other, Mrs. Paul. Neither marriage is recognized as 100% legit in the eyes of the government (although common law applies in the case of Mary and Paul, as Mary has taken Paul's name). There are minor children in one home, Mary's and Paul's by previous relationships.

Peter, Paul and Mary are completely open and honest with each other. Peter and Paul are, in fact, close friends. And the three of them work in the same large company, occasionally on the same projects. Some of their family members are aware of the situation, as are a few of their friends. For the most part, though, Peter Paul and Mary are in the closet. And absolutely no one they do business with knows the score. This arrangement has been working for them for a number of years. Everyone is healthy and happy. Everyone needs are being met.

So far so good, right? Well, here's the rub:

Mary's mother is now dating one of the VIP's at the company. Peter's boss, to be specific; a powerful and influential man with a reputation for valuing honesty and personal integrity very highly. And thing's are looking serious between the two of them. There is scuttlebutt around the water cooler of a wedding possibility. Mom is fully in on the poly arrangement, and on the decision to keep it on the down-low. And she's been discreet about it. But if she and the BigBoss develop a long-term relationship, it seems increasingly likely that he will uncover the truth, say at Christmas or Easter or somebody's birthday. (Keep in mind that, for instance, Mom has grandchildren through Mary that BB at this point doesn't know exist, as he only knows her as Peter's wife).

If they let BB in on the secret, they may well do serious harm to their careers. If he finds out on his own, they are sure the fecal matter will strike the ventilation system.

So the question is: what should Peter, Paul and Mary do?

Real head-scratcher, isn't it? :confused:


New member
that is definitely a tough one. i wish i could offer some advice, or help at all, unfortunately i have no idea where i would even begin here. this really is a head scratcher. i hope all goes well for your friends. *hugs* (for you, and them)


New member
Friends are friends

Hi Fid,

I don't know as the situation is really as tricky as it may appear at first - if they don't MAKE it that way. Isn't it ironic that THEY are the ones who are living good, happy lives with integrity and feel they are subject to scorn & reprisals from someone who, if the truth were known, might have more to hide than them. Ahhhhhh life is funny !
But the bottom line is that there's nothing unethical about having close friendships - maybe a little closer than many - but TRUE friendships as you mention. The behind closed doors parts are really none of BBs business any more than they would be yours or ours if it were not for this forum. The arrangement could be explained as a "friendly ex", most anything and as long as physical affection is kept under control in public it should be fine. The existence of the kids probably sets the framework for the "traditional" family unit but even that could be explained either as the current or "ex" side of the equation depending on what's most practical. Nothing wrong with "Mom" wanting to spend time with her kids including staying with them for periods regardless of the presence of the - in this case - "ex". Whichever...
There's nothing really so bizarre on the surface to attract attention and strangely enough the truth is very honorable & respectable. If only the other half (2/3? lol) of the population could lead such exemplary lives !
Hope that helps.



New member
I have to agree with the possibility of looking for new jobs, just in case. I am also the type though that although I do not shout about my poly relationship from the rooftops, I also do not try to hide it. To me hiding means I am doing something I think is wrong and it also give others ammunition to use against me.

they could have a sit with everyone including mom and BB and spill the beans in a very simplistic way. "Although it is not something we advertise it is also not somethign we are ashamed of and since you are sort of part of the family now we wanted to share with you that we are a family unit and care deeply for one another."

You know, nothing too in depth. Keep it on the surface and all about the family structure and how that makes them happy and fulfilled. Then be prepared for questions. lol

Or, they could go more along the lines of what I do. I live my life and if someone has a question and they ask it, I answer it. So instead of mom trying to hide it she could say something about how nice it is that the whole family might be getting together for the holidays and open the topic up that way. If the questions end up being of a personal/sexual nature I often will say something along the lines of "I'll answer your private question if I get to ask one about you and your (insert relationship title here)." That usually keeps the questions out of the sexual realm. lol

Anyway, best of luck to them. It really is too bad that people tend to be so closeminded and blind to true happiness when it is right in front of them.


New member
So the question is: what should Peter, Paul and Mary do?

Real head-scratcher, isn't it? :confused:

We all have to be, at any time, cognizant that any one of ours friends or family members who know we're poly can tell somebody else that we are poly. There's no way to be absolutely certain we can control who knows what's happening.

With that in mind, I think it important for polyfolk to carefully assess whether the company they work for is poly-unfriendly. If there are indicators it likely is, the poly folk have to always have an exit plan. Keep track of openings in other companies, network with folks from other companies, and so forth. It takes only one mention to draw a negative reaction, if the corporate climate is poly-unfriendly.

Beyond that, I don't think the should do much of anything. Mom knows they're poly and I, at least, would trust that Mom isn't going to get married to a man who is going to have a strong negative reaction to the children--that sort of thing breaks families and most folks won't marry that sort of problem knowingly. If Mom is a tolerant sort of person, it's unlikely she'd get entangled with an intolerant sort.


New member
I agree with seventh about trusting the mum. I am also wondering what the companies policies are around relationships in the work place. This should give some insight as to what will go down. Who knows, it might give the company a chance to be highly progressive. My fingers are crossed on that one.