To be open or not to be

We are out to everyone, and i mean everyone, even the people we know hate it. All 4 or our familys know, and work collegues etc...

I decided to be out because I can't lie, and becaues i don't want to live a lie. I am doing nothing shameful so im not going to act like i am. That being said there have been some very intresting consaquences to my being out,

1, i have been called a whore more times than i can remember now, whore, prostatute, slut, iv been called disgusting and even had someone tell me that they "hoped i catched something from my next victim"

2, my partners often get people tell them that i am obviously a manipulative evil cow and that they would be better off without me,

3, my Dad has disowned me

4, my step mother has threatened to physically hurt me

5, im prob challanged on being poly around once or twice a week it doesn't go away people don't seem to settle down once they know there are still always lots of personnal questions and gossip around me

6, i have just been slandered in the media


i do NOT regret my desision to be out, no matter what i dont' want to live a lie but I am very very tierd at the moment of everything and it is starting to get to me.

anyone thinking of being out i think needs to be aware that sometimes it really is not easy.

anyone thinking of being out i think needs to be aware that sometimes it really is not easy.

Oh my Jools !!!
That's all so sad - and so brave. I obviously have zero knowledge of what your particular social circle or general lifestyle is. But it's situations such as this that make you sad about the state of humanity - especially in Western culture.
And as I say to others on various other topics - it's scary to think that these are the same people who are allowed to vote in a supposed democracy. They get to pass laws that affect all people (like you). And they get into positions to enforce these laws !

And it's such a shame that anyone who wants only to live happily and spread happiness and love has to become a martyr to do it.
But seems nothing with humans will ever change (for the better)...........

Jools, I admire your strength, even facing such ignorance and intolerance from people that are supposed to support you. Even hearing stories like yours, where being openly poly has definate pro's and con's, it still gives me comfort. I'm not alone, whatever I choose to do there will people that understand, or at least try to.
Hang in there! <3
dispite it all, i am still glad we are open, i wouldn't change that for anything because really the people who don't like me because I am poly would never really like the real me if i was just keeping it a secret, they would only like/love the fake me and thats pointless.

I have been thinking a lot about how open I want to be about my relationship. I have a husband and just recently started a relationship with my girlfriend. Me and my girlfrien have told most of our closest friends, but with the family we are waiting for a while. We have been discussing about the right time and agreed that it will be the end of the summer (at the latest) since we will be able to spend more time together during the summer (we are in a LDR) and will see where things are going. :)

I have no people I would be scared of telling, since I am quite distant with my family anyways (they will not approve, that's for sure) and all my friends are very accepting. Right now I am not hanging out with people at the University because we have exams coming up, so I'll have more of a social life with them again next fall.

I'm a very open person and could never consider hiding my relationship from my friends of family. I obviously understand if other people don't feel the need to or cannot be as open about it. :)

However, I am thinking a lot about next fall and my life at the uni (here in the UK) and whether I want to let people know or not, and in what kind of situations. I have no very close friends here yet so it's not something that would naturally come up. If it does, I will talk about it if I feel comfortable to, and I definitely will not hide it. But since it propably doesn't I'm wondering how "public" I want to be. As in, will I say things like "My girlfriend is coming to visit me this weekend." to a person who already knows I'm married. I do think that I want to talk about my life with people on the same level that they talk to me about theirs (which does involve for me both my partners), and I propably will. I just realise that it will be a 'big thing' which will turn the conversation to polyamory and my inner thoughts and feelings about it. And also that I may become known as "the girl who is in a polyamorous relationship" at the uni. If that happens it might be exhausting, on one hand, but it might as well be interesting if similarly minded people would feel comfortable approaching me about the subject. :)

I just feel it would be good to have a realistic picture of what I might expect if/when I choose to be completely open. That's why this thread has been good reading for me. ;)
Awww We've been wondering the same thing. Hubby and I are now co-habitating with my bf and thing actually are working our really well but as far as anyone else knows he's just our roommate.

However, I think my parents are suspicious. They haven't said anything and they have been introduced to my bf. (as a friend and roommate) But I think their suspicion lies in the fact that bf is single and significantly older than me. (he's 52 and I'm 30. hubby is 30.)

Last weekend I went to my parent's house for a BBQ. Hubby had to work so he didn't go. I wanted to bring my bf but because of the nature of things I didn't want to raise any suspicions with my family by showing up with another man and the kids to a family function, so bf stayed home. However, when my dad asked my where hubby was I told him he had to work and couldn't come. Then he asks me where my second husband was. It about FLOORED me!!! LOL I just laughed it off but it made me wonder if he knows and just doesn't want to say anything in case he was wrong. (like asking a fat woman if they're pregnant.) My dad likes to joke around and I'm sure he meant that question as a joke but sometimes when things are said in jest they are meant as truth.

So anyways, I would LOVE to scream to the world about our situation and how happy we are but honestly I don't want to cause any more drama than necessary. Especially since bf is my former boss and even though we were always professional at work rumors still surfaced and it caused a lot of drama for him. I also know that my family and especially my husband's family wouldn't understand. So for now we are keeping things hush hush. I know eventually things will come out but I think we are preferring to let that happen naturally in due time.
Pixie, my great-grandmother lived with her second husband and a "boarder" who slept in an extra bedroom they had. This was during the 1960s and they were all in their 60s and 70s at the time. I think the three of them lived together for almost ten years. As a little girl, I called this man by his first name and understood that he was "a friend of the family." Years later, after my ggm and ggf were gone and I was researching my family tree, I was told by my great-Aunt Blanche that Oscar was my ggm's boyfriend. I was too young to be privy to this, but apparently, it was common knowledge, though I doubt it was talked about.

So, basically, although I don't know whether my ggm had ever actually "confessed" to anyone, there were people who figured it out and knew. You would probably be surprised by who would be more accepting of it than not. I don't know if our information age nowadays would change things, but use your judgment and trust your gut in choosing who to tell and who to let figure it out on their own. You're right - who needs that extra drama? LOL
As I've said before, having been closeted for almost 10 years I just don't think it's worth it anymore. I come out to people in my social circle whenever I can (usually when somebody asks me about my dating life) because I feel that there is already so much ignorance and fear and pain around issues like this that if it can possibly benefit someone even just a little to hear me leading my life and not be miserable, I want to do it.

Of course, then there is the question of whether I am creating more misery for people who will not understand and think that I am endangering myself and others with insisting on this path down to destruction, which to them it is. But as has been pointed out in this thread before, who am I to tell beforehand who will understand and who won't? Even after initial negative reactions, maybe we can establish common ground and start talking about how I view my relationships and what they mean to me.

The one situation where I will curb down PDA is around mutual friends who don't know that the spouse of the married person I am with knows and accepts our relationship. This is very simply because I don't wish to burden anyone unnecessarily with the thought that they are witnessing somebody cheating on their spouse.
I never worry much about what other people might think. I don't think of my relationships as being anything other than normal and I act accordingly. Should somebody ask who the babe is when I'm not with my wife, I simply tell them--their reaction is their problem.

I suspect that if I treat my relationships as something Oddly Notable, other people will, too. If I treat them as matter-of-fact business-as-usual, then others are likely to accept them as such. If they don't, I don't really care.

So I can be found out with women who aren't my wife. I can be seen holding hands with a woman other than my wife in public and I don't stop to think about whether that might be acceptable--it certainly IS acceptable and I won't tolerate any foolishness that says otherwise. What other people think about my marriage doesn't concern me.
I like that people in our neighbourhood think Mono is our roommate/housemate. They kind of wonder why such an obviously attractive and available man would be single, but, meh, whatever, no one says anything so openly... just talk about us behind our back when they see us all outside doing the garden or something.

It was interesting the other day when Mono's buddies came over with their bikes to take me on a ride. They think its just me who lives there and that he is the tenant... they don't get why we don't live in the same part of the house and rent the suite ;) This time they saw my husband in the window and I said he was looking after LB. They probably think he came over for the day or something... I dunno, don't care really. I'm fine with the mystery, by the time they know they will see that we are all good and happy and its normal to us.
Reading through other people's posts, I think age and newness to poly might also play a factor in this 'How open do I want/should I be?'. I remember that when coming out as bisexual, I was very interested in reading stories of ordinary bi and lesbian women who managed to have a normal happy life, or of famous GLBT folks who had managed major achievements even with this horrible societal detriment :rolleyes:. As the years go by and I grow more comfortable with who I am, the activist in me is less and less concerned with correct 'representation' of lesbianity in the media, for example, and if I nowadays face stereotypes, I have more of the 'Yeah, so? It doesn't concern me - I'm not like that'.

Still, I do think that there are important misconceptions to set to rights. Like when militant atheists tell me that I have to either accept the whole Bible as the infallible Word of God (whatever that means) or to disregard Christianity completely, or when people say that there must be something wrong with the relationship in the first place if somebody desires other romantic relationships while being in a relationship already. But there is a time and place for those debates, and I generally believe that if I live my life openly and happily, I'm setting a good enough example already.
I can be seen holding hands with a woman other than my wife in public and I don't stop to think about whether that might be acceptable--it certainly IS acceptable and I won't tolerate any foolishness that says otherwise. What other people think about my marriage doesn't concern me.

Inspiring! :cool:
I'm with Autumn. I am respectful of Maca and GG's emotional needs regarding pda when they are both around.
But-beyond that, I hug, kiss and hold hands with either when we're in public. It's my relationship and I'm proud of the relationship (whichever one is being displayed in the moment) and I don't pretend otherwise.

Where I socialize, that comes into play a little bit. I don't go visit them at work with the other on my arm-because I'm not going to play down my relationship to keep their co-workers in the dark. It's mostly arbitrary now though. Maca's big big boss (owner of hte company) is fully aware of our dynamic and GG is open with his co-workers as well. But, that's fairly new (as in the last couple months). :)
hmmm I've enjoyed reading everyones post (I haven't been on for a while and just sat down and read this whole thread). I have been contemplating this same question recently - my finace and I are getting married in two months and our girlfriend will be right there beside us, and hopefully we will have a ceremony for all three of us when the time is right. We have been bringing this lovely lady to family events over the past year, and certain members of the family know and so far most reactions have been very negative -- for example my mother said that my vows will be nothing but lies, that I am an adulteress. And my grandma who I am /was (?) very close to said that it is just wrong, and there is no chance for it to end well. However they are all still coming to the wedding, so I guess they are able to come to terms of some sort.

Most of my friends know. I as well will not lie about our relationship (or any other aspect of my life) but I don't flaunt it either. However, when we are out in public we all hold hands and display a variety of PDAs, so I suppose that's flaunting to a point...

Anyhow, I have found that very few people have come up and been horrified. I have had lots of "hmmm I couldn't do that" and "well as long as you are happy" and best of all I have found a number of friends that I already had who happen live similar lifestyles!!

Sorry for the long post - short version, I can't lie - I'm no good at, and I want to live my life proudly. I also wouldn't feel right misrepresenting my SO's significance in my life.
Introversion and Extroversion

When my wife and I tried poly we kept it fairly close to the vest. I did this mostly for my wife's benefit as I value her piece of mind and really wanted her not to get hurt if at all possible by negativity. We did discuss and prepare for the possibility, and likely eventual probability that family would find out.

She's on the introverted side of things, I am definitely on the extroverted side.

I see some issues, for me at least, that might arise from ducking into dark shadows when the reality of poly is in play.

One issue is that my goal would be, whether successful or not, to form relationships with the potential for long term goodness.

My wife is one of the proudest things to exist in my life. I talk about her all of the time. I don't think I could stop if I tried. I then try to imagine forming a relationship with another woman, that over time matured into a long term love, and going about my life trying to hide or obscure what could be a very large, very rewarding, very proud part of my life.

I would want to include this new love in activities, not exclude her. I would want to indulge her with affection, not withhold it. To me, hiding her away in a cloak of subterfuge and misdirection would be to belittle the importance of the relationship, and relegate it to the seedy part time lover category.

I tend to care little for what other people think, particularly when their opinions are negative and based upon emotional, irrational preconceptions.
Definitely a tough sutuation to be in. My wife and I had to keep our first relationship hidden from family and some friends. We thought it was for the best as we didn't want to rock any boats. Then our gf passed away. It's been 5 years and I still regret keeping her a secret.

Enter our current gf. Everyone knows about her and our lifestyle now. I didn't give people a chance to have a negative reaction. I informed both friends and family that this was my life to live and that's exactly what I was going to do. They could choose to be in it or not. Haven't had any issues. Sure there are tons of questions, but that's ok!! I love when people ask about our lifestyle. I'm all about informing people about how awesome my life

Good luck and remember that it's your life to live.
Very pleased to see this post is generating some very thoughtful responses and sharing of experiences.
I thought I might update my own original post as it was quite some time ago and change is inevitable.

My husband and I, as well as his girlfriend, are openly poly and becoming quite active in our local poly community. My boyfriend doesn't volunteer that he's dating a 'married' woman as his family is extremely religious and doesn't respond kindly to any beliefs that are 'different'. He doesn't feel a need to explain and I support his choice to be as open as he's comfortable with. All of his friends, however, are aware of our relationship and have been 100% accepting and supportive.

My husband's mother was very concerned when he told her because when she attempted it many years ago with his father it didn't work! (That was a bit of a surprise to hear!). She remains skeptical, but still accepting of our life.

All of our friends have been absolutely wonderful, the most loving and accepting people in our lives. If not for them, I'm not sure if I would be able to bear the pain of being estranged from my Dad & step-mother. They did not take our 'coming out' well and haven't spoken to me in over 8 months, despite my attempts to reach out. I've stopped trying, it hurts too much to be rejected repeatedly. This wasn't the first time they have withdrawn from my life when they didn't agree with me so it's something that I've come to accept. My door is always open to talk and I still, perhaps foolishly, hope that one day they will want to at least try and talk, try and understand.

Aside from this one dark shadow, my life is happier and brighter than it has ever been before. I have wonderful partners and friends that bring so much love into my life. It's been worth it for me to live my life honestly, without apologies.
Booklady, I came out to my folks as bisexual nine years ago. I have honestly given them nine years to get used to the idea of me with a woman. Did it help? Not one bit. The whole 'we love you unconditionally no matter what' obviously didn't cover kissing girls.

I take it that your Dad has come around previously, so I trust he will this time, too. There is only so much anyone of us can do to be accepted for who we are by those closest to us. There is a time to reach out, and also a time to withdraw.