Dear Abby on Polyamorous Lifestyle - cross post from fetlife

Sex'и'Violence Sex'и'Violence
DEAR ABBY: I read with interest your excellent advice to "Nowhere and Everywhere" (Aug. 17), who asked about letting family members know about her polyamorous relationship. As a counselor, nurse and consulting hypnotist in private practice, I counsel people every day in developing healthy, happy, open relationships. Polyamory and other forms of non-monogamous relationships are becoming more widely practiced and accepted, as many individuals and couples find the limits of traditional marriage do not meet their needs.

It is not realistic to expect family members to immediately accept this lifestyle if they were raised with different beliefs about sexual exclusivity in marriage. I advise couples to "test the waters" first with the most open-minded family member by bringing up the subject of a "friend" who is in an open relationship. If the relative reacts in a neutral or positive way, it may be safe to disclose the truth. Ask this person how the rest of the family might respond to the news. Couples should carefully assess whether their relationship is strong enough to withstand potential rejection.

There is a price to pay for being open, and one for staying secretive. The latter requires lying to family members and excluding one partner from family events, causing pain for everyone. (The cornerstone of polyamorous relationships is honesty.)

Families do become more accepting over time if they see that the couple's marriage is not threatened by the polyamory and that everyone seems happy. I advise couples to expect drama and disapproval at first, but to be patient and keep reaching out to family members to give them time to get used to this new situation. -- KATHY IN BERKELEY

DEAR KATHY: Thank you for writing. Responses to that controversial letter were passionate and numerous. My newspaper readers comment:

DEAR ABBY: In response to "N and E's" request for a tip on how to let her boyfriend's conservative family know about their illicit, immoral polyamorous relationship, my advice is to say nothing.

If she's asked directly, only then should she defer to the boyfriend to explain their unorthodox lifestyle to his parents. Why does she feel the need to flaunt her private sexual relations?

If she loves the two men, her actions will speak for themselves without having to offend the family's ingrained sensibilities. -- ON HIGHER GROUND IN SALEM, MASS.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been non-monogamously married for many years. My lover joined the household four years ago. Some members of my family welcome all three of us, some don't. One, who doesn't otherwise identify as conservative, has cut me off.

I'm sad that my happy family life offends them, but my household is my primary family unit, and I don't lie or cover it up. Different family styles work for different people. Why is this hard to grasp? -- JEAN IN PROVIDENCE

DEAR ABBY: Human sexuality expresses itself across a vast spectrum. Consenting adults can and do choose this lifestyle, but it's a no-brainer that it strikes a negative chord within our culture.

Why is it necessary to remove the last shred of illusion and comfort from those parents? They may lack the psychological flexibility to accept polyamory. They already know on some inner level what is happening. My closest friends know about my lifestyle, but I am content to not "stir the pot" by forcing it into open conversation.

We don't live in an especially tolerant society. People are slow to embrace anything different from the "norm." If that triad is happy and enjoying life, that should be all that matters. -- E.L. IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR ABBY: Where will she be if she becomes pregnant? A baby would complicate a triad situation. There can be only one biological dad.

Who will play Daddy, and who the uncle? Will each of them really be OK with this then? How confused might the child be? As a mom, I feel for the parents of all involved. -- NOT SURE IF I'D WANT TO KNOW

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Figured I'd post this in here in case anyone else was interested or wanted to give it a read.
10/28/2011
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Note (regarding the last DEAR ABBY [asking "what if she got pregnant?"]): It may come as a shock to people who don't understand, but some people can love children as their own without knowing that they swam out of their own personal nutsack. JUST SAYIN.

Among cultures that practice polyandry (a woman being married to more than one man), there is often no idea which kids "belong" to which dudes, and in some local dialects (of the people that practice this), there is not even a word for "father."
10/28/2011
Chilipepper Chilipepper
That last one cracked me up. They obviously haven't even had a divorce in their family, much less any other type of relationship with resulting children.

The first response of the rest of the letters needs to pull that pole out of her ass, somebody needs the wood.
10/28/2011
indiglo indiglo
"The first response of the rest of the letters needs to pull that pole out of her ass, somebody needs the wood."


Love it!! From the sound of it, she might need the wood. lol
10/28/2011
Ms. Spice Ms. Spice
Quote:
Originally posted by Chilipepper
That last one cracked me up. They obviously haven't even had a divorce in their family, much less any other type of relationship with resulting children.

The first response of the rest of the letters needs to pull that pole out of her ass, ... More
lol love it.
10/28/2011
Rockin' Rockin'
"The first response of the rest of the letters needs to pull that pole out of her ass, somebody needs the wood." LMAO

People like that just leave me dumbfounded. "ingrained sensibilities" - Get Over Yourself. Sheesh!

"Why does she feel the need to flaunt her private sexual relations?" - What do you call it when a person is out with their partner, flirting and kissing, with arms around waists? That's not flaunting? What about wearing a wedding ring? Talking about how your partner took you on a cruise for your birthday? Many monogamous/two-person couples "flaunt" all the time, and we're just been socialized to accept it as the norm.
10/28/2011
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Sex'и'Violence
DEAR ABBY: I read with interest your excellent advice to "Nowhere and Everywhere" (Aug. 17), who asked about letting family members know about her polyamorous relationship. As a counselor, nurse and consulting hypnotist in private practice, ... More
Heh I ca answer the last poster's questions. My son is so very NOT confused abut who is his Daddy even though he spends ong stretches separated from him. He calls Arch "Daddy" and Sigel "Sigel". HE made this choice as we call them both Daddy when talking about them. It was a shock to all of us when he started referring to Sigel by his name instead of Daddy. Still it shows how unconfused he is even at two years old.
When he is hurt or needs reassurance he runs to his Daddy. If his Daddy is unavailable (at work or not there physically) he will run to Sigel. Sigel has his two girls and as no desire to push Arch out of the picture...oh and Sigel is not our son's "Uncle" he is Monkey's step-father both legally and in our home. I fail to see why in our society, with step parents almost being the norm, that this is so hard to grasp! Arch functions as step-father to the girls by their choice and in reality it is only the law that prevents him from being their legal step father.
Adding kids to any relationship brings stress but I have to say having done it both monogamously and polyamorously the stress is not different nor is it less with either scenario.
As far as there being only one biological Dad...well there is only one bio Dad in an adoption scenario or a divorce situation. Having Daddy here and lovingly involved with the child and the family has made this an amazing journey.
10/28/2011
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Chilipepper
That last one cracked me up. They obviously haven't even had a divorce in their family, much less any other type of relationship with resulting children.

The first response of the rest of the letters needs to pull that pole out of her ass, ... More
But she tries to temper her idiotic prejudices later in the response...jus' sayin'
She needs the birch is my opinion!
10/28/2011
Total posts: 8
Unique posters: 7