Homosexuality is almost accepted these days. Outing oneself to ones’ parents is done without batting an eyelid, often in anycase.
Bisexuality is a little more of a problem. It gives parents, well actually anyone who wants to, an excuse to pretend that the difference doesn’t exist. I’m with a boy, therefore who needs to acknowledge my romantic and close relationship with a woman. There is no label, no neat box so therefore it’s easy to pretend that it doesn’t exist.
Polyamory, well that’s a whole other box of invisibility.
With one partner then any others that are picked up along the way can be completely blanked.
Of course I’m thinking along these lines because Weasel managed to introduce me to his parents (albeit in hilarious ways) and even after having had a boyfriend at the same time as the Jellicle Cat (My Gentleman Friend was my boyfriend a while back) I am still not at the stage of being able to tell my parents about Weasel. Not that our relationship has progressed that far, but even if it did. Hell even before it has I can’t tell my parents about it as if it’s some dirty little secret when it damned well isn’t.
I talk to my Grandma about my lovers – I don’t wave the sexual relationship at her just tell her about my friends. But I would like to be able to tell my parents about the people who are important to me. When I told my Mum about My Gentleman Friend she completely ignored the fact and he was my boyfriend. After we split I kind of gave up on trying to tell them about the poly. Lets see if I can work up some sort of strategy again, I’ve almost got the energy for it.
Hey whilst I’m at it how about I try telling them I’m bisexual as well…there’s so much of my life they don’t know about but ‘we don’t want to know about your love life’ seems a fairly explicit direction unfortunately and now I’m approaching thirty and they have about as much idea of who I am as they did when I was seventeen. I have been variously annoyed, infuriated, saddened and resigned to it, now I’m just exhausted by it.
One thought on “Parents and Poly”
Have you ever made the explicit offer to tell them more about your live and have they explicitly said no (as in used the exact words ‘we don’t want to know’ rather than feigning ignorance/using silence)?
If it were me (and yes, I know you’re not me – fact well documented over the years 😛 ) and I felt this strongly,I’d probably do the following.
Write to them. And in the letter say the following:
"There’s a lot in my life that I don’t discuss with you. I’m not conventional, and some of it is complicated, but I’m willing to tell you about it if you’re willing to listen with an open mind and accept that all of this is me, approaching 30 – not a 14 year old phase. Do you want to know who I really am and what sort of life I lead? If so, we should get together and properly talk".
Or words to that effect.
Obviously I don’t know what strategies you’ve tried with your parents before. But in absense of you saying that this one’s already been tried, that’s what I’d suggest. If it’s failed already … at that point, I’d focus on more acceptance of the fact that things won’t change. Which is sad – but sometimes necessary.