I Am Ashamed Of What I Did For A Klondike Bar

Posted on October 27th, 2010 in Advice, Emotional Angst, Featured, Mating And Relating, Polyamory

I think that there comes a point when a person just becomes very tired of catering to what other people think and ceases caring about the opinions of anyone else.  Well, almost anyone else.  Lets say they become more selective about it.

When Jack and I decided to become poly, I don’t think either of us realized that we would end up where we are currently.  We entered into this “lifestyle” with the intention that what happened in our own bedroom (or in the bedrooms of our lovers, as the case may be) would be our business and that nobody need ever know.  Convenient and convincing cover stories became a part of planning outings or absences that would be spent with other significant others (we’ve used everything from “she’s helping a friend move today” to “he isn’t feeling particularly well and won’t be coming with us this weekend”).  That worked out just dandy, until poly spilled out of just the bedroom and into everyday life.  Now it is becoming increasingly inconvenient and more trying to keep it all under cover.

I used to fantasize about coming out to my mother, if only to piss her off.  Now I wish that I could just tell the truth because I hate having to keep my relationship with Aiden a secret.  I hate feeling like I’m doing something so wrong that we can’t possibly tell people for fear of the repercussions.  I dislike having to exclude him from “family activities” even though he is a part of our family.  I don’t want to have to live like this forever.

There is also the high level of paranoia I face every time I pack our kids off to spend time with my parents or Jack’s parents.  What if they say something suspicious?  What if there are uncomfortable questions?  What if everyone finds out?

I don’t care much about these things when it comes to my family, but Jack DOES care about them, and because of that, I feel as though I must be on high alert.  It’s exhausting really.  Part of me wishes we could just have it all out and stop living like we are part of the witness protection program, but I know that would make Jack extremely unhappy.

I suppose the trade off is that instead I am extremely unhappy.  Well perhaps not extremely unhappy, yet, but certainly discontent.

There is also the looming issue of future procreation.  Aiden would like to have a child, and I would like to have said child with him, and when that occurs, I am not entirely certain that we are going to be able to accommodate the lies.  One suggestion being tossed around is that we tell everyone that the three of us got terribly drunk, had a threesome, and I ended up pregnant.

That seems somewhat workable in theory, but what of the innocent child?  What are people going to say to him or her about the situation as he or she gets older?

Likewise, what are people going to say to my current children?

I suppose it’s sort of like being the child of gay parents in a time or place where it isn’t accepted or approved of.  You teach your children that it’s ok to go against the grain and encourage them to ignore the ignorance and narrowmindedness of the world around them.  I was raised in a family of racists rednecks and I turned out ok I think.  We were poor and I got picked on a lot because I never had the cool clothes and I never fit in with the popular kids.  I don’t know if that’s more or less horrible than being picked on because you live in a house with more than two parents, but who knows.

Jack and I have locked horns over this issue several times in the past months.  In fact during one late-night conversation I was relatively certain that we would either have to file for divorce or return to monogamy, the situation seemed so impassable.

I am still not certain how to resolve any of this.  I want to give up hiding because it feels so smothering and fraudulent to keep up the deception, just out of fear, and just for the sake of two other people (namely, Jack’s parents).  On the other hand, I want to be respectful of Jack and accommodating of his feelings on the matter.  I want to support his decision not to come out, but at what cost to myself and to my own sense of being truthful?

How does one manage to remain true to themselves and to their own needs, while continuing to honor the needs of the people they love?

Published by Shasta

6 Responses to “I Am Ashamed Of What I Did For A Klondike Bar”

  1. Max LagosNo Gravatar Says:

    I feel your pain…Poly is a terribly difficult thing at the bast of times.

    When I came out to my mother, I don’t think she understood because it is so far out of her experiences. I think she has conveniently forgotten, as well.

    And all this without having an active triad to worry about…I can only imagine how hard it is for you, love. *kiss*


    Reply To The Above Comment

  2. KyleNo Gravatar Says:

    Oh wow.. do I ever feel your pain. It takes a lot of energy to be in the closet, no matter what kind of closet it is. And the conflict between you and Jack is tough to deal with. I know with queer couples, it’s pretty easy to predict some level of failure when one is in and the other is out of the closet.

    I would love to get out of my poly closet as well. My wife and I agree to a certain level of transparency, with friends, selected siblings, various acquaintances, but she doesn’t want to tell her parents. I know it would be difficult to tell my parents, but I would be willing to do so, because I hate the energy needed to keep up the cover.

    Thank you for writing about this, it’s one of the truths of poly that a lot of people don’t really talk about. Even when two people agree to open their relationship to others, that doesn’t mean they approach that openness the same way. My wife and I have different philosophies about poly and it has been stressful.

    In the end, I work hard to balance my need for openness and honesty with her desire to ‘not open that can of worms’. Eventually, I hope we do come completely out of the poly closet. I’m already envisioning conversations with my daughters on the topic.

    Well written, Shasta, thank you.

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  3. PerakathNo Gravatar Says:

    Oh no! Do you know other people in a similar situation whom you could discuss this with?

    Reply To The Above Comment

  4. Serena DanteNo Gravatar Says:

    I would never know what to do in this situation. I wish you luck figuring it out!

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  5. literalmanNo Gravatar Says:

    If Canadian law allowed it, would you prefer to:

    a. Be married to both Aiden and Jack, or
    b. All three of you married to each other, or,
    c. Not married to either, or
    d. Only married to Jack, or
    e. Only married to Aiden?

    I don’t envy you, since the social supports for couples don’t apply to your situation, but I’m trying to understand what you want.


    Reply To The Above Comment

  6. JohnNo Gravatar Says:


    Caring about Jack means you’ll respect his wishes. But only for so long before you end up doing what you want to do with Aiden. You have a limit, and you’ll reach it.

    It doesn’t require a lot of thought to predict yourself, your motivations, and what you will eventually do if Jack doesn’t come around. Since Aiden moved in you’ve equalized both of them in terms of stature and importance, and now Jack in a short while is going to have to get on board with things – or decide what he wants to do with his own life individually.

    I’m sad that you guys are at a crossroads. I’ve seen this happen too often to people in poly life, and it almost always plays out in a bad way – I hope for the best for all of you regardless of outcome.

    Anyway, you may yet get Jack to relent on the way you want to live with Aiden, but you might not be better off for doing so. Ergo, would he ever really be happy being known to the world (along with his parents, and his business life) as the guy who let another man move in and knock up his wife? As the ultimate cuckold? I don’t know a lot of men in real life who wouldn’t laugh at a man that let that happen. It’s far beyond coming out as gay in a lot of ways. Yes, intolerant people are idiots – but there are a LOT of idiots out there. Jack being known for living poly in this fashion is going to be uglier for him more than anyone.

    I think your writing says you’re going to do this with Aiden (child, life, etc) eventually. Jack’s ultimate options are divorce, or acceptance with coming out. Looking at it that way, I’m guessing divorce is what will end up happening. Just seems inevitable with how you’re approaching things. I hate saying that, but it is what it is.

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