Keeping It In The Cupboard

This is the first image I found when I Googled "inside the kitchen cupboard"

This is the first image I found when I Googled "inside the kitchen cupboard"

Last night I had a heart-to-heart with the male third of my triad. We launched into this seated on the kitchen floor, half tucked inside the cupboard where the Tupperwear is stored, because we were looking for suitable containers for the girls’ lunch.

I am the first in our triad to tell my parents about what is happening in my life. I decided to do this for three reasons:

1.) My mom can read my mind and would have very quickly figured out that something was up anyway.

2.) Once upon a time in my personal history I sort of ambushed her with really significant personal news. I thought I was doing the right thing at the time because she had so much on her own plate, but as it turns out, this is going to be on the very short list of things I regret, probably forever.

3.) My extended family has had WAAYYY too many secrets. My mom was open and honest with me about our family’s skeletons and stories from the time I was old enough to understand the answers to the questions I was asking. I’ve never lived with secrets myself, because I am convinced that they give you cancer.

I maintain that my partners should talk to their families when they feel the time is right. I really do think this is important, but part of me knows I can’t really settle into this, and really learn to feel secure until that hurdle has been met.

I’ve only met my male partner’s parents. Most of the year they live on another continent, but they’ve been in Toronto since August, and we’ve had three occasions now to spend time together. Usually in a crowded, noisy, fairly public situation. They think I’m a dear friend, and by some miracle, neither of the kids have said anything like “Are you gonna sleep over again tonight Schnoo?” or “Schnoo stays at our house all the time” in front of their grandparents. The current strategy is to have these folks get to know me as a Schnoo first, and then when the time is right, tell them the rest of the story. I am skeptical that there is ever a right time to tell your parents that you’ve taken on a second woman, who is a lover to your wife, and who you want to have more children with. Hmmm…

As for the kidlets, they also think I’m a dear friend who stays over. A lot. I suppose that’s right, isn’t it? I haven’t really stayed at the Fortress of Solitude for over a month. In November, the clan will head off continent to spend time with his family. Six weeks of time in fact. I think I’ve been stock-piling my time with them knowing how shitty November will be.

He might tell his parents in November.

So presently, as was the case last night, I am half in and half out of the cupboard. The result is a strange mixture of freedom and sadness. I just want to get it over with, you know? Face any impending shit storms head on. Engage in epic conversations with worried and angry parents now, and then really settle into my life. Our life. No more monitoring photos posted on Facebook by friends, no more pretending to sleep on the couch, no more worrying over what the children may say to their grandparents. I can make a home, we can make a home, both physically and emotionally, and that will be truly sweet.

This has made me reflect on my own familial relationships. My parents are clearly a huge influence in my world, because in my own head and heart I couldn’t really enter into this relationship until I’d told them what was happening. Maybe I seek their approval too much? Maybe I need to sever the umbilical cord, and trust that my decisions are 100% my own, and that my parents will love me whether or not they approve of my choices? I’m happy to report that I think they’re doing really well with everything, considering. My dad seemed his usual self when I finally saw him in person, and my mom, though still trying hard to understand, is making overtures of friendship and camaraderie with my partners. I’m really happy about this. Also, one of my aunts has been incredible, both as a supportive, non-judgemental ear for my mom, and an understanding confidante for me. It delights me that she can talk about God and the various ways that love can manifest with clarity and conviction.

Love like this has made me want to shout it from the rooftops, but that just isn’t very practical in such a situation. Instead, there is a particular Rubbermaid cereal container that I’ve been whispering my devotions into.

11 thoughts on “Keeping It In The Cupboard

  1. Sometimes children and parents don’t need WAAAAAAAY too much information. They don’t need to know what’s happening in the bedroom at such tender ages. Parents like to be involved in their kids’ lives but too much info sometimes hurts more than you could ever know.

  2. These comments are more than a little confusing…

    First, in no way, shape, or form are we exposing children or parents to the intimate details of our relationship. This is totally and completely inappropriate, and any information that is given, especially to the children, is distilled in a way that their young minds can process and feel safe with. That is our main priority.

    Regarding parents, telling mine the truth about my bisexuality was essential to my own self-acceptance and emotional strength. I refuse to pretend I am something other than I am. My mother and I have, in the past, been able to be candid about sex and sexuality, but this has never involved specific personal details. I don’t imagine this changing.

    Regarding the voyeurism comment, and the challenge to open honesty, does that pertain to this blog? Or was it a reference to the previous comment about giving parents too much information? If it’s directed at the blog, I would argue that it’s a bit of both. I’m allowing readers to get a filtered look into my life, and my emotional process, which has offered many of them a sense of kinship and fellowship. Some people may read for their own voyeuristic curiosity, but it’s the latter who really inspire me to share the way that I do.

  3. You’ve been hinting at who your kids think you are & what place you hold in their family, since you are essentially “sleeping over”.
    My experience with teaching sexuality to kids showed that they DO NOT even want to accept that their parents have sex. So keep that topic closed to the children. Bisexuality in an open marriage triad situation is way to much info for them.
    You seem to feel that your lovers’ parents should also be informed. Why? Is it really any of their business? Will it enrich their lives in any way? Heterosexual couples don’t dwell on their
    sex lives why should bisexuals?….unless they are voyeurs.
    Teaching kids about sex is one thing, informing them of
    triads or personal sex practices borders on incestuous because now you are involving them { in theory only of course}. Teaching hypothetically is very different from saying “this is what’s happening in our bedroom”.
    You are a wonderful writer. I enjoy your Schnooville ramblings for the most part. You are a very open,loving, demonstrative person.You certainly know how to put it out there to the whole world.

  4. “My experience with teaching sexuality to kids showed that they DO NOT even want to accept that their parents have sex.”

    Perhaps it is the means with which one is conveying information about sex and sexuality to children that leaves them averse to the entire topic.

    My parents were always very open and candid with me about sexuality, starting when I was barely out of diapers, and there was never any aversion or distaste as a result of it. Having been raised in an environment where many of my parents’ friends were gay, being raised with the idea that there are many different kinds of loving relationships resulted in my growing up with a far more open, compassionate, and welcoming view of human sexuality.

    I know of children being raised in families of all different types: triads, poly, same sex parents + visitation with the other biological parent, extended families via divorce/remarriage, and I find those children that have been raised with openness and calm explanation (NOT graphic details) are growing up amazingly well-adjusted and confident that they are in a tribe of people that loves them unconditionally.

  5. You seem to be looking for legitimacy by way of a declaration. This is neither productive to any party involved, nor does unilaterally declaring it to be so lend itself to the efficacy of your particular dilemma. This will, in fact, result in false sentimental economy between the parties involved as well as sow seeds resentment. People will either choose to accept it, or they will not. The real honesty you purport here is a measure of your ability to simply “be”.

  6. I’m going to take a hybrid view here. It’s probably true that children don’t need to hear (and don’t want to hear) the intimate details of their parents relationship(s). But it’s also true that children should be made aware of changes made to their family dynamic and that the process of making them aware should be handled with great delicacy. I would say the same thing to a divorcing couple. It’s uncertainty that creates stress for children, not change.

    That being said, before the elders in a family say anything to a child, they’d better have it all sorted out for themselves. Each member must be sure about their place in the family now and in the future. You only get one chance to drop big news on a kid, so get it right.

    For me, this is where concerns of “who knows what” can come into play, because it can say something about one’s level of certainty or comfort, but it’s not a universal gauge. Getting to a place of certainty isn’t the same process for everyone.

    For some, like our Schnoo, it happens through openness. For others, managing their relationship might require them to keep some people in the dark. We all have to be allowed to manage our lives in a way we feel appropriate. And our partners, at some point, need to understand that out level of discretion is not proportionate to our level of affection.

    However, the level of patience required to maintain a relationship is proportionate to the level that society accepts that relationship. So if one wants to be polyamorous, one should expect it to take a longer time to achieve acceptance and normalcy than a person who just marries someone of the opposite gender. Just ask the gays how long it’s taken them to get to a point where a man and a man can live together in relative peace.

    If it works for ya…go for it. But it’s going to be a long road without any self-help books to guide you along the way. Luckily you’re writing your own self-help book in the context of this blog and you should keep doing that with the same level of honesty and openness that made this such a great read in the first place.

    Note: @yammeringmammel…Efficacy. To quote Inigo Montoya “I don’t thinka that word means what you thinka it means.”

  7. Wow. Epic. Thanks for all of your thoughts!

    Yammeringmammel, surprised to see that you’re reading this. As always, thanks for your kind and loving words.

  8. Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work! 🙂

    – Marc Shaw

  9. Hey Schmoo,

    You’ve always been a loving and caring soul from the first moment we met. To see how honest, courageous, and open your passion for love and life is, I wish you nothing but tremendous happiness.

    Like yourself, I’ve dealt with the question of “Why would someone love me (in return)?” It goes with the whole thing that there’s just a few things we have to take on faith.

    All the best and we must meet face-to-face again for food and bevy.

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